Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Iran: Before it’s Too Late | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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With the current escalation regarding the Iranian nuclear crisis, I remembered the famous story about one political analyst who wrote on the subject of the inevitable collapse of the former Soviet Union. Many responded to his research with the following questions: did you not see the massive military parades in Red Square in Moscow? Did you not see the large-scale missiles and are you unaware of how many nuclear warheads belong to the Soviet Union? How can a continent with so much military power collapse under the rule of an iron-strong political party.

The answers were simple. The analyst stated that he had been to Moscow and had seen the line-up of soldiers and officers and knew the details of the huge military force, however this had no relation to his prediction of the collapse of the Soviet Union. He said, “I was certain of this great nations’ bleak future when I saw long queues of Russians standing for hours to get a loaf of bread or a piece of meat!”

The new and fierce Iranian escalation against the international community, President Ahmadinejad’s statement that the UN’s resolution was nothing but “a piece of torn paper”, and the claim that Iran will triumph over America and Israel, are all evidence that there is a real problem in Tehran. It is a mix of ignorance of the situations in the international community, ignorance of Iran’s internal state, the belief in imaginary Iranian strength and an outright religious ideological interpretation that has no connection to international relations or the balance of powers.

What Iran is doing has been done before by many. Colonel Gadaffi challenged the international community and believed that his Green Book would prevail and spent millions on terrorist groups from Ireland to the Philippines. The outcome was that he surrendered voluntarily and sent all of his Korean missiles to America and gave it a list of details of what it owned and declared that Libya had surrendered voluntarily.

There was also Saddam Hussein who was stubborn, who defied and who rallied the people in the street, and rejected any peace initiatives thus committing a crime against millions of innocent Iranians in his first war and then turning on Kuwait and rejecting all Arab and international solutions only to eventually end up in that famous hole in the ground! If only the Iranians would learn from the North Korea experience, the country that spent all its money on nuclear weapons and threatened the world. The outcome was a famine that affected millions of people who were unable to get a piece of bread whilst their South Korean counterparts were enjoying vast economic growth.

We do not know if any person in Tehran will take any advice or if anyone realizes the grave mistake of the Iranian escalation with the UN, and the squandering of the Iranian people’s wealth in a useless nuclear arms race whilst the nation is in need of every penny. However we say, as concerned neighbors, that the current Iranian policies will end in tragedy and that matters must be taken into fine consideration. There is the possibility that matters would develop into scenarios that were not anticipated by the decision-makers in Tehran including the military option that some incorrectly believe could never happen due to the present American situation in Iraq.

The price of every catastrophe that afflicts Iran, God forbid, will be paid by its neighbors and all of Iran’s good deeds will also reflect on them. Our only fear is that Iran may think that it can score at the last minute, a venture for which we may have to pay a heavy price.