Sam GhandchiTime for Iran 1+1 Talks

Sam Ghandchi


Persian Text متن فارسی


Why the so-called five plus one negotiations does not bear fruit? The reason should be sought among Iranians. For example, Ayatollah Rafsanjani during his presidency supported the Iranian refugees who favored improvement of US-Iran relations so that he could reduce the pressure of sanctions. On the other hand the opposition did all it could against the Islamic Republic lobbyists to prevent the US officials from giving any concessions to Iran. The situation was somewhat similar during the presidency of Hojatoleslam Khatami.


In reality, the various political forces of Iran that were suppressed in different times have used the relations of Iran with foreign countries as a leverage to express their dissatisfactions with Iran's regime. More suppression will not help to exit this situation but in the last 4 years the relations of Iran with the world has reached its lowest point of the 34-year history of Islamic Republic because after the suppression of the Green Movement, following the seculars, even the Islamist reformists worked against the improvement of relations of foreign countries with Iran.


The first group that was suppressed in Islamic Republic were the remainders of monarchy in Iran when during the first two years after the 1979 revolution the officials of Shah's regime were executed. The relation of Islamic Republic with the monarchists was not repaired after the revolution and the monarchists were the first Iranian political opposition group that used their past relations with the officials of foreign countries to isolate Islamic Republic in its international relations.


Next to the monarchists, the second political current suffering bloody suppression was the Mojahedin e Khalgh organization  (MEK) whose members were executed during the 1981 and the later governments in Iran not only did not mend relations with MEK but continued their suppression.  Mojahedin joined Saddam in the war against Iran. The point here is not about the correctness of the action of regime or the opposition in each time period but the purpose here is to note the realities. After the end of Iran-Iraq war the MEK continued its endeavors to damage the relations of Iran with foreign countries by revealing the location of Iran's secret nuclear sites.


Whether in the year 1981 or during the massacre of Iran's political prisoners in 1988 after the signing of peace accord between Iran and Iraq, the communist groups and members of Iran's different nationalities were suppressed in addition to the previous groups and similarly these forces, outside Iran, used the relations with the leftist movements in other countries to undermine Iran's international relations.


In 2009, finally during the Green Movement in Iran, for the first time we witnessed the bloody suppression of Islamist reformist groups and the huge exit of their supporters from the country was the reason that the majority of those in Iranian groups outside Iran that had supported the removal of sanctions in the 16 years before Ahmadinejad and even during Ahmadinejad's first term, in practice, supported the new sanctions against Iran, whether by their silence when those sanctions were announced, or by asking for smart sanctions against Iran because of human rights reasons.


Certainly during all these years, the action of opposition abroad was not limited to the advocacy of sanctions and some political currents encouraged military attack on Iran (1). On the other side, in addition to the anti-war forces, Iranian government has endeavored to attack the opponents of Islamic Republic and called them spies of the foreign countries. But has any of these actions been helping to solve the problem?  No. It is as if there is a civil war among Iranians all over the world and the threats from each side only makes the flames of fire deadlier.


Some people in the opposition even resemble the Iranian regime to Hitler's Germany and think of joining the enemy army as legitimate.  Again it is not important how wrong this viewpoint is (2). The main issue is the reality itself, that the fighting of MEK alongside Saddam against Iran was true and the reason for it was because the relation with Mojahedin after the executions of 1981 was never remedied by the later governments of Iran.


As the flames of hatred continue to burn, the rising smoke will continue to hurt the eyes of all Iranians and others.  One cannot continue to suppress the monarchists who were executed after the revolution and not to allow them even to express their views in Iran and then to expect them not to retaliate by using their influence abroad to make Iran's diplomacy fail. This statement is also true about all other political forces of Iran's opposition.


It is time to end this 34-year civil war and allow the views of all political forces of Iran to be expressed without violence. Reformist groups during the last 4 years expressed their protest to the suppression of the Green movement in the most rational way. Maybe the leaders of reformists after this experience can play an effective role for the national reconciliation between the Iran's government and various forces of the opposition.


Today is the time for Iran's government to think about this reality that to continue the wars that have been fought all these years and the violence that has been executed should end and this action not only will bring calm among the Iranian people but it will improve the relations of Iran with the foreign countries. This work may not be a great national reconciliation but it would be at least what I am calling 1+1 talks meaning the negotiation of Iran with Iran.


Hoping for a democratic and secular futurist republic in Iran,


Sam Ghandchi, Editor/Publisher


August 14, 2013