Who is telling the truth?
While the Iranian Information Minister in a press conference referred to a “psychological war” by the West against Iran, it was also reported that an Iranian bank, Bank-e Sepah- has stopped its dealings in foreign currency. Until further notice this bank would not issue any LC’s and would not conduct any other international activities. The minister had issued threats against the “internal forces” helping the “ enemy”, but did not clarify further. A top official in the Central Bank has stated that his bank had taken the necessary steps to deal with the “threat”, however, he did not spell out what these measures were likely to be. It was, however, revealed that the Central Bank has also stopped using the US dollars in its dealings. In addition to Bank-e Sepah, Bank-e Saderat has also been black listed by the US. What is worrying, however, is the fact that Iran and its financial sector seems to be totally unprepared to deal with the fall outs of the eminent EU sanctions. If the structural weakness of the economy is also considered, I fear that a lot sooner than many people believe, economic sanctions would break the back bone of Iran. As it is always the case, the heavy price at the end would be paid by the people of Iran. This is what really, really angers me.
News from Tehran indicate that President Ahmadinejad would not be able to attend the Security Council meeting of the UN. An internet source close to Mr Reza-ee the former commander of the Islamic Guards has said that the US has deliberately delayed the visa so that Mr Ahmadinejad would not be able to attend the meeting. As someone who was not so keen about this visit, I am pleased that he would not attending. Judging by his recent speeches, I was not sure if he would not make things even worse for Iran. Mr Ahmadinejad has said recently that he would like to offer new suggestions to address the dispute. If that was the main reason for his plan to attend, the Iranian representative in the UN could very well convey the message. I can only hope that both sides come to their senses and find a diplomatic solution for the stand off. The other day, the Supreme Leader, had mada a very inflamatory speech in Mashhad. To say that what the Security Council does in "illegal", and if they continue with this "illegality", we would also resort to "illegal"acts, was not very wise in my view. This type of statement plays very well in the hands of those who wish to embark upon another military adventure in the Middle East, no matter the cost, both in terms of greenbacks or body bags.
President Ahmadnejad is quoted as having said: “The western countries and superpowers have said that they wish to isolate the Iranian nation. What is your position in the world to wish to isolate the Iranian nation? In fact, the Iranian nation has isolated you”.
In the last two years, Mr Ahmadinejad have travelled extensively inside Iran. At the time of writing, he and members of his cabinet are in the province of Yazd. What they do in these trips is not very clear to me. Wherever he goes, he makes speeches in which he would insists that Iran would not negotiate on her right to have nuclear energy ane every now and then have a go at Israel too. He would also have his cabinet meetings in these provincial cities and comes up with massive amount of financial commitments for the state. For instance, during this current tirp, it was revealed that they have considered and made decisions on110 projects. For most, and in some cases very very exensive ones, no figure was given, but on thost where a figure was attached, the sum comes to a little over 11 trillion rials!
An Iranian minister said that " newspapers frighten off foreign direct investors from Iran". It is not the first time that ministers make this type of silly comment. Sometimes ago, the official spokeman of the President, blamed newspapers for " growing inflation". As to this new claim, it should be said that foreign direct investors are not coming to Iran, because the economy of Iran is not governed by the law of the land. Frankly, there are too many law breakers in Iran at the various, including the top levels of governmet. There are too many "centres" for decision making. There is no free and fair election, be it for parliament or for Tehran Chamber of Commerce. In short, it has a " capitalist" exchange relations with a " pre-capitalist" political structure. This will not do. Unless this vital inconsisteny is resolved, I am afraid to say that foreign direct investors would not come to Iran.
If I ever had any doubt, I don't have it now that Mr Ahmadinejad is confused and do not understand international politics. The spokeman for his government informed the public that when the UN sit to discuss the question of Iranian Nuclear programme, he would like to attend the meeting to " defend the national interest of Iran". As a cheap propaganda, it is fine, but in the real world, Mr Ahmadnejad or any such leader should be invited to attend by the members- and he does not have that invitation- and if such invitation is not forthcoming, it is most likely that the US may refuse issuing visa for him to visit New York. Just imagine, the "Iron" president of the Islamic Republic of Iran,wishes to " conquer" New York, and the equally " Iron" president of the United State, says, " nay"....
News from home are particularly worrying. The brutal arrest of 33 women activists in Tehran-very close to the 8th March- is a clear signal that the government is nervous and somewhat confused. The UN may come up with another resolution and more economic sanctions and given the dire economic situation in the country, more sanctions would be especially painful. On the other hand, the internal quarrels are getting out of hand. Mrs Rajabi the wife of Dr Elham- a cabinet minister- in her latest article launched an " undiplomatic" attack on the chief of Iranian national TV and Radio- directly appointed by Mr Khameni-ee. While at the same time, in another case, a member of parliament, who is usually critical of the President, has been summoned to appear in court,accused of " subversion". In another recent piece, Mrs Rajabi has effectively confirmed everything that the opposition has been saying all these years about the Islamic Republic of Iran. The level of corruption and nepotism that she confirms in this piece, leaves little room for optimism by the supporters of the regime. However, the nervousness of the government is a real cause for concern. As government when nervous becomes a lot more irrational and even brutal and oppressive.