Innovative Diplomacy: Sole Way to Thwart US Ploys

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Seyed Mohammad Sadeq Kharrazi
Former Iranian Ambassador to France and the United Nations

Israeli press and media have launched unprecedented ballyhoo about recent decision of the country’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, and minister of defense, Ehud Barak, who have been attempting to encourage Israeli cabinet members to lend their support to military operations against Iran. Interviews by Netanyahu and Barak in which they used ambiguous words to threaten the use of military force against Iran have led to speculations that Israel is contemplating an actual assault on Iran. On the other hand, the Israeli foreign ministry has been trying since mid-September to convince other countries’ officials that the window of opportunity for imposing effective sanctions against Iran is being closed and, therefore, fresh sanctions are needed to prevent Iran's access to nuclear weapons.

The London-based Guardian also announced that the British Defense Ministry is planning a contingent military operation against Iran because the United States may move ahead with its plan to launch missiles at certain key facilities of Iran. The newspaper quoted some Western officials who “predicted” that the new report released by International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) would shed more light on alleged studies against Iran's nuclear program. They said the report would fundamentally change the situation of Iran's nuclear case. The commander of the British army has apparently visited Israel last week followed by a reciprocal visit to London by Israel’s defense minister, Ehud Barak, a few days later.

The director general of IAEA published its new Iran report on November 8 after long speculation about its possible content. Analysts expected the report to make more direct references to Iran's nuclear program. This was by no means unexpected. There is also no doubt that the United States and its allies will make the most of the report to put more economic, diplomatic and propaganda pressure on Iran. The main question, however, is why the Zionist propaganda has soared high against Iran in the run-up to IAEA's new report? Why news about ballistic missiles tests by Israel over a range of 11,000 km as well as aerial maneuvers of Israel aircraft in NATO’s Italy base are broken just before the report? Why the British government becomes the focus of a possible military attack on Iran?

At first, it may seem that the enemies of the Islamic Republic of Iran are only paving the way for real military operations against Iran. For years, both the United States and Israel have been resorting to threat of force against Iran in order to use this “stick” to encourage Iran give up the policies that they claim has endangered international peace and security. Of course, we must never downplay the enemies’ plans to invade Iran and be ready to face them. In reality, however, a deeper look at recent claims will lead us to the conclusion that coordinated efforts by the United States and its allies to pressure IAEA's director general, Yukiya Amano, were aimed at forcing him to release a report which would pave the way for imposing even more serious sanctions against Iran. The Israeli newspaper, Haaretz, recently wrote that top-ranking Israeli officials believed that IAEA report will greatly influence Israel’s decision in this regard. It noted that the United States and Israel were planning to use that report in favor of an international campaign aimed at further isolating Iran. On the other hand, opposition of Russia and China with the report has made Washington and Tel Aviv talk about a possible military assault on Iran. They, thus, aim to let Moscow and Beijing know that in case of opposing Amano’s report and new Security Council sanctions, they are ready to act unilaterally. This would be quite similar to invasion of Iraq in a military operation in 2003 without waiting for mandate of the Security Council. This time, they want the world to know that, they can do the same in case of Iran.

Israeli officials, on the other hand, have reached the conclusion that global attention to the Middle East developments has been focused on the Arab Spring and Palestinians’ effort to become a member of the United Nations. Therefore, reemphasis on “Iran threat” was needed to hit the headlines again and talking about possible military action against the country was the best way to redirect international attention to the issue of Iran. Of course, the alleged assassination plot by Quds Force which targeted Saudi ambassador to Washington would be also used for the same purpose. According to Haaretz, Israel’s ambassadors have received new orders to put much emphasis on the assassination plot against the Saudi ambassador in their meetings with other countries’ officials. This clearly proves their intent to totally isolate Iran. Interestingly, Israelis are also trying to dictate their wills on the international community. The Israeli foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman, announced last week that Iran is the greatest danger against international order. He added that the international community should prove its ability to enforce tougher sanctions against the Central Bank of Iran in addition to banning oil sales from Iran.

The Foreign Relations Committee of the US House of Representatives voted positive for more sanctions against Iran, including sanctions against the Central Bank of Iran. The US Senate is apparently working on similar sanctions. Observers believe that both Houses’ decisions will be integrated before the end of the current year to give birth to a single act.

Now, what have we got to do under the present circumstances? Iran's diplomacy has been largely passive in the face of recent developments. Measures like rejecting various charges against the country and summoning the Swiss ambassador to Tehran to protest to US policies are, by no means, comparable to complicated and coordinated psychological operations launched by the United States and its allies. The following measures should be taken under the present circumstances:

1. As for the nuclear case, we must both declare our readiness to further negotiate with 5+1 and, without losing more time, go ahead with Russia’s step-by-step plan despite its flaws. We must take part in intense negotiations with Russians to get the plan into gear as a joint Iranian-Russian plan. Iran's nuclear case has now reached a sensitive phase and in the absence of Iran's initiative, we would lag behind the opposite side’s propaganda effort or will give good excuses to warmongering elements.

2. Having initiative is imperative in all matters of importance to the country’s foreign policy. Our stance against allegations about the assassination plot targeting the Saudi ambassador was too passive. The diplomatic apparatus only got active after relevant remarks of the Supreme Leader who admonished officials to get out of their defensive position. We must not even suffice to propaganda alone and must resort to innovative regional and international diplomacy to thwart the United States’ worthless ploys. Serious cooperation with Saudi Arabia, both within bilateral and other frameworks, is a necessity. Iran and Saudi Arabia are, and will remain, neighbors. They have legitimate interests in the region which should be respected by both sides. If these two countries fail to solve their problems, others are sure to try and set their course.

3. This is not the first time that the UK is clearly talking about direct military intervention in Iran. Their officials in Tehran and London should be made to understand that they should determine their true position toward the country. If they want to take sides with Iran's enemies, they cannot continue conventional political and economic relations with our country. If Britain’s action is not dealt with in a proper way, other Western countries may be also encouraged to follow suit.

4. It goes without saying that being militarily prepared to counteract enemies’ measures is imperative. While we must not show panic at the propaganda hype which has been launched by the United States and its allies, we must not also underestimate them. Warmongers are ready to inflict great losses of life and property even to the US in order to disturb the region. The United States and Israel are, of course, aware that military action against Iran is like playing with fire. The Israeli interior minister, Eli Yishai, said last week that possibility of military faceoff with Iran did not let him sleep well at night. He asked what would happen if Israel was attacked by 10,000 missiles from north, south, and center, knowing that Iran was in possession of 100,000 short- and long-range missiles.

5. Under current circumstances, détente, especially with neighboring countries should be a priority for Iran's foreign policy. We should mend fences with Turkey as a neighboring country with much weight in regional developments. We must also encourage regional dialogue attended by Iran, Iraq, and all littoral states of the Persian Gulf which should discuss various ways of establishing security and stability in the region.

Source: Shargh Newspaper
Translated By: Iran Review

More By Seyed Mohammad Sadeq Kharrazi:

*Saudi Arabia’s Survival Depends on Iran-US Tension: Part 1:

*Saudi Arabia’s Survival Depends on Iran-US Tension: Part 2:

*Smart Diplomacy:

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