Saturday, December 19, 2009

Iranian Provocations

The news that an Iranian military force (the infamous Revolutionary Guards, under a thin camouflage) seized an oil well in Iraq has provided the latest incredibly foolish provocation by a government that is out of bounds and headed for disaster.

The previous ones were reneging on an agreement to peacefully process some of Iran's enhanced uranium, which would have gone a long way toward defusing the building crisis over the country's nuclear program, testing a new long-range missile, and announcing they would build 10 (!) new, secret enhancement facilities in response for being condemned for their lack of cooperation with international nuclear regulatory authorities.

The 10 new sites bit was pure bluster--they wouldn't need anything like that to build a bomb, and they will never be built--but the knee-jerk nationalism was targeted to try to rally domestic public support for their regime's aggressive behavior. There is deep anger with Supreme Leader Khamenei and President Ahmadinejad in the country, and demagoguery is about all they have left.

It's high time for severe sanctions on Iran, particularly the sleazy front groups for the Revolutionary Guards' business deals--Khamenei's main source of support these days. Constructive engagement has not worked--it should not be permanently abandoned, but it should be shelved. Support for Iraq's sovereignty--backed by implicit threat of force, if necessary--should end this current mini-crisis, but if the current thread of Iranian government provocations continues, they will give the US or Israel plenty of opportunity to punish their regime with full international support. The Iranians are always claiming that what they want is respect for their theocratic regime in the world community, but their recent actions undermine their own aims, and they need to be convinced clearly that developing a nuclear weapon will similarly defeat their purposes.

1 comment:

Chin Shih Tang said...

The death of Ayatollah Montazeri could provide a rallying point for opponents of the regime. A new phase with unpredictable outcomes has started.