Sunday November 07, 2010
President Obama was elected with an agenda that included
dialogue with the clerics in Tehran. That agenda backfired with
the Islamic Republic’s unwillingness to engage in a dialogue, and
an unexpected Iranian national uprising in June 2009 disputing the
rigged elections results and the theocratic regime as a whole.
Since then, the Obama Administration has had to feel its way
around the sensitive and very relevant issue of an “Islamic”
versus a “secular” Iran – a key country for balance of power in
This week’s sweeping victory of the grassroots and conservative
movements in U.S. put a screeching halt to many of President
Obama’s radical plans for America. The U.S. election results were
not only significant for the American people, but also for
citizens of many other countries whose livelihood is directly or
indirectly affected by American politics.
In that regard, it is not only the Americans, who are anxious to
see what will happen with their recent political “firing and
hiring” results as Washington is now posed to alter its course.
U.S. allies and foes alike are also wondering what will this mean
on an international level. Further, putting aside governments,
many peoples across the world such as the majority of Iranians
fighting for their civil rights, who regard America as a source of
inspiration, are wondering what now?
The recent U.S. elections were clearly based on the American
peoples’ frustrations and concerns with domestic issues, but
domestic issues and financial burdens on Americans were greatly
affected by terrorist acts not only on American soil, but across
the world. Let’s not forget that supporting wars in Iraq and
Afghanistan are very costly and burdensome, and the best
strategists always advise that wars should come to a favorable
conclusion as soon as possible.
The results of the recent elections reflect the failures of the
Obama Administration in both domestic and international arenas.
For example, in its handling of Israel, Iran, Afghanistan,
Pakistan, and China, the Administration has not made any progress.
The President’s approach to terrorism has failed and the
Administration could go back to the policies during the Bush era.
Even the European allies and world opinion, in general, have lost
their zeal for this Administration’s vision. A leader, who is
deemed weak domestically, is also taken less seriously with
respect to international matters.
The Republicans have enough strength now to block the President
despite his veto power. President Obama will not be able to
continue pressuring Israel. It is assumed President Obama will
move to the center-right in order for any laws to pass, or to have
any hopes in retaining some Democratic power in 2012. At this
juncture, the President can focus on an important international
issue such as Iran since historically when leaders have problems
with domestic policies they turn their attention to foreign
Given that Islamist terrorists have stepped up their activities in
recent weeks and the clerics in Tehran continue their pursuit of
nuclear weapons and support of the radicals, how will the recent
elections affect the U.S.-Iran relation? Will it help the strong
and unified Iranian national uprising against an Islamic regime,
or much to the detriment of world peace, will the regime be
somehow contained or attacked for short-term goals?
Dr. Assad Homayoun, a former Iranian diplomat and President of
Azadegan Foundation, says there are many options for U.S.
regarding Iran. Dialogue can be pursued, but it will be useless.
Sanctions have been important in weakening the regime in Tehran
and increasing unrest among the people, but U.S. rivals such as
China and Russia even Turkey are willing to make deals with the
clerics in power. As an unwelcome and rejected option by Iranians
and opposition groups, war continues to be on the table.
President Obama will note that the majority of U.S. allies, the
American people, and the new conservative Congress are supportive
of a military strike, Homayoun observed. In his recent remarks at
the Halifax International Security forum, U.S. Senator Lindsey
Graham stated that the U.S. should “neuter” the regime in Tehran,
if there is to be a military strike to stop its nuclear program
aspirations. Specifically, Senator Graham listed the air force,
navy, and Revolutionary Guards as main targets for a decisive blow
to ensure the regime’s inability to function. Unfortunately for
Iran, any military strike against its reckless and suicidal regime
will put the country and its people in danger. Further, a strike
against Iran may “balkanize” the region, a situation best avoided
given its long-term ramifications.
Iran also has options, Homayoun said. The most ideal is for
Iranian people to gather around a strong, acceptable, patriotic
and truly nationalist leader, who can also gain credibility with
international community in overthrowing the Islamic regime. In the
absence of such a charismatic and capable individual, Iranians
still have a way to save their country from devastation – the
Armed Forces option.
Homayoun said the Revolutionary Guards, who control all aspects of
Iran and are the center of power, can rise up against the
dictatorial regime and in support of their people and country.
Although the Revolutionary Guards are the shield of the despised
regime, its members are from among the Iranian people. Many of
them have not participated in the crimes and human rights
violations committed against their fellow countrymen and women by
outside forces brought in by the regime.
Dr. Homayoun also emphasized that during the Iran-Iraq War
(1980-1988), the Revolutionary Guards played an important role in
defending the nation against Saddam Hussein’s brutal invasion.
There are many patriots among their ranks. Further, the
Revolutionary Guards will note any military attack on Iran which
likely will first target them. The Revolutionary Guards should not
be robots for the hated regime. If they do not support their
people in changing the power equation in Iran, they will have a
similar fate as those special armed forces, who protected the
dictatorships in Romania and Iraq. Therefore, to save their
country from disintegration and potential civil war as well as
self-preservation, they can and should rise in support of their
nation’s culture, history and people. With one heroic act, the
Revolutionary Guards can change their own destiny, gain respect,
and shift the direction of international affairs.
Given the importance of a secular, balanced Iran in a volatile
region, it is hoped that President Obama and the new conservative
Congress will invest their energy and time in seriously promoting
the Iranian people, so the country is posed to either rally behind
a nationalist and secular leader from within or in exile, or the
Revolutionary Guards whose primary goal should be the safety and
survival of their country. In this regard, it will be the most
effective and logical solution for U.S. resulting in major
domestic improvements the American people have clearly listed as
their primary concern.
Sheda Vasseghi is on the Board of Azadegan Foundation and is a
regular contributor to WorldTribune.com
The original place of this article at Free Presseers is here, just
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