Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has reviewed his last annual military parade as head of state of Iran. That role will go to someone else on 8 June.
These occasions have, for him, always been about threatening the enemy United States and Israel. This last time, a week ago, he likened Israel’s talk about striking Iranian nuclear sites to “the harmless barking of a dog”.
A few days later, the US Defence Secretary was visiting the region, partly with a sample case, so to speak, of weapons to sell to allies, notably Israel, but also to the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia. This was Chuck Hagel’s way of sending Tehran a very clear signal.
Neither side’s rhetoric has evolved much. Nor have talks involving the International Atomic Energy Agency watchdog. Another round of those is scheduled for mid-May. Diplomatic negotiations with the major western powers are also still in the doldrums.
And, far from putting its nuclear programme to sleep, as these powers are urging, Tehran has stirred it up. Two new uranium mines were brought online earlier this month, to supply enrichment centrifuges.
Iran’s ambassador to the UN nuclear watchdog agency has not offered specifics on how Iran could move to a cooperative dialogue with the West, which has demanded concrete Iranian action to allay international concern that it is trying to develop the means to produce nuclear weapons.
The ambassador said on Tuesday that Iran will pursue all legal areas of nuclear technology, exclusively for peaceful purposes and that “…hostile policies of Western countries, including sanctions-and-talks policies, are doomed to failure.”
Europe and the US have toughened oil and banking sanctions on the Islamic Republic, adding to its currency problems. Prices on imported basic foods have been affected the most, as Inflation has risen above 30 percent. But that has not made Tehran back down.
Ahmadinejad cannot run again; he has served his maximum two terms. Whoever wins will inherit an economic and diplomatic ruin. But experts say that will not much change Iran’s policy on its nuclear programme.
By Euro News
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