Iran : A little riding lesson on mullah back
Following the mullahs’ negative response to the P5+1 appeasement offer, we should have seen strong reactions from the latter. Instead, IAEA has gone dumb, President Sarkozy who in the past had been an advocate of further sanctions is silent, as are the British, Germans and Russians. As usual, the Chinese make no public statements. However, The Americans are talkative : In the past 24 hours they have expressed their opinion several times in different and contradictory statements. No panic : it’s calculated.
You do not need to be a genius to guess that the six do not want to impose a new set of sanctions on Iran. We can understand their motivations : the Europeans have important commercial interests in Iran, mostly oil related, that could suffer from newer sanctions ; and Washington needs a strategic alliance with the mullahs in order to dominate the Islamist agitation in the Muslim and oil rich provinces of it’s opponents ; Caucasia in Russia and Xinjiang in China.
Faced to such weakness, Tehran moves up the stakes by refusing to give in. Something of an unbridled fury refusing to be mounted. The deal is now to remain on the saddle as long as needed in order to tame the beast. To achieve this feat, the Americans and Europeans need to avoid all that could make Iran angry, treating it with a small piece of sugar and then giving it a small whip to keep it in check.
Their taming scheme has led them to censor most of the mullahs’ negative response, but a few details that they unveil slowly not to give in to all the beast’s whims. They surround the animal : Europe by whispering to its ear, Russia by eying it afar, and U.S.A on the saddle manning the horse, giving it some free rein and then curbing it again.
The first gesture was to gee it up with the vote of the Banking Commission of the American Senate adopting a draft to sanction companies investing in fuel ventures in Iran. But nobody does invest in that sector in Iran. However, they sell refined fuel to Iran.
Following this soft clamp, Hillary Clinton let free of the bridle during her visit in Pakistan. Questioned on possible sanctions by CNN, she replied that Washington was working in concert with the IAEA, France, Russia and the others to show the international community’s unity : “We await Iranian clarifications. We say in unison : we proposed this solution, you gave your agreement in principle and now we are expecting that you go through with the process.”
The latest move from Washington was a little checking of the beast by horseman Robert Gibbs, the spokesman for the White House, warning Iran that they disposed of “limited time” to accept their offer.
We would prefer by far that they use the whip on the steed with more energy.
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