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Former Iranian president hints at processes to resume ties with US, Egypt

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  • Former Iranian president hints at processes to resume ties with US, Egypt

    Former president hints at processes to resume ties with US, Egypt

    Tehran, April 12, IRNA -- Former president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani
    has hinted at processes to discuss Iran's resumption of ties with
    US and Egypt, including a referendum, Iranian media said Saturday.
    "One solution is to hold a referendum to see what the society
    says provided that the Majlis (Parliament) approves it and then it is
    accepted by the Supreme Leader (Ayatollah Ali Khamenei)," the
    Rahbord (Strategy) periodical, published by the Center for Strategic
    Studies, cited him as saying.
    "The other solution is that the problem is referred to us (EC) and
    we discuss it and announce what is expedient. Of course, the leader
    should approve this too," Rafsanjani, who is the head of the
    Expediency Council (EC) said.
    The council arbitrates in disputes between the parliament and
    the supervisory Guardian Council which vets parliamentary bills
    to verify their compliance with the Islamic Sharia law and the
    Constitution.
    "When an issue turns into a problem, it is referred to the
    (Expediency) Council to make a decision on that," Rafsanjani said.
    "When we approve an issue we send it to the leader who usually
    accepts it. And if the American and Egyptian (relations) issue is
    considered a problem, the Council can study it," Rahbord quoted him
    as saying further.
    Since April 7, 1980, nearly 15 months after the Islamic
    Revolution, Iran has had no diplomatic relations with the US which
    severed its ties with Tehran after the Students Following the Line of
    Imam stormed the American embassy (known as the Den of Espionage) here
    and held its staff hostage.
    The Islamic Republic has been dubbed by US President George W.
    Bush as part of an 'axis of evil' and accused of trying to
    develop weapons of mass destruction, a charge Tehran has repeatedly
    denied.
    Tehran is also anxious about US military build-up on its doorsteps
    in the Persian Gulf littoral Arab states as well as Afghanistan and
    Central Asia.
    The country is among the staunchest opponents of the US-led war
    against Iraq but it has taken a position of 'active neutrality',
    saying it will not back one side or the other in the conflict.
    EGYPT TIES
    The Islamic Republic severed its ties with Egypt after its former
    president Anwar Sadat signed the Camp David peace treaty with the
    Zionist Israeli regime and harbored defunct Shah.
    Tehran and Cairo broke ice in June 2000 after President Mohammad
    Khatami spoke over phone with Hosni Mubarak in the first such
    conversation by their presidents.
    The two countries now run interest sections through foreign
    embassies in Cairo and Tehran, operated by Iranian and Egyptian
    diplomats.
    The Tehran City Council, which was dissolved just a couple of
    months ago because of internal disputes, once took an unusual step of
    changing the name of the street, but the move was put on freeze later.
    In January, Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi said that there was no
    plan on Iran's agenda to resume ties with Egypt.
    "Ties with Egypt is not on our agenda at all," he told reporters
    after a Cabinet session in reaction to Egyptian President Hosni
    Mubarak's remarks that Cairo would not establish ties with Tehran as
    long as it did not change the name of a street in the capital, called
    after the assassin of former Egyptian president Anwar Sadat.
    "The Egyptians themselves know better what steps they have to
    take before the issue of establishing ties is put on the agenda and
    becomes realized," Kharrazi said.
    His statements were echoed by government spokesman, Abdullah
    Ramezanzadeh, who said Iran "cannot negotiate about the establishment
    of ties with a government which permits the travel of the Iranian
    nation's biggest enemies (Zionists) on its territory".
    BH/AR
    End
    "Speaking here in my capacity as a polished, sophisticated European as well, it seems to me the laugh here is on the polished, sophisticated Europeans. They think Americans are fat, vulgar, greedy, stupid, ambitious and ignorant and so on. And they've taken as their own Michael Moore, as their representative American, someone who actually embodies all of those qualities." - Christopher Hitchens

  • #2
    I doubt the Iranian-US relationship will improve much as long as Iran continues with it's nuclear weapons program. The invasion of Iraq might have some in the Iranian government concerned they could meet a similar fate. However, given their SOP, I doubt it's much of an deterent. If anything, most analysts believe the war in Iraq will cause the Iranians to step-up development.

    Unlike Iran, I don't see diplomacy yielding anykind of resolution. We might need to go in and take out these facilities. Tom Clancy had a scenario that involved a Marine MEU raiding an Iranian nuclear facility. The small force safely destroyed the facility and brought back clear evidence of Iran's nuclear weapons program.

    The political climate doesn't support this kind of operation now. We have time to negotiate with Iran. If they fail, military action will likely be our only option.

    Iran is the ever-growing "silent superpower" in the Middle East. It has the kind of force and mentality that might create serious problems in the not-to-distant future. The same fears I had of Saddam using WMDs as a tool for political terrorism, exist with a nuclear armed Iran.

    For now, we can pursue diplomacy. I don't want to take action right not. The political future in Iran is beginning to turn favorably away from fundamentalism. I don't think they will ever accept the US. Yet, a thawing of relations is very possible. We shouldn't screw that up unless there are absolutely no other options available.
    Last edited by Deltapooh; 12 Apr 03, 13:37.
    "As soon as men decide that all means are permitted to fight an evil, then their good becomes indistinguishable from the evil that they set out to destroy."-Christopher Dawson - The Judgement of Nations, 1942

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    • #3
      You speak as though a Iranian nuclear weapons program is fact.

      Is it?
      "Experience should teach us to be most on our guard to protect liberty when the government’s purposes are beneficent. Men born to freedom are naturally alert to repel invasion of their liberty by evil-minded rulers. The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well-meaning but without understanding."

      – Associate Justice Louis D. Brandeis, Olmstead vs. United States.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by MikeJ
        You speak as though a Iranian nuclear weapons program is fact.

        Is it?
        It surely isn't myth. The US, UK, France, Germany, and Israel claim to have intelligence supporting their claim that Iran is covertly developing nuclear weapons. While Iran denies this and does allow monitoring by the IAEA, it has failed to agree to more indepth inspections. They also reportedly signed an agreement with Pakistan to exchange information on nuclear weapon's development.

        IMHO, I have no doubt Iran is developing nuclear weapons. I reached that conclusion last year when Iran sent a letter to the UN Secretary General citing their intelligence that the US was developing a special nuclear bomb to be used on Arabs. It justifies their program on the basis of defense.

        The Iranians are not as crazy as Saddam. I don't think they would ever use them. Nor or they foolish enough to claim they have the weapons or development program, fearing an pre-emptive strike. Instead, I see Iran using WMDs to terrorize and intimidate their neighbors. Political terrorism has already been committed by Iran both during the Iran-Iraq war and in 1996 against the government of Bahrain.

        Iran has grown increasingly concerned with the growing US presence in the region. It's no mistake that it began re-armament programs in mid-1991. Furthermore, it's weak economy will continue to spur two camps.

        The first camp would like to be more friendly to the US and west. Doing so will open the Iranian market, and ease the increasing strain on it's economy.

        The second camp (the one I fear) would prefer to gain dominating influence over it's oil rich neighbors. This requires the withdrawal of US forces and a reduction in interest. Since that is not likely to happen, the Iranians are probably turning military might to achieve it's political goals.

        The Iranians saw our response to North Korea's blatant actions and admission about their nuclear program. Earlier this year, Iran seemed to follow in NK's footstep by announcing it's plans to enrich nuclear material, which is very important building a nuclear bomb.

        Iran will maintain the highest level of secrecy about it's nuclear program. There is a multilateral concensus both in Europe and the Middle East. No one wants Iran to get "the bomb." So, we'll be the last to know.

        Unlike North Korea or Iraq, there appears to be hope in Iran. A few years ago, I thought Pragmatism was a clever political ploy by Iran to throw off international intelligence agencies. However, today, I believe Pragmatists exists in Iran and are growing in number. This and the weak economy might be providing the "light at the end of the tunnel" for the bitter Iran-US relationship. Unfortunately, we can't rely on that alone to protect our interest in the region.

        Iran could be more than a year from developing nuclear weapons. Therefore there is time to use diplomacy instead of bullets. Yet, the US should be prepared to address any possibilities.
        "As soon as men decide that all means are permitted to fight an evil, then their good becomes indistinguishable from the evil that they set out to destroy."-Christopher Dawson - The Judgement of Nations, 1942

        Comment


        • #5
          Deltapooh

          I think I'm much more optomistic about the Iranian reformer's prospects than you are.

          The Coalition campaign in Iraq has given the pragmatists in Iran more strength to make the changes necessary. Not to say that Iran won't continue to work on their nuclear program, but I think on the diplomatic front, there may be some bright skies in the future with Iran.
          Scientists have announced they've discovered a cure for apathy. However no one has shown the slightest bit of interest !!

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