Demand of Reality

Monday, April 6, 2009

Mahmoud Mohammadzadeh

American and European leaders in meetings held last week in Germany, France and the Czech Republic discussed ways of interacting with Iran. Although the issue was not the focal point of the high-profile conferences, negotiations held on the sidelines focused on the key Iranian aspect.

US President Barack Obama and other western officials did not talk of any ’political package’ for Iran in the meetings. However, their collective response hints at the fact that after the miserable failure of the George Bush’s Iran policy, western powers are slowly but steadily moving toward a wise and workable Iran policy.

In the NATO meeting in Strasbourg, Obama resorted to a new tone toward Iran and said the Islamic state has a right to use nuclear technology for peaceful purposes and the nuclear standoff should be resolved by respecting Iran’s national sovereignty.

Russian officials who were the main side in the negotiations about Iran’s nuclear program in the meeting expressed hope that the Obama White House would be more reasonable and logical in dealing with Iran and its nuclear program. Russia believes Washington does not intend to distance itself from Moscow’s stance toward Iran’s nuclear program.

The European Union’s foreign policy chief, Javier Solana and other European politicians have persistently called for direct talks between Washington and Tehran and maintain that Europe is determined in continuing the same western multilateral cooperation with Iran over Afghanistan in the case of the nuclear issue.

Irrespective of whether or not the moves by Obama are a tactical shift or a new strategy, it is clear that after eight years of misled and mindless confrontation of the neocons with Iran the West has come to terms with the reality that continuation of the policy to demonize and isolate Iran is no more an option in the new Middle East.

Before Obama took over, the United States experienced all dimensions of the policy of confronting Iran, including calls for regime change, direct military threat, economic sanctions, axis of evil label... The peak of the hostility was the four resolutions that the UN Security Council passed against Iran under pressure from the Bush regime. Nevertheless, at present most western politicians led by Solana have admitted that the resolutions did not produce the desired results and only made a bad situation worse.

Observers of different stripes believe the key element that led to change in the political attitude of the West is the higher pedestal Iran has climbed in regional equations to which some US institutions specializing in Middle East affairs also subscribe.

In their reports and analysis it is often underscored that time and events in Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon and Palestine have been in Iran’s favor while almost all regional rivals of Iran have lost their legitimacy and leverage or whatever remained of it.

Now the question is whether or not western foreign policymakers and experts will listen to the recommendations of the think tanks that if the idea of confrontation fails to produce results, there is no other alternative but seeking interaction. It is understandable that moving away from confrontation to interaction is not easy for the West because such a move has powerful opponents such as the Zionist lobby. But it should be noted that Iran has always welcomed interaction.

As announced by Iranian officials in recent days, Iran will adjust its foreign policy in accordance with the steps taken by the West. Perhaps one rational move by the western world in seeking interaction with Iran would be to revoke and rectify the decisions made by Bush and company which in the eyes of most Iranians reeks of hostility. This would be the minimum the Obama team can and should do to show that it really wants to turn things around.

Source: Iran Daily

طراحی و توسعه آگاه‌سیستم