Iran's Position on Middle East Conflicts
Larijani, Ali, Hampton Roads International Security Quarterly
I come from a region where in the past 30 years and specifically in the most recent years it has witnessed the highest number of conflicts. Some years ago we had to defend ourselves against an eight year war waged by Saddam against my country. Later the West waged a war against Saddam for his occupation of Kuwait and later still came the occupation of Iraq itself, which led to the killing and injury of more than 800,000 Iraqis, the flames of another war were tanned in Afghanistan, and more recently in another part of the region, Israel with U.S. design attacked Lebanon, and of course most recently, came the Israeli war against the brave and victimized people of Gaza. These conflicts were waged with different excuses, but terrorism and WMDs were the main casus belli. The main question is: by waging such wars which alone cost Iran 250,000 martyrs did regional security improve? Did terrorism grow weaker? Or were nukes found in Iraq? When occupying Afghanistan, the U.S. claimed that the goal there was to control drugs, fight terrorism and apprehend terrorist leaders. Which of these has been realized?
Back in 200l and immediately after occupation, the production of narcotics In Afghanistan was something close to 200 tons. But in 2008 the figure has shot to 8000 tons. The war against terrorism, by morphing into secret talks between certain NATO members and terrorist representatives, has turned into a painful farce. With their handiwork plainly evident in the Herat prison incident and the subsequent escape of hundreds of inmates. Also, the leadership of terror groups is still very much intact. What goal has been secured then? The new U.S. president has said that his Middle East envoy has been dispatched to the region to hear what different parties have to say, rather than to give orders. This initial approach is a positive signal which demonstrates the wrong past strategies only exacerbated security problems. One must be better aware of the cultural characteristics of different regions and the issues and problems they face. With this, I would like to talk now about the concerns of the region, in the hopes that they will be heeded. By organizing the 1953 coup in Iran the U.S. toppled Mosadegh's nationalist administration and restored the Pahlavi dictatorship. This meddling resulted in Iran being kept back - it also helped the U.S. to gain control of our energy resources and further resulted in decades of repression and torture which claimed the lives of many great Iranians. In 1978, by dispatching a team headed by General Huyser, the U.S. worked to organize another coup, but thanks to the vigilance of the Late Imam Khomeini (PBUH), it was foiled. After the victory of the Islamic revolution, through its embassy In Tehran, the U.S. designed and put in motion a number of efforts to break the country and hatched plots to assassinate revolutionary figures documents of which are available. The U.S. encouraged Saddam to attack Iran and, in the course of the eight year conflict, provided him with every military support. Sometimes, during the course of my nuclear talks with my dear friend Mr. Solana, discussing Islamic concepts, its different disciplines and the issues we have faced throughout the life of the Islamic Revolution, were unavoidable. Such discussions helped with a better understanding of the region. If the new approach is based on an understanding of the realities, as they exist on the ground, it will be rational; otherwise clinging to delusions and issuing orders will not be helpful. After the Revolution the U.S. froze all Iranian assets. The U.S. broke Its nuclear contract with Iran, in the very first days of the revolution. After 9/l1, on the excuse of fighting terrorism and Iraqi WMDs, the U.S. occupied Afghanistan and Iraq. This was a great inconvenience both for the people of the region and the U.S. military. The 33 day war waged by Israel against Lebanon was carried out with U. …