By Kam Zarrabi
The article by Vali Nasr and Ali Gheissari, New York Times, December 13th op-ed, Foxes in Iran's Henhouse, is a very well argued piece, but unfortunately very academic as well.
The article is, first and foremost, based on a hypothesis or presumption
In another paragraph, it is suggested that we, meaning the
It is easy to understand why, sitting at the faculty of National Security Affairs at the Naval Postgraduate School, one must present one's conjectures based on the parameters one is provided with - meaning, the official ingredients to suit the official menu.
The authors end their dissertation with yet another cavalier statement:
In my mind, the professors have created some very fundamental questions that deserve adequate attention before their opinions can be considered with any degree of seriousness:
1- Is the Iranian regime's interest in acquiring a nuclear weapons capability a legitimate objective, deserving of respect as a sovereign nation's right to defend itself?
2- Is such a potentiality a threat to
3- If the answer to the second question is yes, are there other alternatives in dealing with the dilemma than a direct US interference, whether diplomatic, economic or even military, to destabilize Iran, which would inevitably entail chaos, suffering and bloodshed that might spread regionally?
4- Rather than take the current neocon-driven attitude toward Iran and the Middle East at face value, as have the authors in their analysis, and in view of the fact that America's current strategy in confronting threats of terrorism, real or hyped, has proven counterproductive, shouldn't alternative interpretations of realities on the ground be evaluated?
The thesis presented by Nasr and Gheissari begins with rather shaky
presumptions, and follows, syllogistically, along the lines of a highly
questionable critical path theory. The only way their solution to the so-called
2- These weapons, and the missiles to deliver them, will be at the disposal of the Revolutionary Guards.
3- These Revolutionary Guards are gaining power and, soon, control over
4- The leadership of the Revolutionary Guards is opposed to any negotiations
or dialogue with the West and the
5- Their intention is to make
6- This evil, if not confronted and eliminated, will threaten the security of the region and, ultimately, world peace.
For starters, let us consider, just consider, another set of assumptions, and measure its validity against the above set of assumptions:
1- Research in nuclear technology and its applicability to peaceful purposes is the inalienable right of every sovereign state.
2- Under the NPT agreements, the United Nations agency is allowed to monitor such research and developments to safeguard against illegal activities.
3- Mere suspicions, clearly politically motivated, and especially by states
with declared hostility against
4- Every state that has access to peaceful nuclear technology has the potential to pursue research in nuclear weapons development, should it feel the need to do so.
7- If our intentions are truly to promote freedom and democracy in the region, why not allow the market forces to open the doors to regional economic developments and increased prosperity, which is guaranteed to weaken, rather than legitimize, the stranglehold of the ultraconservatives?
... Payvand News - 12/16/04 ... --