Iran as a working friend, and not as an active enemy, is the key to Middle Eastern Peace.
Last week, the very fact that the Iranian President Hassan Rouhani was in Davos, at the world economic forum, and saying Iran was open for business, was the most important world story for a very long time. It's the first time in ten years that an Iranian president has attended the World Economic Forum and he came with a message: Iran is ready to engage with the rest of the world, and he wants his country to become one of the ten global economies. It is also very good news for greater peace and a resolution of conflict in the Middle East.
Mr Rouhani said he intended to remove “all political and economic impediments to growth” in Iran and that one of his priorities was “constructive engagement” with the world, including through the use of its oil and gas reserves. “Only through co-operation and engagement can we provide a better life for our people and make peace sustainable,” he said.
For its part, Iran intends to “reopen trade, industrial and economic relations with all of our neighbours”, he said, identifying Turkey, Iraq, Russia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, the states of the Gulf and Central Asia.
Clearly the presence of Iran back in to the fold of oil producing countries that we can do business with would have a seriously good positive impact on the price of oil - and more importantly the cost of energy and petrol - that we in Northumberland, and the wider west, consume.
It is clear that business leaders from all over the world are beginning to go to Tehran in the coming months. Again this is a potential new market for British Exporters who are keen to sell their wares.
This potential for new business for Irtan is linked to its decision to back off its possible nuclear programme, and its decision to engage with the west and not seek out confrontation. It is the most important sea change in world affairs for a very long time, and very good news. It is also clear that Rouhani will have a huge impact on the Syrian conflict, as his more recent pronouncements have shown.
For a fuller report on his speech and approach at Davos, the Guardian have the following view: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jan/23/davos-iran-ready-engage-world-rouhani