A Persian proverb says: “A Wiseman knows that everything in this world has a limit, the Wiseman must discern the limits to obtain results, for he knows exacerbating and abusing the limits would lend him the reverse he is seeking”.
This is exactly the history of relations between Iran and the West in the past five years in regard to Iran’s controversial nuclear activities.
The United States was ruled by the charismatic and smiling Bill Clinton and Iran was governed by another charismatic and smiling President named Hojjatoleslam Mohammad Khatami
Years ago, when Europe’s three big powers, namely Germany, France and Britain, known as “the Troika” started talks with the Islamic Republic of Iran, aimed at limiting the nuclear activities of the world’s only theocratic State, it seemed that, due to their old history of colonialism and dealing with other nations and people of the world, they would act having in mind the old Persian saying, and act within the limits of the patience of Iranian people and Government.
The United States was ruled by the charismatic and smiling Bill Clinton and Iran was governed by another charismatic and smiling President named Hojjatoleslam Mohammad Khatami, a middle-rank cleric who had introduced widespread, but limited, reforms that transformed the cultural, political, social and intellectual life of the Iranians.
Taking advantage of the positive factors in both the United States and Iran, the European Troika, encouraged by Washington, engaged negotiations with Iran, aimed at discerning the true nature of its nuclear activities.
The talks continued for over three years and Iran, notwithstanding the ever harder demands presented by the European partners, tried hard to accommodate their questions, going as far as to suspend works on enriching uranium and accept the additional Protocols to the Non Proliferation Treaty (NPT), measures that allows snap visit and survey of Iranian nuclear installations by experts from the United Nations nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, based in Vienna, Austria.
But then the Administration changed in Washington and the new one, led by George W. Bush and dominated by the so-called “Neo-coms”, wowed to prevent Iran acquiring the nuclear technology, insisting that the final objective of the ruling ayatollahs is the destruction of Israel, not civilian uses, including producing electricity, as they claim.
Iran and america were ruled by charismatic president.
Iran and America were ruled by charismatic, smiling presidents.
“We have got almost all we wanted from the Iranians. They have suspended enriching uranium and this is tested. They have accepted the additional Protocols and it has been proved. They are ready to accept the package we have arranged for them, including offering fuel for the nuclear powered electricity plants they are planning to build en plus the one already under construction by the Russian in Boushehr, projects that we, westerners, including the Americans, would carried out”, one negotiator from the Troika told this correspondent in Vienna at the conclusion of the last meeting between them and the former team of Iranian negotiators, led by Hojjatoleslam Hasan Rohani, the then Secretary of Iran’s Supreme Council on National Security.
As everything seemed to be ready for finalization, -- believe it or not, Ayatollah Ali Khamenehei, the Leader of the regime who has the last word on every major domestic and international affair, had agreed, although very reluctantly -- the Europeans, always under American and Israeli pressures, caught the Iranians by surprise, demanding suddenly that they must stop all nuclear activities at once.
Not only that was the drop that overflowed the glass of water, but it was also the last shot fired to the moderates who had counted of the Europeans to strengthen and take further the reforms that they had introduced in the political, cultural, social and intellectual life of the regime, despite heavy opposition from hard line wing of the clerical establishment.
The sudden “volte – face” of the Troika was matched by the Bush Administration which, ignoring the dramatic “reconciliation” of Iran with the international community, the personal prestige and rank the Iranian President had obtained among world leaders, his proposal of “dialogue of civilizations” as opposed to the “conflict of civilizations” etc.. had blown one of the worst humiliation to him, to the reformists and to his nation by placing Iran into the same package of “axis of evils”, alongside Iraq (of Sadam Hussein) and North Korea.
The result of the Troika’s new demands were immediate: Resumption of the activities at UCF in Esfahan, start of the works for enriching uranium and the construction of Heavy Water reactor in Arak …
Remember, this was after the catastrophe of 11 September, when hundreds of young Iranians had alight candles in memory of the victims of the World Trade Center twin towers – while in many other Arab and Muslim nations people were dancing in the streets --.
The result of the Troika’s new demands were immediate: Resumption of the activities at UCF in the central and touristic city of Esfahan, shelving of the Additional Protocols, start of the work of installing centrifuges for enriching uranium and the construction of Heavy Water reactor in Arak … and the surprise victory of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, a fanatic Muslim to the Iranian presidency.
Ever since, at time and off, President Bush threatens Iran with military actions if it does not heed to the demands of the so-called 5+1, namely the five permanent members of the Security Council plus Germany, to stop its nuclear activities, not willing to hear, as usual, the answer of the Iranians to their menaces: Our response to any American military attack would be non conventional. In other words, we shall strike at American interests everywhere in the world, starting with the explosive Middle East where all the forces of fundamentalism are on our side.
“The Americans can easily destroy all of our existing nuclear and military installations and centres, but not our nuclear knowledge and science. If they bomb us, we shall reconstruct everything from the scratch, but this time for the bomb”, one of the three senior former nuclear negotiators had confessed to this journalist on condition of anonymity.
Insisting on safeguarding the existence of the State of Israel, the Americans have made it more vulnerable, more isolated and at the same time, endangered dangerously the safety of their own nation and people. For its part, Israel, lacking dramatically charismatic and courageous leaders of the level of the late Itzahak Rabin, have preferred to act more than as a spoiled child, hiding behind a bullish papa, than as an adult nation, addressing themselves their problems instead of leaving it to others.
Thanks to the Americans stubbornness, Iran, in the past two years, has become a recognized nuclear power with the possibility of building atomic bombs and warheads for missiles that can reach Israel. Thanks to the American blindness, Iran not only has become the recognized super power of the Middle East, but utterly popular among the Arab-Muslim world – and at the same time utterly unpopular with the majority of Iranians --. Thanks to the American arrogance, the West had never been as badly humiliated, belittled and ridiculed as it has been these last years at the hands of a lunatic Iranian President that has also defied the world’s most powerful and prestigious instances: The United Nations Security Council.
Former French president Jacques chirac once said why should be affraid of an atomic Iran?.
Former French President Jacques Chirac once said prophetically, “Why be afraid of a nuclear Iran. After all, what they want to do with it?” He was referring to the nine nations that have known nuclear arsenal and the at least a dozen of others that have advanced nuclear technology and therefore the capability of producing nuclear weapons.
Another old Persian proverb says: “A foul throws a stone into a well from where a hundred of wise men cannot take it out”. The Americans have thrown the stone in the well and since, no wise man had been able to take it out for the simple reason that there are no more wise men left in the horizon.
However, the future is not that black. The Europeans, led by Russia as a major power-broker, have an important card to play: That of preparing the ground for talks between Iran and Israel, allowing them to put on the table all their fears and expectations from each other.
Of course, Iran has always insisted that it would never recognize the State of Israel and would not talk to it. But at the same time it has noticed that it would respect the wishes of the Palestinians if they decided to recognise the Jewish State. What if some of Iran’s Palestinian and Arab friends encourage it to talk with the Israelis, even indirectly, not aimed at reconnaissance, but as a mean to solve their problems as part of the larger problems of the Middle East?
Mollahs are known to be as the least moralists and principled category of people. The ruling ayatollahs have proved that they can be very pragmatic when the interests of their State are at stake. This happened in Afghanistan, where they helped the Americans to fight the Taleban and recently in Iraq, where under pressures and strong demands by the Iraqi organizations and leaders allied to Iran, Tehran accepted direct negotiations with the Great Satan aimed at solving Iraqi problems? ENDS THE WEST AND IRAN 191107