Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Who's Dialogue?...

Who’s Dialogue? Iran-U.S. Hostile Flirt
Ali-Asghar Kazemi
June 27, 2006


When on May 30th 2006 the United States ventured to take a bold attempt to open dialogue with Iran on the nuclear Issue with the specific precondition that it should halt all nuclear enrichment, the matter was construed as a rather untenable bid. Since Iranian hard-liners had made so much political maneuver on the subject as a national pride that any retreat from that position would be considered as a public tragedy. Indeed, American decision-makers had a clear vision of the offer, in the sense that they knew well that Iranian government would probably reject emphatically the proposition and thus the ground would be ready for further actions against Iran in the United Nations Security Council.

At the initial process of determining the incentive measures, the generous offers of the 5+1 powers to Iran to suspend for good all nuclear enrichment, we should consider the fact that the Americans really did not bother much how big and nice the carrots would be. In their view perhaps, the bigger the carrots, the better they can use them to crumble the Iranian regime that is considered as number one trouble maker in the region. Iranians, on the other hand, pledges not to forego their so-called “inalienable rights” and are taking dazzling positions with respect to the offer. Therefore, the more appealing the incentives are, if rejected, the more the international community would be convinced of the evil intentions of the Islamic regime.

Conscious of the fact that a blunt rejection of the offer would have disastrous consequences; the Islamic government has chosen not to respond directly to the question, while keeping the doors open for further negotiations and bargaining. Eventually, those in charge of decision-making have come to the conclusions that the final aim of American strategy is a fundamental change in Iran’s political structure and thus looks beyond the mere allegations regarding the nuclear issue or even human rights and terrorism. In other words, Iranian government is now anxious for its survival and is looking for some safeguard for its security and protection. To that end, it is trying to drag on time for the purpose of finding some avenues for guarantying that a “regime change” alternative would be erased from the American strategy.

Recent mutual signals from both sides are vivid indications that neither Iran nor the United States are willing to engage each other in a true confrontational situation. Nonetheless they continue to flirt with hostility until the time a solution is found in the process.

P.S. For those who eventually had not a chance to read my previous commentary on Iran-U.S. Dialogue, the concluding portion of it is reprinted below:

“The seemingly American compromising move at this juncture of the nuclear crisis seems to pursue a number of objectives which disregard of Iranian response would be fulfilled. The final aim is to push Iran to the corner and attract Russian and Chinese support for a U.N. Security Council resolution containing incentives and penalties for the Iranian nuclear venture. The prospective scenarios may be one of the followings:

Iran accepts U.S. proposal and halts all its nuclear enrichment activities, while allowing the IAEA to do undeclared verifications all over Iran. This would of course be against all the Iranian officials’ pledge so far concerning their undeniable rights to nuclear enrichment. This acceptance may have negative impacts on the hard-line fundamentalist conservatives who would eventually oppose to such a deal as an ominous disaster to the Islamic regime slogans and ideals. This could lead to the weakening of regime’s grip to power by dividing the society on fundamental issues. This in turn would gradually pave the ground either for the emergence of a much more radical group to power or just the opposite, i.e. the strengthening of reformist-progressive front in line with the West and the United States.

Iran rejects U.S. proposal on the ground that it has nothing to offer and there is no rationale for direct talks if the main issue for negotiation i.e. the already suspended enrichment activities, has been erased ab initio from the agenda. Indeed, the argument seems convincing and perhaps the Americans really were not so serious about their proposal and just wanted to throw some confusion in the equation in order to mislead world opinion about their pretended change in strategy with regard to Iran. In fact, despite the widespread publicity about the American concession to Iran, it does not bring about any tangible change and thus should not be considered as a new strategy. It is rather a tactical shift designed to lay down a trap for Iran which no matter what option it chooses would end up to the same outcome.

On the basis of the above, it seems very unlikely that Iran would go along with the U.S. proposal under the present circumstances. Therefore, it is very probable that the case will be decided upon in the Security Council under chapter VII of the U.N. Charter. We shall wait and see how the issue will develop in the coming days.”


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