Friday, February 03, 2006

East and West United Against Iran

Omid Memarian, Rooz Online:
Six months after taking the reign of power in Iran, the new hardline government lead by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is leading Iran's aggressive nuclear policies towards the United Nations Security Council (UNSC). Ali Larijani, the head of the Supreme National Security Council and Islamic Republic's top negotiator had consistently promoted the idea that Iran was in a powerful position and would not withdraw from its position in its talks with the West. He went as far as saying that upon referral of Iran's nuclear file to the UN Security Council, Iran would use its regional capacity, a catchword to mean its armed groups, against the West.

But the ball doesn't seem to be in Iran's field anymore. Iranian diplomats assumed that they could take advantage in what they perceived were weaknesses and divisions in the Western camp, including the Russians and the Chinese. But as it turned out, Chinese and Russian support for Iran’s position turned out to be pipe dreams after both clearly sided with the Europeans, both expressly calling Iran to continue its talks with the Europeans. When the shove turned to push, they all united in their call for the Security Council to follow the issue. READ MORE

There was a time when former president Khatami's diplomacy and political behavior kept Europe and the U.S. at bay, and against taking any action against Iran. But Ahmadinejad's confrontational posture on the international stage, and his aggressive and unacceptable remarks even forced Iran’s friends to distance themselves.

Despite its efforts to win over China and Russia by promising and providing lucrative billion dollar contracts to China and Russia, today Iran stands insecure and under international threat. The Islamic Republic has turned into the world's most isolated country which neither the West nor the East are willing to support.

Political ambiguities in Iran's foreign policies and illusionary and unreal views of its officials, particularly its chief negotiators have trapped the Islamic Republic in a corner, sending its case to the UN Security Council. Iranian diplomats were grossly mistaken in their calculations that two permanent Security Council members, namely Russia and China, would not accept Iran being referred to the world body.

Iran’s hardline government mistakenly spent all its energy in cultivating relations with radical Islamic groups in Iraq, Lebanon and Palestine, and believing that the US was incapable of military confrontation with Iran due to its logistical challenges in Iraq. Sections of the Iranian press that remained close to the government has revealed a triangle of relations between Hamas, the Badr brigade in Iraq and Hezbollah in Lebanon and Palestine, all working with Tehran. And this while many in the country had been saying that the triangle is not in the interests of Iran.

But there are also those in Iran’s hardline camps who are now advocating leaving the NPT. Such immature and hardline policies are precisely what the US neo-cons and the Israeli lobby in Washington wish as the premise and background for a confrontation with Iran. The government’s policies of silencing any independent voices or debate over the nuclear issue, has only isolated it even further, highlighting its mistakes and defeats. A realistic assessment of its own strengths and those of its adversaries and the international community are the immediate requirements of the day if there is a desire to change the dismal performance and catastrophic record of the behavior of the hardline government.