Paris, 23 Jan. (IPS) In order to find a solution to the nuclear impasse and avoid sanctions, Tehran is studying to propose the 5+1 (the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, namely the United States, Russia, France, China and Britain, plus Germany) the creation of an international consortium for the production of nuclear fuel for Iran’s coming nuclear plants.
“Such a consortium, constructed possibly somewhere on an Iranian island on the Persian Gulf would ease international concern that the fuel could be diverted for military use, as it would be under the double inspections and controls of the IAEA and the participants, ie, GB, Germany, France, China, Russia, the US and others if interested.
To present the new offer to the 5+1, new faces, possibly senior negotiators from the former team might be called in.
Iran plans to built at least 6 other nuclear powered electricity stations with a capacity of 1.000 megawatts each.
In the past, under the former negotiation team, Iran did raise this possibility, but under American pressure, the Troika, namely France, Germany and Britain did not respond. Then Iran came with the idea of creating such a consortium with Russia, the idea, which is still under consideration, was backed by the Troika, but rejected by Washington.
To present the new offer to the 5+1, new faces, possibly senior negotiators from the former team might be called in, as the European Troika (France, Germany and Britain) refuses to talk to the new team, considered “too arrogant, behaving as the Mongols”, according to a Western negotiator.
As the United States dispatched a second strike aircraft carrier to the Persian Gulf, a confidential Iranian government report has highlighted the damaging effects of wide-ranging sanctions against the country if Iran continues its nuclear programme, French newspaper Le Monde reported on its website.
“The Middle East isn't a region to be dominated by Iran. The Gulf isn't a body of water to be controlled by Iran. That's why we've seen the United States station two carrier battle groups in the region", Nicholas Burns, U.S. undersecretary of state for political affairs told the Dubai-based Gulf Research Center, an influential think-tank, ruling out direct negotiations with Iran and a rapprochement between Washington and Tehran until Iran halts uranium enrichment”.
According to Le Monde, the 100 hundred pages report which it said it had obtained a copy recommended "making as much political effort as possible to avoid receiving sanctions, while maintaining the country's national interests and honour".
It said the report had been given to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad but the government wanted to keep it low profile.
The report confirms news circulating in Tehran about a “terrible clash” in the highest echelons of the Iranian clerical-led leadership about the issue of the sanctions imposed on the Islamic Republic by the Security Council of the United Nations in the last days of last year.
“The pragmatists, led by a trio made of former presidents Ayatollah Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, the regime’s number tow personality, Hojjatoleslam Mohammad Khatami and Hojjatoleslam Hasan Rohani, the former top coordinator of the Iranian nuclear programme are fighting hard to get Iran out of the Security Council while Hoseyn Shari’atmadari, a hard line advisor of the leader, Ayatollah Mohammad Taqi Mesbah Yazdi, a radical cleric and President Ahmadi Nezhad are advocating confrontation with the West, getting out of the International Atomic Energy Agency and the Non Proliferation Treaty.
The standoff situation reached total impasse as almost at the same time in Brussels the European Union's foreign affairs ministers agreed on Monday 22 January to apply United Nations sanctions on Iran in "full and without delay" and if necessary go further than a U.N. list in targeting those linked to Tehran's nuclear work, while in Tehran Mr. Ala’eddin Borujerdi, the Chairman of the Foreign Affairs and National Security of the Majles (Iranian Parliament) informed that a committee in charge of implementing the parliamentary legislation decided not to allow 38 IAEA inspectors to enter Iran.
while in Tehran Mr. Ala’eddin Borujerdi, the Chairman of the Foreign Affairs and National Security of the Majles (Iranian Parliament) informed that a committee in charge of implementing the parliamentary legislation decided not to allow 38 IAEA inspectors to enter Iran.
In December 2006, parliament adopted a bill requiring the government to revise its cooperation with the IAEA after the UN Security Council passed a resolution to impose sanctions on Iran for its refusal to suspend uranium enrichment work.
The parliament adopted the bill in response to the UN resolution 1737 that imposes sanctions on Iran's nuclear and missile programmes.
Iran is only a few steps from becoming a nuclear power”.
"This is the first step in implementing the parliament legislation", Mr. Broujerdi told the semi independent ISNA news agency.
IAEA inspectors regularly visit Iranian nuclear sites under the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, to which Iran is a signatory.
Iranian Foreign Affairs Minister Manouchehr Mottaki, in a press conference held alongside his Syrian counterpart Walid Mo’allem, confirmed the decision of barring IAEA inspectors saying that his ministry’s spokesman would inform the media about the nationality of the unwanted inspectors.
While Tehran strongly rejects the accusations that it seeks nuclear technology for building atomic weapons aimed at destroying Israel, stating that the nuclear technology is for civilian uses only, mostly producing electricity, in an editorial on 12 January 2007 “analyzing” President Bush’s statement on Iraq, the hard line daily “Keyhan” that usually reflects the views of the Iranian leader Ayatollah Ali Khameneh’i said: “Bush said little about Syria but a lot about Iran, because Iran has an unequalled influence in the region and at the same time is only a few steps from becoming a nuclear power”.
Top of Form“This is the first time that an Iranian newspaper which is the mouthpiece of the Iranian leader, that has direct access to official documents of the Intelligence Ministry and is close the Revolutionary Guards acknowledges that Iran is close to becoming nuclear power”, one informed Iranian source, a former lawmaker told Iran Press Service on condition of not being named, adding:
“To demonstrate that the paper do not say non senses, one has to pay attention that Mr. Shari’atmadari, a high-ranking officer of the security services specializing in interrogating political and intellectual dissidents, is a fervent pusher for emulating North Korea, insisting that Iran must get out of the NPT and the IAEA and shut the doors to IAEA inspections, pushing for nuclear arms.
Ever since the triple defeats Mr. Ahmadi Nezhad suffered in the recent elections for city and rural councils, the Assembly of Experts and some vacant seats at the Majles, all won by personalities and parties opposed to the President, more voices are being heard denouncing the way the President has conducted the nuclear issue, the most audible being that of Mr. Mohammad Moussavian, a former senior nuclear negotiator who accused Mr. Ahmadi Nezhad of not telling the people the truth about the ”dangers” the country faces as a result of the UNSC decision.
“It is easy to say that the sanctions are worthless pieces of paper, but the fact remains that it is easy to get into the (path) the Security Council, but very difficult to get out, without paying the price, as experienced by other nations”, Mr. Moussavian said last week.
Besides Mr. Moussavian, other influential personalities both among the conservatives and the reformists have in the past days criticised Mr. Ahmadi Nezhad and his team of negotiators for the decision of the UNSC to impose sanctions on Iran in case it did not stop all nuclear activities, including enriching uranium and going ahead with the construction of a Heavy Water Reactor, demands that so far have been rejected out hand by Mr. Ahmadi Nezhad.
Mr. Sa’id Leylaz, a leading economist, said recently that “the future of the nation has never been so dark, both politically and econolically”.
“We are heading to a deep abyss, on which we don’t know the depth the the dimensions”, echoed Mr. Ahmad Zeydabadi, an influential journalist.
Drawing a dark picture of the situation, Mr. Leylaz says unprecedented rise in the prices of people’s basic needs, the uncertainties resulting from the UNSC resolutions, international pressures have led lawmakers and other supporters of the hard line President to take their distances from him, whom they consider as the main culprit for the Resolution.
In a petition, 150 lawmakers of both conservative majority and reformist minority warned Mr. Ahmadi Nezjad about his policies, called on him to pay more attention to people’s needs.
“Ahmadi Nezhad is under extreme pressures from his own supporters to change policies, as seen by recent articles in radical newspapers close to the leader”, he pointed out.
But Mohammad Reza Bahonar, Deputy Speaker of the Majles assures that he and lawmakers of the majority “would not allow the President be impeached, as demanded by some deputies from the minority.
Officials put the inflation at between 12 to 15 per cent, but economists say it is closer to 25-30 per cent
"My guest is that one has to expect major changes in the composition of nuclear negotiation team
Ahmad Karimi Esfahani, General Secretary of Islamic Association of Guilds and Bazar harshly criticized officials denying price hike, saying: “one has to admit that there is a problem called very expensive prices and there is no good to deny it”, he told the pro-reforms “Aftab” (Sun) news service.
“The tune of the nuclear speeches (by Mr. Ahmadi Nezhad) is so offensive and the words used are so not nice (so ugly) that the interlocutor has the feeling that there is a stubbornness in the nuclear discussions while under the guiding of the great leader of the revolution, one must walk on that path with extreme caution. The question is that: Why, with such an offensive (arrogant) discourse and tonality in speech, bring pretexts to the enemies helping them to apply more pressure while at home more and more people think that the President, with his hard line policy, is exposing the nation to grave dangers”, the “Islamic Republic” daily that belongs to Mr. Khameneh’i wrote last week in an unprecedented criticism to the President’s handling of the nuclear issue
Political analysts said that this is the first time that a paper which belongs to the leader is attacking so bluntly Mr. Ahmadi Nezhad.
“It seems that after the unanimous vote of the Security Council, influential moderate voices in the leadership were able to persuade Mr. Khameneh’i about the dangers the regime faces and that he decided to tell the President that it is time for him to be more careful”, one Iranian journalist close to the office of the leader told IPS on condition of not being named.
"My guest is that after this article, which could not be published without direct acknowledgment of Mr. Khameneh'i, one has to expect major changes in the composition of nuclear negotiation team, possibly bringing experienced people from the former team in the one hand and low profile from the President", the journalist said.
The first serious shot against Ahmadi Nezhad was fired by Mr. Mohammad Hoseyn Mousavian, a former senior nuclear negotiator, when, in an interview with the pro reform Aftab (Sun) news service on 3 January 2007, he explained details of the UNSC resolution on Iran and why it is “dangerous” to get into the paths of the UNSC, saying, in a clear reference to the President and his colleagues: “It is easy to say this (the resolution) is a thorn piece of paper that has no value, no importance, but the fact is that the UN Security Council is the world’s highest decision-making centre and its decisions must be obeyed by all members, including ourselves”.
“It is easy to get into the Security Council, but it is very difficult to get out and experience shows that one has to pay a heavy price for that”.
“One (Ahmadi Nezhad) can say it is not important, but the Resolution considers Iran’s nuclear activities as “a menace against world’s peace and security”.
Mr. Moussavian is now deputy director of the Expediency Council’s Centre for Researches and Strategic Studies. The Expediency Council is chaired by Ayatollah Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani.
“We can consider this resolution as unimportant, illegal and illegitimate, but the fact remains that such slogans do not solve anything and do not hide realities. It only shows that we don’t have proper understanding from world realities. We might have our own interpretations, but we must have correct understanding about international rules and laws. We shall not foul ourselves”.
In a direct hint to Ahmadi Nezhad’s hard line, Moussavian said: “If we continue our (hard) line and they (the 5+1) continue passing the resolution, the course of action will become harder to solve. We must avoid that and this is more important than suspension (of nuclear activities). WE should not have arrived at this point and now we must find a diplomatic solution, something which is not easy now”.
He faulted the Ahmadi Nezhad’s nuclear team counting on Russia and China’s vote at the Security Council, saying: “This was a mistake form the start to count too much on China and Russia, for, when they have to choose between us and them, mostly the United States, they don’t hesitate to sacrifice us on the altar of their huge interest with the West”.
“Time is difficult for Ahmadi Nezhad. Even the Majles (Iranian Parliament) is in frond against him. Angry lawmakers were from both the conservative majority and the reformist minority wanted to know why he went to Latin America trip at a time that there are important issues at home: budget, unprecedented increase in housing and basic food prices, shortage of gas and electricity in many parts of he country in this cold winter time etc..
However, the trip, which took Mr. Ahmadi Nezhad to Caracas, Managua and Quito, where he also met with the Bolivian leader Evo Morales, became subject of ferocious criticism at home and satirical articles abroad.
“Our president goes to the festivities of the Latin Americans at a time that, in order to mobilize nations against the Islamic Republic, the American Foreign Affairs Minister comes to the region”, wrote Iran’s veteran satirical journalist Ebrahim Nabavi.
“Is there anyone to ask this gentleman does the entire trade with some of the poorest nations in the world equal the cost of the trip to Latin America? What are our bounds with Venezuela, Nicaragua or Ecuador and Bolivia? Are we neighbours? Do we share same faith? Do we have important trade exchange? What is the motive for such a trip for the president of a country facing international sanctions and military threats, if not Ahmadi Nezhad’s (and not the Islamic Republic) personal egocentrism?”, he wrote in the Farsi-language, pro-reforms internet newspaper Rouz.
In fact, Mr. Ahmadi Nezhad had left Tehran on Friday night for a tour of three Latin and Central American leftist states at a time that Ms. Condoleezza Rice, the United States State Secretary, or Foreign Affairs Minister was coming to the Middle East in the follow up of President George W. Bush’s new Iraq strategy that includes increasing economic, diplomatic and military pressures over Iran, which seeks to be recognized as the super power of the explosive Middle East and the “gendarme” of the Persian Gulf, through which passes 40 per cent of the world’s crude oil, a waterway that Iran time and off threatens to blockade if attacked.
So far, Mr. Khameneh’i, who has the last word on every major domestic and international issues has not intervened, leaving Mr. Ahmadi Nezhad continue with his diatribes against the West, mostly against America and Israel, as seen from his speech at the Majles on Sunday 21 January while presenting his new budget, where he unleashed his most venomous anger on both Washington and Tel Aviv.
However, some sources close to the office of the leader and knowing his personality, say Khameneh’i calculation could be to let Ahmadi Nezhad reaching the saturating point before ordering him out of the nuclear issue. ENDS AHMADI SITUATION 23107