Nuclear Deal with Iran Possible, But Not Normal Ties with U.S.

(Christian Science Monitor) Abolhassan Bani-Sadr - Since the hostage crisis 34 years ago, the Iranian regime has made the U.S. a linchpin of its domestic and international politics. For a still-powerful faction within the leadership, normalization would spell the end of the regime. They will thus try to oppose it in any way they can. One of the fears expressed in Rouhani's speech was the open admission that sanctions have been effective in deeply damaging the economy. Another was the admission that the factor of "time" is working against Iran. The Iranian regime is not a "regional power" but is actually quite weak. In order to maintain its current geo-political position, Iran has had to take a large amount of money from its impoverished economy and spend it on Syria and Hizbullah. Moreover, the main cause of Iran's current disastrous economic situation is not the result of sanctions, but of sheer ineptitude in management as well as massive financial corruption by the Revolutionary Guards and other actors within the military-financial mafia. The current attempt to shift Iran's nuclear policy is the latest desperate move by a regime seeking to ensure that any path toward normalization will be accompanied by a U.S. guarantee not to follow a policy of regime change. The nature and history of post-revolutionary Iran tells me that the chances of normalizing relations between Iran and the U.S. are not very high. At the same time, the chances of reaching the deal over the nuclear issue are well within reach. The writer, who served as president of Iran (1980-1981), lives in exile outside Paris.

2013-10-09 00:00:00

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