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Shifting US Policy on Iran

Seyfi Tashan 7.18.2003

Now that the U.S. military has supreme authority in Afghanistan and Iraq, and has presence in Central Asia, it has the possibility of exerting heavy presence on Iran, once a strategic partner of the U.S. Iran's attempts to develop nuclear capability, ostensibly for civilian purposes, is not a new phenomenon. During the days of the rule of late Shah, an order was placed to a German company for the construction of a large nuclear power plant. At that time the U.S. did not object to this project because the Shah of Iran was a friend of the U.S. Nevertheless, the construction work was interrupted because of the revolution. Only several years later, to the chagrin of the U.S., Russia became the principal source for developing Iranian nuclear capability that included a regeneration plant that could produce weapons grade uranium and plutonium.

Immediately after the war in Iraq eyes were turned on Iran as a potential U.S. target; saber rattling was heard loud and clear. Iran accepted to put all of its installations under the control of an appropriate nuclear agency and Russia assured the U.S. that it would not allow any weapons technology transfer. The possibility of a U.S. attack on Iran has rescinded substantially may be for several reasons:

Iran's nuclear program is supported by the entire nation irrespective of political tendencies. Too much criticism and an act of aggression on this account will bring the Iranian nation together against the U.S. As moderate Iranians are seeking a dialogue with the U.S. such a move would undercut dissent against the conservative Shiite rule and weaken their campaign to topple the system.
Iran is a pivotal country in the region extending from the Gulf to Central Asia and the Caucasus. With U.S. presence in Iraq and Afghanistan, the U.S. would like a friendly regime in Iran not an enemy. Iran is a candidate to play a useful role for U.S. interests in the region as it did under the Shah during the Cold War. Particularly after the coolness that developed in Turkish-U.S. relations during and after the Iraq war, the need for friendly Iran has become even greater.

Last but not least is the influence of Iran on Shiites that constitute more than two-thirds of the population of Iraq. Britain & the U.S. have not yet succeeded in pacifying the people of Iraq. Discontent with the shortages in Iraq is on the increase and the occupying powers are blamed. An attack on Iran, if it cannot be justified in the eyes of the Shiites in Iraq, would mean even greater unrest among the Shiites of Iraq even if Iran may not provide open support.
An additional consideration may be that for the U.S. it may be easier to fight a war against a mismatched enemy; but establishing a post-war regime is extremely difficult. Transition to a government system that could provide good governance and peace to the people in Iran dwarfs the difficulties in Iraq.

For these reasons the U.S. policy, while supporting dissent in Iran, no longer talks about military solutions, and the U.S. seems to have shifted its attention to problems in Africa where prospects of success would also help the administration's re-election campaign among the coloured voters, while trying to overcome the impediments for peace in the Middle East and law and order in Iraq.
7 posted on 07/18/2003 12:58:09 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (IranAzad... Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
Iran needs $17b of investments next year

Shiraz, Fars prov, July 17, IRNA -- Deputy Economy and Finance Minister Mohammad Khazai said here Thursday that the national economic plans call for close to dlrs 17 billion of investments in the next Iranian year (stars March 20, 2004).

Khazai, also Head of Foreign Investments, Technical and Economic Assistance Organization (FITEAO) said this level of investments aims to create 900,000 new jobs, "so that the unemployment rate is controlled and lowered to about three percent."

Speaking at a gathering of domestic and Dubai-based Iranian industrialists, he said expert studies indicate that each employment opportunity requires close to dlrs 18,000 of investments.

Attracting this amount of investments is not possible with domestic resources and "we should be thinking of drawing foreign investments and to prepare the grounds for inflow of foreign capital."

The Third (2000-2005) and Fourth (2005-2010) Socio-Economic velopment Plans call for dlrs 20 billion of investment annually.

Khazai further said grounds are prepared for foreign investments in the country, adding "foreign investors need to feel secure to invest in a country and have to be rendered serious support on the part of officials in the country."

On the political front, Khazai said reducing tension with other countries, notably the Persian Gulf littoral states, has been a right step in drawing foreign investments.

He also brushed aside comparisons likening foreign investments to "beggary from abroad."

"Using other countries financial resources is a common policy throughout the world and taking advantages of its fruits is an art which is rooted in a viable and vibrant national economy."

Khazai said foreign investment does not only entail garnering financial resources and covering budget deficit, it also means greater access to new technologies, employment, generating schemes, and increased productivity and more efficient management.

He said the number of applications for foreign investments rose in Iran last year and equaled the total foreign investment commitments in the past decade.

Khazai said with the passing of the new foreign investments law investments applications have topped four billion since last July.

Iran has been hard at work to promote foreign investments in the country.

Earlier in July, Khazai said in the decade 1992-2002 close to 4.5 billion of foreign investments were committed in the country.

Mining sector drew dlrs 1.242 billion and industrial sector dlrs 1.4 billion of foreign investments in recent year up to March 2003.

However, "even if all the requests are approved it will equal only one-fourth of planned foreign investments target."

He also cautioned that the amount of foreign investment in Iran is insignificant to the neighboring nations and some other developing countries.

Foreign investments in Malaysia, Turkey and Azerbaijan were dlrs 3.5 billion, dlrs 783 million and dlrs 691 million in 1999-2000 (before the September 11 attacks in the US) respectively.

"In the same period Iran drew about dlrs 89 million of foreign investments," Khazai underlined.

In addition foreign investments is an impetus for closer diplomatic and economic ties through easier access to international capital markets and financial sources. NB/YS


They not only belief in Khomeini, they also belief in Santa Claus! How do they think that they will get 17 bn USD next year if they behave as they do.
11 posted on 07/18/2003 5:19:35 AM PDT by AdmSmith
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