Iran’s foreign policy and the subsidy reform plan

January 20, 2011 - 0:0

What makes politics fascinating is its correlation with other fields of study. Such a correlation is a given since hardly anything can be found that is not somehow related to politics.

Culture and arts, industry and economy, geography, and other things -- in addition to their contribution to the progress of a country -- play an important role in shaping foreign policy, and it is with the help of these things that policymakers seek to promote the national interests and work for world peace. In fact, in the area of foreign policy, governments carry out maneuvers through reliance on their capabilities.
Countries whose national unity is at stake or whose economy is weak or which lack other sources of power not only are unable to play influential roles in regional affairs or the international arena, but even their economic, political, and security situations are partly influenced by outside pressure. So, governments’ capabilities directly affect their foreign policy.
Thus, a study of the implementation of the subsidy reform plan in Iran and its relation with foreign policy is worthwhile.
--------- Sanctions
Now that the subsidy reform plan has gone into effect, the most important issue facing the country is the fact that certain Western countries are making efforts to hinder Iran’s nuclear activities.
These countries used the United Nations as a tool and pushed through five resolutions against Iran, four of which are sanctions resolutions.
The Islamic Republic regards the issuance of these resolutions as a Western “political confrontation” with Iran’s legitimate nuclear activities.
Once a foreign diplomat said that Western countries are accusing Iran of what others have committed, and Iran is forced to answer questions that others should answer, and this is not fair.
Through the violation of the terms of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and the IAEA Statute, certain countries have sought to impose sanctions on Iran and deprive it of its rights.
Some of these countries have also resorted to imposing illegitimate sanctions on Iran, which does not fall within the framework of the UN Charter.
And some of these countries have taken new measures against Iran because they have realized that the resolutions have not undermined the Iranian nation’s resolve and the country is making steady progress in the areas of science and technology.
MI6 chief John Sawers has openly stated, “Stopping nuclear proliferation cannot be addressed purely by conventional diplomacy. We need intelligence-led operations to make it more difficult for countries like Iran to develop nuclear weapons.”
The most obvious result of such an attitude is the assassination of Iranian nuclear scientists by their elements inside the country.
Iran’s determination to continue on the path it has chosen, despite the obstacles, has compelled yesterday’s superpowers to admit to their roles in supporting the efforts to topple the Iranian government after about half a century and to apologize to the Iranian nation.
Therefore, it will be no surprise if the countries that were the pioneers in imposing sanctions on Iran and conducting terrorist attacks against the Iranian people admit to their mistakes in the future.
--------- Negotiations
The effort to resist the sanctions and manage the current situation has been a litmus test for the Islamic Republic, which it has successfully passed so far.
The countries that until very recently were raising the issue of freezing ties with Iran finally came to the conclusion in Geneva that negotiation is the best way to find a permanent solution.
So, it was agreed that the next round of talks between Iran and the 5+1 group (the United States, Britain, France, China, Russia, and Germany), which will be held in Istanbul on January 21 and 22, will focus on “common ground for cooperation.”
------- Satellite networks
Over the past few years, several Persian-language television and radio networks have been established in foreign countries that are disseminating anti-Iranian propaganda.
The activities of these networks are also intended to support terrorist groups, create sectarian and religious strife, break up the family unit, and promote deviant religions.
However, recent research studies conducted by Western institutions, including the International Peace Institute (IPI), showed that these networks have had a negligible impact on Iranian public opinion, and Iranians’ support for the country’s nuclear program has increased over the past 18 months.
According to the IPI study, seven out of ten Iranians approve of Iran’s nuclear activities and are opposed to any agreement requiring Iran to halt its uranium enrichment program or limit its nuclear activities.
The study also showed that Iranians’ anti-Western sentiments have increased and 90 percent of the Iranian people have a negative view of the West, which shows a 40 percent increase in comparison with the year 2008.
-------- The subsidy reform plan in relation to foreign policy
However, the main question is why the Iranian government took the risk of implementing the subsidy reform plan, which has been called major surgery on the country’s economy, in the current situation.
First of all, the Iranian government is confident that it has efficiently addressed the most severe pressure so far. The countries which were seeking to halt Iran’s uranium enrichment program have now agreed to negotiate with Iran. This shows Iran’s “power of logic” has been superior to their “logic of power”.
Iran has announced that it wants to reach a win-win agreement with the major powers within the framework of the talks. So, the government is confident that it can implement major projects like the subsidy reform plan.
In addition, the Iranian government is certain it has the nation’s support. Due to the close relationship between the people and the government, the people easily accept the government’s decisions in economic matters.
So, Iranian citizens are hopeful that their cooperation with the government will help it improve the national economy, weather the crisis in the area of foreign policy, and achieve its goals.