TEHRAN, July 15 (MNA) -- Iran’s civilian nuclear activities, the Middle East peace process, and U.S. interference in the domestic affairs of Iran and other regional countries are some of the issues which President-Elect Mahmud Ahmadinejad will have to deal with when he assumes office.

The Mehr News Agency recently conducted an interview with Dr. Ali Khorram, a political analyst and the former representative of the Islamic Republic of Iran at the United Nations Disarmament Commission, to learn his views on these issues and other problems the new president will face. Following is the text of the interview:


Q: Iran’s nuclear dossier is currently one of the main concerns of the Islamic Republic. How should the new administration address the issue?


A: Two years ago, when the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Board of Governors issued a resolution against Iran, the negotiation process between the Islamic Republic and the European Union entered a new phase. Before the presidential election in Iran, both the European Union and the United States had nothing to say about the legal demands of the Islamic Republic, which underlined Iran’s undeniable right, according to the (nuclear) Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), to access to peaceful nuclear technology.


So, both the U.S. and the EU were looking for an excuse to alter the process of events. In this regard, they postponed the negotiations until after the presidential election in Iran. They intended to find a weak point in order to harden their attitudes against Iran and prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear technology. But if the elections in Iran were held in accordance with international criteria, they were supposed to acknowledge Iran’s right to acquire nuclear technology and pursue the normal process of negotiations with Iran.


However, this does not mean that the newly elected president and his future administration will be the preferred government for the U.S. or the EU, because they have used every means of character assassination against Iran’s new president.


Since they have failed to achieve their goals, now, instead of focusing on the main issues, the U.S. and the EU are beating around the bush. The United States has… imposed some sanctions against Iran and the European Union is going along with the U.S. in pressuring Iran.


With regard to the recent measures taken by the U.S. and European countries, it seems that they are not only reluctant to cooperate with Iran in the nuclear arena, but they even intend to question the legitimacy of the Islamic government of Iran.


Now, rather than starting a propaganda war between Iran on the one side and the U.S., Israel, and the EU on the other side, the new president should focus all his efforts on the nuclear issue and convince the United States and the European Union that Iran is a reliable friend and partner. Iran is prepared to cooperate with Europe in regional and international issues.


Q: How can the adoption of some measures, such as the conclusion of a contract with Russia for the construction of six more nuclear power plants in Iran, help the Islamic Republic in its foreign policy?


A: As a throwaway policy, the aforesaid policies can be of short-term benefit for Iran, but the Russians gain more advantages from such measures. They announce their nuclear cooperation with Iran, and then, when the United States and the European Union object to their decision, ask for a higher price. So, Iran should be alert, because without the permission of the U.S. and the EU, the Russians will not only construct no nuclear power plants in Iran, but will even refuse to provide the necessary fuel for the Bushehr power plant.


Q: Structural reform of the United Nations is one of the most significant international issues nowadays. An international conference is scheduled to be held in September in this regard. What position should the new Iranian government adopt? Should Iran support the proposal of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) which calls for an OIC state to be given a seat on the UN Security Council?


A: These structural reforms that are supposed to be made in the United Nations are not those approved by the countries during the 60-year activities of the UN, but are the reforms favored by the U.S. In the United States’ preferred plan, there is no place for the OIC. But the Arab League will definitely send a representative to the Security Council. If any Islamic country is allowed to enter the Security Council, it would be a country that can serve U.S. interests.


So, in the current situation, the best measure the Islamic Republic can take is to hold negotiations with the Non-Aligned (Movement) countries and prevent the ratification of these reforms. Iran should also hold negotiations with those developed countries that are not affiliated to the United States, like China and the Eastern European countries, and that are also worried about the United States’ planned reforms, which would also be useful in preventing the ratification of the plan in September.


Q: In light of the Western media’s propaganda campaign against Iran’s newly elected president, what is the best strategy for the Islamic Republic?


A: In this case, the Iranian president is facing two serious challenges, one domestic and one foreign. The foreign challenge, however, is more significant at this juncture because both the United States and Europe are threatening Iran’s national security. So, President Ahmadinejad should focus all his concerns on maintaining Iran’s national security, and, in order to achieve such an ideal, Iran should try to improve its relations with the United States and the European Union in such a way that the only remaining controversial dispute between Iran and the U.S. and the EU would be the nuclear issue.


Anyway, the new president should make use of the experiences of experienced politicians and former officials instead of getting involved in propaganda wars and should hold negotiations to ease tension with the United States. A list should be compiled of all regional issues, including the situation in Iraq and Palestine. The president-elect should use this list to improve the prospects for regional cooperation.






News Code 12031

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