An editorial in the Jordan Times(which reflects official policy) points out US Undersecretary of State William Burns recently testified Iran has only made “modest” progress in its nuclear program, so “why all the fuss about an imminent threat from Tehran against its neighbouring countries, including Israel?” The editorial insists Iran is far from obtaining the capabilities to acquire advanced missile guidance capability which makes its “Shahb 3″ missile system “of dubious military significance. This means there is still time to pursue diplomacy with Tehran and end the standoff over its nuclear ambitions.”
The editor refers to recent development with North Korea which for years was regarded as a rogue nation having the capability of using nuclear weapons. However, as a result of diplomacy, this threat has been ended.
The editor insists “there are signs that the Iranian authorities will blink first over the current standoff since they responded rather favourably to the offer of aid and support from several Western quarters in return for ending the nuclear enrichment programme.”
The Jordan Times editorial raises key issues. Iran is an isolated nation lacking any support from its neighbors in the case of war. It needs assistance, not threats. The use of threats only reinforces Iranian resistance.
The on again, off again, efforts to engage in discussions with Iran over its nuclear enrichment program apparently has a more positive note. Mohammad Ali Hosseini, spokesperson for the foreign ministry, said his government felt encouraged by the latest UN proposal. Iran regards the proposal as containing several points which are in agreement with its own views. “We believe this common ground is encouraging. we say that this common ground can help with the start of negotiations.” He expressed the view that the “time is ripe” for real discussions between both parties although, he once again made clear his nation would not halt uranium enrichment.
A major problem in this matter is the need for Iran to present a picture of being independent and not cowed by threats from the West or Israel. The Bush factor is always present since Iran believes the American president is contemplating an attack on its nation and it does not wish to come across as being afraid of such an event. It may well be there will not be serious negotiations until a new president sits in the oval office.
There are times in life when the past intrudes into our present preventing changes because the power of previous anger and hate is too strong. The Iranian government refuses to budge from its basic principle of not halting efforts to pursue nuclear programs. Its spokesman, Hossein Eham, told visiting European Union foreign policy chief, Javier Solana, that if the package being offered includes “suspension” of their current nuclear efforts, “it won’t be considered at all. The position of the Republic of Iran is clear” that it intends to have its own nuclear program. Solana will publicly reveal the package in order to ensure there is debate within Iran on their policy of nuclear development. It is hoped there are clerics who might be interested in the generous terms for peaceful development being offered.
There may not be any change in Iran’s attitude until a new president is sworn in this coming January. Perhaps, a President Obama outreach to Iran might assist in changing attitudes. Iran’s clerical rulers are no fools and understand their nation is suffering due to lack of foreign investment.
Iran’s Foreign M inister Manuchehr Mottaki told visiting Chinese Assistant Foreign Ministe Zhai Jun, the two nations should consider the possibility of creating an Asian Union that would serve as a counter weight to American and European power establishments. He also said his nation and China were seeking to expand their trade relations and he praised China for making aggressive moves in Africa to assume control over energy resources. Zhai responded that his country is pleased at “Iran’s growth of power in the region and the international aena.”
Zhai rejected claims from an AP sotry that his nation has passed on inteligence about Iran’s nuclear program to the Internatioanl Atomic Energy Agency. “China has not sent the agency any reports about Iran’s nuclear program.” He also invited President Ahmadinejad to the Olympic Games.
There is little doubt China is expanding its influence and contacts with Iran. The world may condenm the Iranian government but China intends to support a nation with extensive energy resources to help fuel its own expanding economy. This is merely another example of a failed American foreign policy whose attempt to isolate Iran only serves to allow China to become more intimately involved with that nation.