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Iran : Obama goes one more round

During the last weeks without going as far as refusing the American offer of a uranium stock exchange for Franco-Russian fuel rods, Tehran has questioned every single clause of the agreement : the quantity of uranium to be exchanged, the supplying countries and even the exchange solutions. Washington having conceived this agreement in order to reach an entente with Tehran continues to pretend that Tehran has not rejected its plan de facto.

“Time is starting to run out on the diplomatic approach” deplored Obama during a meeting with Medvedev on the sideline of the Asian Pacific Forum in Singapore.

“Unfortunately, until now at least, Iran does not seem to be able to accept an agreement that in general opinion constitutes a creative and constructive approach,” added the American President.

Words having their importance, Washington’s recent rhetoric has been absent of any negative terms to qualify Tehran’s attitude. However, Tehran has not only refused the exchanged quantity, the suppliers and even the exchange solutions, but it also is imposing conditions upon its Security Council interlocutors in order to consider the offer. Meanwhile, Tehran has not stopped provoking the Americans in the hope of engaging them into a new conflict that would make them abandon the process in fear of a new regional conflict. Tehran’s attitude is beyond negative, it’s simply an active refusal of any appeasement.

Yesterday, by refusing to acknowledge this attitude, Obama once again ignored Tehran’s provocations. The flip side of this dodging strategy is Washington’s impossibility of adopting a sanctions policy towards Tehran. However, Washington’s attitude is not a defeatist one, for it does not wish to impose harsh sanctions on Tehran which would jeopardize its will for a strategic entente with the Mullahs. Washington also estimates that considering Iran’s poor economic situation it does not impose any further sanctions. Last week, Tehran pulled in all its gold reserves overseas in view of a massive sale to raise its cash reserves and therefore survive a few more months.

The signs of Iran’s economic difficulties are numerous : this week, the Iranian Central Bank sold 5 million gold coins with the pretext to align Iranian gold prices with those the International market. However, the operation was not a successful one considering that the gold was paid with an over evaluated Iranian Riyal. Tehran sold out 41.5 tons of gold, representing 20% of its reserves to collect billions of its own over printed bills of no value. Tehran distributed 1.4 billion dollars of gold to the Bazari in the hope of regaining the support of their interior allies. All of Tehran’s desperate efforts in their headlong rush to save the regime are costly.

In view of the Mullahs’ critical condition, Washington considers having won the “battle.” It is now a question of time to bend the Mullahs’ arm and push them to an entente that would open the door of Central Asia for Washington and give them the control of their Muslim agitators, key allies in their strategy of destabilization of the Chinese region of Xing Jiang (with the perspective of Western Siberia next). Obama did not show impatience with Tehran yesterday, but gave himself an additional observation round in order to secure a technical K.O. in the next round. He can repeat the operation or decide to reinforce the pressures if necessary to bring the Mullahs to their knees.

Aware of the efficiency of the American strategy of a steel hand in a velvet glove, Tehran pulled out its joker Mousavi again. The latter’s contest of Ahmadinejad’s legitimacy following the fixed elections of June can save Tehran by making any discussions with the contested president illegitimate. Condemned to further provocations in order to survive, the regime also announced the reprisal of the tiral of Clotilde Reiss, a French scholar arrested in connection with the June demonstrations, to put pressure on France. The American hikers’ trial next should add to the Mullahs’ headlong rush to survival, but this time with a lesser cost.

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The french version of this article :
- Iran : Obama s’accorde un round supplémentaire
- (16 NOVEMBRE 2009)

| Mots Clefs | Décideurs : OBAMA |
| Mots Clefs | Enjeux : Sanctions Ciblées en cours d’application |
| Mots Clefs | Enjeux : Apaisement |

| Mots Clefs | Institutions : Diplomatie (selon les mollahs) |
| Mots Clefs | Institutions : Provocations |