Paris, 4 Mar. (IPS) The London meeting of the 5+1 group have not made any specific decision yet. The European Union, especially France, Germany, and Italy, are the largest trading partners of the Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI). The EU's share of Iran's total imports is some 40%. EU trade with Iran has even expanded since Iran's secret nuclear programme was exposed. Russia and China represent another 15% of Iran's total imports. Oil represents 80% of Iran's total exports. Under such economic factors, the perspective of economic sanctions can always be a bargaining counter and sanctions will probably not be held for years to come.
Because Russia and China are likely to oppose strict economic sanctions, even if the West finds compromises with them, economic sanctions may push the IRI reshuffle the government or even change defiant Mahmoud Ahmadi Nezhad, but these sanctions cannot force the IRI to abandon its nuclear ambitions. As long as the regime exists, atom will be regarded as a “divine” arm of its future global jihad.
During the last IRI’s 28 years, the IRI regime systematically slaughtered many thousands political opponents.
On the other hand, by accusing the UN sanctions, the regime only abuses the situation to spread an economic mafia, tightening its dictatorship, and radicalizing terror and violence both inside and outside the country.
Furthermore, trade sanctions cannot work effectively because through the state mafia, goods and weapons continue being successfully smuggled into the country. Apart from Iran's trade in sensitive nuclear materials and military industry, economic sanctions cannot be both morally and politically justified.
Economic sanctions on Iran are unpopular and considered as an extra punishment for Iranian people who already suffer from rampant inflation, increasing unemployment, and economic stagnation. Economic sanctions can in reality punish these people instead of forcing the IRI to abandon its uranium enrichment.
The solutions most freedom-loving Iranians want to get the world to talk about are not the three issues of military attack, economic sanctions, or nuclear programme, but the three following ones:
The first issue is the IRI’s record of human right. Most Iranians want to ensure the end of entire international apathy for the crimes committed by all IRI’s officials and collaborators during the last 28 years of the IRI.
The six key world powers should now work on new Security Council resolutions to highlight political and judicial measures. In this perspective, IRI’s senior officials should be punished, not people.
The UN's highest court, which has once cleared a number of Serbian authorities of direct responsibility for genocide in the 1990s Bosnian war, is now expected to clear many IRI’s crimes, especially the genocide of political prisoners of summer 1987 for the international community.
During the last IRI’s 28 years, especially in the first decade after the revolution, the IRI stoked up the flames of hatred by inciting violence in the society. The regime systematically slaughtered many thousands political opponents. However, the UN has not yet officially held someone responsible for the massacre.
Crimes against Iranians were carried by the ruling political and religious authorities of the IRI. The UN let the masters for these large scale crimes behind the scenes go free. All freedom-loving people expect that the UN puts these crimes under a serious scrutiny so that the culprits can be held legally responsible for their crimes against humanity.
Because of the present evidence, an international judicial committee should be formed by partly Iranian experts to investigate all crimes of the IRI, including tortures, rapes of women in the political prisons, stoning, amputation, violation of women rights, persecution and escape of millions Iranians in exile.
The committee must fairly listen to the ex-prisoners of the regime, who could survive the massacre of death-fatwa, issued by Khomeini in summer 1987. These survivors can submit information about the circumstances of the crimes and the names of both victims and culprits of IRI’s atrocities. Iranians abroad know that some of IRI’s culprits and ex-collaborators safely live or travel in the West without being simply once interrogated by any judicial body.
We hope that the work of the committee will open an inquiry against the suspects with the aim of issuing international arrest warrants. The committee should interrogate both culprits and reminders of IRI’s victims abroad then after its presentation of evidence, The Hague is expected to issue summonses for IRI’s officials and their collaborators for their 28-year crimes against humanity.
The IRI faces today more serious problems than the international community thinks.
The member States of the UN must consequently be required to reduce the number of IRI’s diplomatic personnel and restrict or ban the entry and transit of IRI’s officials in their respective countries. IRI’s teams, delegations, and representatives in international sport events and cultural festivities, etc. must be banned and preferably replaced with those of Iranians in exile.
Once again, blind economic sanctions or an eventual US attack on Iran only serve the agenda of some IRI’s hardliners. Finally, the international atom conflict with Iran can be abused by the IRI to drum popular support. Although Mollahs ignore values and historic identity of Iran, they demagogically project nuclear programme as a national pride. Iranian grass roots can still fall prey to Mollahs’ propaganda.
Therefore, most people in Iran are not against the populist nuclear programme of the regime, but consciously the plague of the IRI itself. By pointing at nuclear issue, the international community cannot help Iranian people who suffer from the plague itself.
The solution is to target IRI itself. If the international justice avoids loosing credibility by being victim of politics, there can never be justice for oppressed nations. The UN must consider in form and action these three mentioned issues: human rights, corruption, and legitimacy of the IRI. These three pivotal points are the only vulnerable Achilles heel of the regime.
The IRI faces today more serious problems than the international community thinks. Iranian people are more and more displaying the signs of a society that could be headed towards their next social revolution. The regime’s fear of popular unrest is the only gate opened to solve all problems.
Nevertheless, Iranians because of historic reasons are sceptic towards the West and do not generally like foreigners meddling in their domestic affairs. The international community can however gain sympathy if it only respects its moral values of human rights by avoiding bargaining with people’s main enemy, the IRI. ENDS RASHIDIAN 4307
Editor’s note. Mr. Rashidian is a political nalyst and human rights campaigner living in Germany. His opinions are published by several Iranian foreign-based websites, including Iranian.com, one of Iranian’s most popular and versatile independent sites.
Highlights and some editing are by IPS