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.
- 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
Israel's demand. That must not and
will not happen.
- 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
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.
- 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.
- 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
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.
- 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
... Payvand News - 3/16/07 ... --