US Should Avoid Sinuslike Behavior in Contacts with Iran

Monday, October 7, 2013

Mohammad Farhad Koleini
Senior Expert of Strategic Issues

Mohammad Farhad Koleini, a senior expert of strategic issues has been asked in the following interview if a country like the United States can be basically trusted by Iran?

The question was posed because just a few days after a direct phone call between the US president and the president of Iran – in which the American president indicated his willingness to interact with Tehran – Washington resumed its warlike rhetoric against the Islamic Republic. In response, Koleini said, “First of all, it should be noted that there is some kind of conflict between the messages and letters that the United States sent to Iran before the annual session of the United Nations General Assembly, and the positions they took during the UN session, because they have repeated some of their past positions.”

Koleini went on to say:

The reference that [the US President] Mr. [Barack] Obama made to the remarks and the fatwa issued by the Leader [of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei] about religious prohibition on the production of nuclear weapons, was among the positive positions that he took during his address to the UN General Assembly. Such developments clearly prove that the American officials have not reached a final conclusion on many issues. This is why [the Iranian President] Mr. [Hassan] Rouhani urged the Americans during his address to the UN General Assembly session to speak with a single voice.

Of course, efforts made by the American officials to contact and have direct meeting with the Iranian delegates finally ended in a phone call between the two countries’ presidents. However, Mr. Obama used a different kind of literature on Iran during his subsequent meeting with the prime minister of of Israel [Benjamin Netanyahu]. At that meeting, Obama’s words actually served to undermine the value of what he had already said in his phone call with the Iranian president. Obama, once more, noted that all options were on the table with regard to Iran, thus, trying to highlight the possibility of a military strike against Iran, which is also demanded by Israel.

After observing such sinuslike behavior on the part of the American officials, many questions occurred to the Islamic Republic’s delegates, a result of which was the rapid and timely reaction shown to Obama’s remarks by the Iranian Foreign Ministry and the Foreign Minister [Mohammad Javad Zarif].

There are serious doubts that Mr. Obama, on his own, will be able to bring about a new approach to Iran within the United States because it seems that the necessary consensus on such an approach is currently missing within the US government. Therefore, efforts made to this effect have raised suspicions and questions among the analysts. For example, why they are trying in the United States to raise spurious expectations with regard to the changing conditions in Iran?

The Americans are trying to make Iran's domestic situation conditional on their own policies. In doing this, the American statesmen have been actually making a tactical move in line with a strategic requirement. This state of affairs has increased ambiguity about the current situation.

It seems that Mr. Obama, for his own part, needs to create conditions in order to help him to overcome the existing obstacles. The main requisite for doing this is to show firm resolve for the creation of a suitable balance in the United States policies toward Iran. In doing so, the first serious sign that the United States is bent on relinquishing its post hostile policies toward Iran could be unilateral lifting of economic sanctions that have been imposed on the Islamic Republic. Mr. Obama is well aware that today, such major Western corporations as the Total and the Royal Dutch Shell are ready to start a new round of interactions with Iran.

Under the current circumstances, both sides have relatively indicated their readiness to change and modify the literature that they use on each other. However, this is not sufficient, per se, and should be accompanied with a parallel change in behavior and taking practical steps in order to show goodwill with regard to issues, which are of mutual concern to both sides.

To do this, the United States is now faced with two new opportunities and can also take advantage of Iran's decision to show “heroic flexibility” in its foreign policy. The first opportunity is for the United States to change its policies on the basic rights of the Iranian nation and prove that change in the forthcoming negotiations between the Islamic Republic and the P5+1 group of world powers [including the US, the UK, France, China, and Russia, plus Germany]. If taken, such a step can show the true goodwill of the United States to the other negotiating parties.

The second opportunity facing the United States will come through Washington’s due attention to the status and role of Iran in the region, especially in the ongoing developments in Syria. In this way, the road will be paved for the elimination of terrorist groups in Syria and the country will be helped in its march toward stability and peace. At the same time, it should be noted that Iran will never allow certain parties in the United States to exploit the new interactions with Iran in order to turn the table against the European countries or undermine sustainable relations that Iran has had with Russia and China.

Key Words: US, Sinuslike Behavior, Iran, Obama, Rouhami, Zarif, Direct Phone Call, United Nations General Assembly, Israel, Koleini

Source: Dana News Agency
Translated By: Iran Review.Org

More By Mohammad Farhad Koleini:

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*Value of Neighborhood Geopolitics and Convergence among Neighbors in Foreign Policy of Iran's 11th Administration:

*Power of Logic and Logic of Power in Rohani’s Diplomacy:

*Photo Credit: ISNA ((Iranian Student's News Agency)

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