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June 25, 2006

Iran's Islamic Regime: Much To Win - More To Loose

Topics: Iran

Aryeh Levin, former Israeli ambassador to Russia, offers an interesting perspective on the nuclear standoff with Iran:

... Our eyesight and experience, past history and common sense all tell us that Iran is playing for time and wishes. Ahmadinejad wishes to outwit the Americans, wait out President Bush till the end of his term, and secretly strive to obtain a nuclear weapon in the meantime. And, while the West has been defied with impunity, problems remain with the Muslim world. At this point in time the leadership of the Muslims seems unattainable. The idea of Islamic unity, with its larger implications of conflicting sovereignties and a clear difference of religious doctrine, has already brought Iran into confrontation with the Arab governments. The present Iranian tactics, with all their bravado, will not open up the gates to the Mahdi.

... Everything said so far pales in the face of an Iranian atomic bomb. Nuclear weapons in the hands of a government of fanatic visionaries who believe in their power to lure the Mahdi out of his hiding to Tehran - would represent a tragic turn of events. The Islamic government has played an astute game of hide-and-seek with the International Atomic Energy Commission.

... At present this tactic is used in response to the new attempts at pacification by the West. This game has gone on for years, leaving no doubt in serious minds as to Iran's real objectives. Iran will use any means, overt or covert, to attain nuclear weapons. And once nuclear capability is reached, Iran will not be persuaded to desist.

... Iran has everything to gain from a change of heart vis-à-vis the West and much to lose in its present course. The new generation of Iranians has much to make up for after the years of isolation and limitations on freedoms. It would be very much in the interest of Iran to have its divergences with the West sorted out. However, this task would need great forbearing and statesmanship.

... On the other hand, if resolved, it might undermine the raison d'être of the Iranian fundamentalist President and his extremist supporters. For the Iranian leader has set strategic goals: to reap the benefit of his defiance of the US and the West and achieve the leadership of the Muslims under the Iranian standard.

Let's recognize that Ahmadinejad is no statesman, and has absolutely no intention of giving up his nuclear aspiratons for an arsenal of atomic bombs and domination of the world by Islam. In the fundamentalists' belief in the coming of the Mahdi as international policy, they are certain to ignore the "advice of time-wizened theocrats, and maintain their bellicose pursuit of unattainable goals." So you can already see where this the Iran confrontation is heading - and it's not toward a peaceful resolution.

Posted by Richard at June 25, 2006 9:36 AM

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