After Obama’s re-election, what is next for Iran?

Last night’s re-election of President Barack Obama as well as the Senate elections and the ballot measures will alter the political landscape in the US more than the 2008 election did, but the rest of the world has mainly been watching this US Presidential election because of its effect on how to deal with Iran.

How urgent of a problem is Iran?

First of all, Iran is not that important as the world and Iran itself believe. It’s in the news all the time because it’s a mysterious, fascinating country which conjures up a lot of pre-conceived notions which nobody can verify because (except for me) nobody has ever been to Iran. If I was the US President, I would worry about Afghanistan, I would have sleepless nights over Pakistan, I would worry about Syria for the time being, I would worry about China’s and Russia’s continuing obstruction at the UN, I would worry about Egypt. Honestly, I may even worry more about Greece and Saudi Arabia than about Iran.

Sure, Iran has a nasty and brutally oppressive government which sows terror in the region and is striving to get the nuclear bombBut Iran is becoming completely isolated, except for friendly relations with the current Iraqi government. Bashar al-Assad of Syria, Iran’s last ally in the Middle East, will fall next year at the latest. Iran has the moral support of Hugo Chavez and similar lunatics, but he is far away and has problems of his own.

The Iranian economy has collapsed. It is completely in shambles. Its civilian aircraft are dropping from the sky for lack of maintenance. The rial suffers from galloping inflation, so much that in some shops in Iran the prices are now indicated in US-$, so that they don’t have to be amended every day. People are selling their kidneys in order to survive. The sanctions have some holes, but overall they have been working quite well.

Whoever has the chance to leave Iran does so. Whoever is young and bright and productive is leaving the country. The rest of the young and bright are in prison. Iran is on the way to become a country of old men and religious fanatics. If it won’t change, it will collapse or implode.

But what about Iran’s nuclear program?

OK, that is a problem. It is clear that Iran is working not only on a civilian, but a military nuclear program. The evidence is overwhelming and the Iranian government has been caught lying about it repeatedly.

We need to continue our course of sabotage, planting viruses, killing nuclear scientists, blowing up weapons factories and so on. This has been very effective in delaying and derailing the Iranian progress. Let’s keep in mind that we are not talking about a country with extraordinary technological or organizational abilities (remember the brain drain). The Iranian space program’s proudest moment was when a mouse, a turtle and a can of worms were sent into space. They all died. The Iranian nuclear program began in 1957 and look where it is now.

If all the sabotage won’t work and Iran will become too close to building a nuclear weapon, we could still launch military attacks against specific nuclear sites, as Israel successfully did against Iraq in 1981 and against Syria in 2007. Ironically, Israel’s destruction of Saddam Hussein’s nuclear program helped Iran which was at war with Iraq at the time. Both Iraq and Syria never responded or retaliated against the superbly executed Israeli missions, probably because they were too embarrassed that foreign aircraft could invade their airspace, destroy the country’s nuclear program and return home unharmed. Admittedly, destroying Iran’s nuclear program would be much harder because it is spread out to dozens of sites, but if delaying is our goal for now, we don’t need to attack all of these sites.

It would be a shame if Israel again had to do all the dirty work, while the rest of the world, including all of Iran’s Middle Eastern neighbours, are secretly hoping for Israel’s success. This is not a matter for Israel to take up, but for the world, and NATO countries should therefore fully support such an action (or actions, if they have to be repeated every few years).

“But this would end in World War III,” I hear you scream out with horror. No, it wouldn’t lead to war at all. Iran is too weak politically and militarily (and will run out of money if the sanctions continue) and not in a position to lead a war, especially not against NATO. Iran would grumble and protest, Mullahs would try to incite the geezers who attend mosques, and Iran would retaliate through its proxies Hamas and Hezbollah. But it is doing so all the time anyway and we have learnt more or less how to deal with this threat.

Why can’t we negotiate with Iran?

I am for continuing negotiations with Iran because they don’t cost much and we have nothing to lose. But based on the experience of the previous and current negotiations, I see no reason for optimism. Most meetings between the EU and Iran are over after 5 minutes because there is no agreement about the agenda of the meeting or they are limited to exchanging friendly words and empty rhetoric.

Just read how two representatives of Iran’s regime have responded to the re-election of Barack Obama:

“An overnight resumption of relations is not possible. The Americans should not think they can gain concessions from the Iranian people by coming to the negotiating table.”

And, more flowery:

“If the interest of the regime requires it, we are prepared to negotiate with the devil in the pits of hell.”

What can you seriously expect from negotiations with such a regime? Let alone the question of what to negotiate about: (a) Iran’s main concern is that it wants to be respected as a player in the region. Iran will mention its “thousands of years of history and culture” (which it admittedly has) at each meeting, but will behave like a 16-year old teenager who wants a nuclear program because he thinks it is part of becoming an adult, much like buying a first car. (b) The world has no problem with a civilian nuclear program in Iran, but doesn’t trust Iran that it will restrict it to peaceful means. The past behaviour of Iran’s regime has not given us any reason to trust it. (c) We could trust Iran if it became more open, liberal, democratic and would stop supporting terrorists and issuing fatwas. In two words, regime change. (d) It is of course impossible to negotiate regime change with a sitting regime, especially one which faces no real opposition at home.

What are the chances of regime change in Iran?

Oh, how I wish that Iran would become free and democratic! I have been to Iran twice and it is a fascinating country with fascinating, kind, intelligent, humorous, sweet people who deserve and would cherish liberty. I have fallen in love with one of the country’s daughters and part of my family lives in Iran and I wish I could visit them without fear of being arrested again, like during my last visit. I battled the police and militia in the streets of Tehran in June 2009 with thousands of brave Iranians during the attempted “Green Revolution”.

Sadly, the protests fizzled out quickly when the government cracked down violently. Iran lacks any kind of effective opposition and the large diaspora around the world seems to forget the plight of their fellow citizens left behind as soon as they come to Europe or America. Compared to Libyans and Syrians who have returned to their home countries to fight the dictatorship, Iranians abroad mostly seem to relate to their country by regularly congregating in Persian restaurants. No, I don’t see any hope for regime change in Iran in the near future. If there is nothing at all coming from Iranians inside and outside of Iran, then the rest of the world doesn’t have anything to support, even if it wanted to. However, once there is any sign of an opposition or a civil society forming inside of Iran, I think it deserves our full support.

About Andreas Moser

You will most likely find me in the forest, next to the lake, reading a book. Just follow the cigar smoke!
This entry was posted in Elections, Iran, Israel, Military, Politics, USA. Bookmark the permalink.

18 Responses to After Obama’s re-election, what is next for Iran?

  1. The horror scenario of Iran nuking other countries willy-nilly can be disproved with a concept that reached wide knowledge after the September 11th attacks in the US. “Why launch an attack with a clear return address?” If Iran fires off a nuke, Israel, the UK, or we or heck, even the French and Germans) would have enough warheads to turn Iran into radioactive glass. The bigger concern surrounding nukes would be a terrorist “suitcase bomb” or “dirty bomb”.
    Unfortunately, the US is fixated on Iran from back in the Shah’s day. There is an old maxim saying “Generals are always planning to fight the last war” – such is also true of diplomatic relations. I agree with your assessment – I would rate Pakistan as the number one problem requiring attention, with Afghanistan, then Syria, then Egypt. China and Russia, while potential economic problems, are fairly benign (with the obvious exception of their veto powers in the Security Council). Frankly put, I’m less concerned about what shenanigans Vladimir Putin might get up to once his back heals), and FAR more about whether there will be a Euro in a coupe years, and whether that Euro will be used in Greece, Spain, Italy, Portugal, and yes, even Ireland.
    Don’t get me wrong – Iran is a problem. But they’re a problem rather like Donald Trump – the more attention you pay them, the more crazy stuff they say and do. Let ‘em wither on the vine for a bit, get the “trouble triad” of Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan on steady (steadier? less unstable?) footings, then work on quieting the WHOLE Middle East/North Africa area.
    But hey, as the old saying goes, “If I know so dang much, how come I ain’t rich”? ;)

  2. I love that country Iran. How i wish there could be a regime change that will usher in democracy and rule of law.

  3. Truth says:

    Complete Bullshit

  4. Truth says:

    Let them live their life as they wish. They never attacked us frontally. They are not meddling with us, why should we do so? We are calling them terrorists and all the crap that follows, what if another country were naming us with such insults?
    If we don’t want them to get nuke, it’s very easy. Israel has been bullying them for decades. Because Israel has its nuke and know dissuasive capacity of it. Let’s denuclearize Israel for a change, let’s tell them to get the hell out of Palestine territories and warn in the strongest way all the arabs to not bother Israel anymore. I’m sure that we’ll save money and life like that.
    Take a look at this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vUtBz7hAO0c

  5. Me says:

    Your article is useless and waste of space. I thought you have a sensible and reasonable opinion but I’m so disappointed and frustrated. I am American and will always be. You should be promoting peace and not war. You probably have never been to Iran or even any Middle-east country. U.S govt./president should worry more about its own country. The responsibility of each countries is on its own govt. not U.S. All these stupid idea that Iran is a threat just because they don’t want U.S to destroy their country is a farce. You specifically pick on Iran for regime change while ignoring the atrocities the Saudi, Bahrain, Kuwait kings are commiting against their people. All these sanctions, and threats U.S is making against Iran is all because of Isreal and nothing more. Iran and U.S. do not have any relationship and U.S govt. begging others not to do business with Iran just show its desperation. You want to make enemy with Russia, Pakistan, Syria, Libya, and so on, you quickly forget how Hitler lost the world war. There are so many better, peaceful, successful, democratic countries in the world and they are not worried about Iran a bit because Iran is not a threat to them. The only reason every countries is a threat to U.S is becuase of its bullying. When would you advice U.S govt. to do away with its own thousands of nuclear weapons, over a thousand military bases in other countries? How about the proposed Defense Missile U.S is trying to build in Europe, what is the need for it? These are useless confrontations that start war. Using of drones to kill people around the world? and when a country shoot down the drone or shot at it, you declare war. Common stop this rubbish you posting around. Your intelligence is minute.

    • Re “You probably have never been to Iran or even any Middle-east country.”
      You probably have never read the above article, nor any other part of my blog, or you would have noticed that I have very well been to Iran as well as most other countries in the Middle East for dozens of times.

  6. Me says:

    There are so many people like you who visit other countries, smile, laugh, pretend to be a good guy while you are there, when you leave there, you start to write garbage and bad things about the countries. You visited Iran, no one attacked you, no terrorist blow you up, the regime did not order you killing, yet you come back safe and healthy, and you still talk bad about them.

    • Re “You visited Iran, no one attacked you,” and “you come back safe and healthy”.
      Again, you don’t seem to have read my blog. I was first beaten up by the Iranian regime, and then arrested and put into solitary confinement without any access to a lawyer or my Consulate or indeed anybody.

      • Gentile says:

        I won’t waste my time reading any more of your crap to check but I am assuming that you were participating in demonstrations and were picked up. I am not defending the government but you were not singled out, were you?

      • I was arrested while on the way to have dinner with an Iranian lawyer and his wife and his 6-year old daughter. Our car was stopped in the middle of the road and we were dragged out of the car, blindfolded and driven to prison. Yes, I felt singled out.

  7. Gentile says:

    look, I live here and I can sense BS when I hear it. So what is your honest thoughts on why you were singled out?

    • An Iranian lawyer meeting with a German lawyer seemed to be too suspicious to the Islamic Republic of Iran. So they thought they would take us to prison for a week to “ask us some questions”.

  8. Gentile says:

    With a name like yours, why are you surprised?

  9. persian says:

    U are Iranian but, advice others to bomb Iran? U article is crap dude.

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