Monday, February 28, 2005

Where is the limit and what is the price to pay?

Whether we are ardent opponents of the Islamic Republic or its fervent servitors, I think there is at least one thing we must not compromise our unity upon as Iranians; and that is Iran’s position within the international arena.

I believe that those of us who confirm that “Sovereignty”, “territorial integrity”, “inviolability”, “non-interference” and “self-reliance” are essential/indispensable notions to a healthy Nation, cannot – (for the mere sake of rationality) – act in such way to detrimentally affect the current government’s diplomatic efforts in domains touching Iran’s fundamental rights as a State.

In other words, we - the people (whether radical opposition, reformists or other) - should be capable to draw a redline between our politically motivated agendas and national interests that could potentially be irrevocable once lost.

Think of our share of the Caspian Sea; or the issue of Iran’s “total sovereignty” over the three Persian Gulf islands; the potential secession of certain provinces; or even our controversial right to master nuclear technology...

How far are some “opposition” groups prepared to go in attempting to weaken Iran's international position in view of eventually topple its current rulers? What price do they expect the people to pay for a “regime change”?

Unfortunately, the position adopted by many factions of the political spectrum leaves something to be desired in terms of clarity and transparency.

Can we indeed provide a potential assailant aerial photos of our military and nuclear installations on one hand, and claim national sovereignty on the other?
Can we - on one hand - lobby the American administration to impose tougher economic sanctions on Iran in view of “isolating the regime”, and on the other, denounce Mr. Kharazi’s incompetence in negotiating a fair deal on the Caspian? Can we sabotage a process and criticize its outcome at the same time for egoist political gains?

Please do not misunderstand me. I don’t mean to convey the thought that we should not voice our displeasure with a certain process, or not yell our disapproval of a certain diplomatic maneuver or not denounce a lack of transparency or flaws in our foreign policy. On the contrary, I want to reiterate that we should (as the civil society) commit ourselves to detect discrepancies, campaign to resolve them and move toward reinforcing our position as a Sovereign State. But my question still remains: Where is the limit and what is the price to pay?

For me, the distinction between internal affairs and international politics must be made when it comes to such fundamental issues.

To me, a better foreign policy would contribute to a better stability, hence prosperity, and prepare the necessary ground for a more successful democratization. So why not contribute to it when we can instead of "deconstructing" it in hope of eventually "reconstructing" it in the future?

11 Comments:

Anonymous Ali M said...

I would like what gives you the right to define the Iranian national interest.

Don't you think that the current regime is the biggest threat to our national interest ?

I don't care of getting back 3 lousy islands in the Gulf if my country is occupied by some unelected mollahs and their bazaris buddies.

The national interest is defined by an elected government on the basis of a political platform on which it was elected.

Unless this happens no one has the right to impose his vision of the national interest on the others.

7:40 AM  
Blogger Mohd said...

I agree with you that there should be a limit to the measures that we, as Iranians are willing to take in order to shake up the current regime in Iran. But I think the only way to shake up this regime and make it face the reality is when there is enough outside force. The same thing happened when they were forced to end the brutal Iran-Iraq war and drink from the 'poison cup.' Now the situation that we have with the European negotiations presents the regime with another poison cup. the American position is getting closer to the European's. This is not good news for the regime. The US is even willing to give "incentives" to the regime in order for them to end their alleged Nuclear program. The regime has two choices: either take this golden opportunity and drink from the poison cup, or there will be another coalition of willing. But this time Europe will be on the side of the US.

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