LONDON, 21 Mar. (IPS) In a debate organized by the Islamic Association of Gilan University, Mohammad Ali Ramin and Mashallah Shamsolva’ezin challenged each other on the fate of the country at a time when international pressure on Iran is at its height. Ramin holds several positions in Iran ranging from a hardline presidential advisor, editor-in-chief of Emamat monthly, a founder of the Association of the Islamic Path in Europe, and director of the Holocaust seminar in Tehran while Shamsolva’ezin is a journalist and chair of Iranian Association for the Defense of Journalists. The first is a hardliner while the latter an advocate of reforms.
Shamsolva’ezin says Iran’s nuclear issue is a political one, and not a legalistic issue as is presented by some. “All our problems are because of its political nature”, he adds. “As someone who advises the Supreme National Security Council let me say that it will be very hard to survive this crisis”, he warns. “And while I criticize the judiciary on all fronts, I stand by the system on this issue, because it is a national interest issue”, he says. In his talk, he said that it was a miracle that in the 21st century a country could mobilize the whole world against itself in just 6 months. “If I was a Majles (Iran's Parliament) representative, I would have given the government a vote of no confidence and booted it out”, he asserted.
It was a miracle that in the 21st century a country could mobilize the whole world against itself in just 6 months.
Ramin had a different take on the country’s current issues.
By criticizing those countries that had named the Islamic Republic as an oppressive regime and called it their enemy, Ramin said reformers had made a mistake by thinking that the other negotiating team was serious in its promises and that one could prevent some of their actions through talks.
Ramin believes that ultra-radical Ahmadi Nezhad is one the world's most prominent politicians. He emphasized that the government would not retreat from its current policies on the nuclear issue and that it would present claims against other countries if they continued to harass Iran.
In his second round of talks Shamsolvaezin said Italian people in Rome were commenting on the government's aggressive and uncivilized attitude, and were worried about how Iran would treat the world if it was equipped with (nuclear) weapons. In Russia, Putin had said that they have enough nuclear weapons to destroy the whole world 7 times over, but they do not talk like Iranian leaders do, so why do we?
In response to Shamsolvaezin, Ramin said that they had just woken up after 16 years of forgetting God. He claimed that only 11 countries in the world were against Iran whereas there were some 150 states supporting Iran. “We will acquire this technology and export it to all the 150 countries,” he threatened, adding that “this is the power we have not yet used”.
Ramin claimed that Ahmadi Nezhad's presidency had created a new global wave and that many world leaders had lined up to speak with him. He also stressed that Europe and the US were entirely incapable of threatening Iran.
Shamsolva’ezin criticized the government's position on denying the Holocaust and called it a futile effort which was also detrimental. He recommended that Ramin forego reviewing this historical fact and instead focus on (Iranian-Canadian photojournalist killed in prison by interrogators) Zahra Kazemi's murder and the serial murders of Iranian intellectuals by the Ministry of Intelligence.
The world was too envious to witness the success of Iran’s young generation.
He anticipated that sanctions against Iran would most probably be implemented within the next 6 months, if the current issues were not resolved. He did not rule out the possibility of military attacks against Iran’s nuclear installations.
In response, Ramin said the Islamic Revolution had already shaken the world and that the unexpected epidemics such as the Asian Flu and AIDS were emerging and that the world was too envious to witness the success of Iran’s young generation. ENDS IRAN DEBATE 21306
Editpr’s note: The above article was published by the independent Iranian internet newspaper “Rooz” (Day) on 19 March 2006.
Highlights and some editing is by IPS