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Iran Is In The Step to Pass Away 'Immunity Zone' PDF Print E-mail
2012-04-19 13:54:08
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An Iranian woman walks past an anti-U.S. mural on the wall of the former U.S. embassy in Tehran October 12, 2011. Credit: Reuters/Morteza Nikoubazl
By Elman Nasirov * -
After the following report of Mr. Y. Amanon, Head of MAGATE, on November 08, 2011, on the nuclear program of Iran, the tension between USA, Europe, Israel and Iran increased up to maximum level. The know report notes that the nuclear program of Iran is designed for military purposes. In spite of the requirements of the UN Security Council and MAGATE, Iran continues the enrichment of uranium. The report specially emphasizes that MAGATE has not assurance that Iran applies non-military nuclear program since Iran has not built sufficient relationship with MAGATE, and therefore MAGATE may not confirm that the nuclear materials shall be applied for peaceful purposes. (1)  In accordance with the report, Iran has lower enriched uranium of 4922 kg (235 uranium up to 5%) and enriched uranium of 74 kg (20%). Comparatively, should be noted that the previous report of MAGATE of November 23, 2010, noted that Iran had lower level enriched uranium of 3500 kg 3, 5% and enriched uranium of 35 kg 89%. (2) The official Tehran called the report of MAGATE “non-professional, political motivated and groundless”. President M. Ahmadinejat declared that his country doesn’t intend ceasing the works on the nuclear program. (1)

Thus, USA and the leading Western countries have started discussing to intensify much more the sanctions against Iran after publication of the report of Y. Amanon. And, Israel declared that it’s time to take severe measures against Iran. Certainly, the role of “psychological war” in the international arena against Iran should be assessed. In other words, on October of 2011, e.g. one month before the final report of MAGATE, the famous newspaper of USA “The Washington Times” reported that 2 heads of nuclear and mid-range missiles for them were stolen from the Kazakhstan and provided to Iran through secret ways. Meanwhile, approximately 4 tactical nuclear ammunitions with 152 mm were transferred from Ukraine to Iran.  

The following article confirms that Iran, at present, has 2 heads of nuclear and more than 1000 ballistic missiles. These missiles are targeted to the military bases of USA in middle and near east, as well as in Europe. Iran has enriched uranium resources being sufficient to make 6 atom bombs.  (3)

Within the context of the above-mentioned realities, the question to apply new and more severe sanctions against Iran in relation to its nuclear program by the USA and European officials was discussed behind closed doors in Rome on December 14, 2011. For the first time, the initial agreements were reached with regard to the implementation of the sanctions against Iran`s energy sector and the Central Bank and the involvement of the European Union in this process. It was planned to make a final decision in connection with this question in the meeting of the ministers of foreign affairs of the European Union countries to be held on January 2012. (3)
For the information it should be mentioned that though multilateral sanctions regime have been considered against Tehran in 4 resolutions of 6 (including the last resolution dated June 9, 2010, No. 1929) applied by the United Nations Security Council against Iran since 2006, these prohibitions have never been applied to the energy sector.

Rome agreements added new nuances to the climate of confrontation between the Western countries and Iran. Under these new conditions, Tehran`s reaction to the known processes was harsh enough. Iran threatened to block the Strait of Hormuz, in case the events continue on the mentioned scenario and started to take certain measures in this direction. Iran`s Naval Forces launched large-scale military trainings in the Strait of Hormuz, the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman from December 24, 2011 till January 2. In these trainings, the question of adequacy of preparation of Iran`s naval forces to the new military-political environment which would be aroused as a result of the blocking of the Strait of Hormuz by Iran had been tested. (4) Taking into consideration that the transit of 40% oil and oil products of Iran, Irag, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and United Arabian Amirates is carried out by strategically important Strait of Hormuz which connects the Gulf of Oman in the south-east with the Persian Gulf in the south-west and has a way out to the Indian Ocean and of which length reaches up to 195 km, this means one-third of the oil transported with tanker in the world. In this case, it is possible to predict the economic-political and military cataclysms which may be aroused as a result of the unilaterally closure of this strait by Iran. (4)

It is no coincidence that on December 20 of the past year, Pentagon`s Leader Leonel Panetta stated pointing out to the position of Iran with regard to the blocking of the Strait of Hormuz that the USA would not allow Iran to have nuclear weapons by using all possible actions. In case, it is confimed by intelligence that Iran continues its activity on nuclear program, then Washington`s measures may be extremely severe. (4)

The statement of General M.Dempsey, Chairman of the United States Joint Chiefs of Staff was distinguished with being more severe. According to his position, the attack on Iran is a completely solvable question and if necessary, the US armed forces may deliver a strike on nuclear and military objects of Iran. At the same time, the general has warned that such a step will have drawn the USA into a long-term conflict and its result may be tragical for the whole region and the world. (4)

This means that the USA prefers the severe sanctions against Iran to the start of military operations. This approach is currently the highest priority.

It is no coincidence that namely acting on this logic, on December 31, 2011 the President Barack Obama signed the next law addressed against Iran. According to the requirements of the mentioned law, if foreign companies cooperate with the Central Bank of Iran, they will not be allowed to exist and operate in the USA territory. This law targets to incite the world`s major oil companies to refuse to cooperate with Iran. (5)

Following the USA, the European Union countries also started to take certain actions in the direction to implement severe sanctions regime against Iran. Thus, on January 23, 2012 ministers of foreign affairs of 27 countries of the European Union assembled in Brussels and made a decision with regard to the embargo on the import of oil from Iran and restriction of cooperation with the Central Bank of this country. (6)

The purpose is to force Iran to refuse from its nuclear program by way of severe sanctions made on the energy sector which forms 80% of the country`s budget. As per the decision, the European Union countries reached the agreement on the refusal from the import of crude oil and oil products of Iran by stages and assumed an obligation to launch this process from July 1, 2012. It has been considered to implement the contracts signed with Iran on oil import until that time. In addition, it is prohibited to export technologies from the European Union to the oil and petro-chemical enterprises of Iran, as well as the import of gold and precious jewels from this country. (7)

While the unambiguous solidarity demonstrated by the European countries against Iran causes wonderment, the position of China and Japan brought about much more surprise. On January 8 of this year, the government of Japan who meets its 10% oil demand at the expense of Iran stated that it is seeking for alternative energy suppliers and attaches special importance to relations with Saudi Arabia in this respect. Having imported 11-14% oil demand from Iran, China also takes similar steps. China, who is not agree with embargoes from the political point of view, already decreased its orders by two times made to Iran in relation to oil in January of the current year. Despite of the trade turnover between the two countries, reaching up to 40 milliard USD and of which is planned to be raised to 100 milliard USD in the near perspective, Beijing choosed the course of expansion of its cooperation with Saudi Arabia in the field of energy at the time of new complexity existing around Iran. (8)

By the way, it should be noted that Saudi Arabia maintains primacy among the countries that export oil to China, that is 20,5%. The next sequence is as follows: Angola-16,2%, Iran-11,3, Russsia-7,5%, Oman-5,7% and others-32,8%.(Sudan, Iraq, Kuwait and etc). (7) According to the information of International Energy Agency, Saudi Arabia, of which daily production is 9,5 million barrel, is able to increase the daily production 2,15 million barrel within a short time and this indicator is approximately equal to the anaogical export of Iran. Taking into consideration of the failure of the negotiations carried out by Tehran with Alriyadh with the purpose to neutralize this danger, it is possible to come to a conclusion that the following development scenario of the events does not promise any positive results. (9) It should not be ignored that on March 13 of the past year, after Saudi Arabia brought its troops into Bahrain supported by Iran-this following address of “Arab Spring”, the real “cold war” period was founded in Alriyadh-Tehran relations.

South Korea also plans to reduce the volume of oil purchased from Iran to the level in 2010-8,3% of general import. No doubt, these steps should be accepted as serious signal for Iran. It should also be noted that Iran approximately produces at least 4 million barrels per day and 2 million barrels of this is export-oriented (In some sources, per day production is shown as 3,5-4,2 million barrels and exportation as 1,8-2,2 million barrels). In the importation, the share of Europe comprises 500 million barrels per day on average, in other words 20-25% of oil production of Iran is Europe-oriented. According to expert opinions, as a result of oil embargo Iran`s budget may lose 15-20 millard dollars in a year. (7) It is not so difficult to prognosticate that this factor may have negative impact on the social-economic condition of the country.

The intercountry situation has also become aggravated adequately in the background of the increasing financial-economic pressures of the international community on Iran. The rate of rial, Iranian currency is extremely falling. If some years ago, a USD was equal to 9700 rials, in November of 2011 it comprised 11000 rials. According to the information as of March 13 of the current year, a USD is equal to 18980 rials. During the last some months, the price of food products in Iran increased by 40-50%. (10)

As per official statistics of Iran, inflation in the country is 19% and according to non-official information, it comprises 24%. Although the level of unemployment is shown as 11% in official figures, as per the information of non-official sources, this indicator is above 30%. In particular, the possibility of unemployment level among young people to reach up to 50% is also confirmed by the investigations of Russia`s reputable Near East Institute. (11)

Taking into consideration that the driving force of “Arab Spring” is namely educated, but unemployed young people, such cases characteristic for the country of which population reached 75,5 million persons, the number of higher school students comprises 3,5 million, should be estimated as serious signals. Being in the second place for its oil production within OPEC, though paradoxical, Iran is obliged to allocate 5 milliard dollars from state budget on average in a year in order to meet its demand for gasoline. At the same time, Iranian officials also admit that there is a great need to invest capital in the amount of 50 milliard dollars in the oil industry of the country. However, the economic condition of the country does not allow of implementing it. In particular, after the question of application of embargoes on the oil sector of Iran became urgent, the rate of rial, monetary unit of the country began to extremely fall.

This, in turn may be estimated as the case leading to the tensity of the social conditions in the country. Namely, due to the difficulties of the social conditions, divorces extremely increased in the country. According to the official statistics of Iran, during the last 5 years, divorces increased 37% in the country. If in 2005, 84 thousand such cases were registered in the country, in 2010, this indicator reached up to 137200 persons. Divorces among the women are mainly observed between 20-24 ages and among men it is between 25-29 ages. (12)

Iran is not rational in many cases in order to escape from such difficult situations, but prefers emotional-hysterical behavior. It is no coincidence that Iran holds the 2nd place in the world after China for the level of execution of death sentence. In 2011 alone, the analogical indicator on the country comprised up to 200 persons. (13)

The existence of the fact that there are serious differences of opinion within the two wings of the power in Iran is no longer considered confidential grief information for the world. In other words, the fact that there is confrontation between supreme executive power, being President Mahmoud Ahmadinejat on the one hand and supreme religious leader Khamneyi and legislative authority one the other hand is undeniable truth. This truth was once more confirmed in the process of reporting by the President Mahmoud Ahmadinejat coming to the legislative body for the first time on March 14 of this year after the persistent requirements of parliamentarians.

In the speech of Ali Motahari, one of the major authors of the initiative to summon the President to the parliament and other deputies, hard judgements such as the refusal of Mahmoud Ahmadinejat from execution of his direct functions demonstratively within 11 days and thus confronting with Ayatollah Khamneyi, sending Manouchehr Mottaki, foreign relations minister of the country to the resignation without any ground while his visit to Africa,  accusing the parliament of inexperience, abuses of power, appointment of his relative Esfandiar-Rahim Mashaei as the leader of the presidential administration and his name declining in the most blatant criminal offense of the past year-mysterious disappearance of 2,6 millard dollars capital from the banks, indifference in the compliance with islamic spirituality and religious-ethical norms,  bad conditions of the economy and country`s international isolation were sounded. Another serious judgement was that the President Mahmoud Ahmadinejat carries out the policy which weakens the fundamental principles of the Islamic revolution. (14)

Actually, last year the information on the conflicts between the President and supreme religious leader of which concealment was not possible several times disseminated in the press. Especially, in April of 2011, these contradictions came to the public arena and as mentioned above, the President suspended his activity within 11 days. On April 26, the meeting of the Iranian government was held without the President`s presence and the President did not come to the analogical previous meeting and all these were the major discussed issue in the political corridors of the country, as well as outside its boundries.

There was one explanation of the event-Ayatollah Khameneyi went against the will of the President and restored Intelligence Minister Heydar Moslehi to his position; nevertheless Mahmoud Ahmadinejat had sent him to the resignation. Besides this, at the time when the information on sending of the Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council, Saeed Jalil to the resignation by the President was widely disseminated, the objection by Khameneyi to this decision stretched the already cold relations much more. Estimating such steps of Khameneyi as a blow to the image of the President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejat refused to take a part in some significant events of the state, in addition to the above-mentioned ones.

Within the context of the known events, such information was leaked to the press that the President severely had warned supreme religious leader, so that in case the revocation practice of his decisions is continued thereafter, he shall go to the resignation. Mainly during that period, in the meeting of the presidium of Tehran municipality the shorthand record was mysteriously handed over to the press in which the information on complaint by the President Mahmoud Ahmadinejat of deprivation of his function to appoint and disappoint the ministers falling under his authority was reflected and caused serious discussions which are not approached unambiguously in the country. Parallel to these events, beginning from April of the last year, deputies started to collect signatures with regard to the reporting of the President before the parliament. The deputies of more than 100 persons being the protest participants reminded in the letter addressed to the president the importance to observe subordination in the treatment with Ayatollah Khameneyi.  There was no doubt that the final target in this protest was to impeach the President. (14)

In brief, the above-mentioned analyzes once more indicate that there appears serious gaps in adequate preparation level of Tehran against permanent embargoes and sanctions regime applied by international community against Iran. The USA, Israel, the European Union and their supporters being aware of this reality, at present activated all levers of “information war” to prevent Iran from entering an “immunity zone”. The statements of senior government officials also ground on this reality. The United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in her meeting with colleague Sergey Lavrov in March of the current year, emphasized that the meetings held by IAEA in Iran in January and February were unsuccessful and indicated that the 3rd meeting to be held in April might be the “last chance” for Tehran. Previously, in press conference held in White House on March 7, the President Barack Obama indicated that they had considered all possible options to resolve nuclear problem of Iran, including the option of military strike. (15)

The United States Secretary of Defence Leon Panetta demonstrated much certainty in his considerations and claimed the possibility to wage a war against Iran in Aprel, May or June of the current year. On March 1, General Norton Schwartz, Chief of the Staff of U.S. Air Forces went ahead and stated that the planning process of the options to deliver blows against Iran had already been completed. At the same time, he emphasized that in case the air flights are fulfilled against Iran, 13,5 tons new bombs which are able to destroy 65-meter thick concretes may be used. (16)

Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu after his return from Washington in March of this year touched upon the period to start war againt Iran and stated that “Days, weeks and years are not the subject matters. We will not take stopwatch and pursue time to start war”. (17) During the time when Isreael`s patience comes to an end to wait for the “X” day of Iran to have nuclear weapon– in March, the reputable analytical organization of the USA, Center for Strategic and International Studies of Washington, D.C. as a result of its studies, spread such information that Iran needs 2-3 years in order to have nuclear weapons. (18) Thus, Israel is very anxious that Iran may pass “red line” in the issue of “nuclear program” and escalates war rhetoric. Western countries, the USA being on top prioritize “Anakonda” model making embargoes and sanctions more severe, at the same time state that the application of military power is not exception. Really, “does all ways lead to Rome” and there are not peaceful solutions anyway from the complicated situation aroused around Iran. In our opinion, though it is sounded paradoxical, after parliamentary elections in Iran on March 2, fragile “window of opportunities” has opened for the non-military solution of the existing confrontation with the West. We try to explain our opinion.

Firstly, on March 2, neo-conservatives, supporters of the President Mahmoud Ahmadinejat lost in parliamentary elections. This means that the social base of the President significantly weakened. He is no longer possesses wide social supports that had during its first election as a president in 2005. It is possible to prognosticate in advance that the confrontations between the new parliament in which president supporters remained in minority and supreme executive power would become more dramatic. Also, there is not favourable environment for the elimination of the misunderstandings between the President and supreme religious leader. The indifferent and ironic behavior of the President in the parliament on March 14 makes ground for such conclusion. In the background of these mentioned, if we say that Mahmoud Ahmadinejat will lose in the presidential elections in the summer of 2013, we will not be mistaken in our opinion. In fact, the “conditional dual power” in Iran is being eliminated. As a real power one centre-Ayatollah Khameneyi and his conservatives’ camp is acting. Neo-conservatives have the defeated status. This is favourable for the West. It is considered favourable and optimal option to enter into dialogue with a single “power centre” and reach an agreement in a great policy. It means that under new conditions, there are the opportunities for the formation of suitable conditions to peacefully resolve the nuclear problem of Iran.  

Secondly, it is not exceptional option that the whole responsibility will be imposed on the former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejat for the reason that the theocratic regime in Iran led to the international isolation situation of the country.  In such cases, unique opportunities will be aroused for the West to enter into constructive political dialogue with Iran. In our opinion, the USA and its allies are looking forward to the mentioned “X” moment. In order to draw such moment nearer, it is started to make the pressures-embargoes and sanctions against Iran more severe-that is “Anaconda” model. It means that at present, it would be correct to estimate the regulary announced statements with regard to the delivering of military strikes against Iran as an integral part of “psychological war”. The real danger of war does not exist at the present time.

Thirdly, 100% guarantee for the security of Israel is necessary for the existence of real danger of war. Such guarantee does not exist. In 2003, during the period of 2nd Gulf War, a part of the old “Skad” missiles applied by Saddam Hussein regime against Israel could reach its target. Defense systems against “Petriot” missile could not insure Israel being the target for the old Iraq missiles. “Shahab-3” missiles of Iran are of medium range and are much stronger than Iraq missiles.

NATO intends to place its anti-missile systems in Europe in 2014 in Romania and in 2018 in Poland. Russia still strongly opposes this idea. The USA also is seemed persistent to achieve its goal. Dramatization of the condition of Iran with regard to nuclear-missile danger, in fact may be estimated as a step calculated to reduce the coefficient of resistance of Russia against replacement of anti-missile systems in Romania and Poland by NATO, the USA on top.  

Finally, as a result of the conducted analyzes it may be concluded that the military intervention by the USA into Iran who is preparing to hold presidential elections in Syria (Iran`s the only real ally in Arabian world) in November of this year, without changing the political regime and its allies does not seem convincing.  The USA`s (who finished the war in Irag formally, but does not exclude the return of its troops to this country due to the severity of the current situation, stated that it would remove its military contingent from Afghanistan, but admitted that it is very complicated question) attack to stronger Iran is not reasonable without its complete solution of the problems with Syria.

* Elman Nasirov, Assistant of Professor, Doctor of Philosophy in History, Political Scientist of the Academy of Public Administration Under The President of the Republic of Azerbaijan


Literature
1.    Об изменениях в военно-политической обстановке на Ближнем Востоке и Северной Африке (7-13 ноября 2011) http://www/iimes.ru/rus/frame_stat.html
2.    Сажин В. Либо санкций, либо война. http://www.journal-neo.com
3.     Евсеев В.В. Стратегия психологического устрашения Ирана становится все более опасной. http://nvo.ng.ru/consepts/2011-11/25/1_bomb.html)
4.     Об изменениях в военно-политической обстановке на Ближнем Востоке и в Северной Африке (19-25 декабря 2011) http://www.iimes.ru/rus/frame_stat.html)
5.    Obama signs Iran sanctions bill into law (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-16376072
6.     Паниев  Ю. Иранской нефти перекрыли путь в Европу http://www.ng.ru/world/2012-01-24/1_iran.html.)
7.    В.И. Сажин Иран: «окна возможностей» пока остаются открытыми. Но надолго ли? http://www.iimes.ru/rus/stat/2012/13-03-12b.htm
8.      Скосырев В.Тегеран и Пекин наращивают экономический обмен и военное сотрудничество http://www.ng.ru/world/2011-07-18/6_iran.html)
9.     Мамаев Ш. Сборов A.  Воинственный баррель http://www.kommersant.ru/doc/1857184?isSearch=True
10.    http://www.mesghal.com/)
11.    Сажин В. Иран: сентябрь 2011 г. Экономическая ситуация // http://www.iimes.ru/rus/frame_stat.html
12.    Сажин В.И. Иран: июль - август 2011 г. Военно-политическая ситуация http://www.iimes.ru/rus/frame_stat.html
13.    В.И.Сажин Иран: сентябрь 2011 г. Военно-политическая ситуация http://www.iimes.ru/rus/frame_stat.html
14.      Месамед В.И. Президент ИРИ М. Ахмадинежад отвечает на вопросы парламентариев/ http://www.iimes.ru/rus/stat/2012/17-03-12.htm)
15.    Press Conference by President Obama/  http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2010/09/10/press-conference-president-obama
16.    Березин А. ВВС США закончили планирование вариантов операции против Ирана/ http://science.compulenta.ru/664643/?r1=yandex&r2=news
17.    Размышления об ударе. http://www.interfax.ru/politics/txt.asp?id=234623)
18.     Эксперты рассказали, сколько Ирану потребуется времени на создание ядерного оружия http://focus.ua/foreign/222363/



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