Came across a thoughtful interview with the National Public Radio in the US by Flynt Leverett and wife Hillary who served as ‘Iran hands’ in the US National Security Council in the George W. Bush administration. Indeed, they say almost ditto what I’ve been saying as to why Iran is well off getting rid of those horrible autocrats – Hosni Mubarak, King Abdullah and Muammar Gaddafi alike. Why? Essentially, Iranians welcome any successor regimes that are based on representative rule because they are in sync with the ‘Sunni Arab street’, which shares Tehran’s message of resistance and justice.
The Leveretts are very insightful. They put it much more beautifully than I ever could why Iran will remain an oasis of stability in the region: The “majority of Iranians actually living in Iran still like the idea of an islamic republic. Even if some of them want the islamic Republic to evolve in some ways, or be different in some ways than it is today, the majority of Iranians still buy into the idea of an islamic republic.” That is because the “system belongs to the people… Warts and all, flaws and all, it’s their system, It’s an independent system. Its foreign policy, its policy decisions are independent.”
This differentiates Iran from its Persian Gulf neighbours – and, actually, this is what frightens the autocratic Arab regimes. Saw the statement by the Saudi FM Faisal today that Riyadh will “cut off” any accusing finger from outside about his country. How much is the fear of Iran for the urbane Faisal to bring himself to say such a thing at all!
The Leveretts propose a concept that US should revert to ‘classical diplomacy’ in the ME. Pray, what is that? One, give up hegemonic ambitions. Two, “align with multiple states”. It means: “find areas of common interest; play those to build relationships; and manage the areas where there are going to be very, very strong disagreements.”
Posted in Politics.
– March 9, 2011