Thursday, June 25, 2009

Russia disagrees with G8 on Iran

The above is an article by Daniel Flynn and Phil Stewart posted on Reuters on June 25th.

I’ll quote a bit of the article and comment below.

“Western nations at a meeting of G8 foreign ministers in Trieste were pushing for tough language in a final communiqué on Iran, where about 20 people have been killed in demonstrations following the June 12 presidential election two weeks ago.

"”We are working on a document that should condemn the violence and the repression and at the same time stress that electoral procedures are an (internal) Iranian matter,’ said Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini.

“But he cautioned: "We (the international community) can't recount the vote." The statement is expected on Friday. Delegates to the G8 conference, getting under way with a dinner on Thursday evening, were wrestling over the wording of the statement on Iran to take into account the sensibilities of Moscow, which has already said it considers all issues linked to the election as Iran's internal affair.”
. . .

"’We agreed that we will develop a language which would allow us to concentrate on the main task -- to move toward resolving the issues of the Iranian nuclear programme...,’ Lavrov said after separate talks with Frattini.

"’Isolation is the wrong approach ... Engagement is the key word,’ he said.
. . .

“Diplomats had seen the June 25-27 event as a rare chance for the Group of Eight nations to sit down with regional powers like Iran to discuss shared goals for Afghanistan and Pakistan. But Iran declined to answer Italy's invitation to attend.

“U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is also absent after hurting her arm.

. . .


I’m reminded of the American election between George Bush and Al Gore. I followed those proceedings closely and believe Bush was the winner. A pro-Gore group followed up after the election and recounted the Florida ballots once again, I suppose with a view toward denying even more strongly that Bush was elected legitimately. The recount was once again in Bush’s favor, but those who wanted to believe Bush “stole” the election, continued to do so. My point here is that the Gore supporters became and remained emotional about that election and took every chance from then on, many of them, to insult Bush personally and denigrate almost everything he did.

There is apparently no possibility of going back and recounting “hanging chads” in the Iranian election. So there is even more room for the losers to imagine the worse. Bush was an unknown quantity in 2000, but Ahmadinejad has a reputation for bellicosity toward the West. He has projected a willingness to use missiles against Israel and an unwillingness to “dialogue” with the West or with Obama.

Many in Iran can see that Ahmadinejad is behaving like a dictator. He learned ruthlessness in the Republican Guard a force that may keep him in office even if the protestors cause a governmental collapse. If we don’t like this Florida-like Keystone-cop election, how much less will we appreciate a military coup by the Republican guard.

This G8 conference may have been a very good occasion for the American representative to have an incapacitating broken arm. If Italy condemns the brutal treatment of Iranian protestors, well, that’s just Italy. But if America condemns it, well, then the CIA must be behind the protestors.

Of course if the protestors were actually to overthrow the current regime, and the Republican Guard were to stay out of it, then the new regime would be entitled to feel critical of the lack of support shown by the Obama administration, but let’s see a show of hands. How many think that is going to happen?

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