Post by Maria
Hands up then.
Me - no. For these reasons -
[ ... ]
Post by Maria
2) The people of Iran want to modernise, but also rather than just
sitting there are whining about it, are actually doing it - every day
they openly defy the religious dictats of the state. This is to be
encouraged and supported, not placed under threat by the growth of
religious activists driven on by American threats. A much-needed
revolution is already taking place, but the West seems to be putting
its consideration on only one aspect of Iranian society - its' batty
But countries do from time to time have 'batty leaders' Hitler was
such. Hussein was such. Stalin must have been such.
The pertinent point is that here in the West we have systems that
allow us to rid ourselves of 'batty leaders' In countries like Iran
with its theocratic democracy it's not quite so simple for the public
voice to be heard let alone be heeded.
Whatever the case, foreign governments can only deal with governments
and not people. At the end of the day, it would not be the Iranian
people who would decide whether or not missiles are going to be
launched but their 'batty leaders' It is their finger on the trigger.
Post by Maria
3) Iran has a genuine energy crisis, in that it has a massively
increasing demand for refined oil, but very poor and outdated refining
capability. Given Iran's huge oil deposits, it would to me only make
sense for us in the West to stop carping on about nuclear reactors,
and assist Iran in developing new and updated refining capability.
This would involve dropping all sanctions against Iran (including the
US oil embargo) and developing the already good trade and commerce
relationships that we (and much of the rest of the world has) with
If Iran does have "a genuine energy crisis" then clearly it is of its
This issue goes right back to the nationalisation of the Anglo Iranian
Oil Company back in the 50's. At that time the expertise of the oil
companies was simply kicked out along with their employing companies.
Since then just about everyone has had a go at getting profitable oil
out of Iran. It has usually ended in tears as the result of political
volatility inside the country.
It's not governments who are needed to "assist Iran in developing new
and updated refining capability" but oil companies who have the
expertise and the capital. Fortunately that capital is privately owned
and in the interests of the owners of that capital oil companies would
expect a commercial return on it. The history of relationships between
oil companies and the various governments of Iran has been fraught
The basic prerequisite of entering into a sound commercial
relationship is to have a sound commercial business reputation.
Unfortunately the peoples of this part of the world are not famous for
upholding agreements they have solemnly entered into.
Whatever the case there is no international impediment to Iran
developing a nuclear energy industry. This is a lie perpetuated by the
'batty leader' himself falling on only too receptive ears.
The issue is the enrichment of nuclear fuel which is quite a different
issue. Natural Uranium refined from the ore cannot be used in a
commercial reactor. It has first to be enriched. Provided therefore an
adequate audited supply of ready enriched nuclear fuel is available
then a nuclear power programme can go ahead.
Ahmadinejad protests that Iran has no ambitions in the direction of
nuclear armaments. He must then answer the question as to why iran
needs an enrichment capability if not for nuclear weapons? His country
would never be dependent on a single country for nuclear fuel since
there are several sources.
There is no US oil embargo against Iran as such. Rather it is a
general embargo. US law precludes US companies and their foreign
subsidaries from trading with Iran at all. This has been the case
since the Reagan years. Clearly this action has had no negative
repercussions on the US economy. Why then should the US government
change its policy in this respect? To do so would surely be tantamount
to surrender in the face of victory or, at the very least, non defeat.
If the US is to contemplate such action then it can only do so in
return for something tangible Otherwise such would become once more
another empty example of gesture politics that would inciite further
demands for concessions. Above all the US should stand firm. It the
embargo does hurt then the initiative shuld come from Iran. If it does
not then it is irrelevant.
Post by Maria
4) If we do these things, then we stand a much greater chance of
influencing the outcome in Iran than we do by threatening mlitary
action whenever a sovereign state tries to secure it's own future in
ways which alarm the West. Iran has another problem - in a similar
position as Israel, it is surrounded by 'enemies' - US allies and
forces - Pakistan, Iraq, Israel, Afghanistan, Saudi...if Iran (and the
people of Iran) wanted to build a capable defence capability, surely
it is only because the West constantly threatens it and surrounds it
in the same way that Israel feels threatened by its geolocation. The
pragmatic long-term response to this IMV is simply to desist from watch
viewing Iran as an 'evil' enemy and give reassurances that should Iran
drop the possibility of obtaining nuclear arms, it will get security
But it is the declared official policy of the Iranian government that
Iran has no military nuclear ambitions!
Are you seriously suggesting that those who Tehran openly declares to
be its enemies should sit idly by whilst it acquires such? To do so
would be a folly worse than Munich since the day approacheth whn Iran
will need to be faced down.
Post by Maria
The Israel issue is seperate IMV - if Israel wants to bomb Iran
nuclear installations for her own security, then perhaps she should -
that is a local issue (at this stage). What we should not then do is
to try and influence Israel or Iran, but let that process take place
without intervention on either side, because it is about Israel's
relationship with Iran. IMV much of the instability in the world is
not caused by the threat of local conflicts, most of which might
remain small and short-lived should they be allowed to simply develop,
but which often turn into regional conflagrations due to the
alliances of heavyweight backers such as China or the US.
So I am against a military strike on Iran by the West (which includes
us), but indifferent to one undertaken by Israel for her own security.
I am in favour of building riendships with Iran wherever possible, in
order to remove the cause of the possible desire for conflict.