Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Iran: The Good News is Really Bad - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
Select Page

It may look like some of the western statements concerning Iran are good for Tehran however this is not the case. This is because after Ahmadinejad announced that his country is set to begin producing nuclear fuel enriched at higher levels, France said that they are not certain of the possibility of imposing international sanctions on Iran due to Chinese non-cooperation, while the US Secretary of Defense said that “the only path that is left to us at this point, it seems to me, is the pressure track, but it will require all of the international community to work together.”

These are statements that seem at first glance to be an Iranian victory with regards to its dealings with the West, especially since Iran – according to the German Foreign Minister – has “repeatedly bluffed and played tricks. It has played for time” and this is in order to prevent any attempt to unify the international community against Tehran. However is this in fact good news for Tehran or an Iranian success?

I don’t think so. For if the Iranians, as a Turkish official described them “invented chess [and] there are no short cuts with them” then the bad news for Iran in this case is that the possibility of Israel launching a military strike against it is now greater than at any time in the past. If the West – whether this is the US or Europe – merely announced that negotiations with Iran had reached a dead-end, this would be a good opportunity for Israel to persuade the West to launch a military strike against Iran, especially since the Iranians have succeeded in using up the time allotted to them by US President Barack Obama. This is a point of weakness that the Republicans are using to attacking Obama in Washington, and the best example of this are the attacks in the media made by Sarah Palin against the US President, particularly when she said “we need a commander-in-chief not a professor of law standing at the lectern.”

Therefore we say that what seems like good news for Iran is in reality bad news, and this is because Iran has become more vulnerable to an Israeli military strike than at any time before. The Iranian regime is [also] facing an internal crisis, and Iran backing away from its nuclear rights will cause a violent confrontation with the [political] opposition that has now permeated the Iranian street. In this event, the question will be; why have the mullahs wasted time [on this nuclear program] and put the country’s economy at risk? This is an issue that the Iranian opposition is exploiting with great intelligence.

In the event of a military confrontation taking place and the regime suffering genuine injuries – which is what is expected to happen – the mullahs will also be facing a critical situation from the growing domestic anger. Therefore the Iranian regime is facing a crisis – as noted above – because it is more concerned about maintaining its internal legitimacy. In the event of a military confrontation, internal collapse would mean the end of the mullahs’ rule, whereas failure in the face of an external military strike would give the regime the opportunity to violently suppress the opposition in the name of defending the homeland in the face of “treason.” However should this happen, the question remains; will the Iranian regime be able to survive?

Therefore we say that the good news for Iran is accompanied by a lot of bad news.

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.

More Posts