Iran’s New Hardline Nuclear Negotiator

Last week, Iran’s nuclear negotiator, Ali Larijani, resigned his post due to a complete inability to work with President Mahmud Ahmadinejad. This alone is terrible news for those seeking a peaceful resolution to the nuclear standoff. While Larijani is not considered a reformer and is indeed among the more conservative officials in the government, he is very pragmatic and firmly believed that the best resolution was through negotiation. To lose a person like this in the negotiations is quite detrimental. (Contrary to American belief, not all Iranian officials are nuts like Mahmud.)

To compound the problem is the person chosen to replace Larijani, Said Jalali. Jalali is a close ally to Ahmadinejad; perhaps even considered a right hand man. He fully supports Mahmud’s hard line stance on the nuclear program; intending to pursue it regardless of the cares of the outside world. Currently, Jalali is saying all the right things; fully intending to cooperate with the IAEA and international community to find a diplomatic solution. However, if indeed he is from the Ahmadinejad school of diplomacy, he will say one thing and do the opposite.

Said Jalali

In Ahmadinejad’s administration there have been two camps of Iranian political power; the Ahmadinejad wing and the Larijani wing. The latter, while still conservative, is much more pragmatic and really wielded the true power in Iran. Included in this wing are such prominent Iranian politicians as former President Rafsanjani and Hassan Ruhani, Iran’s National Security Advisor. In between these two camps is Ayatollah Khamenai, occasionally siding with the hardliners and occasionally with the pragmatists. Sadly, now it looks as if he has committed to Ahmadinejad and his ilk; indeed there is now a consolidation of power around the President.

The thing most American’s (including the President of Columbia University) failed to realize about the Iranian government is that the President is really just a figurehead. He has limited real power. He has no right to dictate foreign policy or be involved in internal affairs. His is primarily domestic authority, of which most decisions have to be ratified by the Council of Experts and the Ayatollah. So for people in America to have been so afraid of Ahmadinejad and for the President of one of America’s most prestigious universities to call him a dictator, was really ignorant and reflected poorly on us as a people. However, now there is reason to fear, not because of Ahmadinejad per se, but because the Ayatollah seems to have completely joined his camp, and the Ayatollah is the true arbiter of Iranian power and foreign policy. The chance for a peaceful resolution to the nuclear crisis has diminished extensively.


Filed under Atomic, Bush, Election 2008, Iran, Law, Military, Nuclear, Politics

6 responses to “Iran’s New Hardline Nuclear Negotiator

  1. Pingback: حركت جدید وردپرس : اخبار « مزيدی WEB 2.0

  2. Hi Steve,

    I’m so amazed to see and read your concept about Iran president and political situation. the fact that you know this much about Iran and government is really interesting.
    I just wanted to add some more comment,
    just as you mentioned Ahmadinejad is nothing but a figurehead, a limited person in government that have very constraint power but a big mouth. unfortunately many countries and presidents still believe that when Iran president say something its his own idea but actually all this main decision been decided and dictated to him by Ayatollah and no matter what change in Iran this regime still have the poor mind Ayatollah that don’t care about people, all he is concern about is his power, regime itself and Islam 😦
    the only thing that can change political environment in Iran is to change Ayatollah and that means change the whole regime but currently there is almost no hope for change in regime in Iran by the hands of Iranian people(why? i can give my thought about this…) so i’m afraid to say that this regime will achieve atomic bomb for sure (that’s what i myself heard from the someone very near to Ayatollah “we will achieve atomic bomb and export Islam everywhere” O.O)
    World and US should not rely on revolution in Iran by people for at least 20 years from now…but you know what is the other option…

  3. Swint

    Well, I am fascinated with Iran, and up until about 6 months ago, I did a lot of work and study about Iran.

    I would love to hear your thoughts about why regime change is unlikely. Also, who was it that was near the Ayatollah that quoted him? Do you have a blog or website? I would love to check it out. (Even if it is in Farsi, I can read it fairly well).

  4. I am so surprised see your blog with such an avatar full of detailed info about up to date Iranian political atmosphere! really you are not Iranian!?

  5. Swint

    As American as apple pie. Born in Utah, grew up in California, live in Pennsylvania

  6. sorry for my late response, but wow I’m impressed that you can read farsi as well, well that guy name is “Habibian” and he was a lecturer at university of science and technology in Tehran, his lectures are mainly related to Quran and Islam religion. but most of the time he talk about politics during his lectures and that saying come from one of his class. but his saying really reflect regime plans you can say it if you attend his class for a year 🙂
    i checked many resources to find some references to his quote but no success.

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