Prerequisite for US-Iran talks

Developing Just Leadership

Zafar Bangash

Rabi' al-Thani 19, 1434 2013-03-01


by Zafar Bangash (Opinion, Crescent International Vol. 42, No. 1, Rabi' al-Thani, 1434)

American officials lack even basic table manners for talks. While offering to talk to the Islamic Republic, they slap additional illegal sanctions. The revolutionary leadership in Iran has made clear there will be no talks until the Americans improve their manners.

One of the basic prerequisites for holding talks is mutual respect. Because absolute power corrupts absolutely, basic manners are absent from the diplomatic deportment of the US (its officials from Barack Obama down) with others, especially those uppity Muslims who are now behaving with a level of self-confidence not displayed before. Only officials from the Zionist entity routinely insult Americans — in the same way that a brainy nerd gives orders to a muscle-bound dork. One wonders why the American public puts up with such insults when the Zionists are totally dependent on American tax dollars for survival? Perhaps the old adage, “A fool and his gold are soon parted,” is in play.

Last month, there was a flurry of activity (mostly by the Zionists who are adept at generating hysteria in the US) following a statement by US Vice President Joe Biden in Munich that the US was prepared to talk to Iran provided the latter was “serious.” While Biden’s statement was welcomed by Iran’s Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi as a “step forward,” he also said the US had to demonstrate its sincerity. Within days of Biden’s call for talks, the US slapped additional sanctions on Iran. Under the new sanctions announced on February 6, the US has demanded that countries not pay Iran for its crude oil exports. Instead, the US wants importing countries to keep such payments and only release them in return for purchases of goods by Iran. This effectively locks up Iranian oil revenue overseas. Whether importing countries would abide by such unilateral demands is yet to be seen but America is clearly acting as an outlaw, as has been its habit for decades.

Iran’s reaction against another hostile US move was swift. The Rahbar, Imam Sayyid Ali Khamenei, dismissed America’s offer of talks while slapping additional sanctions. Addressing officials and commanders of Iran’s Navy on February 7, the Rahbar said: “I am not a diplomat. I am a revolutionary and speak frankly, honestly, and firmly. An offer of talks makes sense only when the side [that makes the offer] shows its goodwill.” Such confidence comes only from deep faith in Allah (swt) and a firm commitment to divine commands. It does not come from pursuing worldly gains as American officials do, speaking with a forked tongue and demonstrating duplicity and dishonesty at every step. They have gotten used to such atrocious behavior with rulers of other countries because of bullying tactics and because those rulers — mainly in the Muslim world — are themselves unrepresentative and cowards. Iran’s revolutionary leadership is made of different mettle; it cannot be coerced or bullied into negotiations.

Washington has imposed a raft of sanctions on Iran that includes a ban on its oil exports and banking transactions, and the freezing of its bank deposits abroad. This amounts to grand larceny, and were the same sanctions imposed on the US or one its Euro-colonial satellites, all of them would be calling it a declaration of war (as Hitler did over the Treaty of Versailles, and as the Americans did against Britain before their own revolutionary war). Blocking Iran’s financial transactions has prevented six million critically ill Iranians from importing medicines for treatment. The West has also imposed a ban on Iran’s media, especially Press TV by taking their broadcasts off European and other satellites. Countries that make such a fuss about press freedom and habitually lecture others for not upholding them have imposed a blackout of Iran’s media. What are these countries afraid of; that Iran’s media would expose their lies and that the people in Western countries — the US, Canada and Europe — would learn the truth? Is this press freedom?

“You [the Americans] point the gun at Iran and say, ‘Either negotiations or we pull the trigger!’ You should know that pressure and negotiations don’t go together, and the [Iranian] people will not be intimidated by such things,” said the Rahbar in response to US tactics. There was speculation that Iranian and American officials might meet on the sidelines of the P5+1 talks on Iran’s nuclear file at their meeting in Almaty, the Kazakh capital, on February 26 (after Crescent press time). Such talks appear unlikely now and even if held, they would yield no positive results because of US double-dealing, hypocrisy, and heavy-handedness. It is quite revealing that five of the six countries participating in the Iran nuclear talks are themselves nuclear powers (and the remaining one, Germany, could go “nuclear” in a weekend, that is, have nuclear weapons capacity). Under the NPT, they are required to reduce and ultimately eliminate their nuclear stockpiles. There is no mention of that, nor indeed of the Zionist entity’s 200–400 nuclear weapons; but all the noise is about Iran’s peaceful nuclear program.

What drives US policy on Iran? First, it wants to prevent Iran from achieving a nuclear weapons capability, as the former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has said, and second, it wants to contain and ultimately eliminate the Islamic system of government in Iran. Tehran does not want the bomb. The Rahbar has repeatedly stated this and if Iran wanted the bomb, he said no power could prevent it. The real reason for US hostility is that it is controlled by the Zionists, banksters and war lobby that thrive on endless wars. Conjuring up the bogey of Iran’s nuclear program helps keep the war hysteria high while ordinary Americans pay the price.

Zafar Bangash is Director of the Institute of Contemporary Islamic Thought

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