Friday, February 04, 2005

The Importance of Iraq Destiny

Omid Memarian*
Iranian intellectuals and scholars are traditionally against the United States policies especially in some arenas like obstructing in the process of liberalization and democratization. They mention many examples of US interfere in some countries which have strengthened this thought.

But let me tell you in some cases the basis of this thought is going to stop working. During the last years, the experience of Afghanistan and Iraq have been changed many images. When we compare the social and political atmosphere in Afghanistan before and after the US attack, honestly we can not think over the things that have happened there during the last 3 years. Indeed, the political and social status is not comparable with the Taliban period. So what was the result of war? What did the people achieve? These are questions that we have to answer. Little by little, the society is put to rights and the afghan people are hopeful about the future. They have passed a particular constitutional law and beside they are serious for structural reform little by little.

Iranians actually feel the differences. The attitudes with afghan people have changed intensely. Afghans’ self confidence has grown up rapidly and the attitudes with them have changed strongly. They are going to acquire their national proud again and I can imagine what they feel. However, there is not a similar situation in Iraq. Iraq is more complicated and different in compare with Afghanistan. But, let me tell you that the result of US policies in the Middle East is powerfully related to Iraq destiny. Iraq experiment toward democracy is the big test for the US doctrine about Democracy in the Middle East.

Iran is watching the Iraq model carefully. If the interior political spheres close by the hardliner, be sure that people look out of the borders. Because, the experiment of US in Afghanistan and Iraq, can show them the exact direction. They hate a second war. But when there is nothing to lose, there is no difference for them to choose. So it seems that the atmosphere for any action in Iran depends on the destiny of Iraq and also the attitudes of Iranians officials in the country. Human rights are one of the most important weak points to deal with.
That’s a warning for the Iranians officials. I think that there is no play. At this time threats are very serious. And there is no way for decreasing the threats unless opening the political and social sphere for people’s real participation. I believe the exact and touchable actions in this way; can decrease the amount of hazard. (

*Omid Memarian is a 30-year-old journalist living in Tehran