Will Iran Instigate a Foreign Crisis from a Domestic Crisis?
Iran, there is the problem of the Revolutionary Guards. This military force is suffering from internal divisions, too, and it is unclear who controls the army, which stayed out of this crisis and never intervened. It is an institution which is not the best armed or funded. These conditions might limit Iran’s eagerness to intervene abroad, but with Ahmadinejad, nothing is certain.”
But how will the new Iranian situation affect the United States and its interests and plans in Iraq and Afghanistan and Lebanon?
Clemons believes that “the new situation might complicate matters for President Obama, too, for Iran will be seriously preoccupied with its internal affairs and the president there will find his situation precarious, and so perhaps Khamene’i and Ahmadinejad will try to show that no matter how ugly he’s become, Ahmadinejad is able to conclude constructive agreements. It would be a wise act of Khaneme’i for him to turn Ahmadinejad abroad and work with Europeans and Americans to rebuild the foundations and heal the international strategic chasm.” He added, “Perhaps Khamene’i will use Ahmadinejad, rejected by his people, to achieve what the majority of Iranians want.
“In the context of this crisis, Washington has expressed its readiness to negotiate with Iran over its nuclear program. Some have advised Obama to put Brent Skowcroft back in his administration. After the Tienamin Square troubles in China, President George Bush the father sent his Advisor on National Security of the time, Brent Scowcroft, who reached common ground with the Chinese, and Obama should once again do likewise with the Iranians. But if they refuse to receive him or negotiate with him, then relations will become more difficult and knotty.”
Clemons does not believe that Dennis Ross will play Scowcroft’s role, and perhaps National Security Advisor Jim Jones or Minister of Defense Robert Gates will.
At the International Summit of the Group of Eight, which will be held in Italy next week, some want to propose isolating Iran. But these cannot accomplish anything unless Russia and China agree with America’s goals. [Moreover], how can the Obama administration isolate Iran when it needs that country in Iraq and Afghanistan and more? Clemons replied, “If two countries can find the means to trade insults in public about some matters, they will agree and cooperate and build trust in others.”
He added, “If we take a step back and look on American-Soviet and American-Chinese relations, we will notice that one must not put all ones eggs in one basket. Thus, we must solidify Iranian-American relations based on what they have in common. [If a] fire breaks out between the two countries, they should tolerate the heat which will be generated as a result of harsh words between Ahmadinejad and Obama over some eventuality, but there should be some kind of a connection on other eventualities. I believe that Obama will work along these lines and go along with the Iranian sense of chessmanship.”
Perhaps this is also what Iran wants. Iran does not want the reformists to run the dialogue with America, but the hard-liners, and this accounts for the insistance of Khamene’i and Ahmadinejad and others to confirm Ahmadinejad’s presidency. And this is the logic according to what Clemons said: “Indeed, we need a Richard Nixon for Iran, someone who was one of the most bitter anti-Communists but went on to lay the foundations for relations with China, and Iran needs the most severe anti-American, like Ahmadinejad.”
In the past, Iranians poured out their cup of wrath on America because of its involvement in overthrowing Mosaddeq. Today, it is the current Iranian regime which has snatched from its people its right to vote, and so the Iranians feel that their government has taken the place of America in 1953 in depriving them of their rights. And just as they hated America because of Mosaddeq, they will hate this regime because of the outcome of these elections. But the Iranian regime will not change, what ill happen in it is what happened in China. It will become a different kind of an Iranian Islamic regime, but with capital, projects, and profit.