Monday, March 26, 2007

America’s Nowruz Present to Ahmadinejad

I think by delaying the granting of visas to 65 or 85 of the president’s entourage members for his working visit to New York, and thus providing him with an excuse to cancel his decision to speak at the UN Security Council meeting, the Americans gave the president big Nowruz (Iranian New Year celebrated every 21st March) present, which must have come after they received even a bigger one from Tehran.

The big American award was that it provided the president with the opportunity to cancel the completely inappropriate trip to New York and thus spare him the discredit that he would have received at the world body.

At a time when all predictions foresee that the UN Security Council would issue another strong resolution against Iran at its meeting, what was the purpose of Mr. Ahmadinejad’s presence and speech at the body? Is this supposed to demonstrate the strength and credibility of the Iranian regime, and particularly its chief executive, or did Iranian foreign policy aides really believe that with the presence of the head of their government, the UN Security Council resolution would be altered, which made them decide to take this risk? Probably the president and his advisors believed that the words they had to offer were so compelling that the image of Iran around the world and Muslims would turn against the US and Israel!

If this is the case, then one must seriously doubt the good sense and knowledge that Iran’s foreign policy advisors posses. Unless one accepts the possibility that the Foreign Ministry and the foreign policy team of the government was completely unaware of the president’s decision, especially so because the head of Iran’s Security Council claimed that he was unaware of the trip. It should be recalled that while the impact of the president’s two earlier speeches at the UN was not assessed correctly too, at least his presence then enjoyed the novelty of appearance at the world body, something that would have been missing completely this time, thus reducing the impact of whatever he had to say to the minimum.

For those of us Iranians who think about the dignity and pride of our country, the cancellation that followed the delay was greeted as a good development. So, in addition to the president, the Iranian people too have been spared the consequences of Ahmadinejad’s un-calculated words.