Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Recent Posts

Recent Posts  
Ali-Asghar Kazemi
* * *
Links to other Sites
Iran's Nuclear Euphoria...
Iran's Mixed Signals to the West
Iran: The Moment of Truth
If Iraq Falls Apart: A Worst Case Scenario
The Shadow of Terror over Iraq
The Dilemma of Iran's Foreign Policy...
Iran's Nuclear Gamble: Boldness vs. Prudence
The Weird Child of Democracy
*Strategic Implications of WMD Proliferation in the ME
* Religion, Peace and War...
* The Guardian State (3)
*The Guardian State (2)
* The Rise of the Guardian State (1)
* Iran and the Nuclear Trap
* Religion, Politics and Terrorism * The Persian Paradox and the West * Iran's Nuclear Case: One Step to the UN Security Council
* Iran: The Price of Going Nuclear * Iran's New President and the Nuclear Issue * Iran-U.S. Nuclear Wrangle... * Iran-Iraq Rapprochement...
* Iran's Presidential Elections...
* Insurgency in Iraq...

Friday, January 04, 2008

The Persian Hypocrisy

The Persian Hypocrisy*
Ali Asghar Kazemi
January 2008


Ever since the hard-line government came to power in Iran and attempted to solve various problems of the country by force and populist policies, inflation, unemployment and other social troubles got out of control in various sectors of the society. At first officials denied the whole quandary and blamed liberals and enemies of Islam for fabricating propaganda in order to weaken the popular government.

Gradually the matter became so flagrant and critical that even hard-line MP’s in the Islamic Parliament (Majlis) started to nag and criticized the government for its failure in containing the galloping inflation. Finally the President and other high officials admitted to some extent the existence of these problems but, as expected, they put the blame on domestic invisible evils hand and extraneous factors for the anomalies. ...More

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Pax Persica Remembered...

Pax Persica Remembered
The Persian King's Political Will

Almost 30 years after the advent of the Islamic revolution in Iran, during which many signs of the Old Persian Empire and Heritage were banned from public eyes, they are anew regaining their value as symbols of honor and national pride. The more pressure to isolate the Islamic regime from world community because of its defying behavior, the more ideologues and opinion makers try to revive a sense of nationalism through remembrance of grandiose achievement of this nation as the cradle of human civilization.

Surprisingly, just recently the political will of Darius the Great 549/485 BC the Persian King appeared in an academic bulletin. The text of the bequest is quite clear and insightful and needs not further explanation here. Students of political science should read anew the content and elaborate on the matter in classes and dissertations.


"Now that I am passing from this world, there are twenty-five countries within the Iranian Empire that use our currency. Iranians are respected throughout the Empire, and likewise, Iranians respect people of these countries.My successor, Khashayar-Sha: you must try to keep these countries like I have done. This can be accomplished by not intervening in their internal affairs and by respecting their religions and cultures.Now that I am passing from this world, you have twelve korours in the royal reserve. This treasure is one of the pillars of your power because the king's power is not only dependent on the sword but also on his wealth. Keep in mind that you are to add to this reserve and not to deplete it. I am not saying not to use it in emergencies because the reason for this reserve is to be used when needed. However, at the first opportunity return to the reserve what you took. Your mother, Atousa, has been good to me; therefore, always arrange for her comfort and peace of mind.I have been building grain silos throughout the country for ten years. I learned cylindrical stone building techniques from the Egyptians. Grains remain unspoiled for several years in these silos, as they are continually being discharged and no insect infestation takes place. You must continue building silos after I am gone so that there are always two to three years worth of food supplies available. Use the existing grain to meet the demand after the new harvest, and store the new grain in the silos. Accordingly, you will never have to be worried about food in this country, even during continual drought for two to three years.Never appoint your friends and butlers to government posts, as your friendship alone should suffice them. If you appoint them to the government posts, and they do injustice to people and take advantage of resources, you will not be able to punish them. This is so because they are your friends and you unwillingly have to observe that friendship.

The water channel that I wanted to create between the Nile and the Red Sea is still under construction. You must finish this highly important and strategic project. The taxes to be imposed on ships should not be so high that sailors choose not to navigate the channel.""I have just sent an army to Egypt to bring order and security to that part of our jurisdiction. However, I did not have a chance to send an army to Greece. You must do this. Invade Greece with a strong army to show the Greeks that the king of Iran is able to punish those who created tragic events.My other advice to you: never let liars or flatterers near you as both tarnish your dynasty. Abandon the liars without mercy. Never let your ministers predominate people. I have created laws to prevent their predominance in taxation of people. The ministers and the people will be kept apart if you follow these laws.Keep the rank and file in your military satisfied, and do not ill-treat them. If you ill-treat them, they cannot reciprocate. However, in battles they would not serve you by not resisting the enemy.Continue the educational programs that I started. Let everyone read and write to improve their understanding. As people comprehend more, you will be able to rule with more confidence. Support Zoroastrian religion but never impose it on any people. Always keep in mind that everyone should be free to follow his preferred religion.After my death, wash my body, rap it with the shroud I have prepared, and put it in a stone coffin. Place the coffin in my grave and leave it uncovered to remind you, whenever you visit my grave, that even your father and the king of twenty-five countries die

You will too. This is everyone's destiny, whether a king of twenty-five countries or a prickly-bush pickers. No one is eternal. Whenever you come to visit my grave you will be overcome by your pride. However, when you see your death coming, cover my grave and ask your son to leave your grave uncovered so that he can see you.Never be the judge and plaintiff at the same time. If you have a grievance, arrange for an unbiased third party to judge the case. The case will not be judged fairly if the plaintiff serves as the judge.Never stop development projects. As a matter of fact, the country will suffer if you stop development. Well drilling, road construction, and city planning should have highest priorities.Do not forget generosity. Second to justice, generosity and forgiveness are the best characters of kings. But forgiveness is only applicable to those who have done wrong to you, not to others. If you forgive a person who has harmed someone else, then you have done injustice.I have made my remarks in the presence of others so they know I have given you the above advice prior to my death. Now, leave me alone as I feel my death approaching."

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

La politique étrangère de l'Iran

La politique étrangère de l'Iran
La phase Nouveau-Conservatrice [1]

Ali-Asghar Kazemi [2]
Mai 2006

La politique étrangère et la diplomatie sont les instruments principaux des états pour atteindre leurs objectifs, pour réaliser leurs valeurs et pour défendre leurs intérêts nationaux. Les gouvernements ont la fonction à communiquer par leurs agents diplomatiques avec ceux dont des actions et le comportement ils souhaitent influencer, découragent, changent ou la renforcent. [3] Ce processus exige une définition précise des objectifs d'un état, les rationalisations pour eux, les menaces, les promesses, et les plans et les stratégies d'établissement à l'attirail avec des problèmes et des questions controversables.Quels sont les modèles et les tendances de la politique étrangère de l'Iran pendant les dernières trois décennies, particulièrement après l'ascendance au pouvoir du nouveau gouvernement conservateur dans la République islamique de l'Iran ? Quels sont les défis les plus importants et les empêchements principaux faisant face à la politique étrangère de l'Iran à cette jointure critique ? Comment les voisins de l'Iran, particulièrement la Turquie, réagissent-ils aux efforts nucléaires de l'Iran ?


Tuesday, May 09, 2006

A Letter to the "Great Satan"

A Letter to “The Great Satan”
Ali-Asghar Kazemi

May 9, 2006

Not long ago, during the peak of heated debates over the nuclear issue and while the case was on the way to the U.N. Security Council, it was revealed by U.S. media that Americans are aiming at “regime change” in Iran. Many peoples were quite anxious that Iran’s intransigence on nuclear enrichment could finally unleash an armed conflict in the region. Two years ago I argued that chances for a clash between the two states are very slim for quite different reasons. More recently I wrote in a short paper “When….the survival is at stake, everything is permissible, since ends justify means. This is to say that principles can be sacrificed when the issue reduces to this simple question: To be or not to be?”Along the same line, when on April 11, 2006 Iranian president solemnly declared Iran’s full access to enrichment on industrial scale and claimed that Iran should be regarded as a new member to “Atomic Club” I wrote the following lines as concluding remarks to another paper on “Iran’s Mixed Signals to the West.” I argued that:“Whether the Islamic regime will surrender to the demand of the U.N. Security Council in order to avoid further escalation of the nuclear issue, is a matter of threat perception of the Iranian decision makers and their capacity to manage the crisis. Indeed, if they realize that the risks of defying the U. N. demands are much too high and beyond their endurance, they will surely come to their sense and do whatever necessary to avoid the worst to happen.”Not surprisingly, after almost a quarter of century of antagonism and controversies against the “Great Satan,” the hard-line president of the Islamic regime, who ushered his term of office with bold and aggressive deportment vis-à-vis the West, suddenly softened his position by sending a “confidential letter” to the U.S. President on may 8, 2006. The content of this letter does not really matter, the importance lies in the mere fact that at a critical moment, when a resolution under Chapter VII of the U.N. Charter is under serious consideration, the Islamic regime is now leaning towards its arch-enemy for truce.I had always argued in my previous writings that the key to end Iran’s lingering enmity with the U.S. lies in the hands of hard-line new conservative elements of the regime and not necessarily the progressive liberals. Since, as we know, the reformists were not supposed to acquire credibility in public eyes. They were regarded as traitors and enemy’s fifth column who were acting in a Gorbachovian manner to pave the way for the downfall of the regime. It was thought that the trend of democratization, as conceived and carried by the previous liberal-minded and enlightened clergy president (Khatami), was a dangerous path to collapse.Now that the new-conservatives have all the state power as well as the backing of the supreme leader, they can use all the means, tactics and skills by following Machiavellian advice of how to save a state and its institutions from the dangers of dissolution and disintegration. This does not mean that the young zealous president ever read or even heard about Machiavelli’s art of statesmanship: (roar like a lion and lament like a fox). But he seems to follow the advice by his life instinct leading to the same innate conduct.As I said before, the new conservatives are more pragmatic than reformists. They have a strong sense of survival and thus are capable to do anything to remain in power. That is why most observers believe that if there has to be any breakthrough in US-Iran relations, only conservatives are capable to do so. This is to say that if they feel their very survival and real interests threatened, as Winston Churchill once said, they will go to hell to make a deal with the “mother of Satan.”[1]Let us remember that politics is the “art of impossible” and those involved in this realm, disregard of their religious beliefs and personal creed, are somehow inadvertently dragged to the same path for what is known as the raison d’état or inherent instinct for survival.Thus, for new conservatives, values and principles are good and important as long they are subservient to their causes and interests. This does not mean that they are wicked or hypocrite, but this is considered as a virtue involving flexibility in action towards finding ways and means to achieve more fundamental objectives. In other words, when a sublime cause is at stake every thing is permissible even sending a letter to “The Great Satan.”[2] Whether the United States takes the letter seriously or not, surely, the outcome of the venture is much less important than the deed itself. /

[1] This is the historical case in which during WW2 United Kingdom concluded a peace treaty with Soviet communist in order to face Nazi’s overwhelming threat to Europe and England.

[2] As Imam Khomeini once said, for safeguarding of Islamic regime, even the primary duties of Moslem devout, such as regular daily prayers, fasting and Hajj pilgrimage, can be neglected, suspended or postponed. The main reason behind the creation of State Expediency Council was in fact to accommodate religious principles to the vital needs of the contemporary state.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Le rêve de "Pax Persica"

Le rêve de "Pax Persica"

Ali-Asghar Kazemi
18 avril 2006

On se rappellera avril 2006 dans l'histoire contemporaine de l'Iran comme borne limite. En ce mois l'Iran est devenu de nouveau le centre de l'attention dans des médias internationaux. Après ce mois le destin des ambitions nucléaires de l'Iran sera décidé dans la prochaine session du Conseil de Sécurité de l’ONU en fin d’Avril.

Tout en attendant une date limite pour se conformer à la demande de cette organisation internationale pour stopper ses activités nucléaires présumées pacifiques, le régime islamique a opté pour une politique de défit et de confrontation. Réclamant qu'il a obtenu l'enrichissement d’uranium en plein cycle, il a indiqué que le projet était au profit de la paix et de la sécurité de toutes les nations musulmanes, laissant l'impression "du grand frère" essayant d'apporter la région sous sa protection nucléaire. Ceci rappelle les rêves non atteints de l’ancien régime du Chah d’Iran qui, selon des antagonistes, voulait rétablir l'imperium persan en montant à la suprématie régionale comme "gendarme" de la région du Golfe Persique. Maintenant, en tant que membre self réclamé du club nucléaire, le régime fondamentaliste islamique contemple la vision de réaliser cet objectif en établissant ce que j'essaye d'appeler "Pax Persica" parmi la communauté musulmane (Umma'h).

Il est peut être intéressant de rappeler l’histoire ancienne que l'Empire Persan a pu régner le plus grand dominion politique connu des temps antiques malgré les Grecs et le Romans sur la terre et en mer grâce à sa puissance et ses valeurs démocratiques . La suprématie persane en ces jours n'a pas été simplement soutenu par l'audace et le courage de ses guerriers ou les instruments de guerre mais a été transpiré de la conduite, la tolérance et de l'ingéniosité de ses souverains. Les juives se rappellent encore et célèbrent toujours la mémoire du roi persan, Cyrus le grand, qui les a libérées de la tyrannie de Pharaons de
l’Egypte antique.

Pax Romana et Pax Britannica étaient en effet le produit de la sagesse de grands diplomates et politiciens contre qui a garanti la capacité de maintenir les balances en s'alliant avec les nations plus faibles de leurs périodes par coalition contre les puissants qui menaceraient de devenir prédominante. L'idée même se relie au concept du l' « équilibre des forces » comme chose nécessaire d'éviter l'escalade des crises et d'établir une paix durable et de commander ou préserver le
statu quo dans une région vulnérable.

L'équilibre du système de balance de pouvoir était un processus qu’une puissance puisse faire face avec une contre-puissance. La méthode appropriée pour accomplir cet objectif était la formation des alliances. L’avantage important de l'équilibre devait garantir la survie et l'indépendance des petites nations qui ont été protégées par l' état équilibrant contre l’invasion du grand puissant ou, autrement dit, d'assurer la paix et la stabilité dans un monde anarchique.

Un examen minutieux soigneux de cette théorie dans l'état actuel des choses dans le Moyen-Orient et le golfe Persique, nous laisse croire que les relations internationales contemporaines font défaut à prouver la validité de l'équilibre des forces. C'est particulièrement vrai en ce temps critique en ce qui concerne le régime islamique en Iran qui manque non seulement de l'appui du monde et même de la communauté islamique dans la région. D’ailleurs, il est également bien loin de l'état actuel de l'art et de la technologie requise pour être considéré comme une puissance challengeant l’occident. En outre, pour agir en tant qu'un "compensateur" dans une région stratégique, un état ne devrait pas être guidé simplement par égotisme national mais par des valeurs universelles et altruisme international. En d'autres termes, si l'effort réduit à l'intérêt pour la survie, un tel plan ou stratégie est condamné à la défaite et ne fait autres qu’ aggraver la situation.

Le Pax americana est un bon exemple qui, en dépit de sa hégémonie mondiale, cherche sincèrement l'appui d'autres grandes puissances au Conseil de Sécurité et afin de former ailleurs une coalition viable contre les menaces présumées du régime islamique en Iran. Il est peut-être nécessaire de rappeler que ce dernier manque même de l'appui des nations musulmanes. Nous devrions aussi reconnaître que dans l'état chaotique des affaires du monde, il ne semble pas très difficile d’imaginer qu’une superpuissance comme les Etats Unies est bien capable de répondre à toute menace dans le contexte militaire. Ceci signifie que n'importe comment puissant une nation pourrait être, il a néanmoins besoin d'appui des autre pour mener ses plans et stratégie.

Si une entité politique, saisie dans l'obsession de challenger un autre état ou l'existence même d'autres nations, sûrement elle doit croire être soutenue par quelques forces inconnues d’au delà ou elle devrait être exempte de sagesse conventionnelle et de bon sens. En effet, la puissance et le merci du Dieu tout-puissant ne sont pas le monopole d'une religion, d'un secte ou d'une foi spécifique. Aucune nation ne peut prétendre représenter le chemin vrai au salut et prêcher l'autre les normes admises de l'éthique.

"Pax Persica" peut être accédé seulement par la tolérance, la compassion et la sympathie vers d'autres nations dans la région tumultueuses du Moyen-Orient et du Golfe Persique. Les grandes puissances devraient s'abstenir d'aggraver la situation déjà volatile de cette zone stratégique. Puisque, ceci bénéficiera seulement les aventuriers qui voudraient escalader la situation de crise au seuil d'une guerre ne désiré afin de consolider leur puissance et garantir leur propre survie. Le rêve de « Pax Persica » peut se tourner vers le cauchemar si il n’est pas correctement dirigé. /

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

The Dream of "Pax Persica"

The Dream of “Pax Persica”

Ali-Asghar Kazemi
18 April 2006

April 2006 will be remembered in contemporary history of Iran as a landmark. In this month Iran has become once again the focus of attention in international media. At the end of this month the fate of Iran‘s nuclear ambitions will be decided upon by the U.N. Security Council.

While waiting for a deadline to comply with the demand of this world body to halt its presumed peaceful nuclear activities, the Islamic regime has opted for a policy of defiance and confrontation. Claiming that it has reached the full cycle uranium enrichment, it has said that the breakthrough was for the benefit of peace and security of the all Moslem nations, leaving the impression of “big brother” trying to bring the region under its nuclear protection. This reminds the unfulfilled dreams of the old regime that, according to antagonists, wanted to revive the Persian imperium by ascending to regional supremacy and becoming “gendarme” of the Persian Gulf region. Now as a self-claimed member of the nuclear club, the Islamic fundamentalist regime contemplates the vision of achieving that objective by establishing what I venture to call “Pax Persica” among the Moslem community (Umma’h).

Once the Persian Empire ruled the largest known political dominion of the ancient times and challenged the Greeks and Romans on land and at sea. Persian supremacy in those days was not merely backed by the audacity and courage of its warriors or instruments of war but transpired from the leadership, tolerance and ingenuity of its rulers. Jewish people still remember and celebrate the memory of the Persian king, Cyrus the Great, who liberated them from the tyranny of Pharaohs in ancient Egypt.

Pax Romana and Pax Britannica were indeed the product of wisdom of great diplomats and politicians who guaranteed the capacity to tip the scales by allying themselves with the weaker nations of their times against whatever state or coalition of states threatened to become predominant. The whole idea relates to the concept of “balance of power” as a prerequisite to avoid crisis escalation and to establish a durable peace and order or to preserve the status quo in a vulnerable region.

The balance of power system was a process of checking power with a counterpower. The suitable method to accomplish this end was the formation of alliances. One chief alleged benefit of the balance was to guarantee the survival and independence of small nations who were protected by the “balancer” from being overwhelmed by the large ones or, otherwise saying, to ensure peace and stability in an anarchic world.

A careful scrutiny of this theory in the current state of affairs in the Middle East and the Persian Gulf, leads one to believe that the present international relations fall short of proving the validity of balance of power. This is especially true at this critical time with respect to the Islamic regime in Iran that not only lacks the world support and that of the Islamic community in the region, but also is far beyond the current state of art and technology needed for a power to be reckoned with. Furthermore, to act as a “balancer” a state should not be guided merely by national egotism but by universal values and international altruism. In other words, if the endeavor reduces to self-interest for survival, any such plan or strategy is doomed to failure and my further aggravate the situation.

“Pax Americana” is a good example which, despite its worldwide hegemony, earnestly seeks the support of other great powers in the Security Council and elsewhere in order to form a viable coalition against the presumed threats of the Islamic regime in Iran; whereas this latter even lacks the support of Moslem nations. We should recognize that in the chaotic state of world affairs, it is not much difficult for a superpower to deal with a threat of minor magnitude in the military scale. This means that no matter how powerful a nation might be, it has nonetheless the need the support for its plans and strategy.

If a political entity is caught in the obsession of challenging the power or the very existence of other nations, surely it has to be either supported by some unknown forces beyond the actual equation of balance of material power or it should be devoid of conventional wisdom and common sense. Indeed, the power and merci of the Almighty God is not the monopoly of a specific religion, sect or creed. No single nation can claim to represent the true path to salvation and preach the other the accepted norms of ethics.

“Pax Persica” can be reached only through tolerance, compassion and sympathy towards other nations in the tumultuous region of the Middle East and the Persian Gulf. Great powers should abstain from aggravating the already volatile situation of this area. Since, this will only benefit the adventurers who would like to escalate the crisis situation to the threshold of an unwanted war in order to consolidate their power and guarantee their own survival. The dream of “Pax Persica can turn to nightmare if not properly handled. /

Enter your Email

Powered by FeedBlitz