AFGHANISTAN : IRAN SENDS LARIJANI TO SOUND OUT THE AMERICANS
© IRAN-RESIST.ORG – March 19 2009 | For a long time Tehran maintained some suspense regarding its participation to the next international conference on Afghanistan. Right after it mentioned its predispositions to study the American arguments that would justify its presence, through Ali Larijani, the president of the Assembly ; it just recalled serious reticence because of some American policies that were very disappointing in Afghanistan. This is a new approach that is openly anti-American and that deserves a detailed analysis.
The context | After his election, Obama held his hand to the mullahs due to some imperious necessity that was already in force under Bush. The United States must necessarily manage to transform the mullahs into submissive allies in order to open up Central Asia and take away the countries that are rich in hydrocarbons from the hold of the neighboring powers, Russia and China. Such change will be a geostrategic, military and economic jackpot.
This project doesn’t appear suitable to the mullahs because they would lose their complete grip on Iranian wealth and also their nuisance ability against Israel, a nuisance that is their insurance policy. To obtain it, they must avoid every compromise or dialogue and on the contrary multiply provocations.
The conference | In order to end such escape and attract the Iranian officials to the negotiation table, Washington had the ingenuous idea to pretext the opportunity of their presence at an international conference on Afghanistan’s security in the honor of the mullahs’ attachment to the regional stability !
Aware of the outcome of this negotiation, they will have to put an end to their provocations to accept compromises. The mullahs searched credible pretexts to avoid going there.
The invitation | Firstly they demanded an official invitation from Washington, an ambitious pretext that was aiming at the same time to reverse the roles and make Iran acknowledged in the role of an essential ally instead of a submissive partner. In order to not issue an invitation that would be incompatible with its objectives, Washington mentioned an invitation from the guest country, Netherlands, or even an invitation to the countries that are concerned by the war in Afghanistan such as Pakistan and of course Afghanistan itself ! None of them managed to convince the mullahs. Washington then tried a Turkish mediation with at the end of it all an important gas contract, Tehran also refused because the stakes are the future of the regime.
Washington retaliated with sanctions : it pushed the Arab allies to isolate Iran. It even renewed for a year the oil sanctions against Iran and implied indirectly that it could use again threats of military strikes against Iran.
Reticence | At that moment, Iran was still mentioning its argument of official invitation. To insist on such demand, it developed a plan : it announced “its agreement to participate in the conference on Afghanistan” but not to another “conference that was planned on the fringe of the G8 summit in Italy”. It also specified that such agreement was “an answer to the official invitation of Italy”, the present president of the G8. However the diffusion of the news -with subliminal message- failed and the explicative part was suppressed accidentally in the transcription of the press agencies which caused backtrack and a pitiful denial.
This misfortune revealed that this ambitious choice was basically bad because it was too imprecise regarding the regime’s objectives. There was some exploit will that overrode the pretexts search. Tehran focused on such search and discovered a perfect pretext that could help it to obtain the invitation it expects. The pretext was exposed to the press by Ali Larijani.
New approach | Ali Larijani, the president of the Islamic Parliament, criticized the eventuality raised by the American president to engage discussions with the Taliban. According to Larijani, Taliban are terrorists and such policy of criteria manipulation reveals a serious lack of maturity that is incompatible with the concern of the region’s stability. He also qualified it as“disappointing” because it is “counter to the interests of Afghan people”. Concerned by what is equitable for the Afghans and the region, he announced the reticence of the regime to get involved beside the United States “on such wrong way”. However he added that the regime “needed more time to examine the behavior” of the Americans, what offers a shift possibility at a date to Tehran’s liking.
In this declaration, the content is important but also the name and the rank of the author. Larijani is the spokesperson of the Assembly, thus he speaks as if he was the voice of the people, a voice that the government may listen to. But Larijani is also a permanent member of the Expediency Discernment Council of the Regime (EDC), the true assembly that decides of all the affairs of the State. However he felt into disgrace after his failed attempt of creeping coup against the clan of Rafsanjani, the present ruler of the regime. Since this disgrace, he became the whipping boy of Rafsanjani who uses him as the forced spokesperson to deliver the disagreeable messages of the regime. His implication reminds the regime’s doubts about the efficiency of the new approach regarding Afghanistan. Tehran sounds out the American adversary before it makes official its position.
Survey | If instead of mentioning the Taliban, Washington would officially invite Tehran, the regime would participate in the conference or else, an official government would use the pretext of such American dialogue with the Taliban to avoid the conference and a face-to-face with the Americans.
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