Seyed Hossein Mousavian (about whom I have written extensively) and Mohammad Ali Shabani somehow found themselves with a leader in the New York Times right after New Year’s! Their article went viral with its ‘groundbreaking’ theory that negotiations are based on… “mutual respect”. Groundbreaking.
These spokespeople for the Iranian Regime (CNN still calls them ‘analysts’), however, are merely regurgitating old, tired and shallow arguments.
In June of last year, they penned a piece in the Guardian entitled:
In this article they noted that “In Istanbul all the players seemed to understand that the most important issue was trust – not the number of centrifuges in the Islamic republic’s possession…
But… they highlighted:
“the P5+1 wanted Iran to stop enriching uranium to 19.75% (medium enriched uranium), export all such material, halt operations at the Fordo plant and allow IAEA inspectors to visit sensitive military sites.
This trade-off was considered an insult by the Iranians.”
A few weeks later, Mohammad Ali Shabani wrote in al-Jazeera and al-Monitor that these talks must take into account three more ‘R’s. Iran, in his words, “can be described by three ‘R’s: recalcitrant, resourceful and resilient.”
The Iranian regime has indeed been both resourceful and resilient in maintaining its recalcitrant stance towards the IAEA! And that brings us to last week’s ‘masterpiece’ in the NYT.
The duo tell the reader that “if there are any two words in Persian that President Obama should learn, they are “maslahat” and “aberu.” Maslahat is often translated as expediency, or self-interest. Aberu means face — as in, saving face.”
Their ‘Iran 101’ class continues with:
“For thousands of years, Persian culture has been distinguished by customs that revolve around honor and esteem.”
Mousavian and Ali Shabani however go one step further.
“We believe Iran would be open to new measures regarding the transparency of its nuclear program, and would agree not to pursue any capability to enrich uranium beyond that needed to fuel atomic power plants, if its legitimate right to enrichment under the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty was recognized and if an agreement to remove sanctions was reached.”
This observation flies in the face of what has been put on the table countless times (see ‘EU3-Iran proposals’ and other potential’ Fuel Swap’ agreements which were to be brokered by Turkey and Brazil). Respect, must be earned. The fact is that the Iranian regime, instead of playing ball and opening up its dubious program, continues to play truant. Instead of receiving transparency from Iran, the UN’s official nuclear watchdog – the IAEA – faces perennial recalcitrance.
On Wednesday the Business Recorder reported that Iran already “poured water on the UN nuclear watchdog’s hopes of securing access in talks next week to a military complex where suspected past research intro atomic bomb triggers might have been carried out.”
It should be highlighted that thus far… “the office of the EU foreign affairs chief, Cathy Ashton, whose job it is to arrange the negotiations, has yet to get a clear Iranian response to its suggestion of a mid-January meeting in Istanbul.” It’s mid-January, and we are still waiting…
We all hope and pray for a peaceful solution. However, how many times can we get excited by the same optimistic headlines that tell us ‘this time’… yes this time… Iran will actually ‘welcome new nuclear negotiations’ and open up their program to the IAEA in a full and compliant manner? We at Iran Media Focus – just like Amano the IAEA Chief – are not convinced.
(For our German readers, this article on Zeit online, discusses the dangers of just kicking the can down the street, while the Iranians drag their feet, enriching their Uranium, while talking loudly about: “Talks”.)