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Has the Isolation of Iran Begun? - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Anyone following the latest news on Iran, and particularly the Western – Iranian dispute regarding the nuclear issue, will notice that features of political isolation have become evident against Tehran as a result of the western political attack, and in contrast to this there has also been a clear decline in Iran’s political activity.

For while the Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Michael Mullen, and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton are visiting the region, we are also witnessing the emergence of Russian political positions that are closer to the US position against Iran which calls for the imposing of sanctions. There was also the statement by US Vice President Biden who said that his country expects to obtain Chinese support for the US position of imposing sanctions on Tehran. All of these positions and movements are met with inertia and confusion in Iran, especially as the US activity in the region indicates that Washington is following the carrot-and-stick policy. Therefore we see Hillary Clinton visiting the region at the same time as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Michael Mullen, who famously said that he wants to persuade Israel to restrain its desire to take military action against Iran, and this statement is significant, of course.

Here some might say that perhaps Iran and its politicians are busy with the celebrations of the anniversary of the Khomeini Revolution, and it is true that they were busy suppressing half the people of Iran, rather than celebrating, which is something that reveals the internal crisis in the country. We must also remember that the outbreak of [political] demonstrations in Tehran during the recent presidential elections did not stop the politicians at the time from undertaking [political] activity, and this was led by Ahmadinejad himself who visited foreign countries whilst this was taking place.

There is a small – but important – piece of news that reveals the Iranian confusion and anxiety as a result of the western political deluge which is attacking Tehran from all directions, including Israel, after it was announced that Netanyahu is visiting Russia for three days. This small news item which was announced by Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting [IRIB] and reported by the Syrian-News website is that Ahmadinejad telephoned President Bashar al-Assad on Thursday and that “Ahmadinejad informed al-Assad that should Israel launch an attack on the region it [Israel] must be confronted and eliminated.” The news went on to reveal that Ahmadinejad told al-Assad “we have reliable information…that the Zionist regime is seeking compensation for its ridiculous defeats from the people of Gaza and Lebanon’s Hezbollah.” Ahmadinejad added that “Iran will remain on the side of the regional countries, whether this is Syria, Lebanon, or Palestine” and that “if the Zionist regime repeats its mistake and initiates a military operation, then it must be resisted with full force to put an end to it once and for all.”

However we know that Iran did not fire one bullet to help Hezbollah in 2006, and Tehran failed to come to the aid of Gaza when it was facing Israeli aggression, and it failed to do anything when Israel attacked Deir ez-Zor in Syria. Ahmadinejad has called for the Syrians to intervene in the event of a war breaking out [between Iran and Israel] and looking at Ahmadinejad’s words to al-Assad it is clear that this is something that Tehran expects to happen. Therefore from here we say that it is clear that Tehran has begun to feel politically isolated, and this is something that has begun to surround the country from all directions.

Tariq Alhomayed

Tariq Alhomayed

Tariq Alhomayed is the former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat. Mr. Alhomyed has been a guest analyst and commentator on numerous news and current affair programs, and during his distinguished career has held numerous positions at Asharq Al-Awsat, amongst other newspapers. Notably, he was the first journalist to interview Osama Bin Ladin's mother. Mr. Alhomayed holds a bachelor's degree in media studies from King Abdul Aziz University in Jeddah. He is based in London.

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