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Iranian Alert - March 2, 2005 - Europe Should Be Careful What It Wishes for in Iran
Regime Change Iran ^ | 3.2.2005 | DoctorZin

Posted on 03/02/2005 2:46:26 AM PST by DoctorZIn

Top News Story

Europe Should Be Careful What It Wishes for in Iran

Let us make a bet with very high odds and sad returns: Iran's nuclear program is likely to derail any serious rapprochement between the United States and western Europe. Indeed, it is quite possible this issue will do more damage to U.S.-European relations than the Iraq war did, because the European Union's approach to a nuclear Islamic republic could become more morally repellent to George W. Bush than was the Franco-German campaign against the Anglo-American invasion of Iraq.

U.S. officials may be suggesting an imminent "convergence" of American and European views. It is more likely, however, that Mr. Bush will recoil from most of the compromises envisioned by the Europeans. As both tough economic sanctions and preventive military strikes against Iran's nuclear facilities are distasteful if not unthinkable to leaders of the EU3--the British, French and German group negotiating with Iran over its nuclear program--"carrots" are, for the Europeans, the only diplomatic tools left. As Robert Kagan, the foreign policy historian, has noted, when soft power becomes the only option in foreign affairs, appeasement--the preferred European word is "engagement"--becomes a morally and strategically compelling choice.

What the EU3 really wants from Washington is "Libya Plus": in exchange for good nuclear comportment, the Bush administration should forgive the Islamic republic its terrorism--the clerics ruling Iran are the same ones who orchestrated the bombing of Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia in 1996--without the clerics admitting guilt. The United States should be prepared to promise non-interference in Iran's internal affairs and stop condemning clerical tyranny and publicly supporting the country's democratic movement. In other words, the Bush administration should refrain from any action that might resemble Ronald Reagan's strategy toward the Soviet bloc.

If the EU3 could convince the Bush administration to "engage" Iran in this manner it would, of course, achieve perhaps the most highly-desired Franco-German foreign policy goal: effectively gutting the Bush administration's post-9/11 energy and mission. The Middle Eastern government with the longest terrorist track record could be rewarded with Boeing contracts. The Middle Eastern Muslim population with the most advanced democratic and pro-American culture, could be denied support just as Iraq's elections have started a democratic rumbling in the region. Such contradictions between Mr. Bush's words and actions would paralyze the administration. Conservative France and Germany, with a decidedly more Eurocentric, conflicted Britain in tow, will have downed the Texan Prometheus and his too-muscularly liberal America.

But the EU3, in all probability, has done the opposite of what it intended. It has actually made it more likely that the Bush administration will take a tougher, more unilateral approach

to the Islamic republic than if it had not tried to assert a European role in halting clerical Iran's pursuit of a nuclear weapons capacity. The Europeans have forced the Bush administration to focus more acutely and sooner on the Iran conundrum than it would have if it were merely the International Atomic Energy Agency issuing its usual reports alluding to Iran's past duplicity and promises of confessional behavior in the future. Consumed with Iraq, the Bush administration would have had more difficulty unilaterally developing a diplomatic movement against the mullahs. The administration has certainly been complicit in European actions toward Iran--U.S.-European discussions have been close, which is why the EU3 has so shaped the administration's thinking. Many in the Bush administration wanted to pass the Iran problem to the Europeans, hoping that EU-Iran negotiations would allow Washington to continue ignoring the conundrum. Some still hope the Europeans can be converted to a big-stick approach; others, uncomfortable with the grand rhetoric about transforming the Middle East, hope the president will adopt the EU3's Libyan scenario.

But the European proclivity towards rapid concessions--and the near-total absence of will to even allude to big sticks--has disappointed the administration. Iran's ruling mullahs have now brought the EU3 talks to an impasse; European concessions, unsurprisingly, are not enough. In a classic case of mirror-imaging, the Europeans believe the clerics are economic "realists" who truly want accession to the World Trade Organization. For 26 years, however, the ruling mullahs have compromised economics at home and abroad to fortify clerical dictatorship.

It could have been different. Suppose the Europeans had faked a little of Old Europe's capacity for power politics and bluff. Imagine Paris threatening economic sanctions against Tehran, challenging the United States to lead the way to an oil embargo through the United Nations. Where would this have led? In all likelihood, the Chinese or the Russians would have blocked the move on the Security Council. Citing the lack of universality, Paris could have kept its investments in Iran and caused minimal anti-French backlash in Washington. But maybe the Russians and the Chinese would not have blocked comprehensive sanctions. Maybe the clerics, with a track record of backing down in the face of serious force, might have started destroying their centrifuges and implementing the additional protocol to the non-proliferation treaty that allows for spot inspections anywhere, any time. The French, Germans and British could then have made a reasonably strong case that an effective, independent European defense alliance existed outside NATO. The neoconservative suspicion that France and Germany intended to build a new Europe on anti-Americanism would have seemed churlish.

But this is not the direction we are going in. The odds are, Mr. Bush is not going to do Libya again. And the French and Germans are not going to take America's advice. The two-decade old strategy of Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, the influential former president and the driving force behind Iran's nuclear weapons program, is soon likely to come to fruition. The Islamic republic will have successfully played divide and conquer against the west. If this leads to a clerical A-bomb, or to a pre-emptive United States strike amid a chorus of European outrage, the odds are good that the bonds holding the United States and Europe together will further fray. One day, perhaps after the EU lifts its arms embargo on China and France supplies sophisticated radar and torpedo technology to Beijing, they will snap.

Reuel Marc Gerecht is a resident fellow at AEI and author of The Islamic Paradox: Shiite Clerics, Sunni Fundamentalists, and the Coming of Arab Democracy (AEI Press, November 2004).

A Daily Briefing of Major News Stories on Iran:

Iran "Out Of Phase" With What is Going On in Rest Of World - Kuwait News Agency

Are Europe and Russia Ganging up on America over Iran? - DEBKAfile Special Report

MEMRI Event on Capitol Hill March 2; Must-See Iranian TV - U.S. Newswire, News Advisory

Rice: Bush Open To European Idea Of Iran Incentives - Dow Jones Newswires, AP

The Cedar Revolution - Amir Taheri, The Wall Street Journal

The Tears of Iran - Jamie Glazov,

US Keeps Pressure on Syria and Iran - Aljazeera

We are Living in a Revolutionary Age - Michael Ledeen, National Review Online

UN Says Iran Rejected Inspection of Military Base - Reuters

Carrots for the Mullahs - The Wall Street Journal, Review & Outlook

Understanding US policy options on Iran - Dan Darling,

Regime Arrests Several Members of Pasdaran Corps - SMCCDI (Information Service)

Bushehr Nuclear Plant has "serous technical problems" - Iran Press Service

The World Community can not tolerate the Islamic Republic - Safa Haeri, Iran Press Service

Iran has 40,000 agents in Iraq on payroll - Iran Focus

Iran develops heavy machine-gun capable of piercing armoured vehicles - Iran Focus

US General Calls on Syria and Iran to Stop Destabilizing Iraq - Al Pessin, VOA

Strikes and social protests on the rise in Iran - Iran Focu

Iran allegations on returnees denied by Red Cross - Iran Focus

Iran's main car industry facility on fire - SMCCDI (Information Service)

Public letter for the attention of 109th US Congress - SMCCDI (Public Statement)

The Arabs' Berlin Wall has crumbled - Mark Steyn, The

'Atomic Iran' pre-sales through the roof - WorldNetDaily

The Gray Lady Wakes Up - Roger L Simon

New Attitudes Color Iranian Society, Culture - Barbara Slavin, USA Today

TOPICS: Extended News; Foreign Affairs; War on Terror
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"If you want on or off this Iran ping list, Freepmail DoctorZin

1 posted on 03/02/2005 2:46:28 AM PST by DoctorZIn
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To: Pan_Yans Wife; fat city; freedom44; Tamsey; Grampa Dave; PhiKapMom; McGavin999; Hinoki Cypress; ...
Join Us At Today's Iranian Alert Thread – The Most Underreported Story Of The Year!

"If you want on or off this Iran ping list, Freepmail DoctorZin”

2 posted on 03/02/2005 2:48:46 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn


3 posted on 03/02/2005 8:45:29 AM PST by windchime (Hillary: "I've always been a preying person")
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To: DoctorZIn
This is dated from yesterday, but still interesting with all the unrest going on over there. Anyone ever hear how this started? Oh, nevermind. It was probably a missile, no it was friendly fire, no it was just another explosion from a construction site............

Massive Fire Burns Iran-Khodo Auto Factory: Largest in Iran Iran's Main Automobile Manufacturing Facility On Fire

SMCCDI (Information Service)

Mar 1, 2005

A massive fire of undermined origin is ravaging the Iran-Khodro factory, at this time (21:00 IR local time), which is the main car manufacturing and assembly plant for the country and located near the capital.

The fire is of an undetermined origin, however, it is believed an arsonist started the fire, following months of worker discontent. It has been reported that most employees have not been paid in many months and working conditions were abominable.

The huge fire can be seen from kilometers away and most of the firefighter brigades are from the capital and nearby suburbs. Many firefighters from Karaj have been dispatched to the affected area.

4 posted on 03/02/2005 9:38:08 AM PST by Reborn
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To: DoctorZIn
Our Troops could be targeted...

The head of Iran's powerful Revolutionary Guards has warned that 190,000 US troops stationed close to the Islamic republic could be targetted if Iran were attacked, a report said Wednesday.

"More than 190,000 members of American forces are scattered in Afghanistan and Iraq. If the US carries out its threats against Iran, they nust know that all these forces will be within our reach," Yahya Rahim Safavi told the ultra-hardline Ya Lessarat newspaper.

"The US and the Zionist regime (Israel) do not have the power to confront us and we will hand them bone-breaking blows," Safavi said, adding that "Iraq is getting more unsafe everyday for America" anyway.

He also warned that if "the Zionist regime had a satanic thought and attacked Iran, we would not leave one point safe in the entire Zionist territory".

The United States and Israel both accuse Iran of seeking to develop nuclear weapons, and have not ruled out military options to prevent the clerical regime of acquiring the bomb.

5 posted on 03/02/2005 9:40:21 AM PST by Reborn
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To: DoctorZIn; windchime; Reborn; nuconvert; Grampa Dave; F14 Pilot; MeekOneGOP; freedom44; ...
I fear all the EUnuchs have done is to awaken a

sleeping giant and fill her with a terrible resolve.

6 posted on 03/02/2005 3:45:21 PM PST by PhilDragoo (Hitlery: das Butch von Buchenvald)
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To: PhilDragoo

7 posted on 03/02/2005 4:06:23 PM PST by MeekOneGOP (There is only one GOOD 'RAT: one that has been voted OUT of POWER !! Straight ticket GOP!)
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To: MeekOneGOP

Here is what I think about what could certainly be called a major flip-flop on Bush's part (and you thought Kerry lost the election! hehehe...):

I think Bush is getting sick to death of the Europeans, and needs to neutralize the entire continent. So, rather than keep opposing Europe, he'll go along with them. He may even come out in full support of the European plan. Then when it fails (it'll fail, both Bush and the mullahs will see to that), then Bush can give them a call and tell them that their diplomatic carrot junk failed miserably and that it's time to do things the Texan way. So, Iran will get to the UN Security Council this summer or early fall. Then maybe a blockade of Iran by the end of the year, assuming a fantastic miracle occurs and China doesn't veto it.

Bush's plan (or at least my intuitive perception of it) is probably the only way we can force the European to come our way, which is likely necessary to change the regime. Bush may also be motivated to try to erase the false sterotype that his American is an unilateralist bully in the world. At the same time, however, it will be utterly confusing even digusting to some people. Some Iranians will undoubtedly feel betrayed. I'd feel betrayed, too.

The wildcard here is Israel. They may not be willing to let Bush play his games. Israel's the big victim if we fail (by fail, I mean not stopping Iran before it gets the bomb). Or at least it is capable of being one. It isn't likely that Iran would use a nuke outside of their own borders as soon as they get a bomb. I would expect them to conduct a test in a desert somewhere, then tell the world that they have a nuclear fence, and that no one is going to touch them unless they want to loose some cities. Israel doesn't have the luxury to play nice.

It is blatantly obvious already that 2005 will be a fundamental year in world history. A turning point. It will likely be the turning point for Iran. The temperature in Iran should be far higher in six months than it is now, if you get my meaning.

I just pray that Bush didn't get sweet-talked by the Europeans. His press conference with Putin was somewhat revolting, at least to me.

Freedom is still marching on, at any rate...

8 posted on 03/02/2005 6:23:38 PM PST by JWojack (Condi Rice for President in 2008!)
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To: JWojack
Well, yeah. Bush is really dumb. Dumb like a Fox.

And don't forget it.

9 posted on 03/02/2005 6:37:48 PM PST by MeekOneGOP (There is only one GOOD 'RAT: one that has been voted OUT of POWER !! Straight ticket GOP!)
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To: MeekOneGOP

I think Bush is trying to give some more time to EU to do what they wish before their actual time is over.

The Mullahs can not be trusted. They are worse than lil Kimmie.

10 posted on 03/02/2005 11:30:12 PM PST by Khashayar (Normandy.... You are my pilgrimage site! You are the most sacred place in the world!)
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To: DoctorZIn
This thread is now closed.

Join Us At Today's Iranian Alert Thread – The Most Underreported Story Of The Year!

"If you want on or off this Iran ping list, Freepmail DoctorZin”

11 posted on 03/03/2005 11:57:16 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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