Wednesday, March 22, 2006
Mars 17, 2006
Quand on est guidé par la seule force du dogme ou de l'instinct et non pas de la raison, et la survie est en jeu, tout est permis, puisque les buts justifient des moyens. Ce doit dire que des principes peuvent être sacrifiés quand l'issue se réduit à cette question simple: Être ou ne pas être?
Vingt sept ans après la chute du Chah pro ouest et l’émergence d’un régime qui a commencé son règne religieux avec la prise d'otage des diplomates américains pendant 444 jours, l'Iran révolutionnaire fait face maintenant aux réalités brutes des règles du jeu dans la politique mondiale. Le dossier nucléaire de l'Iran a été enfin envoye’ pour une décision au sein du Conseil de Sécurité des Nations Unies. Ce qui va sortir du Conseil décidera le destin politique du seul régime théologique au 21ème siècle.
Pendant les trois décades passées l'Iran pouvait d’une façon ou d'autre échapper au châtiment attendu pour ses actes controversés dans la scène internationale. Ceci a été possible grâce aux manoeuvres bien habiles en tirant profit de ses riches souterraines soit pour acheter l'appui ou par alimenter la haine et les inquiétudes dans la région. En effet, pour surmonter des menaces multiples et des complots, l'Iran a dû payer un prix très élevé. Mais, il n'est pas tout à fait sûr s'il pourra soutenir les conséquences des gaffes politiques et diplomatiques étonnants pendant les six derniers mois.Le conflit de l'Iran Irak était une guerre par la procuration conduite par ceux qui ont voulu diminuer à zéro les deux régimes de déstabilisation controversés dans la région.
La stratégie américaine de (double Containment) « double emballage » a seulement fonctionné jusqu'à la fin du monde bipolaire et a alors changé le cours sans résultats prévus. Plus d’un million ont péri dans cette guerre futile et les deux pays belligérants ont finalement sortis sans résultat attendu des hostilités sanglantes. L'agression contre le Kuweit par l'Irak a fourni l'occasion pour l’Iran d’acclamer son innocence au conflit blâmant son voisin des intentions agressives dans la région. Le cas temporairement a fini par la première intervention militaire américaine en Irak, choisissant de ne pas enlever le « bourreaux de Bagdad » craignant l'ascendance de l'Iran à la puissance régionale. La mission a été finalement accomplie par une deuxième intervention des Etats Unis dont les résultats étaient l'effondrement du régime de Baath comme hostile et ennemie éternel de l'Iran. Tous ces développements se sont produits en faveur absolue du régime islamique en Iran.
La chute de Saddam Hussein et l'agitation conséquente en Irak étaient en effet un miracle qui seulement pourrait être réalisé par des mains du dieu tout-puissant. Miraculeusement, ces mains sont sorties des douilles du grand Satan. En fait, le président des Etats Unis peut être considéré comme l'ange sauveur pour l'Iran révolutionnaire; puisque toutes choses qu'il a faites jusqu'ici est dans la direction de réaliser ses intérêts. En outre, aussi longtemps que les forces américaines sont empêtrées dans le ravage de l'Irak, le régime islamique sera à l'abri de toute envahissement qui mettrait en danger son existence.Pendant les deux gouvernements précédents, constitués par le Rafsanjani pragmatique et le soi-disant Khatami réformiste, les autorités iraniennes sont parvenues à éviter une confrontation directe avec les États-Unis. Quelque fois ils ont préféré régler leurs conflits (y compris les affaires des otages, d'Airbus et les platforms de pétrole) par la Cour de Justice internationale (ICJ). Ceci a signifié que la propension globale du régime islamique de s'engager en conflit avec une superpuissance a été très basse. D'autre part, les Américains n'ont pas trop souhaité d’engager à l'hostilité active avec l'Iran pour les raisons au delà de la portée de cet essai court. C'était en dépit de tous les rhétorique et défis verbaux faits contre des Américains pendant les années passées.
Seulement six mois après l’élection du nouveau président conservateur, la situation subit un changement soudain en ce qui concerne l’affaire nucléaire de l'Iran. Le dossier relatif à ceci a finalement été soumis pour considération du Conseil de Sécurité de L’ONU. Cela signifie préparer le terrain pour des sanctions et en cas de besoin l'intervention militaire afin de renverser pour de bon un régime non désiré qui a été énuméré sur l' « axe du mal » pendant les dernières années. Ceci a été incité par un certain nombre de dénonciations imprudentes faites par le nouveau président inexpérimenté, qui par naïveté politique ou de l'ardeur religieuse pure, a permis à la communauté internationale d’atteindre un consensus contre le danger de l'Iran pour la paix et la sécurité mondiale.
Ce développement entier expose un nouveau visage du régime islamique qui jamais avant apparu sur la scène. Certains arguent du fait qu'il y a rien de neuf dans ces perspectives; puisque M. Ahmadinejad représente vraiment l'âme de l'énigme religieux de Shiite, et un régime révolutionnaire qui proclame le devoir de guider le monde entier au chemin du salut. Assez curieusement, ce régime tâche d'acquérir la technologie nucléaire et prétendu être prêt à payer le prix son entreprise contestée. Qui dans le monde de la politique est prêt à traiter avec confiance un gouvernement si controversé?
Malheureusement, le moment de la vérité s'approche avec tous son amertume et animosité. Maintenant que la gravite’ de la situation est senti par les intransigeants, ils déclarent leur promptitude pour se reposer et être en pourparlers avec le grand Satan. Il n'importe pas vraiment que le dialogue soit sur la situation de l'Irak, la question nucléaire, les droits de l'homme ou le terrorisme. Ils veulent juste donner le message que finalement nous n'étions pas tellement sérieux au sujet de ce que nous avons dit avant.
Sûrement, ils peuvent lancer leur machine de propagande afin de justifier leur nouvelle position pour le public. En fait, non seulement les gens ne s'opposeront pas à la matière mais également seront beaucoup reconnaissants avec un tel dialogue, s'il s'assurerait qu'il n'y aurait aucune intervention étrangère dans leur pays. Beaucoup de gens croit que ces entretiens directs devraient avoir eu lieu il y a plusieurs années avant qu'il pourrait infliger tellement des dommages matériels et humains à ce pays. Mais, comme j'ai discuté ailleurs, seulement les conservateurs pourraient oser soulever la question de dialogue avec les Américains et réaliser cette tâche.
Les Américains cependant ont dit que ce n'est pas vraiment un processus de négociation mais un certain genre d'avertir en Iran au sujet de la violence continue en Irak et la nécessité que l'état voisin devrait s'abstenir de se mêler dans ses affaires internes. Le régime islamique souhaite que pendant les entretiens avec les Américains Il puisse bénéficier l'occasion du nouvel environnement de diminuer la tension de l'état de crise. Ceci peut alternativement aider à réorienter l’affaire nucléaire du Conseil de sécurité au Conseil régissant de l’AIEA pour continuer les négociations.Être ou ne pas être, c'est la question. Nous attendrons et verrons si cette manoeuvre peut faire n'importe quel bien d'atténuer la situation grave.
Monday, March 20, 2006
March 17, 2006
When one is guided by mere force of dogma or instinct and not reason, and the survival is at stake, everything is permissible, since ends justify means. This is to say that principles can be sacrificed when the issue reduces to this simple question: To be or not to be?
Twenty seven years after the coming into power of a regime which started its religious reign with the hostage taking of the American diplomats for 444 days, the revolutionary Iran is now facing the crude realities of the rules of the game in world politics. Iran’s nuclear case has been referred to the U.N. Security Council and is awaiting a crucial decision which will eventually decide the fate of a theological regime in the 21st century.
During the past decades Iran was somehow able to escape the long awaited chastisement for its controversial deeds in international scene, either through smart maneuvers or by taking advantage of its God-given riches to buy support or to fuel hatred and disturbances in the region. Indeed, to overcome multiple threats and complots, Iran had to pay a very high price. But, it is not quite sure whether it will be able to bear the consequences of appalling political and diplomatic blunders during the past six months.
Iran-Iraq conflict was a war by proxy conducted by those who wanted to diminish to nil the two controversial destabilizing regimes in the region. The “Dual Containment Strategy” only worked until the end of the bipolar world and then changed the course without the expected results. More than a million perished in this futile war and the two feuding powers managed to come safe out of the bloody mess.
Aggression on Kuwait by a frustrated powerful Iraq provided the opportunity to Iran to pose as an innocent party to the conflict blaming its neighbor for aggressive intentions in the region. The case temporarily ended up through the first American military intervention in Iraq, choosing not to remove the “butcher of Baghdad” fearing Iran’s ascendance to regional power. The mission was finally accomplished through a second U.S. intervention whose outcome was the collapse of Baath regime as Iran’s perennial hostile and archenemy. All of these developments occurred in absolute favor of the Islamic regime in Iran.
The fall of Saddam Hussein and the consequent turmoil in Iraq was indeed a miracle that only could be achieved through hands of the Almighty God. Miraculously, these hands came out of the sleeves of the Great Satan. In fact, U.S. President is regarded as the savior angel for revolutionary Iran; since every thing he has done so far is in the direction of achieving its interests. Furthermore, as long as the American forces are entangled in Iraq’s havoc, Iranian rulers feel secure from any harsh action that would endanger their existence.
During the two previous governments, formed by the pragmatic Rafsanjani and the self-styled reformist Khatami, Iranian leaders managed to avoid a direct confrontation with the U.S. A couple of times they preferred to settle their disputes (including the hostage, Airbus and Oil-platform cases) through the International Court of Justice (ICJ). This meant that Islamic regime’s overall propensity to engage in a conflict with a superpower has been very low. On the other hand, Americans too did not wish to entertain active hostility with Iran for the reasons beyond the scope of this short essay. This was despite all the rhetoric and verbal challenges made against Americans during the past decades.
Only six months after the coming into power of the new conservative hard-line president, the situation changed and on U.S. persistence Iran’s nuclear case was referred to the U.N. Security Council. This means paving the way for sanctions, military intervention and ultimately toppling an unwanted regime which has been listed on the “axis of evil” for quite sometimes. This was prompted by a number of unwise statements made by the inexperienced president, who out of naïve political beliefs or pure religious zeal, provided a fertile ground for the international community to reach a consensus against Iran’s danger for world peace and security.
This whole development is exposing a new face of the Islamic regime which never before appeared on the scene. Some people argue that there is nothing new in this outlook; since Mr. Ahmadinejad truly represents the soul of the religious Shiite enigma, and a revolutionary regime that pledges to guide the whole world to the path of salvation. Curiously enough, this regime is striving to acquire nuclear technology and claimed to be ready to pay the price for its contested venture. Who in the world of politics is ready to deal confidently with such a controversial government?
Unfortunately, the moment of truth is approaching with all of its bitterness and glumness. Now that the seriousness of the situation is felt by the intransigent hard-liners, they are declaring their readiness to sit and negotiate with the Great Satan. It does not really matter whether it is on Iraq’s situation, nuclear issue, human rights or terrorism. They just want to convey the message that finally we were not so much serious about what we said before. Surely, they can launch their propaganda apparatus in order to justify their new position for public. In fact, not only people will not object to the matter but also will be much grateful with such broken covenant, provided it would insure that there would be no foreign intervention in their homeland. To many, these direct talks should have taken place many years ago before it could inflict so much material and human damages to this country. But, as I argued elsewhere, only hard-liners could dare to raise the issue and achieve this task.
Americans however have said that this is not really a negotiating process but some kind of warning to Iran about the continued violence in Iraq and the necessity that the neighboring state should abstain from meddling in its internal affairs. The Islamic regime wishes that once ices are broken they can benefit the opportunity of the new environment to de-escalate the crisis condition. This may in turn help to redirect the nuclear case from the Security Council to the IAEA Governing Council for further negotiations.
To be or not to be, this is the question. We shall wait and see whether this maneuver can do any good to attenuate the grave situation.
Wednesday, March 15, 2006
March 10, 2006
The unfortunate bombing of one of the holiest Shi’a shrine in Samara is considered the most dramatic event since the fall of Saddam Hussein in Iraq. Some observers even went so far as to equate the incident as another 9/11 attack which would eventually decide the fate of new Iraq and American presence there. The immediate reaction of Shi’as against Sunnis escalated the crisis to a full-scale bloody confrontation between the two Moslem factions, and brought the country on the verge of a civil war. This whole situation happened at a critical point of time when the new democratically elected parliament was in the process of forming a permanent government.
What are the immediate and long term consequences of the impending crisis? How the neighboring nations, especially Iran as a Shiite state, will be affected by the event? What should be done to curb the negative implications and avoid the worst case situation to happen, namely the total disintegration of Iraq?
One of the most urgent outcomes of the crisis is the new obstacles before the formation of the Shiite-led government which has been charged for its anti-Sunni attitude. Mr. Al-Jafari, accused to be incompetent to establish law and order, is already under serious pressure from all sides, including secular Shiites and the Kurds, to withdraw his candidacy for premiership. The Sunni faction in the parliament (with 44 seats) may harden its position to participate in a national unity government and invest its supporting strength in the legitimacy of the political process.
Among the neighboring states, Iran has multiple interests in the current situation of Iraq. With a long history of rivalry, hostilities and war, Iran will be indeed affected in many ways by any haphazard development. Iranians perceive the present condition very volatile and fear eventual collapse of the new Iraq. Of course, this will not meet the expected objectives, aspirations and potential opportunities opened to them with the majority Shiites in Power.
First of all, we should realize that Iran’s national interests are very much tied to all political, strategic and structural changes in Iraq. The collapse of the Baath regime, through the American military intervention, has created a new strategic environment for the Islamic regime in Tehran. Thus, Iran’s national interests are best served by a stable, democratic and free Iraq with a legitimate strong government willing to cooperate with its neighbors in the promotion of regional calm and security.
From a realistic point of view, Iran has every reason now to support the established Shiite-led government in Iraq and try its best to promote the delicate balance and stability there. Of course, at the beginning of U.S. military intervention in Iraq, Iranian leaders were quite anxious and believed that a quick victory in Iraq would bring the Americans in a face-to-face confrontation with the objective of toppling the Islamic regime. But now, after three years of harsh violence and bloodshed, Iran has gained some sort of assurance that the Americans would not venture another gamble whose outcome is quite uncertain.
As a point of interest, we should remember that since the beginning of U.S. intervention in Iraq, Iran has followed a clever policy that may be termed as a ‘two pillar strategy’ with respect to Iraq. On the one hand, it condemned American military intervention as an unlawful and aggressive act against a Moslem country, on the other it considered the downfall of Saddam Hussein and the Baath regime as a God blessing.
In fact, the downfall of Iran’s archenemy and longtime hostile produced a number of challenges and opportunities for Iran. The most threatening challenge was and still is the presence of American forces all around Iran, which virtually encircle Iran’s strategic position on land and at sea. This dimension of U.S. intervention in Iraq and Afghanistan could have been very alarming if Americans had succeeded to a quick round up in Iraq and did not encounter serious challenge by insurgents.
Thus apparently, it seems that the continued turmoil and insurgency in Iraq has an immediate benefit for Iran, since the United States may not be tempted to use hard power against Iran in the foreseeable future. But, at the same time, if chaotic situation continues and passes a certain threshold, it would be counterproductive for all neighboring states and the region as a whole. This proposition is especially true with respect to Iran, which has a lot of common interests with the newly established Shiite majority in Iraq. Therefore, it is fair to suggest that Iran should rationally do everything in its power to attenuate the ethnic, religious, sectarian and tribal conflicts in Iraq; since, it is itself very vulnerable on these matters.
With respect to the United States, public opinion is rapidly changing course not only inside but outside U.S. as well. Most recent survey show that an average of 60 percent in the 33 nations agreed that the March 2003 invasion of Iraq had increased the likelihood of terrorist attacks around the world. Indeed, the new situation is quite alarming for the American strategy in the Middle East, and many U.S. traditional friends are under severe pressure to do away with the horrible hurdle.
It has now become quite evident that American military planners failed to anticipate or prepare for any serious resistance and insurgency after the downfall of Saddam Hussein and perhaps less so after his miserable capture and trial.
Still now the intelligence about the identity of peoples who commit suicide attacks is very vague and unreliable. Even Iraqi officials have little understanding of the relative strength of Iraqi nationals and foreigners including Al-Qaeda, among fighters and the probable connections between the two groups. Iraqi officials have always put the blame on “extremist groups from abroad that merely objected to the presence of Americans and other foreign troops in Iraq.” It was also claimed that these groups are out to set “a sense of permanent violence to intimidate people and turn them against the government.”
Despite the fact that attacks on the Shiite shrine have triggered widespread violence in Iraq, it appears that those who wanted to foment an all-out civil war with the evil objective to topple the fragile government are not being much successful. An optimistic assessment leads one to believe that the majority of Iraqis now have every reason to be willing to avoid bloodshed and benefit from the potential democratic environment created at a very high price. Yet, they too seem to think that terrorism in Iraq is now a direct consequence of American and foreign presence, and thus would prefer to see their gradual withdrawal from their lands. Eventually, a quick solution to the crisis would be the replacement of U.N. Peace-keeping forces, composed of major elements of the existing coalition and other states, to take charge of security and order in war-torn Iraq.
[*] Professor of International Relations, Tehran-Iran.
Sunday, March 05, 2006
(First Draft: March 4, 2006)
The Dilemma of Iran’s Foreign Policy
Identifying Friends and Foes
Keywords: Iran’s foreign policy, nuclear diplomacy, NPT, International Atomic Energy Agency -IAEA,
One of the major impediments of Iran’s foreign policy, almost three decades after the establishment of the Islamic Republic, seems to be the continuing persistence on its revolutionary nature. In fact, this feature has created a strong barrier before Iran’s national objectives and aspirations in setting clear criteria for determining friends and foes. This does not suggest however that the same quandary is settled in domestic sphere. Perhaps many unfortunate events and vicissitudes during the lifespan of the Islamic regime so far are geared to this very important dimension of the revolutionary Iran.
Nevertheless, when states choose to engage in interactions with their peers, they must have a lucid definition of their ends and means, a realistic assessment of their partners and above all a faithful commitment to certain primordial standards (rules of the game) in international relations. Indeed revolutions have their own peculiarities and manners and do not necessarily follow conventional norms and expected behavior. They usually have a tendency to challenge the status quo and even alter those rules. Thus, many states prefer not to be in love with revolutionary regimes which by nature have a propensity to be rejective rather than receptive.
Is there a clear understanding of Iran’s vital national interests and capabilities in the decision making system? How far a state claiming to be guided by its ideological aspirations and revolutionary fervor can achieve its goals in international relations? Who is interested to make real friendship with an unpredictable partner? What are the consequences of foreign policy failure in the current nuclear crisis?
The Instrument of Diplomacy
Diplomacy is the major instrument of foreign policy by which a state can achieve objectives, realize values and defend national interests. Governments have the function to communicate through their diplomatic agents with those whose actions and behavior they wish to influence, deter, alter or reinforce. This process requires a clear definition of a state’s objectives, rationalizations for them, threats, promises, and the setting up plans and strategies to tackle with problems and contentious issues.
Thus, in its widest meaning the task of diplomacy is fourfold:
· It must determine state’s objectives in the light actual and potential power available for the pursuit of these objectives;
· It must assess the objectives of other nations and the power actually and potentially available to them for the pursuit of their objectives;
· It must determine to what extent these different objectives are compatible with each other;
· It must employ the means suited to the pursuit of its objectives.
It goes without saying that failure in any of the tasks cited above may jeopardize the success of foreign policy and is susceptible to increase the risk of confrontation and hostility. Therefore, a logical deduction from this statement is that a nation that sets itself goals and objectives which it has not the power to attain may have to face the risk of war, unless it changes its aspirations or its strategies. Unattainable goals, which have become national slogans, may induce a sense of national frustration, strain national resources in vain and lead a country to confrontation, isolation or internal crisis.
By the same token, a wrong assessment of other nations’ objectives and capability may end up to similar disasters. Therefore, nations must always have a realistic assessment of their friends and foes’ power and capabilities as well as the objectives they pursue. This is in fact one major limitation of Iran’s foreign policy during the whole life of Islamic regime after the revolution. The impending nuclear issue, which has created a major foreign policy crisis, might be considered as the consequence of poor assessment of international strategic and political environment.
The Nuclear Diplomacy
The problem of not being able to distinguish between its ideological concerns and vital national interests has impeded the revolutionary Iran to identify its friends and foes and this has almost paralyzed Iran’s diplomacy during recent nuclear crisis. While international pressure was gradually increasing in order to push it to stop all nuclear activities, Iran was helplessly looking for friends here and there in order to get some support for its intransigent position. To this end, a number of lucrative deals were offered to some potential partners, but, at the critical moment when Iran needed their help, they turned to its opponents.
Iranian leaders should not be surprised by this unfortunate experience. Indeed, this is the golden rule of the game in international relations; states only have permanent interests and no permanent friends or foes. Yet, an intelligent and rational foreign policy should put the right emphasis at any particular moment on the means and leverages it has on its potential friends in order to neutralize or bypass the negative impacts of its presumed foes’ actions and decisions. When a state puts all of its eggs in one basket, it may soon end up with unpredictable situations in which it should sacrifice all at once. No diplomacy that would stake everything on mere rhetoric and intimidation or concessions deserves to be called intelligent.
When the IAEA adopted a Resolution on September 24, 2005 on Iran’s nuclear activities the matter rather surprised Iranians who were counting on the negative votes of NAM states as well as Russia, China and India. The two first abstained from voting and India voted for the resolution. The only negative vote was that of Venezuela, which presumably because of its quarrel with the United States and perhaps not necessarily out of its amicable relations with Iran, did not support the resolution.
Immediately after the adoption, Iran rejected the resolution as purely political and blamed countries which had voted in its favor, and cautioned that it shall review its economic relations with them. High officials in the government threatened to retaliate against any state which would support any document with the effect of referring Iran’s nuclear case to the UN Security Council. Among other retaliatory measures, Iran’s vainly threatened to use its economic leverage, including the stoppage of Iranian oil to unfriendly nations. Furthermore, it claimed it will withdraw from the Nuclear Proliferation Treaty and its Additional Protocol, signed but not yet adopted by the Parliament. It also announced that it will resume all nuclear activities, voluntarily suspended in earlier agreement with the EU3, and will bar IAEA agents from any further arbitrary inspections of nuclear sites.
In fact, soon after when the negative impacts of each of the above tentative actions was assessed by the opponents, the whole campaign suddenly faded and a more compromising stance emerged in official statements. However, when the IAEA decided to report the case to the Security Council by a resolution adopted on February 4, 2006, Iran decided to put into action only some of its previous threats, including the resumption of some limited nuclear activities. Even this retaliatory measure proved to be mere symbolic gesture, since it was immediately declared that this was part of research scheme which had nothing to do with enrichment activities. This meant that we are indeed not so much serious in our claims and contentions and with a bit of more pressure we are ready to do more to satisfy international demands.
A number of diplomatic actions took place by Iranian officials since the time the IAEA adopted the resolution of February 4, 2006. On the one hand, the prime preoccupation was the Russian plan on the nuclear enrichment which had to be decided upon before March 6, 2006 (the prospective date for the final report of the IAEA Director General to the Board of Governors). On the other hand, Iran had to gather some friends with the hope to use them as buffer to the mounting pressure against it with a view to halt the referral of the nuclear case to the U. N. Security Council. However, due to lack of insight and concrete position, the endeavor did not prove to induce much help.
The problem at this stage with Iran’s nuclear affair is that the consensus is so much strong that no single state dares to contradict the demand of the international community, except of course those few who for one reason or another have decided to support Iran. It is worth to be noted that the supporting states have no leverage or influence on the matter and almost all of them have their own particular problems.
The Price of Foreign Policy Flop
While new conservative government and policy makers in Iran persist on a return to revolutionary slogans of the regime and do every thing to show this feature, the international community seems quite alarmed with the development. Thus, most states are reluctant to engage in deep interaction with a nation defying the prevailing norms. This is not to suggest that those norms and rules of the game are necessarily ethical, just or fair.
We should not forget that there is an intimate relation between power politics and the function of diplomacy and a successful foreign policy normally depends on the relative position of a state in the international power structure. However, a comparatively weak and small state can achieve grand goals and aspirations through tactfulness and arts of statesmanship. Unfortunately, the new conservative hard-line government in Iran lacks both of these attributes and this might cost a lot for the fate of the overall nation at this critical juncture of history.
Iranian president’s ambiguous and controversial declarations during his short tenure in office, very much complicated the already volatile situation of Iran. He has taken unnecessary positions with respect of a number of critical issues without knowing that he willingly paved the way for building a strong international consensus against Iran’s nuclear issue. This whole mess happened at an untimely and critical point in time. Indeed, if the present trend continues the way it has gone during the last months, the nation should be prepared to pay an unbearable price.
 Cf. K.J. Holsti, International Politics, A Framework for Analysis, Prentice –Hall of India Private Limited, New Delhi, 1981, p.183
 See: Hans J. Morgenthau, Politics Among Nations, The Struggle for Power and Peace, Alfred A. Knopf. New York, Fifth edition, p.517-518
 Ibid. p.518
The recent deal on liquefied gas with China, which amounts to an overall value of $100 billion, is one such undertaking which would tie Iran’s political fate to China’s growing needs for energy over the next 25 years. Russians on the other hand, are very happy about the current nuclear plant in Bushehr and the prospective other nuclear plant deals with Iran and seemed not to be ready to forego this lucrative business just for the sake of giving a hand to American plan to contain Iran’s ambition to use nuclear technology, which in their view, is not harmful. But, as we have seen, both of them voted against Iran at the IAEA. India was also supposed to support Iran for promoting its interests in the prospective gas line project, but this did not happen either.
 The International Atomic Energy Agency’s governing board approved the resolution despite threats by Iran to begin enriching uranium. The resolution was drafted by Britain, France and Germany and backed by the United States, who had wanted Iran to be immediately referred to the Security Council, but it was watered down by the Europeans. With 22 votes for, one against and 12 abstentions, the outcome highlighted the split between Western nations and others such as Russia, China and South Africa, which disagree with the EU three and Washington on how to deal with Iran. The resolution requires Tehran to be reported to the Security Council at an unspecified date, meaning Iran would probably not be referred to the Security Council until the IAEA board meets in November,
 Non-Aligned Movement
 The vote had been expected on Friday February 3, 2006, but was delayed by an attempt by NAM (developing countries of the Non-Aligned Movement) to soften the resolution, which was rejected by EU3 (Germany, France and the UK,) who had drafted it. Egypt made a proposal to include a reference to making the Middle East a nuclear weapon free zone. This was rejected by the US, which saw it as an attack on Israel's nuclear arsenal. But it was finally accepted the clause after it received overwhelming backing from European allies. BBC NEWS World Middle East Iran reported to Security Council.htm. Russia and China agreed to support the resolution on condition it did not contain any immediate threat of sanctions against Iran. Only Venezuela, Cuba and Syria voted against it. India voted in favor of the motion in spite of the government coming under intense domestic pressure to stand by Iran. US ambassador to the IAEA Gregory Schulte said the vote sent a "very powerful signal" and the ball was now in Iran's court. He further said. "Iran, rather than threatening the world, should listen to the world and take steps to regain its confidence."
 Successive visits by Iranian president to Kuwait and Malaysia, Foreign minister to EU Parliament, Japan, Pakistan; and National Security Secretary to Russia and EU3 foreign ministers, are among the diplomatic attempts in the interval.
 See my paper: Ali-Asghar Kazemi, Iran: The Price of Going Nuclear, Middle East Academic Forum, October 2005