Opinion: War preparations and repression in Iran

2009/11/05

Published in “Die Welt” on November 5, 2009, 15:19 Uhr
http://debatte.welt.de/kommentare/167776/kriegsvorbereitung+und+repression+im+iran

by Richard Herzinger
Welt_091105
The Islamic Republic, in the tried and tested manner, is using the pseudo-talks with the West to gain time for further unhindered work on the development of nuclear technology and long-distance missiles.

And just in the very week when Angela Merkel in a speech at the Congress and Senate in Washington found harsh words for Iran, the Israeli army arrested a cargo ship fully laden with Iranian weapons for Hamas and Hizbollah – the ship is owned by a German shipping company.

However, this was not the only evidence this week for the Islamic Republic’s mass armament of their proxy war troups, and it highlights the fact that the allegedly “new” supposed “strategy” of engaging the Iranian regime by endless offers of dialogue is not only a dangerous illusion, but objectively facilitates Tehran’s aggressive maneuvers. “Obama, Obama – with them or with us!” was the unerring slogan chanted by that brave handful of demonstrators who on Wednesday dared to take to the streets in protest against the terroristic dictatorship of Khamenei and Ahmadinejad, before getting brutaly beaten or abducted by the torturing guards of the regime.

Adamant policy of obstruction
The US government, as a result of their policy of “no longer dictating” other nations “their path”, has in fact suspended any active human rights policy – in Iran’s case, this was done in the hope of propitiating the oppressors in favor of the negotiations about the core issue of Iran’s hegemonic plans in the Near East: the nuclear program. As a matter of fact though, the Islamic Republic is, in the tried and tested manner, using the pseudo-talks with the West to gain time for further unhindered work on the development of nuclear technology and long-distance missiles. In case the agreement, that until now was systematically delayed and diluted by Tehran, would actually be achieved, according to which parts of Iran’s enriched uranium should be further processed in Russia, the only way the Iranian leadership will interpret it is that the West officially approves of a continued operation of the Iranian nuclear industry.

The weapons that were confiscated by Israel should make it clear to everybody: The main obstacle for peace talks in Palestine is not the dispute between the Israeli government and the Fatah-leaders in the West Bank over settlements and demarcations. It is the undeviating policy of obstruction pursued by Iran and its ally Syria, who with the help of Hamas and Hisbollah are preparing the next armed assault on the Jewish state. Thus, a direct military confrontation of Israel and Iran is becoming more and more likely. And who wants to imagine the consequences, should the armament supplies smuggled to Gaza and Lebanon one day contain nuclear material as well? If the West is indeed serious about foiling Iran’s plans, they must finally bring themselves to responding with more drastic reactions.

Minimum preconditions for continuing relations with Tehran

Atomar negotiations that do not include the call for a halt of uranium enrichment will only play into the hands of Tehran and its ambitions. Extensive, strict sanctions, and a consistent isolation of the Iranian regime on the international stage, including the freezing of bank accounts and immigration bans for Iranian officials, are essential.

The crimes committed by the regime against peaceful Iranian opposition members have to be taken to the UN Security Council and the UN General Assembly. It must be made clear to Russia and China that their continuing support of Iran would significantly damage their relations with the Western world. A minimal condition for further economic and political ties with Tehran must be: Iran must stop rearming its allies in preparation for a proxy war against Israel, and terminate nuclear enrichment and missile testing.

This is, of course, not easy to implement and maintain. However, the jeopardy emerging from the apocalyptic leaders in Tehran is by far a greater threat for peace not only in the Near East, but as well for peace world wide. And US President Barack Obama (so far) has the necessary international moral reputation that is required for leading the battle against this eminent threat.

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