Whenever I read these pages, I become “reminded”, over and over again, by our resident Islamist friends, that despite all atrocities that have taken place in Iran since the Islamic Republic took power, we should still consider this regime better than the “Shah” because if nothing else, the IRI has brought us “independence”.
Now, I am no fan of the Shah, but is Iran really “independent” under the IRI? Well, not so much. Aside from the fact that there really are no more “independent” nations in today’s globalized economic and political systems (at least not in the classical sense which our 1960’s and 1970’s ex-leftist, Che Guevara fans on this site refer to) , the IRI in particular in far from being an “independent” nation.
The IRI is heavily reliant on Russia and China for support in furthering many aspects of its economy and national security goals. For instance, it uses those two countries as a shield against more economic sanctions, buys weapons and technology from them. Case in point, this article on rights to use Caspian Sea resources:
The most striking part of the report is where it quotes an Iranian university professor who says that the countries that border the Caspian Sea have had previous agreements regarding that body of water without Iran’s presence, to which Iran has had no objection. Why didn’t Iran object to agreements regarding Caspian Sea that were executed without its presence? Well, it just happens that one of the countries that borders the Caspian Sea is Russia. Is the IRI sacrificing Iran’s territorial interest so that it can gain favor with Russia over its nuclear program? Obviously. Is that independence, especially independence from a regional and global superpower which happens to also be Iran’s neighbor? Of course not.
So, this whole idea of IRI’s glorious independence is a farce. IRI is no more independent from Russian and Chinese influence than the Shah was from America’s influence. Shah was part of America’s effort to create hegemony in the Middle East, and the IRI is part of Russia, and especially China’s, efforts to do the same.
There are many other examples of IRI’s hypocrisy and submission to Russia to further its own interests, such as absolute silence, and even tacit support, of Russia in its massacre of Chechen Muslims (so much for being a defenders of the “omat-e- Islam) and its support of Russia in its aggression against Georgia.
So, as far as I am concerned, I will wait to see if the IRI stands up to Russia and issues a statement condemning the treatment of Chechens by Russians, or for that matter, I will wait to see the IRI really stand up to Russia (not just “express its disagreement) about these ex parte meetings about the Caspian sea. I doubt that we will ever see such a move. After all, a servant will never disobey his master.