Wrong Strategy

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Dr. Heshmatollah Falahatpisheh

Member of National Security and Foreign Policy Committee of the Majlis

After Barack Obama’s inauguration, the White House issued its first statement the main points of which said the new US president will engage in direct talks on the basis of direct diplomacy with Iran without any preconditions.

The mere fact that Obama would hold talks with Iran on the basis of diplomacy can be regarded a positive step by the United States to de-escalate tension with Iran. This could also serve as the first step towards detente. However, the recent statement by the White House shows that this is the same old scheme based on preconditions.

In fact it should be said that if the strategy of the new US president is really what has been published in this statement, Obama is pursuing the wrong strategy of his predecessors with regard to Iran and nothing else.

Talks without any preconditions has specific components. The US administration which cut off diplomatic ties with Iran in 1979 should announce it is ready for talks and détente with Iran and this issue would be put on the agenda at various expert levels. If any preconditions are supposed to be set for starting Iran-US talks, it is the Islamic Republic of Iran that should set preconditions because the Americans adopted numerous anti-Iran laws such as the sanctions against Iran and allocation of budgets to infiltrate into Iran.

These laws in the United Stats are the factors preventing détente with Iran and solutions must be sought to remove this obstacle in the way of holding unconditional talks is claimed by the new US administration.

Making remarks such as “if Iran continues its troubling behavior,  we would lead efforts to further Iranian economic and political isolation” shows that the new US administration will continue its previous trend in its foreign policy and the feeling of lack of confidence towards Iran is almost perceivable among American statesmen.

If the nuclear issue is their yardstick for diagnosing Iran’s troubling behavior, the peaceful nature of Tehran’s nuclear program has been verified by the International Atomic Energy Agency. If the criterion for diagnosing troubling behavior is certain domestic American circles, many US behaviors in the world can be termed troubling.

Mentioning such a general issue in the first statement of the White House after the coming to office of Obama administration would not only fail to do any good but also hold Iran-US relations in the previous atmosphere.


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