Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Why Nuclear Talks With Iran Will (Always) Fail

The Iran File


Ayatollah Ali Khamenei: Iran's Supreme Leader considers himself the chief guardian of the Islamic Republic, and his dark views of the West, directed primarily at the United States, prevents him from signing any deal to limit nuclear production. In the LA Times articles, Khamenei said that "his country is not seeking nuclear weapons, but that no world power could stop its access to an atomic bomb if it intended to build one."
Photo Credit: AP/Office Of the Supreme Leader
Source: LA Times
An excellent op-ed piece, by Hussein Banai, in The Los Angeles Times implicitly explains why this round of nuclear talks with the six world powers failed, and why any future talks are unlikely to succeed. It has everything to do with Iran's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and his dark views of the West, the United States in particular; Israel is caught in this feud, as the sole representative western democracy in the region. 

Banai writes:
But of course the real source of Khamenei's seemingly rejectionist attitude is not the bullying approach of the West toward Iran's nuclear program. After all, he also routinely undermined attempts at rapprochement between the Khatami and Clinton administrations at a time when worries about Iran's nuclear program did not exist. Rather, he is increasingly paranoid about the implications of a "grand bargain" with the United States for his privileged position as the chief interpreter of the ideals of the Islamic Republic.
Simply put, normalization of relations between Iran and the United States would deprive Khamenei and the deeply invested cohort of radical ideologues around him of a powerful justification for their arbitrary rule.
Continued enmity with the United States has time and again proved to be a convenient excuse for silencing the reformist opposition (as in the case of the 2009 Iranian presidential election, which has simply become known as "the sedition") and managing the increasingly fragmented conservative establishment.
The internal religious politics of Iran cannot be ignored, these playing a prominent and overarching role in Iran's governance. Its desire to obtain nuclear weapons is as much about thumbing its nose at the great powers as it is about showing the international community that it won't be pushed around. It would take something grand taking place inside Iran to free its people from such restrictive and destructive views.The chances of this happening soon are regrettably slim.

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You can read the rest of the article at [LA Times]