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Iran, US, EU and Three Forgotten Considerations

Monday, February 13, 2012

Mahmoud Reza Golshanpazhooh
Executive Editor of Iran Review

The massive turnout of the Iranian people to mark the 33rd anniversary of the Islamic Revolution of 1979, which was more populous than previous years as captured in photos and films, can convey different messages from the standpoint of an Iranian political observer.

Firstly, although US and European Union’s so-called “smart” sanctions against the Islamic Republic of Iran mostly affect the ordinary people, the Iranian nation has shown – to the amazement of the Western and non-Western observes – that they are still loyal to pronounced goals of the revolution, which is establishment of an Islamic system and compliance with viewpoints of their Supreme Leader. Their presence in street demonstrations marking the Islamic Revolution’s anniversary was in answer to a dominant theory which has been promoted by the American and European statesmen in past months that increased pressures, sanctions and repeated claims about a possible military strike against Iran in addition to sanctions against the country’s oil and financial sectors will finally bring people to their knee and make them take action against the Islamic system.

Secondly, the fact that most slogans shouted in the demonstrations throughout the country targeted Israel proves that Iranian people’s disregard for Israel’s military threats,and allegations about role of Israeli leaders in putting pressure on legislative bodies of other countries, including the United States, are not simple slogans or mere positions taken by the country’s political leaders.Since the outset of their revolution, Iranians have given priority in their struggles to supporting the cause of Palestine. Likewise, by mentioning the name of Palestine in their Constitution, they have put emphasis on the strategic importance of finding a fair solution to the issue of Palestine.

The Iranian nation has frequently reaffirmed through the past three decades that all Muslim nations aim to support the rights of the Palestinian nation and urge the world to grant their demands after 60years of struggles. The West should have found out about correctness of this approach during recent developments in the Arab world. In fact, good relations between Arab states and Israel were simply the wish of their non-elected rulers. Therefore, as soon as dictators like Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak or Tunisia’s Zine al-Abedin bin Ali were overthrown, their people chose to defend the rights of the Palestinian nation and oppose Israel.

In the meantime, recent announcement of Israel’s friendship with the Iranian people by the Israeli regime’s president has been only construed by Iranians as a new trick. It would be better for the American politicians – as many American analysts have already advised them – to untie their countries’ interests from those of Israel and pay more attention to true costs of this policy in terms of declining prestige of the United States in the American public opinion as well as in the eyes of 1.5 billion Muslims of the world.

Thirdly, it is a major characteristic of Shia way of life to avoid of accepting oppression and force. If Western politicians and experts working with Western research institutes had tried to take a realistic approach away from media influence to international issues as seen and understood by the Iranian nation, they would have found out that insistence on Iran’s nuclear rights is part of the identity of Iranians. Regardless of political and factional approaches in the country, it arises from historical identity and approach of Iranians to what has happened in the course of the past few centuries. From the viewpoint of Iranians, the all-out support of the United States and EU for the former Iraqi dictator, Saddam Hussein, during his eight-year war with Iran which cost the lives of thousands of Iranian youths and demolished a big part of the country’s infrastructure; US’ strange support for Israel and Washington’s frequent efforts to prevent discussion of global problems resulting from Israel’s policies by vetoing many anti-Israeli resolutions in the UN Security Council; efforts to obstruct Iran's progress, especially in the area of nuclear technology through hard and soft ploys, including the Stuxnet virus; assassination of young Iranian scientists, imposing all-out sanctions and forcing almost all countries to follow suit with the United States’ unilateral sanctions, do not leave any room for the Iranian elites and ordinary people to trust the United States’ policies. This is not an issue to have been underlined simply by the Iranian politicians and officials.

Finally, let’s not forget that US presidential elections are forthcoming this year and past experience has taught Iranians the ironical fact that as presidential elections draw close, war drums are beaten more powerfully and waves of Iranophobia engulf American and other Western media. It is not clear what happens in the near future, but the point is that to know the realities of Iran, one should distance from ordinary analyses of Iran's dissidents who live outside the country, and try to understand what Iranians say away from any prejudgment. This fact has been repeatedly singled out by such famous American analysts as Stephen Walt (1) , Thomas Pickering, and William Luers (2) . Let’s hope that their voice is heard above the false propaganda hype that has already engulfed the United States.

Notes:

(1) Stephen M. Walt, “Why aren’t we negotiating with Tehran?” cited in http://walt.foreignpolicy.com, February 3, 2012

(2) William H. Luers & Thomas R. Pickering: “Envisioning a deal with Iran”, The New York Times, February 2, 2012

More By Mahmoud Reza Golshanpazhooh:

*Iran and Management of New US Scenario: http://www.iranreview.org/content/Documents/Iran_and_Management_of_New_US_Scenario.htm

*Iran, West and Human Rights: Is Compromise Impossible?: http://www.iranreview.org/content/Documents/Iran_West_and_Human_Rights_Is_Compromise_Impossible_.htm

*Iran and Special Human Rights Rapporteur: http://www.iranreview.org/content/Documents/Iran_and_Special_Human_Rights_Rapporteur.htm

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