Are Neocons Back in US?
Iran Review ( Ettelaat NewspaperTranslated By: Iran Review) – DECEMBER 16, 2013-Alireza Khani
Editor in Chief of Ettelaat Newspaper
There have been – and still are – two kinds of viewpoints prevalent among political currents and circles in Iran about the type of relations and interaction between Iran and the government of the United States both before and after signing the recent nuclear agreement in the Swiss city of Geneva.
First viewpoint: The United States is a country like all other countries in the world. Of course, it is a country with immense economic power and high political status which can play an effective role in setting the course of decisions made for many parts of the world, including the Middle East. This is why Washington has had the highest degree of effect in imposing sanctions on Iran and exerting all kinds of economic and political pressure on our country. We once decided in line with our spiritual and material interests to minimize our relations with this country because we considered the United States a hostile state. Likewise, we can – and even should – now improve our relations with this country in order to get rid of pressures that have been put on our country. In fact, the main criterion for doing this is our country’s national interests. There was a time when our national interests called for the absence of any relations and political dialog with this country. Now, our national interests call no us to solve our problems with the United States. Just in the same way that we are currently having relations with other countries like Britain and Russia, which have at times dealt severe blows to our country, and this has been general in the interest of our nation, we can also open the doors to dialogue with the US aimed at the resolution of the existing problems between the two countries. We can also use a possible relationship with the US as a means of creating benefits for our country and heading off damages to the Iranian nation. Basically speaking, dialog and negotiations and even having political relations with the United States cannot be forbidden on a religious ground.
Second viewpoint: The United States is arrogant by nature and cannot be corrected. Any kind of negotiations and agreement with the United States would be tantamount to accepting to be deceived by this arrogant giant. Our interests have no common denominator with those of the United States and any kind of relationship between Tehran and Washington would be to the detriment of Iran. Therefore, we must not let ourselves be deceived by this devil and should stand in its face with all our power. The United States has done wrong to Iran and this is neither forgivable, nor open to compensation. Those officials in the Iranian administration and diplomatic apparatus, who have put their trust in negotiations as a means of establishing relations with the United States in order to find solutions to problems and pressures resulting from anti-Iran sanctions, are ignorant. The only language which can work effectively on this colonialistic demon is its one language, which is the language of force. As a result, we should never engage in any kind of interaction with the United States.
It goes without saying that the first viewpoint is advocated by the moderate figures while the second viewpoint is supported by the conservative politicians. Even at the height of negotiations between Iran and the P5+1 group in Geneva, and during bilateral talks between Iranian and American foreign ministers at the same venue, both currents were giving voice to their viewpoints with each camp insisting on its own views. The insistence on their viewpoints, especially on the side of the conservatives, was so powerful that they even used their media outlets to provide predictions on the fate of the Geneva agreement. They noted that the United States will never comply with the agreement and the fate of the Geneva agreement was quite clear from the very beginning. To uphold their viewpoints, they kept searching for news and remarks from the second- and even third-level American political officials that would even indirectly indicate their opposition to or conflict with the agreement.
The situation on the other side of the agreement was totally similar to the Iran side. The American neo-conservative politicians, better known as neocons, both in the Senate and Congress, insisted that any agreement with Iran would be in vain. They stressed that Iran should be only addressed with the language of force and the process of consolidating sanctions against Iran should continue while keeping all other options on the table.
At the same time, more moderate and wiser members of the Congress and Senate, mostly from the Democrat Party which is close to the incumbent US administration, have called for the process of imposing new sanctions against Iran to be halted. They have also urged the US administration to unfreeze Iran’s frozen financial resources and, by doing this, pave the way for achieving even greater agreements with the Islamic Republic.
The recent measure taken by the US Treasury to consider new sanctions against, at least, 15 companies and persons accused of having trade with Iran was a telltale sign of the rising power of the radical figures in the US politics. They apparently have high willingness to prove the theory cherished by Iranian conservatives that basically any kind of agreement, understanding, interaction and even negotiation between Iran and the United States would be wrong.
It is evident that the signals sent out by a certain part of the US government are clearly meant to denote dominance of radical figures in both countries. As such, they are determined to bring to a standstill the nuclear negotiations and cause an agreement which has been signed by the US secretary of state, as representative of the United States, to fail.
If the US administration and President Barack Obama, who came to power with “change” as his most important motto, want to prevent the result of all efforts made during the negotiations to be suddenly undone by radical figures, they should do their best to defend the credit and honor of the “state institution” in the United States. In doing so, Obama can even use the power vested in him as the president of the United States, without whose signature and final endorsement even the decisions of the US Congress will not be valid. The US administration should not allow all the historical grounds that have been broken following long years of patience and perseverance and as a result of the empowerment of moderate politicians in both countries, and the rule of the “power of logic” instead of the “logic of power,” be rendered null and void. In short, the radical and conservative figures should not be allowed to have the last say in either of the two countries.