Thursday, June 24, 2010

Sanctions will not bring stability

During the past month we have been hearing alot about the new round of sanctions against the Islamic Republic of Iran initiated by a UN Security Council Resolution and followed by US and EU legislative bills to impose more specific and targeted sanctions. As for the Americans, this has been the general trend after the Islamic Revolution in 1979 and in most areas where the American government had imposed sanctions deals have been made through intermediaries. This had only increased the prices and the risks involved, otherwise you could order whatever you needed in Iran and obtain it ultimately via an intermediary corporate sector in a neighboring country. The new round of sanctions might sound harsher than before and might create more difficult circumstances for the private sector  striving to work in very difficult economic circumstances in Iran. 

I have spoken about sanctions here before and I have mentioned that even though I oppose the current policies of the Ahmadinejad era and believe that their national and international policies deserve serious criticism, but I also firmly believe that sanctions will not help to reduce tensions and to bring more stability and security in the region. The Canadian Prime Minister  Stephen Harper , in response to a question on the effects these sanctions will have on the Iranian people responded today by saying" Instead, these targeted measures are meant to send a strong signal to Iran that the international community expects Iran to meet its international nuclear obligations. They send a message to all states -particularly those with nuclear aspirations -that international standards cannot be flouted without consequences." 

Yet on the contrary as long as countries like Israel continue with their non compliance to the IAEA resolutions and have not reported their nuclear activities, this remains as a double standard policy that  the international community faces now for decades.
The incompetence of international multilateral agreements in dealing with Israel in many respects has sent a very strong signal that international standards can be flouted by certain states, whenever they wish, under the tacit support of certain superpowers.

Read more: Nor will these sanctions make the Middle East more secure. In fact there seems to be a deliberate emphasis on increasing tensions and channelizing public opinion to think that Iran may be actually on the road to, not only building a nuclear bomb, for many countries have done so without actually employing it ( with the exception of the US ).  But,  there is a persistent propaganda effort to implicate that Iran will employ the imaginary bomb, one imaginary day in the infinite future. The deployment of naval ships to the Persian Gulf  and the new spy satellite Israel has launched do not imply a sense of security for a region, already torn apart  by at least four wars during the past three decades.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Ceremonies and Rifts

The local media,last week. were obsessed by the stream of accounts,analysis and condemnation flowing after the humiliating actions of a small group of hooligans, apparently preplanned ,to prevent Seyed Hassan Khomeini ( the grandson of Imam) from delivering his speech on the occasion of  the twenty first anniversary of the demise of Imam.  These hooligans freely jeered and sneered at Seyed Hassan under the guise of supporting the Supreme Leader in front of millions of viewers, national and international dignitaries present .

Extremist supporters of Ahmadinejad have been very angry at Seyed Hassan for his independent stance on recent events and for his taking part in the marriage ceremony of the son of Dr. Mohsen Mirdamadi, a reformist leader who has been detained and convicted his progressive thoughts and for leading the Islamic Participation Front.  A photo from that ceremony later emerged in which Seyed Hassan and his brother sat around a table with Mir Hossein Mousavi , Mehdi Karroubi , Seyed Mohammad Khatami , Seyed Mohammad Mousavi Khoeiniha and Seyed Mohammad Mousavi Bojnordi and other reformist diginitaries including many political prisoners who were out on bail.

Since the tragic events of last Friday many religious leaders and political personalities from various political tendencies have condemned those actions and asked judicial authorities to take action. No one has supported this decadent behavior, but some sympathizers of Ahmadinejad  have attempted to justify this action.
This is another sign, in the long string of events in recent years, that indicates a serious rift and distancing  with the original line and thought of Imam Khomeini, now led by a minority that wills to cling to power by any means possible.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

The Standards of Imam Khomeini

Monday's assault of the Israel Defense Forces on the flotilla of humanitarian aid which was heading to the besieged Gaza Strip from Turkey left at least 16 dead and many others wounded. This terrible event which Israel still attempts to downplay and to somehow justify has shocked the world. This tragedy  could instigate a positive development, only  if it leads to a lifting of the blockade which is suffocating the people of Gaza and if it leads to the awakening of the international community. 

Along with members of the Tehran City Council and the Mayor of Tehran we payed a visit to the Shrine of Imam Khomeini on the twenty first anniversary of his demise. The grandson of Imam, Hojj. Hassan Khomeini was also present.  There is a general feeling among many from our generation, who remember the charismatic and balanced personality of Imam and recall the roadmap that he drew for the Revolution, that some of what he hoped the Islamic Republic would embody has not actualized.  Great strides had  been taken for Iran following the Revolution, but  while enough had not been done, many now admit that the events of  last year  have compromised the moral and spiritual integrity of the Islamic Revolution. There has been a surge of warnings among Reformist leaders and politicians and in the few Reformist newspapers concerning a gradual deviation from the objectives of the Revolution and the ethical standards of Imam.

During the past 5 years some pro Ahmadinejad officials have questioned Imam's belief in democracy and have given the impression that he did not believe in the right of the people to determine their destiny.  Certain clerical figures , Hojj Mesbah Yazdi the most renown among them, have openly propagated a distorted image of Imam's thoughts and actions. They infer that Imam did not believe in the intrinsic right of people to decide for their future.  They insist that the rule of God is in contradiction with the rule of the people. Other decisions in open contradiction with the policies emphasized and decreed by Imam have also surfaced, military forces involved in politics, use of religious beliefs for legitimzing certain  actions, seeing women as second class citizens,  and many other issues. Even the family of Imam and many of the close friends of Imam have been targeted and isolated for criticizing current trends. They have targeted Imam's grandsons for visiting Green political prisoners released on bail. 
The question which lingers in our minds is how much does this country now meet the sublime spiritual , political and economic standards Imam Khomeini set for the Islamic Republic three decades ago? Are we moving towards or away from his dream?