There has been a lot of diplomatic shuffling this week concerning the nuclear issue. Early this week the Advisor to the Supreme Leader made a remark on the 5+1 nuclear incentive package indicating that he believed Iran could benefit by taking a favorable approach to the new package. Manoucher Mottaki Foreign Minister also spoke in a positive tone in different occasions until Fareed Zakaria asked him on a CNN show whether this was a genuine change in direction or was it only a game played to give Iran more leverage in the negotiation table? Although the Government Spokesman and later the President who is now in Malaysia, had a different approach on the matter as usual. There is a general consensus now that Iran should cleverly avert any confrontation pursued by the radical neoconservatives and the Zionist lobby. A reformist newspaper published an interview with a former diplomat who works closely with President Khatami, who indicated that major foreign affair strategies have always been determined by the Leader and all responsible powers should follow his guidelines on the matter.
I have mentioned my belief in the need for continuing negotiation on all sides to find solutions which would enable all sides to preserve their face and retain their national interests. There has been a rational proposal to include Iran in the 5+1 negotiation group, thereby Iran would be involved in direct negotiations, without putting us in the predicament of facing the US in a bilateral negotiation which is still considered too risky by principalist forces in Iran.
The proposal for establishing an office for American Interests Section and Consulate was welcomed by both political factions and some government officials while most official reactions indicated skepticism on the possibility of this plan. The reality is that many people believe that Americans need more than ever to understand the realities of Islamic Iran today. The influx of journalists , academicians and athletes has apparently not been sufficient to convey the spirit of the nation to American politicians some of who seem to be increasingly obsessed with an Islamic Iran which stands defiant in face of the injustices of the global world disorder.
In a different, but closely related, development Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has told US President George W Bush that Moscow will not accept plans for America to place part of its controversial missile defence shield in Lithuania. The two leaders talked about the issue on the sidelines of the G8 summit in Japan. Russia has been firmly opposed to US plans to base facilities for its missile defence shield in Poland and the Czech Republic. This has boosted Iran's strategic standing in the region and indicates that certain genuine alliances with shared interest issues have been formed. These alliances could shift the balance and ensure continued stability and peace for Iran and eventually for the war and terrorist stricken countries of Iraq and Afghanistan.