From time to time we’re critical of Al-Monitor for pro-Iran bias, but also admit that the site is a top rate news source. This past week offered another reminder of this.
In a piece by one of its Israeli correspondents, Al-Monitor reveals an oft-hidden component of Iran’s threat perception:
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, in a closed-door meeting with several senior European officials, stressed that Iran’s immediate concern included deterring Pakistan, which is a nuclear-weapon state, and that Iran has no interest in provoking or attacking Israel. Although Zarif’s talking points emphasized, explicitly, that Iran did not seek a nuclear weapon, Zarif’s concern with Pakistan might itself be a rationale for an Iranian nuclear capability.
Zarif stressed that Iran does not rely on Europe to stand at its side in the next war. It remembers well the West’s support of former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein in the war between Iraq and Iran in the 1980s, during which Saddam used chemical weapons with the knowledge of the United States.
Pakistan… Where have we heard that before? Oh yes, the famous speech by Hassan Rouhani in late 2004, when he said:
if one day we are able to complete the fuel cycle and the world sees that it has no choice, that we do possess the technology, then the situation will be different. The world did not want Pakistan to have an atomic bomb or Brazil to have the fuel cycle, but Pakistan built its bomb and Brazil has its fuel cycle, and the world started to work with them. Our problem is that we have not achieved either one, but we are standing at the threshold.
Pakistan the threat – or the role model? Perhaps both; either way, it means an Iranian military nuclear intention. Kudos to Al-Monitor.