The news of a senior U.S. envoy at the Geneva talks with Iranian negotiators could hardly count as a "groundbreaking policy shift" capable of ending the nuclear row with Tehran. Only a week after the talks, the Iranian regime raised the stakes by trumpeting the expansion of its enrichment program, underscoring the futility of the diplomatic push before it even got off the ground. This was another sad outcome of a profoundly counterproductive and inconsistent three-decade-old policy, which, if continued unabated by the West, has all the makings of a potential catastrophe an Iran bomb or a bombing of Iran.
By Philip Giraldi
Global Research, May 11, 2008 - There is considerable speculation and buzz in Washington today suggesting that the National Security Council has agreed in principle to proceed with plans to attack an Iranian al-Qods-run camp that is believed to be training Iraqi militants. The camp that will be targeted is one of several located near Tehran. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates was the only senior official urging delay in taking any offensive action.
The decision to go ahead with plans to attack Iran is the direct result of concerns being expressed over the deteriorating situation in Lebanon, where Iranian ally Hezbollah appears to have gained the upper hand against government forces and might be able to dominate the fractious political situation. The White House contacted the Iranian government directly yesterday through a channel provided by the leadership of the Kurdish region in Iraq, which has traditionally had close ties to Tehran.
Right around this time every year, Iranians start preparing for their new year celebrations (No Rooz) which is on 21 March. The festivity, observing the end of winter and beginning of spring and the Persian traditional New Year, celebrates life and brings joy and happiness to Iranian homes and it also brings a lot of shopping crowd to the streets.
That was not the case last Friday.
Considering the fact that Friday is weekend in Iran and at a time just a week away from No Rooz, the streets of Tehran and other cities were unusually quiet.
Where was everyone?
On Friday 14 March, the Iranian regime, once again devised a parliamentary (Majlis) election. Far from any real democratic election norms that you may have in mind, the candidates were actually hand picked by the ruling clergy in advance of the election.
In the past, media coverage of elections in Iran has mostly been geared towards the process and the results giving the impression that the Islamic Republic was a kind of democracy. At last, the reality has paved its way to the head lines. The reality is that all elections in this country in fact are, and have been, cheap shams and masquerades put together by a few unelected clerics running the country in order to accomplish two objectives. First, to disarm growing demands by the Iranian people as well as the international community for establishing democratic rule in Iran. Second, to purge some unwanted elements in the internal power struggle. Therefore, no democratic minded person should use the term "parliamentary elections" for the attempts of the clerics to legitimize their never ending greed for power. In fact the real power has always remained firmly in the hands of the clerics, led by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Ayatollah Khomeiniâ€™s successor as the Supreme Leader.
The Iranian regime seems adept at assigning paradoxical functionalities to certain political or economic tools and mechanisms. Construction cranes, for example, are meant to help erect buildings and further economic progress everywhere else in the world. But, in Iran, they are used to hang people.
Likewise, political elections are the cornerstone of the world's representative governments, but in Iran, they are used to uphold the rule of an unelected few.
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