Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Ahmadinejad’s Letter Failed as Well

Omid Memarian, Rooz Online:
As the UN Security Council was wrapping up its deliberations on Iran, news came that president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had sent a letter to his counterpart in the US. While the US acknowledge receiving the letter, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice dispelled any expectations out of it and made it clear that it did not contain anything that would resolve the current issues and contained philosophical and religious content.

Observers have said different things, but many have pointed out that just as Ahmadinejad’s UN speech last year did not alter anything or the image that the Islamic Republic had, so would this new gesture. Iranian commentator Ahmad Zeidabadi had written in Rooz two days prior to the publication of the contents of the letter that Ahmadinejad’s letter to Bush would be an invitation to the former to follow the teachings of Jesus. He also said that the Iranian president would most likely attempt to change the threatening image that he has acquired in the West.

Noticing the limitations of the gesture, the spokesman of Iran’s foreign ministry said that the letter was not intended to be used in the nuclear issue as Iran had sufficient legal basis for that. Ahmadinejad himself has said that he awaits George Bush’s response to his letter, while US officials generally present a common voice that the letter was intended to derail public opinion from the nuclear issue. Earlier, they had said that Iraqi cleric Abdol Aziz Hakim’s call for Iran to talk to the US too was aimed at providing more time for Iran on the nuclear issue.

With the absence of any impact of the letter, we are now in a new phase in the stand off between Iran and the West. Iran repeatedly argues that its nuclear activities are limited to research and are within the provisions of the NPT, and therefore it has no intention of ending them. But these remarks have been contradicted by others who said, after the enrichment, that Iran intends to mass produce enriched uranium at industrial levels, with talks of using some 3,000 centrifuges.

Ali Larijani who is the responsible official for the nuclear talks and issue in Iran continues to keep the Russian door open and again recently said that he sees the Russian proposal (to take up the responsibility of enriching uranium on behalf of Iran on their soil) as a possible solution to the problem. And while the talks with the Russians on this subject have not made any progress, he has also made it clear that even if that proposal went ahead, Iran would not stop its own enrichment activities. In the words of some specialists, Iranian officials look at the Russian proposal as a last solution to the crises, and compare it to what ayatollah Khomeini said about accepting UN Security Council Resolution 598 that ended the 8-year Iran-Iraq war that it was like drinking a suicide poison. READ MORE

But will drinking this poison in some future time be sufficient to make a breakthrough?