Humiliated Iranian President Might Link Nuclear To Mohammad’s Cartoons

PARIS, 4 Feb. (IPS) After months of standoff, the Islamic Republic got what was expected: a very strong slap from the international community with which the new hard line president Mahmoud Ahmadi Nezhad had opposed a deliberate and provocative policy of confrontation, Iranian political analysts said, commenting the Saturday 4 February decision of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to refer Iran’s controversial nuclear dossier to the United Nations Security Council.

“This is a serious blow to the Islamic Republic, but especially for Mr. Ahmadi Nezhad and the new team of nuclear negotiators that had underestimated the power of their interlocutors”, one analyst in Tehran told Iran Press Service on condition of anonymity “due to pressures from the authorities”, he explained without going into details.

I don’t know were we are heading. Right now, it seems that the shock is so great that it has knocked down all the senior decision-makers.
“On line with the old Persian proverb of the nine liters cow (a caw that would give nine liters of milk but would knock the bucket with a kick), Ahmadi Nezhad in six months deliberately evaporated sixteen years of hard work put by former presidents Hashemi Rafsanjani and particularly Mohammad Khatami to place the Islamic Republic among the concert of nations”, he regretted, portraying the outlook as “very uncertain, it not black”.

“To be in the dark” was what a journalist used to describe the situation in the immediate aftermath of the IAEA resolution. “I don’t know were we are heading. Right now, it seems that the shock is so great that it has knocked down all the senior decision-makers. This said, the first consequence, which we feel ahead of possible sanctions (by the Security Council) is that as a result of hoarding of people’s daily needs, all prices are shooting upward and a lot of money leaving the country for safer places”, he said, also speaking on condition not being named.

The resolution presented by the European Troika, namely Britain, France and Germany and backed by the United States, passed by 27 votes in favour, including those of Russia, China and India against 3 opposition from Cuba, Venezuela and Syria and five abstentions (Algeria, Byelorussia, South Africa, Indonesia and Libya) calls on Iran to:

+++ Re establish a freeze on uranium enrichment and related activities.

+++ Consider whether to stop construction of a heavy water reactor that could be the source of plutonium for weapons.

+++ Formally ratify an agreement allowing the IAEA greater inspecting authority and continue honoring the agreement before it is ratified.

+++ Give the IAEA additional power in its investigation of Iran’s nuclear program, including “access to individuals” for interviews and to documentation on its black-market nuclear purchases, equipment that could be used for nuclear and non-nuclear purposes and “certain military-owned workshops” where nuclear activities might be going on.

The resolution recognized “that a solution to the Iranian issue would contribute to global nonproliferation efforts and … the objective of a Middle East free of weapons of mass destruction, including their means of delivery.”
This wording of the text was reached after Washington compromised on Egypt’s demand that the resolution include support for the creation of a nuclear weapons-free zone in the Middle East, thus linking the issue of Iran’s atomic ambitions with Israel’s nuclear weapons that is generally thought to be worth between 100 to 200 atomic bombs, something the Jewish State has never confirmed or denied.

Top of FormThe draft also asks IAEA Egyptian General Director Mohammad ElBarade’i to convey to the Security Council his report to the next Board session in March along with any resolution that meeting might approve.

The official reaction to the Resolution came in a letter by the President to the Head of Iran’s Atomic energy Organisation (OIAE) Qolamreza Aqazadeh ordering him to “suspend” as from 5 of February the Additional Protocol (to the NPT that allows snap and unrestricted access of Iranian nuclear sites and projects by IAEA experts, technicians and inspectors) and all other Iranian voluntary cooperation with the international nuclear watchdog beyond the NPT, the serious and co-coordinated nuclear Research and Development as well as beginning resumption of full scale fuel producing cycle for peaceful purposes”.

But while Mr. Ahmadi Nezhad stressed on the “continuation” of Iran cooperating with the IAEA “concerning “technical and legal control in strict accordance with NPT rules and safeguards”, Mr. Javad Va’idi, the Deputy head of Iran’s Supreme Council on National Security (SCNS) and number one man in the negotiating team went further and said Iran might as well “reconsider” the Russian proposal for enriching uranium for Iran’s future nuclear reactors in Russia, a proposal that has the support of the Europeans and the Americans.

Since this government has left no room for retreat or compromise, it has no other choice but jumping forward, mixing the Iranian nuclear crisis with the new clash between the West versus Arab-Muslim world.
“If we are to start enriching uranium in (the central city of) Natanz, the Russian proposal would become nonsense and we would have to restudy it again under new conditions”, a visibly stressed and frustrated Va’idi told the State-owned, conservatives-controlled Television on Saturday.

In an “authorized” commentary, the official Iranian news agency “IRNA” implicitly acknowledged the power of the United States, said on Saturday that “This is America that, in line with its well-known animosity to the Islamic Republic that puts all the pressures it can to prevent Tehran from its right to nuclear technologies for peaceful aims”.

After reminding Iran’s “unprecedented” two years and half close cooperation with the IAEA and observing that “many nations are enjoying from advanced nuclear technologies and even the racist Zionist regime (Israel) that has not subscribed to the NPT had been helped to be equipped with a huge nuclear warehouse”, IRNA added in its commentary that “political experts consider the vote, which has been given under the pressure of the US and Europe, as illegal and unlawful”.

Asked what the clerical-led regime would do now it had been so badly humiliated, another Iranian journalist close to the President speculated that Ahmadi Nezhad might answer the slap he received from Europe and America by “linking” the nuclear crisis to the prophet Mohammad’s cartoons.

He was referring to the cartoons of Muslim’s Prophet published four months ago by a Danish newspaper that suddenly provoked the anger of the Muslims only from about two weeks ago.

To denounce the violent anti Danish and anti Western protests and demonstrations in many Arab and Muslim capitals, encouraged and authorized by the governments, but also in defence of the freedom of speech, expression and democracy, several European newspapers re-printed part or all the 12 cartoons that Muslims considers as an insult to their Prophet, who, according to Islam, must not be portrayed, let alone if presented with a turban in form of a bomb ready for detonation or a man telling visitors that “sorry, no more virgins’.

In a letter to the to Trade minister, the ultra fundamentalist President has ordered him to form a “study and review group” to identify all the countries involved in insulting the holly Prophet and present “ways and means” to cancel all existing trade, exchanges and other cooperation agreements signed with them.

If really applied, the measure would badly harm Iran since besides Denmark, the country from where the new “clash of civilizations” started, it would involve Tehran’s main trade partners such as Germany, France, Italy and Spain, to name a few where newspapers published the incriminated cartoons.

“Since this government has left no backdoor for retreat or compromise, it has no other choice but jumping forward. This is where Ahmadi Nezhad can jump, mixing deliberately the Iranian nuclear issue with the new clash between the West versus Arab-Muslim world” he said. ENDS IRAN NUCLEAR 4206

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