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Iran next?
U.S. military attack would prolong the reign of Iran's despotic rulers

January 30, 2002
The Iranian

Through the bravery of men and women of the US armed forces and the overwhelming support of the American public, Afghanistan has been liberated from the claws of a messianic cult. Its honored house guest, the terror boss and his capos, with worldwide reach, have been evicted from their headquarters and are on the lam. Awaiting their day of judgment, many of their cadres are behind bars, and some, in cages.

Music and laughter, children flying kites, going to school and most other manifestations of a normalcy is slowly but surely coming back to life. There seems to be a determined effort on the part of the world community to not abandon the proud Afghans in their struggle to rebuild their devastated lives.

To achieve this marvelous outcome and, more importantly for the long term strategic reasons, semi-permanent forward US military bases, with the tacit approval of Russia, have been established in Kyrgyzstan on the doorsteps of the emerging superpower, China.

Ever since the disintegration of the Soviet Empire, conventional wisdom has been that a potential nuclear flash point has moved from Europe to Asia. The most worrisome being that of the China/Taiwan theater, and to a lesser degree, India/Pakistan, and in the Korean peninsula.

Iran is in the middle of it all. In addition to her location as the natural, safe, economical hub for transferring energy from the Caucasus to the West and Japan, Iran has a crucial strategic importance.

Recognizing this, China has been making steady inroads into Iran, establishing a firm foothold with big ticket projects. Amongst others, Tehran's new metro system is exclusively of outdated Chinese equipment, consequently, dependent on a long term Chinese presence. Feasibility studies are being made for a similar system in Tabriz and Isfahan, both by the Chinese firms.

The municipality of Tabriz, recently announced the signing of a contract with Chinese construction firms for building 30,000 residential dwellings and a number of satellite commercial/industrial parks. There is also close cooperation between the Chinese State Television and the Islamic Republic's (Larijani Network). So is an extended relationship between the IRI and the Chinese ship yards and the IRI's railways is phasing in Chinese made engines.

On the military side, the publicly available information is scant, yet those available speak of extensive cooperation in the rocketry and unconventional weapons. Only last week, The Bush Administration put two Chinese firms and an individual Chinese on its sanction list for providing IRI with dual use equipment and technological know how. It should be noted that the new IRI ambassador to China is the former head of the official news agency, IRNA, and a former high official of the Revolutionary Guards.

The number of IRI's select students who are studying applied sciences, including advanced aerodynamics in Chinese learning institutions, has been on a steady increase, producing a small Iranian community in China.

Besides China, IRI has been heavily involved with North Korea in developing its Shahab series of short to medium range ballistic missiles, which are modeled after the North Korean No-Dong missile system.(Few months ago, the IRI's chief racketeer was mysteriously found dead in his Tehran office.) Of the three test firing of the Shahab 3, with the purported range of fifteen hundred kilometers, only one has been declared a partial success by the Western observers.

The successful deployment of such delivery system in the arsenal of the Ayatollahs who have publicly announced, in no uncertain terms, their desire and firm intention to wipe the State of Israel off the map, is detrimental to Iranian national interest. As is the recent delivery of the faulty, Chernobyl model, core reactor from a foundry in the Ukraine to the Bushehr civilian power plant.

Former employees of the plant have warned of a disaster in the making. The protective concrete containment dome which requires state of the art inspection and safeguards, were repeatedly attacked by Iraqi jets during that country's aggression against Iran. Eyewitnesses have reported shoddy repair jobs including the use of substandard rebars with the wrong alloy composition, and simple plugging of the numerous holes made by the fired ordinances with regular concrete.

The Chernobyl meltdown spewed radioactive fallout as far away as Finland. As precaution against radioactive leakage, IRI has forcibly resettled surrounding villages in the radius of thirty kilometers, while there are major population centers directly in harms way on both sides of the Persian Gulf.

The 23-year reign of the Ayatollahs has been a resounding failure in every imaginable aspect. On the anniversary of that inauspicious occasion, they find themselves isolated internationally and despised internally. Hoping for a respite from the increasingly emboldened public, per wagging the tail strategy, they have been egging on their adversaries, at times quite transparently, to instigate a military attack against Iran.

Western powers should keep in mind that any military action against Iran, would be playing into the hands of the desperate despots and would only prolong their disastrous rule. The Iranian people are ready, able and willing to take charge of their own destiny. Vocal support, disclosure of overseas booty of the IRI clan, tightening of the sanctions and a clear policy statement on post-IR Iran, would suffice. An independent, Democratic Iran, is a vital ally in confronting the lurking crisis.

Comment for The Iranian letters section
Comment to the writer Shahriar Zangeneh

By Shahriar Zangeneh

Zangeneh's features index


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