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Deciphering Iran | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Observers of Iranian policy cannot clearly understand it, since it is filled with indecipherable puzzles and riddles.

There are many messages with double-meanings that bewilder anyone that tries to explain them. On one hand, the government of the Iranian Islamic Republic says it is concerned about the interests of the Iranian nation and Muslim interests and their unity, and is looking after their interests and solving their problems. On the other hand, its deeds, the practical evidence which speaks louder than words, indicate quite the opposite. Iranian interference in the affairs of numerous Arab and Islamic states has become not only worrying, but are a cause for distress, and violent conflagrations.

Lately, there are messages with double-meanings directed at Israel and the United States, which were once known as the “great Satan,” but in stark contrast to the constant popular inflammatory rhetoric used since the Khomeini revolution, are know discussed using words and phrases not previously used in relation to these two states, such as “good relations” and “friendship”.

Iran, for a period succeeded in convincing the world that there are two trends coexisting in it, doves and hawks, while in reality both trends resemble an extremist-form of ‘bird flu’. The Iranian decision-making is in fact controlled by the Supreme Leader of the Iranian Revolution, Ali Khamenei, despite all that is presented to the people of a moderate Khatami and an intransigent Ahmadinejad. Perhaps Khamenei’s statements in defense of Ahmadinejad and his approval and blessing of Ahmadinejad’s policies prove this point.

The party responsible for progress on the nuclear issue is the Supreme Council for National Security, headed by his Excellency the president, and what the president says represents the opinions of the authorities of the state. But even Ahmadinejad’s space for maneuvering is limited. When he tried to expose officials involved in corruption, one of the president’s ideological supporters, a former member of parliament, said that dozens of high-ranking religious leaders, including some close to Khamenei, used their influence to appropriate hundreds of millions of US dollars by embezzlement and even by murdering their opponents. This matter made Khamenei very angry; Ahmadinejad understood the message and quickly abandoned his supporter. Following that incident, ‘friendly fire’ was directed at Ahmadinejad by former Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Velayati, who is known to be close to Khamenei. That ‘friendly fire’ was in the form of a strongly worded article written by Velayati criticizing Ahmadinejad’s policies as being ‘illogical’, and made it abundantly clear that the real decision-maker in Iran is the Supreme Leader of the Iranian Revolution.

Consequently, it is time for Iran to face the truth and shoulder the consequences. It is time for it to deal with the world clearly and frankly and with one face. It cannot carry on preaching the values of tolerance and common interests, while giving a free hand to elements in the government to occupy islands, arm militias and support one party against another.

The secret codes of Iranian policies are now being deciphered. What has surfaced is neither pleasing nor reassuring. This may explain Arab fears and their increasing anxiety of Iran’s questionable intentions.