Out of the freezer

It seems that jaw-jaw is snatching Iran back from the brink of war-war. Results of the 1st October day of talks in Geneva are described here:

After a long diplomatic chill, it agreed to a tight timetable of talks with the same six powers designed to get a far-reaching diplomatic solution in place by the end of the year … Although the details still needs to be hammered out, Javier Solana, the EU’s top foreign policy official, said Iran

Mobile inspiration

Mobile inspiration

had agreed “in principle” to export most of its enriched uranium stockpile to Russia for further enrichment. The uranium would then be sent to France for further processing and then returned to Iran. People familiar with the issue said the process would make it extremely difficult for Iran to use the uranium for bomb-making purposes, setting back its alleged weapons programme … The talks’ tentative success had been largely attributed to President Barack Obama’s new policy of engagement with Iran. That was underlined on Thursday when William J Burns, a US undersecretary of state for political affairs, held a one-to-one meeting with Iran’s top nuclear negotiator that lasted 40 minutes. It was the highest level diplomatic meeting between the two countries in almost three decades.

The chances of success justifying a pre-emptive strike were always less than compelling, while the consequences of an Iran hardened and united by such an attack, as analysed in an influential paper by the Oxford Research Group in February 06,  continue to suggest an exploitation of its strategic position in relation to oil flows, Shi’ite minorities in the region and the two wars on its borders.

Some of the calculations are set out here.

Pahlavi parley

Meanwhile, the “crown prince of Iran” argues in the Telegraph that the human rights issue is the one to be tied to sanctions, rather than nuclear co-operation. He notes that

in 1986, the United States led a worldwide campaign for human rights and equality in South Africa when it passed the Comprehensive Anti-Apartheid Act, banning US investment in the country … the removal of apartheid laws and the release of political prisoners were necessary preconditions to the lifting of sanctions. Those sanctions worked. The South African people suffered a deep recession in the short term, but to this day, no South African has forgotten the importance of those preconditions and the long-term liberation they brought to them as a people.

Protect the people of Iran

Protect the people of Iran

So it could be in Iran:

if the West enforces new sanctions that are intrinsically tied to the national outcry for freedom, they have armed their greatest ally with the powerful weapon of international solidarity in the struggle against the Islamic regime. This uprising can change the entire fabric of stability in the Middle East. So, while the world toils over yellowcake, the people of Iran still believe in their green movement for freedom, hope and human rights.

Keep talking

The Iranian foreign minister, Manouchehr Mottaki, who recently called the fake election “the most glorious presidential elections in the history of the Islamic Republic of Iran”, has apparently been visiting the US, not secretly, but with minimal publicity, the first such visit in 30 years of diplomacy. There seems to be rather a large number of questions Mottaki would rather not answer:

One question the foreign minister would not address was the arrest of an Iran/U.N. mission staffer by the New York City Police Department last Friday. Gholamzadeh Hossein was arrested by the NYPD after attacking a demonstrator who was protesting the visit of Ahmadinejad to the United Nations on Sept. 24. Hossein, who had an initial court appearance on Wednesday, faces a second-degree assault charge with a penalty of up to seven years in prison.

There is the view, that whether we are being strung along again or not, such contacts are bound to be helpful (the communication view of relations with Iran). Not everyone agrees. Predictably,

former U.S./U.N. ambassador John Bolton, who also headed the arms control section at the state department in the administration of George W. Bush, was not impressed by Mottaki’s statements: “Yet again, Iran appears to be well on the way to seducing Western diplomats by vague generalities and promises to meet again. Iran is simply gaining more time to advance its nuclear and ballistic missile programs,” he said.

Glee in the naughty club

Friend to us all Colonel Moammur Gaddafi is in the good books of – yes – Venezuela. These tyrants can smell each other. And they all hate Israel. There must be something wonderfully good about Israel in that case, it infallibly follows.

Rat and Ban - shaking the bloody hand

Rat and Ban - shaking the bloody hand

Indeed, propaganda to the contrary notwithstanding, Israel is a beacon of light in a dark crescent, a welcome contrast to the sentimental idyll, the morbid monotony of Islamic apathy. Can you imagine the Israelis raping their own people in prison?

But why does this raddled dictator look more and more like a cross between Elvis Presley and a shark? The Picture of Dorian Grey at least required the death of its subject before it could show its true ravages.

Hairy as a rat’s paw

It seems the UN is an ‘inter-governmental agency’ and can ‘do nothing’ about how its members behave. So much for any reservations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon might have about shaking the world’s most notorious hand (see photo).

This blog

In a manner totally mysterious to me (I am an ingénu in such matters), this blog is attracting a small but ever-increasing number of hits – viewers – each month (see chart).

User volumes for this blog since the Iran 'election'

User volumes for this blog since the Iran 'election'

What began as a poetry and criticism blog has justified my aesthetic creed of working in a prophetic tradition ─ the impetus of the message ─ in an unexpected way: if you have something to say, people will listen! (I await the day when this transfers to poetry.)

This is my forty-second blog on the Green Freedom movement in Iran.