Karzai For Iran Or Agreement With America?
Mabrouk bin Abdulaziz
Has the U.S finally found its long-sought goal in Hassan Khomeini, grandson of Ayatollah Khomeini, to the point of making out of him an Iranian Karzai? This question comes to mind after his visit to the United States, and particularly to the American Enterprise Institute, which is very influential in the planning of long-term American strategy, as well as following the concurrence of his statements with the U.S.'s desired changes of the Islamic regime in Iran.
First, we notice that the escalating confrontation between the U.S. and Iran reached a level higher than ever, which warns of important events in the near future, as the battlefields, in order of importance, are the following: the nuclear file, Iraq, Afghanistan, the Palestinian cause, Lebanon, the Caucasian Sea and Central Asia, Al Qaeda, the Gulf, the oil
Lately, the U.S. declared having categorically eliminated the option of using force against Iran, which asserts the occurrence of a drastic change in the strategy it adopted in this country. Maybe America has finally also dropped the idea of replacing the current Islamic regime with a Westernized, secular one, and accepts in return a moderate solution through a democratic Islamic regime, which would be open to the Western civilization. Hence, it would be close to the reformists' suggestions on one hand and convenient to U.S. interests on the other. The U.S. will probably try to test this kind of rule in Iraq, so that it would represent later on an example to other countries in the Middle East.
The changes in the American vision of the confrontation with Iran are probably due to the following two reasons:
1- The situation in Iraq:
The U.S. was surprised following the invasion of Iraq and the downfall of Saddam Hussein with the Iraqis' reaction to the occupation, as the brief joy of celebrating Saddam's departure soon ended, and the American presence became shameful for Iraqis, as it only existed to prevent the return of Hussein. Everyone is demanding Americans now to leave and hand Iraqis their affairs, as to choose the rule that convenes them. The U.S. was also surprised with the Iraqis' attachment to their religion, although they had been under a secular rule for decades. Maybe their last hope is to establish an Islamic rule similar to that of Iran, aside of each country's particularities, and this undoubtedly confused the Bush administration. Hence, the American administration has two choices: either to meet Iraqis' demands and risk the entailments that would definitely serve Iran's interest, or settle with the rising resistance and accepting more enmities even form its friends.
One of the reasons preventing the U.S. to hand the management of Iraq to the UN is its fear of a rapprochement between Iraq and Iran, despite the eight years of war these two countries had, as they feel now more than ever, the need to unite in terms of their religion. Hence, America is trying hard to cut the way between them as to prevent a potential axis between Iran, Iraq and Syria, which would threaten Israel and weaken Jordan.
Iran has lost an important link with Iraq following the death of Mohamad Baqir Al Hakim, who was assassinated as soon as he started revealing his stances from the American occupation and the relation with Israel.
2- The second reason is the lack of alternative individuals from outside the regime, who would be convincing and have enough credibility to run such a large country as Iran.
America is not placing its bets on a monarchic rule, which brought nothing but mayhem to the country, nor is it considering Mujahideen Khalq organization, which is enlisted on the terrorist organizations list, and is no longer influential in Iran.
As for the liberal Iranian individuals living in the West and fond of the Western example, they are split between two groups: those who refuse the American adventures in Iran as a matter of principle, and the second group who follow what the Americans want, but are not very popular in Iran.
Will the U.S. return to Iran the way it left? Obviously, it is a surreal option that would end up with the same failing results of the previous choices.
Finally, if America wants to operate some changes in Iran's policies, it should be patient, maybe for another 20 years, not to mention that it should make compromises, especially regarding Israel. It should also be aware of the fact that increasing pressure will only push Iranians to take more precautionary measures, which could include repressing freedoms. http://english.daralhayat.com/opinion/10-2003/Article-20031009-20ae2a55-c0a8-01ed-003c-37f4717eded5/story.html