Stanley's blog


That inveterate diplomat, Hans Blix, said during an European Policy Centre debate with Ambassador Ali Asghar Soltanieh on “Iran and non-proliferation” that the worst a diplomat can inflict on another country is humiliation.

Humiliation is precisely what Western policy has inflicted on China (18-20th centuries), Iran (20th & 21st centuries), Russia (since 1989) and the former colonial territories. In more recent times, “Western” means US, followed by Europe.

The US has been consistently antagonistic towards Iran, deposing the popular prime minister Mossadeq in 1953; reinstating and maintaining the Shah until 1979; building the brutal secret police, Savak; arming the country to the hilt under the Shah and promoting it as the regional power; imposing oil sanctions in the fifties, economic sanctions in 1979, intensifying them in 1984 and again in 1987, and continuing to this day; and actively supporting Saddam Hussein when he invaded Iran in 1980.

Iran is treated like a wayward child (Condi Rice: “Iran must behave itself”), double standards are applied and policies are riddled with hyprocrisy. This surely drives one to understanding – although not necessarily agreeing with – Iranian attitudes. This barren exclusion policy has dramatically failed. Even the Iranian comprehensive proposal in 2003 was ignored (see post of 4 October)

It’s time we accepted that Tehran won’t give up uranium enrichment – past experience shows that no-one can be trusted to guarantee external supplies. As Blix confirmed, we still do not know the Iranian intentions and they cannot prove a negative.

And it’s time that Europe adopted a policy independent from Washington and based on inclusion and re-integrating Iran in the international family of nations, which, after all, is the European way.

What a tragedy when an energy-rich country spends its money on buying arms and killing each other, instead of spending it on bettering the lot of its people.

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