PARIS, 10 Jan. (IPS) As the Islamic Republic, in line with the new policy of “provocation” adopted by the new President Mahmoud Ahmadi Nezhad started Tuesday nuclear Research and Development activities at the uranium enriching centre of Natanz, a leading Iranian political analyst said this program as well as the reactivation of the Uranium Conversion Facility (UCF) in Esfahan were “wrong and counter-productive moves”.
The European Union, the United States and even Russia expressed concern and called on Tehran to stop all nuclear activities, as promised to Britain, France and Germany in November last year. “We hope that Iran would refrain from nuclear activities for the duration of the talks”, Russian Foreign Affairs Minister said on Tuesday.
The governing structure of the domestic and foreign policies of present Iranian Government is that it is stranger to the concept of détente
But in Tehran, Mohammad Sa’idi, Deputy General Director of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organisation said the R and D activities had started after seals installed at the Natanz facilities have been taken off “with the authorization and in the presence of experts from the International Atomic Energy Agency” (IAEA).
However, a well-known Iranian analyst says he does not see any possibility of the present Iranian Government compromising. “Unfortunately, the structure governing the domestic and foreign policies of the State is that it is stranger to the concept of détente. It has entered the arena determined to win, yet it prefers retreat to compromise, an idea it considers as defeat”, said Mr. Abbas Abdi, a writer, journalist and political analyst.
In fact, in several declarations from the President down to the Foreign Affairs Ministry and the Supreme Council of National Security, Teheran repeatedly reiterated its determination of resuming uranium enrichment and refused to give a clear signal to a proposal by Moscow for enriching uranium in Russia, saying the project, which has the endorsement of the Europeans, is “too vague”.
“As I have stated before, the reactivation of the UCF is a wrong move unless it is accompanied with enriching uranium. Therefore, as the Esfahan centre was returned to activity while enriching uranium remains suspended, it would have no other result than increasing international pressures on Iran and taking the nuclear issue closer to the Security Council. In other word, not only we have achieved nothing, but have lost the confidence of the Europeans and the credits they were ready to give us”, the popular Farsi-language website “Gooya” quoted Mr. Abdi as having said on Monday 9 January 2006.
A former revolutionary student who participated at the seizure of the American embassy in Tehran on November 1979 and taking 55 American diplomats and staff as hostages for 444 days but turned a reformist activist, Mr. Abdi was arrested in 1993 and sentenced to eight years in prison for "propagating against the Islamic Republic" and "selling intelligence to foreigners" after “Ayandeh”, a polling organization he was one of the directors conducted a survey on behalf of Gallup that found that more than 70 per cent of Iranians favour resuming relations with Washington, this while Ayatollah Ali Khameneh’i, the “Guide” of the Islamic Republic had ordered a complete ban on any talk with the United States.
“The second mistake after resuming the unnecessary activities at the UCF was the Russian saga that allowed the Russians to also enter the (Iran-EU3) negotiations. Actually, the whole idea of adding other nations to Britain, France and Germany was wrong, for, in such a situation, one should add the United States only and no other countries. The reason is simple: one has to bargain with partners with whom one can compromise, take points and advantages and give, but what about a country that has nothing to offer, like Russia. The result is that we have now the Europeans closing ranks with the Americans”, Mr. Abdi added.
In his view, the better thing Iran can do is reject the Russia proposal and forget about enriching uranium.
“Accepting the Russian plan means enriching uranium elsewhere but dumping in Iran all its negative implications. Let’s ask why we need enriching uranium? They say it is for producing fuel for nuclear reactors like the one in Booshehr. Such reasoning is not valid because we are going to produce at huge cost fuel for a nuclear-powered electricity plant that is three decades old, has cost us a lot and the quantity of electricity it would generate is not that much. In other and simple words, enriching uranium is not economically justified because the cost of doing it at home is much more than the market price.
But if enriching uranium at home for civilian purpose is that expensive, the other explanation for doing it would be that one wants it for other purposes, like military use or access to nuclear technologies. The Russian project is no answer to any of the above-mentioned aims”, he further explained, adding: “Of course, this project has one profit that is imaginary: convincing the authorities that they have not lost the game, that they have preserved uranium enrichment, even at a huge costs for the people and the nation”.
Asked whether he thinks the nuclear case would end at the United Nations Security Council? Mr. Abdi said it is much likely. “Unfortunately, the structure governing the domestic and foreign policies of the State is that it is stranger to the concept of détente. It has enters the arena determined to win, but when faced with difficulties and obstacles, it prefers retreat and defeat to compromise and conciliation, for such a principle is considered as a red line. Reading Iranian political literature proves this claim. Therefore, one can conclude that with or without the Security Council, the nuclear question would lead to anywhere except a friendly issue”, he said.
Responding to people’s urging demands with empty slogans and promises made during electoral campaigning is impossible
Asked what other ways and means in possession of Iran in case it rejects the Russian proposal?, the analyst said it depends on what one means by Iran?
“If you mean Iran, a country of 70 millions, rich in natural, human and cultural resources led by a government respectful of its citizens, their rights, their freedoms, democracy and justice, such an Iran would be respected by the international community and no one can deprive it from its rights, for such an Iran can talk and negotiate from a position of strength. But if your Iran is limited to the present political structures and situation, it has not much choice”.
And about Mr. Ahmadi Nezhad’s repeated ant-Israeli declarations and its impact on the nuclear talks, Mr. Abdi said he was “certain” that the President, a fanatic and superstitious Shi’a Muslim has his logics.
“In fact, responding to people’s urging demands with empty slogans and promises made during electoral campaigning is impossible; therefore, one has no other choice but to create hot tensions on the outside in order to deviate internal difficulties to external conflicts. En plus, in the view of the (present) officials, the best defence is to attack, hoping that the attack would lead to the enemy’s retreat. I’m not much against such reasoning, this is a kind of frog leaping, but the problem is that this line of reasoning does not stand in our present situation. It is not a solution for a weak Government”.
“The end result is that such a policy would produce a very negative impact on the sensitive nuclear issue”, Mr. Abdi concluded. ENDS IRAN NUCLEAR 10106