Negotiating With 'Yapping Dogs' Is Easy
The Center for Security Policy's Alex Alexiev suggests, To stop Iran, twist European arms.
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's UN rant against the Great Satan got banner headlines around the world last week. But two smaller news items out of Iran, largely unnoticed, tell us far more about where Iran is heading and how U.S. policies can nudge the belligerent regime in the right direction.
The first report: The Iranian public did not buy a single government bond in the five months prior. The second: The French banking group Societe Generale invested $2.7 billion in Iranian oil and gas development. Taken together, they reveal an Iran that is ripe for positive change - should the Bush administration meet the moment and change its hypocritical policies now.
You see, despite huge windfall oil profits, the Iranian economy is headed for the rocks. Take the oil (90% of exports) away, and Iran is a failed state. Even with it, 40% of the population lives in poverty - and unemployment among the young is 35%. Iran's own ministry reports indicate galloping inflation and severe financial problems that threaten to shut down scores of hospitals and bankrupt critical companies.
No wonder the Iranian people have no more confidence in regime bonds.
Instead, we watch from afar as Javier Solana meets and greets the Iranian 'negotiators,' desperate to emerge the diplomat who 'dicovered a solution,' one which Iran simply will not yield.
Alexiev provides a glimpse into the Iranian psyche beind their 'no compromise' approach to what - for some reason - continues to be called 'negotiations' under such conditions. Alexiev uses Ahmadinejad's own words for the construct.
"Europeans are like yapping dogs, kick them once and they run away," Ahmadinejad opined while also dismissing America as a "superpower made of straw." Discomforting as it is to admit, given the record of European and American policies in the intervening year, his tirades are not completely devoid of sense.