Iran News ...


With friends like these, who needs enemies?

By Shahriar Etemadi, Maryland


I am appalled by reading the article in Payvand titled  "An alert to our Compatriots from Iranian Scholars Living Outside Iran: Iran is on the brink of danger". The article seems to be prescribing Iran's need to capitulate to the American and Israeli's demand? An unrealistic view of the world and its relationship with Iran has led many scholars to misjudge the political and economical situations in Iran for too many years. Many intellectuals misjudged the direction of Iranian Revolution, prediction of Iranian government on the verge of collapse after the 1979 revolution, the power and popularity of the Iranian left, and they were not quite right about the impact of Iran/Iraq war on people and the new revolutionary government. And now we may be on the verge of another misinterpretation of the Iranian struggle with the west. The failure of assessing the Iranian situation correctly is often rooted in the chronic obsession with regime change that has led to misjudgment for so many years. Regime change is the most common thread between some of the Iranian intellectuals and the neo-conservatives, and that makes them natural allies in their animosities toward the Iranian nation.


Let's further analyze some of the assertions in this article.


  1. Like "American and Israeli warmongers", a substantive argument is not offered in a realistic way as how the Iranian should pursue  their legitimate rights under the international law. Simplicity is the order of the day to just blame President Ahamadinejad for everything's wronged in the world. Iran's international policy is not formulated and implemented by one man. These important decisions are made collectively and as we have witnessed them many times, they are backed by tens of millions of Iranians. The "scholars" must know that the issue is not the Iranian President. The issue is Iran's gaining influence in the region and nothing can truly guarantee prevention of an attack except Iran's complete capitulation to the America and Israel's demand. That must not and will not happen.

  1. The article predicts Saddam's fate for Ahmadinejad and the Islamic Republic. That is difficult to comprehend when Iranian government still enjoys a healthy popular support. The support is evident by the mass participations in the anniversary of Islamic Revolution and national elections. .  Furthermore, Ahmadinejad is not responsible like Saddam for killing, torturing, invading other countries and attacking his own people with chemical weapons.  In fact, Saddam was actually attacked when he completely capitulated to the American demand that gave Bush and Blair more confidence to overthrow him. Why America is not attacking North Korea? America has fulfilled North Korea's complete demand before being allowed to sit at the negotiating table. Did North Korea achieve that by accepting UN resolutions or stop enrichment activities? We have two clear example in front of us-Iraq capitulating and being attacked and North Korea standing up and given their rights. I ask which path Iran must choose? This does not mean that Iran should not use all diplomatic channels to avoid a military engagement.

  1. If Ahmadinejad were not in power, the west would have found someone else to demonize, portray as Hitler and use as an excuse to put pressure on Iran. We must know that pressuring Iran is not about nuclear program, human rights or support for terrorism. Iran can agree with all of those demands and still be subject to attack because the goal is to weaken Iran. American allies in the region have gone way beyond comprehension in their crimes against humanity and support for terrorists in Iraq and they are not feeling the pressure. Iran's problem has been stated clearly by the west that is their political influence in the region and in simple words, disobedience and independence. This is not acceptable to the champions of democracy and human right.

  1. It is argued that Iran is provoking America and they "demand" that government to change course. This is preposterous. Iran's  influence in the region is the real problem and that was done by the condition that America created for Iran. Iran did not gain influence by itself; it was given the influence by American adventurism.

    In all fairness, we can listen to Ahamadinejad's interviews and speeches and judge whether he is not logical in his basic demand for recognition of Iran's right under NPT or fair settlement of other regional conflicts. He is being demonized more than any other Iranian leader because his statements resonate with people in the region. Mr. Rafsanjani has made far more " outrageous" statements but the west still claims, "He is the man they can do business with". I suggest that we stop demanding Iranians how they run their lives unless we have some practical solutions to the problems created by the west. And we must recognize that all of us expatriates do not have the monopoly on knowing exactly what is the best for the Iranians specially when we have been wrong so many times in our past assessments.  We have every right to express our opinions but we do not have the right to use a language that is patronizing in prescription of solutions to our problems.


  1. It is argued that Iran should acquire nuclear energy but through negotiation. Let me see if I understand this correctly-we stopped enrichment for two years and received nothing. I mean not even spare parts for our aging passenger aircrafts-something that is required under the International Law. Russia has suggested supplying fuel for our nuclear power plants. They have been dragging their feet for seven years (so far) to complete the project. We must explain how Russia, China and the west will guarantee our fuels when they have deprived us of even medicine for 30 years. How forgetful can we be? Demanding our right under the law to enrich uranium for power plants is not "adventurism".


I ask the readers to go and read the article referenced-above again and judge if this is the way out of the logjam that could at the same time preserve the legitimate interest of the Iranian people.  I beg the difference.


... Payvand News - 3/16/07 ... --

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