One thing that no one can deny is the powerful international position of Iranian foreign policy makers that has made Iran an “Island of stability” in a very unstable region. While one cannot deny the role of the United States in making Iran a powerhouse in the region, yet the Iranian government has not sat quietly either. Many arguments can rise for the real reason behind the Islamic Republic actions in the world stage and the truth behind the Iranian policy makers to do what they are doing. Iranian government has been a financial supporter of Hezbollah and in times Hamas.
The Iranian regime supports the movements by the Shia groups in Iraq and helps the economy of Sunni Kurds in the north. They have developed the Herat Region of Afghanistan to a point that it has become the only politically stable and economically prosperous part of that country. Iran has helped Christian Armenians against their rival Azerbaijan Republic that is a Muslim country.
The trend shows religion not being the main criteria for the Iranian policy makers since the decisions have not been blindly made based on a belief system. The Islamic Republic of Iran has been a great chess player in regional competition, while the cards have been against them all along. To the critics of the Islamic Republic and at times the Iranian citizens regarding the economical “assistance” of the government to foreign countries, the Iranian politicians have been silent. The Islamic Republic’s reasoning behind all their help can be easily explained once one considers the position that the regime has been put in to.
Mostly International, the Iranian regime feels threatened and never has been given credit for their positions in the international political arena. I say international because one should agree that foreign countries do not consider a dictatorial regime as good or bad, citizens do. Islamic Republic of Iran has been on the right side of the equation when it comes to the western and Eastern fights against rogue nations. For example, the Islamic Republic of Iran was the direct advocate against the Taliban regime and ultimately Osama bin Laden.
The Islamic Republic of Iran was against its own arch enemy Saddam and all the Islamic fanaticism around the region. During the time of president Khatami, Iran advocated the image of a kind and compassionate site of Islam. One could not make sense of the American anger against the IRI since they have been fighting on the same side and mostly agree on the same issues when it comes to the Middle Eastern policies and its future outlook. IRI has shown historically that they are capable of reasoning and willing to work with the western powers to reach a positive result.
Reading this should not give you the idea that the IRI has been domestically without flaws and does not have a bad Human Rights records. One should not conclude that IRI is a government that the population of Iran has not been critical of but to look at the position of IRI in the eyes of the western powers and to reach a reason for the west to want to get rid of “them”. So the confusion of the IRI has been form an ideology to explain to their citizens and the rest of the world that the only reason the west is against the IRI is because of its independence (not being a puppet regime) and its true concern about the region and ultimately Islam. Many people that don’t see any other reason thus have agreed with this logic.
While the IRI tries to paint a humane, independent, cultural, Islamic and ultimately modern picture to their citizens and the world, it has to survive and divert a possible attack on the country’s soil. IRI plays the Shia Islamic for the Lebanese and brings to them social and political network along with military for their safety. The IRI plays a Muslim role for the Sunnis who are tired of the western dominance, plays a humane and anti colonization for the African nations, and finally plays socialist for the South American nations.
The hands of the IRI all around the world have cause a headache for mostly the neo-cons who thought they can use their International influence and their powerful economical cards to overthrow the IRI. But again, why? Why not work with IRI like many other countries in the Middle East or around the globe? Simply because the IRI is a source of danger for the Western governments who want to have the absolute say and dominance in the oil rich region. And thinking short term, they have fallen into the quicksand of the IRI tricks and ultimately are losing. Therefore one solution comes to their mind: Attack Iran.
IRI is looking at the political scenario in a long term basis and that is why that they have been generally far more successful than the Western countries (mostly the United States, Britain, France and Germany). The IRI has been very consistent about their position while the western countries, mostly the United States politically have been flip flopping based on different situations. Again one reason is shortsightedness. The United States has angered many of its supporters, people in the west and the Middle East, while Iran has kept her position clear and calmly reacts to every scenario.
The calculated reactions by the IRI at times have given the image of a more civilized Iranian government than the United States. That might be one reason that President Ahmadinejad also reacts on the same basis calmer and comfortable, ultimately more civilized than President Bush. While the United States and recently France preach war, IRI preaches peace. Who will get more credit acting civilized, the attacking “West” or calm and reasonable Iran?
Another problematic issue for the United States has been the Christian fanatics who have a strong lobby for the policies in the United States. It is easier for IRI to be religious government and be able to defend itself than say the United States, which is supposed to be a secular system. In that arena the IRI is also a point or so a head. Now the question raises what to do with the IRI?
First should be noted that domestically nothing can be accomplished inside Iran as long as uncertainty and the possible attack is the main issue on the minds of the Iranian citizens. The sovereignty is the far most important concern than anything else. Therefore it is better to continue the focus internationally. At this point the United States as the world super power needs to step up and acknowledge the IRI as the superpower of the Middle East and credit the regime where the credit is due. In return the IRI should change course in the areas that the Western countries have trouble with.
One must note that IRI will not just give up its position of power, while the ball is in their court, so any suggestions from the five western powers should begin with respectable gesture rather than insulting demands. I would guarantee that IRI will respond in kind and civilized manner. Please remember that I am not advocating the idea that the IRI is a final and static government of Iran, rather than if we need to reach a democratic or as some would like it “secular” Iran, we must do that internally while the regime does not beat the drums of war.
The Untied States must stop its carrot and stick policy towards Iran (favorably the entire Third World) and begin the new chapter of the sole superpower with the new method of influence and dominance. The clear winner here would be the citizens of the countries and hopefully the entire earth.