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Unclenched Fists; Iron Hands

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Ebrahim Mottaqi

President Barack Obama gave his first formal interview to Al-Arabiya satellite network. In response to the TV reporter’s last question about Iran, Obama said “if countries like Iran are willing to unclench their fists they will find an extended hand from us.”

Although this statement can be taken as a positive sign in Iran-US relations under President Obama, but clenched fists can be unclenched and enjoy necessary movement only under conditions that they possess iron power. Only iron hands can play a role in the domain of international politics. Clenched fists always create ambiguity in foreign policy and in understanding other players.

There have always been manifestations of misconception in Iran-US relations as well as in Iran’s foreign relations. The reason can be seen in the psychological warfare and extensive propaganda operations against Iran’s foreign policy. Clenched fist is regarded a type of defense mechanism in political domain and in foreign policy. Iran over long years has tried to develop a cooperative prototype in coping with the West. However, the political realities and foreign policy procedures in the Western countries were shaped in a way that prevented such interaction.

Naturally, unclenched fist would require a new order provided it is coupled with accommodating patterns. Iran’s political experience and foreign policy shows that up to now, whenever it proceeded with regulating the equation of diplomatic behavior it suffered from a “strategic shock and bewilderment”. Shock and bewilderment can be of military, diplomatic or psychological warfare nature.  

From America’s point of view, the political power of the Middle East countries has always been based on violence and bullying. This has created a type of pessimistic and at the same time offensive attitude in dealing with these countries. What the Americans have employed in their literature under “constructive destruction”, “rouge states” and “regime change” could be considered a symbol of contradiction. The Americans have never refrained from using words founded on hatred and accusation. It is natural for hands to remain closed and fists clenched against prototypes of offensive behavior. The said patterns can be regarded kind of reaction under unequal conditions. For the hands to be extended or for behavioral patterns to change would require change in mutual action paradigms in American foreign policy. In other words, the US-Iran interaction has so far been based on bickering and aggression. America’s superiority seeking mentality has produced and manifested extensive waves of confrontation in the framework of “decisive literature.” This has placed the Middle East countries as well as Iran’s foreign policy in a position of reaction. Reaction is considered a natural action to safeguard political entity of the nations. Under conditions that Western orientation has been turned into an offensive political culture and any resistance would provoke preemptive war, it is just natural to see clenched fists not only in Iran but in all its surroundings.

Therefore, the first condition for unclenching clenched hands is friendly initiatives. Newton’s third law puts emphasis on the point that any action begets a reaction. As a result, when Washington’s actions are offensive the reaction would be resistance. In order to balance the climate of resistance, the Americans should extend their accommodating hands based on tangible initiatives and peaceful trends of action vis-à-vis Iran and other countries.   

In the absence of cooperative initiatives and without effective participation in the foreign policy domain it would not be possible to go through the critical conditions. Therefore, these fists will remain clenched as long as the US fails to benefit from its cooperative initiatives in reducing executive and operational threats against Iran. Without specific accommodating initiatives a change in the behavioral paradigms of Iran or any other country subject to aggression would be impossible. Obviously, extended hands need to enjoy effective iron strength as well.

Action in foreign policy behavior as well as multilateral diplomatic-strategic measures can reconstruct the climate for cooperation and participation. Generally, Iran has managed to develop the scope of its power and action in certain regions. If Obama is really serious about negotiations and if he really seeks peace and cooperation, obviously he needs to change his offensive behavioral paradigm.

Under these circumstances, Obama must be asked what would be his response to threats such as military option and regime change in the situation of reconstructing cooperative relations!

Source: http://www.roozna.com/

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