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Smart Diplomacy

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Seyed Sadeq Kharrazi

Active ImageIran has been frequently hitting the headlines in international media during recent weeks. The country is seemingly the focal point of an endless story which is increasingly surrounded by misunderstandings. What is the truth of this state of affairs? Is it possible for us to employ timely sound diplomacy in order to reduce threats and thwart inappropriate diplomatic language which is now applied to our country? Or should we just wait to see what happens and what fate awaits the country and the nation? The propaganda machine is already in gears against Iran and distorts facts in such a dexterous manner as to cause doubt even in the minds of Iran’s friends.

Foreign policy is currently one of the most challenging and controversial areas of the Iranian politics. Does interaction, per se, constitute an approach as is the case with negotiation? Delusional rhetoric has invariably led to failed strategies. Why the modern world has distanced so far from the path of justice? Ever since the capacities of the United Nations have been taken advantage of in an evil way and international political potentials have been used as a means of posing threats to various countries, international threats have been constantly on the rise. Justice and avoidance of double standards are the best ways to restore credibility to international bodies, but west’s polices and prejudiced application of international law have greatly restricted the United Nations which is the fruit of human deliberations and intellect. Irresponsible remarks used to intimidate other countries are, by no means, compatible with the letter and spirit of the UN Charter. Even multilateral and coordinated sanctions imposed by world powers have proven to be flawed instruments which damage people more than states.

Correct conception of the existing atmosphere is requisite to understand sanctions. How we could possibly understand abstract reactions which we witness at international level? Sanctions and their motivations convey special messages, which should be scrutinized. The existing international atmosphere is continuation of past sanctions, but on a larger scale and in a more coordinated manner. The history of Iran’s foreign relations since Qajar rule shows that Iran has been always victim of unwritten sanctions. Under Qajar rule, Iran supplied rice to Russia, but the Russian rulers prohibited import of the Iranian rice. Even during the oil crisis in 1950s, they tried to put oil embargo on Iran. Many new sanctions arise from the special circumstances which govern Iran’s relations with the United States. From the viewpoint of Washington, Iran-US relations are in a state of emergency and this has led to serious changes in quality and type of international sanctions, even unilateral sanctions imposed by the United States and its European allies.

Obama’s viewpoints and their relationship to sanctions constitute an unexpected, yet new phenomenon which is closely related to what is going on inside Iran and this should be taken seriously by the Iranian foreign policy officials. Another important point is composition of sanctions which makes them quite detrimental over a protracted period of time. There are other aspects to sanctions which should be considered free from political considerations. Sanctions imposed by the United Nations, the United States and its European allies aim to paralyze the Iranian national economy and bring its technological and industrial sectors to standstill. Restricting supply of conventional arms to Iran targets special parts of the Iranian government.

Big powers seek to forge international consensus against Iran through sanctions. They know that sanctions, alone, cannot change Iran’s behavior. The main goals followed through sanctions include undermining Iran’s power; to weaken its economic sectors, especially energy and transportation sectors; and to undermine Iran’s financial and monetary capacities. Masterminds of those sanctions also seek to pitch Iran against other regional countries. On the other side, they try to instigate Iran and find an opportunity to destroy its power. The west is erroneously assuming that Iran is trying to build nuclear weapons and will be a serious threat to its interests in the near future.
Western countries have taken two different approaches to achieve the same goal through sanctions:

1. To prevent Iran’s progress in nuclear technology

To do this, they spare nothing even imposition of additional sanctions and getting international organizations as well as political and economic unions involved. At present, UN sanctions in addition to unilateral ones imposed by the United States and Europe are in line with a psychological war whose main target is to convince the Iranian people that Iran’s nuclear program should be stopped.

2. Causing difficulties for the Iranian nation

Another goal of the west is to impose political, international, economic and national hardships on the Iranian people. Increasing the cost of imports, holding Iran back in regional competitions and helping growth of its regional rivals such as Saudi Arabia and Turkey are the main tools used by the west. Iran’s reduced influence in international energy markets as a result of sanctions which have barred development of oil and gas production capacities in Iran against increased exploitation of shared reserves by neighboring countries can potentially deal deadly blows to the Iranian economy. The west, helped by Russia and China, is trying to reduce Iran’s regional influence including by impeding Tehran’s accession to such regional organizations as Shanghai Cooperation Organization.

The west is well aware that Iran’s cooperation with International Atomic Energy Agency has, thus far, prevented it from distorting facts about Iran’s nuclear program, but the main political goal pursued by western states is to pitch Iran against the international system. Even some western politicians are willing for Iran to quit Non-Proliferation Treaty and provide grounds for a possible military confrontation. Political wisdom and national logic calls on us to deal with Iranophobia in a calculated way and understand existing problems before trying to find a solution to them.

Source: Khabar Online
Translated By: Iran Review

طراحی و توسعه آگاه‌سیستم