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As of January 2009, this site is definitely closed, but you can follow Safa Haeri on his new blog: DAMAVAND at

Iran Is Seeking To Gain Time While Waiting For Mahdi To Come

Published Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Paris, 5 Aug. (IPS) Iran’s international situation is so disastrous, the officials so discredited, the moral so low, the despair and discontent so deep, the corruption so generalized and so obvious, the regime so hated that in order to divert the attention of the public to other issues and mobilize them behind a fear factor, the decision-makers are genuinely looking to a show-down with the United States or Israel, or the two, informed sources in Tehran told Iran Press Service.

          At the same time, aware of the serious possibilities of a mass uprising by a population already hit badly economically, in case of further sanctions decided by the United Nations Security Council and respected by the international community, the regime tries, by taking one step forward and two backward, to protract as much time as possible the negotiations with the five permanent members of the Security Council and Germany concerning its controversial nuclear activities.

          Hence Iran’s conciliatory attitude and ambiguous statements every time the group of six, (the United States, Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China), exasperated and frustrated at Tehran’s uncompromising stance, raise the flag of new sanctions.

Tehran adamantly reject the demands for suspension of its nuclear activities as “illegal”, describes the resolutions as “worn out papers”

          Likewise, on 5 August, the date the Group had set for Tehran to respond to its latest proposals for continuing nuclear talks, Iranian media quoted unidentified officials announcing the delivery of a letter to Mr. Xavier Solana, the Spanish super minister of the European Union for Security and Foreign Affairs and representing the group of six.

          However, according to the same media and same official, the letter “is not an answer to the group’s proposals”, including the so-called “freeze against freeze”, meaning Iran suspending its uranium enriching activities while talks continue against the Security Council refraining implementing the sanctions already approved and deciding on new ones.

          Tehran adamantly reject the demands for suspension of its nuclear activities as “illegal”, describes the resolutions as “worn out papers”, reiterates that it is not after nuclear arms, reminds that having nuclear technology is its right under international laws and regulations, continues to enrich uranium, insisting that this activity is its “legitimate right”.

          “The letter of Mr. Sa’id Jalili, the Secretary of Iran’s Supreme Council on National Security (SCNS) and the regime’s senior nuclear negotiator to Mr. Solana, his principal counterpart for the talks, comprises a short review of the latest meeting between the two men”, the semi-official Students News Agency ISNA reported, without mentioning that the 19 July meeting in Geneva was attended by deputy foreign ministers from all the parties engaged, including for the first time a representative from the United States.

            “The letter does not address the Group’s main demand, namely the suspension of uranium enriching activities”, a source close to Mr. Solana said, baffled at the meaning of the document, which an Iranian political analyst described as “masterpiece of mollahs doublespeak ambivalence”, as, according to another source from Iran’s SCNS, the message was “no more than a transcript of a telephone conversation between Solana and Iran's top nuclear negotiators on Monday”.

Jalili - Solana
The message was “no more than a transcript of a telephone conversation between Solana and Iran's top nuclear negotiator Jalili, who met in Geneva

          "What was given to Solana was the telephone conversation transcript and not a response to the proposed package", the source told the official IRNA news agency. Adding to the confusion, a source close to Solana said that "for the time being we have not received anything" from Tehran and emphasised there was often a time lag between Iranian announcements and the actual delivery.

          “The basis to the foreign policy of the ruling ayatollahs is essentially based on the old Persian saying of: there is always some hope from one column to another”, the political analyst said.

          Despite an unprecedented revenues from oil, the economic situation is quasi paralysed, huge capitals are flying to outside Iran, prices for basic food and housing are shooting up on a daily basis, as inflation does, making life almost unbearable for the middle and poor classes, electricity and fuel shortages cripple the local industries, making domestic products uncompetitive against foreign goods, mostly made in China, South Korea, India and other developing nations.

          “The problem with Mr. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is that not only he himself do not understand anything about modern economy, but because of his firm belief that Mahdi, the Muslim Shi’a’s twelfth imam would soon reappear and arrange everything to the liking of the Iranians, he has no confidence in economic experts and listen to no one, except yes men”, explains a source close to him, speaking on condition of anonymity.

          According to Shia’s, Imam Mahdi went into hiding in a well about eight hundreds years ago, at the age of eight, to re-emerge when the world is “saturated with sin, corruption, mismanagement and disillusion”.

The basis to the foreign policy of the ruling ayatollahs is essentially based on the old Persian saying of: there is always some hope from one column to another

          One of the reasons Tehran arrogantly and in a provocative manner refuses to cooperate with the international community on nuclear issue is the hope that the hidden Imam will come to the rescue of Iran and until then, one has to gain time.

          “At the same time, with a yes and no policy, the ruling ayatollahs also hope that the six, or at least four of them, meaning minus Russia and China, would get serious in implementing the sanctions, thus providing Iranian officials the tools to portray the Islamic Republic as a victim of the imperialists and justify more sacrifices from the Iranian people, including accepting more repressions, more censorship of the press and expressions, more restrictions on the already badly limited social and cultural freedoms”, the source added.

          To prepare the public for a military showdown, not only the mollahrchy multiply military maneuvers, puts on show its military equipments, like ballistic, medium and short-range missiles, fast torpedoes and speedboats, jet fighters, bombers, and now new devices that would stop enemy’s vessels at 300 kilometres from Iranian shores, but also creates an atmosphere of fear by telling the people that the world’s war mongers, meaning essentially the major western powers led by the United States, are determined to destroy the Islamic Republic, “the heart of the world’s 1.3 billions Muslims”.

          The base of Iran’s intransigency lies in its intrinsic difference with the United States in particular, and the international community in general in that the Islamic Republic does not recognize the present world system based on the United Nations, a system that at the same time, has recognised America as the world’s most powerful nation and leader.

          “This is a very good case of Iranian ambivalence: The regime rejects the present world order, wants to change it, starting by the United Nations, a body it regards as an object at the hands of the United Nations and the five permanent members of the Security Council, while at the same time, not only it continue its membership of the Organisation, but also wants to enter the Security Council”, observed Mr. Abbas Abdi, a leading Iranian political analyst and journalist.

          In his view, the Iranian clerical rulers do not understand that if Washington, or China, or Russia, or any other major nations have noting against India, Pakistan and Israel’s nuclear weapons, it is because they do not reject the present world order. “If China and Russia have signed the three resolutions against Iran is that they consider themselves as part of this international order and do not want to change it”, Mr. Abdi pointed out.

Assad Ahmadinejad
Assad Told his Iranian couterparts to be ready for historic changes in the Middle East.

          Would the Islamic Republic hear the voice of the logic and change course, as Libya did, as North Korea is doing and Syria might soon join the rank of the West?

          “Syria of President Bashar Assad, which, contrary to his Iranian counterpart, does not seek the annihilation of Israel, would certainly leave the camp of the region’s radicals led by Iran and join the west if and when it can trust Washington and Tel Aviv. The day Damascus recovers the Golan Heights; it would establish full relations with Israel”, wrote Mr. Ahmad Zeydabai, an influential pro-reform Iranian journalist, adding:

          “Bashar is preparing himself for this historic moment, a move that would certainly change the face of the Middle East. This is what very probably Assad informed the Iranians during his last visit to Tehran last week and very probably, he also told Iranians that it is time for them to change to the region’s new realities”.

          But as things stands in Tehran, most people doubt. ENDS IRAN SITUATION 6808




3 comment(s) on this page. Add your own comment below.

christian thomas
Friday, August 8, 2008 17:36 [ 1 ]

To be honest, I did not found again Amir Taheri's article from Benador Associates site about the current political situation in Syria - well "current" means 4 months ago, I think. AT said in that article that the former ambasador of Iran in Lebanon - the same who created Hezbollah from Lebanon - and now ambasador in Syria conceived an opperation thru which Syrian Bass Party is transformed into a staunch Iran ally - hundreds of activists are replaced by Iranian supporters. It sounds strange - how much influence can have even an extremely smart guy, since he is a foreigner only - but I hope AT knows what he is writing. Do you have knowledge about this situation ? - If so, the peace process in ME is a joke. And if it is so, how much chance of succes are there for this opperation to succeed?

Thank you in advance.

PS...and excuse my English

christian thomas
Friday, August 8, 2008 17:44 [ 2 ]

first shoot, than ask questions... that's exactly what I did. now I saw Mr.Taheri is a contributor on this site - I had to expect this. So, my questions are directed to you directly, Mr.Taheri. Thank you for your article about the philosophical debates within Iran before the Revolution - Heiddeger and Popper.

christian thomas
Friday, August 8, 2008 17:54 [ 3 ]

I forgot - again - another question. Ghadafi warned recently Iran not to play games with its own existence: you are weak and you will not resist to an military operation; look at Iraq , he said. But Iran is Iraq's neighbour; I assume Iranians are closer to US troops then Ghadafi is. So, who is right Ghadafi or the mullahs ? He also said Iran is over his head in this situation. Again: is he right ?

Thank you in advance - and sorry for my abrupt style; but I wanted for long to ask these questions to somebody who knows: I know AT from his articles, Trita Parsi from CNN/BBC. When I saw an Iranian site I jumped.

Comments on this page are closed.

As of January 2009, this site is definitely closed, but you can follow Safa Haeri on his new blog: DAMAVAND at

Iran slum
Situation in Iran is getting so bad that the regime fears an uprising from poor people

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