The apparent is seldom real in diplomacy. The Khomeinist Tehran’s conduct of statecraft today is a case in point . Last Tuesday Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said in a rally near Tehran, “The absolute majority of the Iranian nation supports the path of peace, reconciliation and the course of constructive interaction with the world.” The reality, however, is far different. The all- powerful Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and his Revolutionary Guards have had their imperial agenda all intact .
Enough has already been written as to how as part of this agenda Tehran has been spreading its influence in the Middle East aiding the Assad regime in Syria, Houthis in Yemen , Hezbollah in Lebanon, Palestinian Islamic Jihad and Hamas in the West Bank and Gaza . Recent reports add that over 3,000 Iranian-backed Shiite fighters have reached the Habbaniya base near Ramadi to retake the Iraqi city captured by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. Tehran wants to use ISIS victories, wherever in the Sunni states in the region, as an opportunity to take over. In order to defeat a Saudi-led coalition supporting Yemen President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi Tehran has been backing Houthis to the full. The Houthis, a Shia Muslim group loyal to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh, has driven Hadi from his palace to Saudi Arabia and seized control of Sana’a.
In order to advance its imperial agenda Tehran has also proceeded with its armament program. It continues to develop its ballistic missile technology to be its preferred method of delivering a nuclear weapon. Iran already has the largest inventory of ballistic missiles in the Middle East. The nature and scale of Iran’s missile programs belies its officially declared peaceful nuclear intentions .
Head of Iran’s Navy Rear Admiral Ali Fadavi has recently announced ,”Based on the fifth five-year (development) plan, we should materialize our objective of mass-producing military speedboats with the speed of 80 knots per hour. This is a formidable speed in the world’s navies… Therefore, we should try to mass-produce speedboats that can traverse at the speed of 80 knots (per hour) and are equipped with missiles with a range of 100km; the vessels no one can catch.”
Earlier , Khamenei’s top military aide and former commander in the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Major General Yahya Rahim Safavi said , ” Over 80,000 (Iranian) missiles are ready to rain down on Tel Aviv and Haifa. ” Early in April this year head of the Basij paramilitary force Commander Mohammad Neza Naghdi said , “The destruction of Israel is non-negotiable. ” Last November Supreme Leader Khamenei himself said, “ This barbaric, wolf-like… regime of Israel …has no cure but to be annihilated.”
Given such ground realities , I hope, the American government and all its close Western democratic allies would exercise due caution in striking any nuclear deal with Iran in coming weeks . Knowledgeable sources say any sanctions relief that will come about in the deal will benefit only Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and his Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) today . Much of Iran’s economy is controlled by them. The vast assets Khamenei and the IRGC control are not traded on the Tehran stock exchange.
The sources say the spirit of the recent Lausanne understanding between Iran and the P5+1 powers demands the former “ to grant access to the International Atomic Energy Agency to investigate suspicious sites.” There is a near consensus across the American Congress too that inspections anytime, anywhere inspections should be a crucial part of any future deal with Iran. But the pattern of Tehran’s behavior shows it can never be true to any commitment not to advance its nuclear weapon program.
Iran’s Supreme Leader Khamenei has openly declared that Tehran would not allow inspections of its military sites or interviews with its nuclear scientists. In line with this command, Tehran has cared a fig for the UN Security Council resolutions and refused to allow interviews or visits to sites linked to the possible military dimensions of its nuclear program. Tehran has continued to stonewall the IAEA and supplied just a partial explanation to one of its 12 outstanding weaponization and atomic research issues. Illicit nuclear activity has been going on at its military facilities. Iran has built secret nuclear sites on military facilities in the past. The previously concealed centrifuge plant at Fordow was constructed on an IRGC military base.
The sources say Iran is now seeking 24 days advance notice prior to inspections in the event of any suspected violation of a deal on its nuclear program. There may be sinister designs behind this demand . Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Yukiya Amano rightly feels short notice inspections are essential to ensure that all of Iran’s nuclear activities are for peaceful purposes alone. A lot of things can disappear in 24 days.
The sources warn the worst effect of any fake nuclear deal with Tehran would be over 75 million Iranians today . It would embolden the Khomeinist regime to continue overlooking its heinous rights record at home. Besides, it would lead to the armament program of states like Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Qatar. The latter category of nations is no less a threat to peace, democracy and freedom in the world today. They have had their own Islamist terrorism- related activities around .