Unwarranted optimism by the West
by Mahmoud Hakamian
Blind optimistic can be extremely damaging when it prompts one to disregard ground realities. That is exactly what the situation is concerning the mullahs in Iran and the West, with the former sticking to its old, nefarious agenda and the latter seeing improvement and reform where none exists. The West including US President Barrack Obama appears to be reading too much into the sham election of so-called moderate President Hassan Rouhani and the subsequent opening of nuclear talks. These developments have been viewed as reasons for optimism, to justify a soft approach towards the Iranian regime, when in reality, mullahs regime in Iran remains the enemy of global peace as it was 36 years ago when the fundamentalist Islamic Republic was established.
What the West is failing to understand is that the only reason why the Rouhani administration is not as high on anti-West rhetoric and warmongering as its predecessor is because Iran is desperate to find a way out of US-led sanctions. What is being viewed as change in thinking and behavior is in fact change in tactics. The underlying ideology and objectives remain unchanged.
Rouhani is no peace-loving dove as his track record clearly demonstrates. While serving as the chief nuclear negotiator with European powers in 2004, he had told the Supreme Cultural Revolution Council that Iran had managed to keep talks and nuclear development going simultaneously. The talks were supposed to “create a calm environment” and do nothing more. Argentinian Prosecutor, Alberto Nisman, who was found dead at his residence under suspicious circumstances, was leading the investigations into Iranian regime’s involvement in 1994 bombing of Argentine-Israeli Mutual Association. According to his investigation, Rouhani was a member of the special intelligence committee responsible for overseeing foreign terrorist activities such as the AIMI bombing.
Despite all this, Western lawmakers seem to be heavily invested in nuclear talks with Mullahs in Iran and are willing to take it on its word. The deceptive, duplicitous strategy that has always been employed by Tehran is being treated as a breakthrough of sorts. The point is proved beyond doubt if Iran’s lack of cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency is given due attention and importance. In November, IAEA head Yukiya Amano said, “Iran has not provided any explanations that enable the Agency to clarify the outstanding practical measures, nor has it proposed any new practical measures in the next step of the Framework for Cooperation, despite several requests from the Agency.” Add to this, the report co-authored by the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), which shed light on the activity at the Parchin military base, which has remained off limits for IAEA despite several requests seeking access. Surely, the lack of progress in the nuclear talks owing to Iran’s refusal to compromise and behave reasonably would’ve had a sobering effect on optimists who erroneously thought that they were in the company of a reformed, responsible global actor.
The international community is erring in treating mullah’s regime in Iran as a legitimate actor. The regime is inherently regressive and oppressive, immune to any sort of meaningful reform. NCRI president-elect Mrs Maryam Rajavi has warned that by embracing Iran’s mullahs as allies in the war against ISIS, the West would be handing Iran “a destructive weapon that is a hundred times more lethal than a nuclear weapon”. It is critical to focus efforts on curbing the regime’s meddling in other countries and keep it from creating a nuclear weapon. The West cannot allow itself to be deceived by delaying tactics and initiatives undertaken under economic duress. A theocratic regime that oppresses its people and sponsors terrorism abroad can never be trusted.
Mahmoud Hakamian is member of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI)