Monday, October 31, 2005

Leaders Alarmed Over Ahmadinejad

Seyed Mojtaba Alavi, Rooz Online:
Inside sources in Tehran’s political circles report that the unexpected international reaction to Ahmadinejad’s recent comments about Israel have alarmed the highest officials in the capital. In various responses, these officials have discussed and even began taking measures against the president’s reckless remarks, and against possible consequences that may follow. READ MORE

Warnings about the dangers of such rash and uncalculated public statements by the president and his associates have the subject of discussions among high state officials right from the day the new president took office, but these were more or less sporadic and primarily among those who did not like the president to begin with or who were his rivals in the field. These even included the traditional conservative clergy. But the president hot comments about Israel at the “World without Zionism” seminar in Tehran last week is apparently the first time that concerns about the costs and consequences to the state have been raised by authorities and leading figures in the state. For example it is reported that as international reaction to Ahmadinejad’s remarks snowballed, a number of officials and politicians requested the Supreme Leader to intervene.

The main focus of the officials who call for exercising some controls over the new president is that under the current circumstances where Iran’s nuclear policy is already threatening the security of the Islamic Republic in a very serious manner, any event or statement that may deteriorate Iran’s current fragile position especially regarding the very countries that are confronting Iran in its nuclear issue, should be avoided as these can only facilitate sending the nuclear case to the UN Security Council by the IAEA. One official specifically pointed that over the past 30 days alone, Mr Ahmadinejad has twice created ferment against the Islamic Republic through his speech at the UN General Assembly first and now at the seminar in Tehran. On both occasions, they say, he has provided fuel and cause for the enemies of the Islamic to organize themselves against Iran. And in the second case, his remarks did not follow any particular new decision or directives by the higher leaders of the state.

Ironically, the state apparatus has been engaged in damage control measures since Ahmadinejad’s UN speech in September, and so this new crises wipes out those measures.

The distress of state officials is justified as a new IAEA meeting that may refer Iran to the UN Security Council is on the horizon. Unconfirmed reports that Iran had recalled most of its ambassadors before the recent crises deepens the concern of these officials as the move deprives the diplomacy machinery from doing its work.