The world can hardly watch the movement into the future within Iran without feeling some admiration for the courage and vision of the enigmatic and perplexing Mahmoud Ahmadinejad who has, it appears, single-handedly taken the nation of Iran from the dark ages into the twenty-first century. The 55 year old has shown vision and determination and, while pundits must be cautious, there is ground for praising the man.
A letter from chief Iranian nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili was sent Tuesday, just a day before Iran claimed two major advances in producing nuclear fuel, and a concurrent Iranian Oil Embargo placed by Iran on European countries in retaliation for sanctions. As to the matter of renewed talks with the nuclear authorities from the West, Chief negotiator Saeed Jalili restated an offer from October offering participation in talks regarding Iran’s right to peaceful nuclear development for energy production. Iran called in these communications with the European Union — the United States, Russia, China, France, Britain, and Germany — for new talks, “at the earliest possibility’’ “We voice our readiness for dialogue on a spectrum of various issues which can provide ground for constructive and forward looking cooperation,”
Jalili wrote in response to a proposal from EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, who advocated plans for a new round of talks which would in Ashton’s words, “restore international confidence in the exclusively peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear program.” Iran’s Jalili concurred with the view of Ashton, and said that “by committing to this approach, our talks for cooperation based on step-by-step principles and reciprocity on Iran’s nuclear issue could be commenced.”
Within the framework of new talks, a group of inspectors under the direction of Herman Nackaerts left from Vienna on Sunday afternoon with plans to meet with Iranian scientists and to tour a military base in Parchin. Nackaerts told reporters “We hope to have concrete results after this trip… The highest priority remains the possible military dimensions of Iran’s nuclear program, and we want to tackle all outstanding issues. This is of course a complex issue which may take a while.’’ While some have expressed uncertainty whether the team will be allowed to visit nuclear facilities, Iranian state-run television indicated to viewers that the visit would be made. The current visit by Nackaerts team will be the second International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) visit in three weeks. Following the previous visit the inspection team praised the meetings but said there was “still a lot of work to be done” to ease fears over Iran’s nuclear activities.
Iran has had to take steps in recognition of lately developed harsh words and bold threats from Israel, which in spite of positive developments, are wary of Iran’s intentions, and warn of a real possibility of a pre-emptive strike to neutralize any Iranian nuclear potential for harming the Israeli state. In an effort to quell the fist-shaking from Jerusalem, Iran has announced a round of air-defense war games to practice protecting nuclear and other sensitive sites. The exercises, called “Sarollah,” which translates as “God’s Revenge,” will take place near the port of Bushehr, the site of Iran’s just unveiled nuclear power plant.
Iran’s defense minister, Brigadier General Ahmad Vahidi said Tehran is building new and advanced warplanes; an Iranian broadcaster displayed a photo of a long-range land-to-sea missile called “Qader” being fired during war games. It was therein announced that a drill by Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards was in its final phases “to further improve the combat preparedness of Iranian armed forces.’’
Tehran, subject to sanctions from the West, has responded with sanctions of its own, carefully developed to show some level of defiance, while boosting the long-range Iranian economy. Tehran has indicated it may extend a discontinuation of oil exports to Britain and France and to other European powers it deems hostile, in light of broader economic sanctions by the European Union due on July 1. Iran’s deputy oil minister, Ahmad Qalebani, said oil exports to Spain, the Netherlands, Greece, Germany, Italy, and Portugal might also be banned. If the hostile actions of certain European countries continue, oil exports to these countries will be stopped,’’ Qalebani, also the managing director of the National Iranian Oil Company said.
It is difficult in light of day to day developments not to accept that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is a major player on the world stage.
Iran is still responding to threats of a strike from Israel. On Tuesday morning, as this Blogcritics article goes to press, Iran is feeling continued pressure, and is not taking it lightly. Iran will strike if necessary to protect its national interests. Iranian General Mohammad Hejazi issued a statement that Iran “Will no more wait to see enemy action against us…. We will make use of all our means to protect our national interests and hit a retaliatory blow at them whenever we feel that enemies want to endanger our national interests.”