The news about the Iranian American scholar, Haleh Esfandiary, who has been accused of attempting to overthrow the Islamic regime in Iran, has caused an uproar among the human rights activists on both sides of the planet and has drawn particularly harsh official protests by the US State Department and the President himself.
The typical reader could well be expected to wonder about the banality and ineptitude of the Islamic Republic of Iran for fearing that a frail little sixty-seven year old lady who is visiting her ninety-three year old mother is capable of toppling the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran!
In actual fact, Mrs. Bakhash (Esfandiary is her maiden name) was accused of being directly associated with an organization in the United States that, like several others that openly announce their mission, is believed by the Iranian authorities to be engaged in programs with the aim of destabilizing the Iranian regime and paving the way for a "velvet" revolution.
Sure, Iran's security
apparatus that has arrested and charged her, as well as several others under
similar suspicions, may well be wrong in this assessment and may have simply
overreacted in the current atmosphere of hostile rhetoric emanating from the
United States. The accusations against a lady journalist, who works for a radio
station officially and openly funded by the
We have all learned to
understand and even expect the same kind of treatment that Iranians or Arabs
with similar backgrounds and connections with their home regimes receive here in
Now, let us examine
It is actually quite
ironic, if not downright comical, that some Republican congressmen recently
accused the ABC network for blowing the cover off of what was supposed to be
classified information about the recent presidential authorization for the CIA
operations to infiltrate and destabilize
It really did not
require the Pulitzer Prize winning reporter, Seymour Hersh, to blow the whistle
on covert operations (covert only to the news media here, not over there) that
have been going on for quite some time. The Iranian regime has been engaged in
counter insurgencies against armed groups and saboteurs, Kurds, Baluchis, Arabs,
Azeris, etc., all armed, paid and directed by the United States and Great
Britain, as well as by certain Gulf states, to infiltrate and destabilize the
various provinces inside Iran. In addition, dissident groups and individuals
inside and outside
This is neither to
condemn, nor to condone, programs intended to pave the way for either a "soft
(velvet)" or a bloody regime change in
The presence of
American naval forces in the Persian Gulf and the Arabian Sea, naval war games,
and the establishment of bases along the Arabian shores of the Persian Gulf are
all aimed at intimidating
However, coercing or
otherwise convincing the Arab Emirates and the Saudis to help fund the Sunni
insurgencies against the Iranian regime or anything Shi'a or Iranian is the kind
of behavior the
Surrounded by forces openly and officially hostile to it, with expressed mission of destabilizing and even changing the regime by force if necessary (not even ruling out the use of nuclear weapons), the Islamic Republic is left but with a very few options.
Knowing fully well
that the issue of its nuclear program is clearly a pretext, and the danger
Option "A", capitulation, is not likely to happen anytime soon! The more pressure that is put on Iran, whether economic sanctions or threats of military attacks, the more justification will be created for the hardliners in Iran to increase their power grip and impose stricter security measures with a higher degree of paranoia, not much unlike what has been happening right here in the United States.
Two other options,
however, remain open for
Option "B", staying the course:
This means ignoring the pressures and threats and continuing the defiant path as the only Middle Eastern nation that has dared to challenge the power and influence of the mightiest superpower, even at a cost to its own economic well being and internal tranquility.
One thing is for damned sure: If attacked, this cat is not going to go down with a whimper. The cost to the region, to the attacked, as well as to the attackers, would be horrendous, with long-term global aftereffects.
The hope by the hardliners in Washington and Tel Aviv, at least superficially, has been that a continuation of the current standoff and the increasing economic and diplomatic pressures will weaken the regime to a point where the opposition groups inside the country, helped and financed by the masterminds of the regime change from outside, will be able to reestablish a more "compliant" government in Iran.
While this might
actually be a bona fide pipedream in
No doubt, sanctions
and diplomatic pressures will continue to wear at and impede
The Israeli leadership
no doubt knows that
More recently, the
Iranian President said in a speech - to paraphrase as closely as possible -
that, God willing, with the efforts of
the Palestinians and
Israel, unlike its Zionist amen corner and the APAC-supported politicians here, is not really worried about any "existential threat" from Iran, contrary to what its leaders keep on repeating for whatever they expect to gain - and they do gain an awful lot - from this propaganda opportunity.
Unless one would
prefer to believe that
[Here, it might interest the reader to be informed about a subtle play of words that has a rather profound psychological effect aimed quite cunningly at the intended audiences:
The word mullah, when not a part of a cleric's or
a scholar's formal title or name, has a rather derogatory connotation in
Does the leadership
Staying the course,
the favorite slogan out of the Whitehouse ever since the beginning of the War on
Terror, has created a seemingly endless chaos in the
On the other side,
staying the course, Option "B", by
While the tension is
building, the slightest spark from a variety of sources could potentially ignite
the powder keg. An explosion near one of the many American naval vessels in the
Persian Gulf could be blamed on
Three things might
trigger this potentially disastrous conflict, disastrous for both sides. First,
is an accidental spark in the current explosive atmosphere of tension and
suspicion. Second is a deliberate
accident staged by those who stand to gain in the ensuing regional turmoil.
Third, is the use of the many pretexts already being voiced by the hawks and
warmongers in our Administration, those who believe in a final military solution
In any event, should
war break out in earnest against Iran, countless lives will be lost, the
region's oil production and shipping will be interrupted for a along time, and
social chaos will spread throughout the region from the Arabian Peninsula to
Turkey, and Pakistan to Egypt. What is also guaranteed is that none of these
events is likely to result in a meaningful sociopolitical restructuring in
However, if all of the above, meaning an indefinite continuation of regional instability and unpredictability, is actually the desired objective by the proponents of war, there are plenty of concocted excuses already at hand to start the bombing. As diabolical as this scenario might sound, the beneficiaries of such a regional disaster are always ready to make their case.
From the perspective
of the current Israeli regime, resolutions resulting in a less hostile and a
more tranquil environment in the Middle East will not serve
Is it really too farfetched, then, to think that the Israelis might be aiming at sabotaging a US/Iran rapprochement by any means at their disposal, from lobbying the Congress to threatening a preemptive attack somewhere in Iran (They already have Dick Cheney's permission!), or creating some other mischief blamed on Iran, which would certainly draw the United States into a new war?
An extension of
hostilities means a longer-term presence of the American forces in the region.
That creates what the likes of Al Gha'eda would welcome with open arms. Rather
than create an environment of security, an extended American military presence
anywhere in the region further legitimizes the claims by
Meanwhile, the dangerous mix of suspicion, mistrust and mischief could reach a flashpoint with many unintended consequences.
Is this what we really want?
If not, let us give Option "C" a chance.
Option "C": A new rapprochement!
(To be continued)
... Payvand News - 6/8/07 ... --