IRANIAN POLICY IN HISTORICAL CONTEXT: Internal and external pressure is mounting on the Iranian government to change current policies that are perceived to be inciting regional instability. The origins of the policy fight stem from the early days of the revolution, primarily from the recognize star of that revolution, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. Khomeini’s fascist ideology was tempered by his political ambiguity. It is said that he agreed with whomever he was meeting with at the time affording him a great many allies, meanwhile he and his political advisor Ayatollah Beheshti conspired to strip their naïve and unknowing opponents of power. These artificial allegiances and purges set the Iranian stage for continue political decay, constantly weakening the government. This process will continue until the regime finds itself a victim to an opposing force capable of organizing a counterbalance to the Iranian government’s petroleum wealth.

PURGE THE MODERATES, PROMOTE THE FASCISTS: The Iranian government consistently divides itself and each division is analogous in many ways to nuclear half-life. Unfortunately, the Iranian government’s half-life is not observed as decay in the West but as a rebirth to something stronger and more appealing. This is wishful thinking at best. Rafsanjani’s pragmatism, Khatami’s reformism and now Ahmadinejad’s populism, are all permutations of purges. History however shows that totalitarian regimes oust their moderates; the more moderate the opponent, the more violently they oust them. The reigns of power in the hands of fascists propagates elites, not moderates. The evidence of this abounds internally where fascists reign supreme. Externally however, international pressure has made the Iranian government blink (SEE IRAN’S FOREIGN POLICY REACTION.)

IRAN’S DOMESTIC POLICY REACTION: Although citizenry groups are demonstrating against the Iranian government, signs of an ever widening official split abound. The government is shedding its proverbial snake skin in the form of purging diplomats and University professors. After a shakeup in management at The University of Tehran and a series of staff purges there, we see Political Science Professors there bolstering the official line of the Iranian government. The stench of intimidation is so thick in the air at Tehran University that the statements of these professors may in fact indicate the opposite of what they say is more realistic.

IRAN’S FOREIGN POLICY REACTION: Privatization of state institutions is an appeal to the hopes of Western Capitalists who are willing to sacrifice long term returns for short term profit potential. Khamenei’s decree to privatize will divide the international community, half of whom have faith in the more moderate Iranian voices, and the other half who put these most recent events into an historical context. Through the lens of history, moderate Iranian voices may sound appealing but these are the individuals who will fall victim to future purges. While this decree to privatize has come from Khamenei himself, it only serves to define his internal enemies, not establish a path toward moderation.

GLOBAL REACTION TO THE IRANIAN NUCLEAR CRISIS: Iran currently plays a critical role in the petroleum trade and this fact has much to do with the global response to Iran’s nuclear ambitions. Instability in Iran directly translates into instability of energy markets. The nuclear crisis therefore has prompted timid responses from the captains of industrialized nations, precisely because those same nations depend on the energy markets Iran wields influence over. International reaction over the next year or so depends as much on Iraqi petroleum production as any other factor. As Iraq’s energy sector boots up, Iran’s influence over energy markets will lessen.

IRANIAN DISSIDENT DISCONTENT OVER INTERNATIONAL TIMIDITY: Career Iranian oppositionists are appalled at the willful delay of resolution these latest nuclear negotiations represent. Most of their attention and frustration appears to target the US, particularly the Bush Administration, for either not embracing regime change as a policy or fully engaging rapprochement with the Iranian regime. Most of these opinions over emphasize the power of the United States to achieve US interests which is primarily to stabilize the Iran crisis. While the US is fully capable of applying enough unilateral pressure to instigate regime change in Iran, the price tag in terms of instability for doing so is too high, for the moment at least. While these dissidents have much to say to American officials, it is these dissidents who wield more influence over stability, before, during and after any regime change scenario. It is they who need to demonstrate the plausibility of stability during any transition in Iran. They must do this in order to convince American officials to support their plan. Anything short of delivering their own convincing and feasible plan to the international community, including US officials, guarantees the continuation of what they perceive to be a frustrating and ambiguous US policy.

THE AMERICAN AND IRAQI INFLUENCE ON THE IRANIAN NUCLEAR CRISIS: Although the situation in Iraq remains turbulent, the US has guaranteed political influence there for the foreseeable future. Among other ambitions, the US will leverage its influence to foster global energy stability. That said, Iran may find itself facing:

reduced influence over energy markets
a far tougher and confident international community
a choice between peacefully giving up its destabilizing policies or face increased political pressure from the international community

CONCLUSION: Conflict between the West and Iran is inevitable. Iranian dissidents will play a major role in the conflict but their role must be in concert with the roles of other forces or they will be sidelined. Right now, time is on the side of West for two reasons. Firstly, Iraq will increasingly offset Iran in terms of energy market influence and second, the Iranian government from its inception exists in a state of constant decay. American officials should begin to consider the American role there to win the peace when Iran’s government finally self implodes.

International Diplomatics

U.S. Ambassador John R. Bolton
Wrong approach to Middle East – July 06, 2006
"The United States is of the firm view that a prerequisite for ending this conflict is that the governments of Syria and Iran end their role as state sponsors of terror and unequivocally condemn the actions of Hamas, including this kidnapping."

Russian President Vladimir Putin
Putin favors Iran nuclear problem returning to IAEA – July, 06, 2006
"I think it [the transfer back to the IAEA] is possible if Iran positively responds to the incentives,"
Iran won't bend July 05, 2006
"We would really like our Iranian partners to accept the proposals,"

Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Jiang Yu
Iran won't bend July 05, 2006
Beijing hopes Iran will "respond to the package at an early date."

British Prime Minister Tony Blair
UK urges quick response from Iran over N-offer – July 04, 2006
Blair said: "I would like a response as soon as possible because I don't really see what more there is to talk about."

German Defense Minister Franz Josef Jung's
Washington rejects a German compromise on Iran – July 06, 2006
"One cannot forbid Iran from doing what other countries in the world are doing in accordance with international law. The key point is whether a step toward nuclear weapons is taken. This cannot happen."

European Union Foreign and Security Policy Chief Javier Solana
Solana-Larijani Meeting Postponed – July 05, 2006
“I had made clear to the Iranians and Dr Larijani that we want to proceed rapidly to examine together the ideas I put to him early last month,” said Solana.

Opponents, Dissidents and Detractors

Reza Pahlavi, the son of the toppled shah of Iran
Son of toppled Shah sees Iran foot dragging – June 07, 2006
The opposition represents "the most logical, least costly and most direct" means for peaceful regime change, he said.

Maryam Rajavi, leader of the National Council of Resistance of Iran
Exiled Iranian opponent says West appeasing Iran – July 05, 2006
"The further they move forward, the more concessions the West is making," Rajavi told a news conference at the European Parliament in Strasbourg. "So incentive measures are just precipitating a monumental disaster."

Alireza Jafarzadeh, founder of Strategic Policy Consulting, Inc
Bush Critics Want Tougher U.S. Approach to Iran – June 21, 2006
"Direct talks with Iran and offering a package of incentives is a bad idea and would only be interpreted as a sign of weakness by Tehran,"

Mohsen Sazegara, Iranian political activist who held several high ranking positions during the early years of the Islamic Revolution,
"Ever since then most of the smuggled goods enters and exists ports and border posts created by the revolutionary guards which don't even appear in official maps," Mohsen Sazegara, an economist and founder of the Pasdaran
Iran Death Judge Lands U.N. Seat On Human Rights – June 22, 2006
A friend of Mr. Ganji's, Mohsen Sazegara yesterday compared the Mullah's decision to send Mr. Mortazavi to Geneva to Germany in 1944 sending the notorious mass murderer Adolf Eichman to a human rights parley. "Most of the Iranians evaluate this as a show of power from Supreme leader Ayatollah Khamenei. Khamenei is saying, 'Okay, I can arrest anyone I want and the world cannot do anything," he said.

Trita Parsi, president of the National Iranian American Council and author of "Treacherous Triangle: The Secret Dealings of Iran, Israel and the United States
Iran uses Shiite bonds to position itself in Lebanon, Hezbollah uses Iranian funds to build militia and provide services to needy – July 02, 2006
"The biggest mistake the West has done in regards to Iran," Parsi said, "is to underestimate Iran's Machiavellian capabilities."

Vahid Abedini of the university's Islamic Student Assn.

Some See Iran's Faculty Exodus as a New Purge - Dozens of professors at Tehran University have been forced to retire, raising fears that a new clampdown on campuses is underway. – June 28, 2006
"We believe the forced retirements are part of a political move by the government to remove independent-minded lecturers and replace them with those they can lean on,"

Iranian Officials

Ayatollah Khamenei, Supreme Leader of Iran
Iran seeks to push Privatization – July 04, 2006
'By implementing the plan, the government will shift from direct ownership of major companies to supervising and guiding different economic sectors to meet the terms of the World Trade Organisation (WTO),' Khamenei's decree read. 'Ceding 80 per cent of shares will bring about economic development, social justice and an end to poverty.'

Iranian oil minister, Kazem Vaziri Hamaneh
Iranians, unlike Americans, bid goodbye to cheap petrol – July 04, 2006
“As there is nothing provided for petrol imports in the second half of this [Iranian] year’s budget ... the imports will naturally stop and petrol will be rationed,” he said.

Iranian President Ahmadinejad
Ahmadinejad, Chavez: Anti-U.S. Buddies – July 03, 2006
"They think the countries and nations of the world must be their slaves. I know how the oppressed people of Africa and Latin America have suffered," Ahmadinejad said.

Iran's chief nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani
Iran delays nuke talks with EU, new date set – July 05, 2006
Larijani said his decision to delay the meeting with Solana was linked to "developments in the European Parliament," the diplomat said, referring to the presence of Iranian opposition leader Maryam Rajavi, president-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, at the European Parliament in Strasbourg on Wednesday.

Hashem Rafsanjani, Former Iranian President
Ground paved for true nuclear talks: Rafsanjani – June 24, 2006
Emphasizing that trust is not built in a chaotic atmosphere of accusations and threats, Rafsanjani said, "There is now a more appropriate atmosphere for reaching consensus on the matter, and I hope relying on competent management and a responsible humane international approach we would manage to solve this problem." He added, "Iran's nuclear program is now being discussed at most sensitive circles in the world, and we had better keep in mind that there is always an easy way to untie a Gordonian Knot."

Aliakbar Rezaei, a senior diplomat
Iran-Iraq war memories fuel Tehran vision – June 29, 2006
All the same, Iran's leaders were grateful to the Bush administration for ridding them of Saddam, said Aliakbar Rezaei, a senior diplomat, with an ironic smile. "We're very thankful to the Americans. They paved the way for us in Iraq and Afghanistan. In Lebanon, too - our influence has increased due to the Syrians leaving. They've pushed up the oil price. Thank you!

A top Revolutionary Guards commander, Gen. Mohammad Dehghani
Israel Fears High Price for U.S. Strike on Iran – July 05, 2006
"We have announced that wherever [in Iran] America does make any mischief, the first place we target will be Israel," he said.

Davoud Hermidas Bavand, professor of international law at Tehran's Supreme National Defense University
Ayatollah's Moves Hint Iran Wants To Engage, Supreme Leader Sets Course for WTO Membership July 05, 2006
"As far as bringing Iran out of isolation and joining with international organizations, it's a positive step,"

Nasser Hadian-Jazy, a professor of political science at Tehran University
Popularity of Iran’s President Soaring – June 25, 2006
"He’s more popular now than a year ago. He’s on the rise". "I guess he has a 70% approval rating right now. He portrays himself as a simple man doing an honest job. He’s comfortable communicating with ordinary people," he said.

Nasser Hadian-Jazy, politics professor at Tehran University
Iran-Iraq war memories fuel Tehran vision – June 29, 2006
"Iran wants stability and security in Iraq, there's a consensus on that," said Nasser Hadian-Jazy, a politics professor at Tehran university. "It wants to protect the Shia shrines, maintain the borders. It wants to ensure that Iraqi territory is not used to make attacks on Iran." To maintain its advantage, Tehran also wanted a government in Baghdad that was neither too weak nor too strong, he said, an assessment echoed by western diplomats.

Analysts, Pundits, Opinions and Polls

Phil Flynn, an analyst at Alaron Trading Corp
OIL FUTURES: Nymex Crude Tops $74; Gasoline Resumes Rally – July 05, 2006
"It just reminds us that the risk to handle oil from Point A to Point B has gone up,"

Bill Samii, follows Iranian affairs for U.S.-funded Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty
Ayatollah's Moves Hint Iran Wants To Engage, Supreme Leader Sets Course for WTO Membership July 05, 2006
"Ahmadinejad and his cohorts play up the sort of appeal to the Third World and the Non-Aligned Movement on the nuclear issue, and of course their background and their experience in the war with Iraq teaches them you want to be as self-sufficient as possible," Samii said. "But the leadership and people in responsibility know you can't go it alone. You can't walk the talk."

Pew director Andrew Kohut
Bush’s band of foreign friends getting smaller – July 05, 2006
‘‘Clearly the U.S. presence in Iraq is a drag on the image of the United States. It is cited more often than the current Iranian government as a threat to regional stability and world peace by many people in these countries,’’

Spengler, Asia Times analyst
Military destiny and madness in Iran – June 06, 2006
That is why I do not expect a deal with Iran, despite the best intentions of the diplomats, and their terrible knowledge of what lies ahead should the West use force against Iran's nuclear capabilities. What the West euphemistically calls a "war on terror" is, in fact, a religious war. It must be fought like the Thirty Years' War. What the West requires, sadly, is not Condoleezza Rice, but a Cardinal Richelieu.





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