Khamenei’s Nuclear Priority Requires (more) Time & (a lot of) Money
In order to cross all the red lines to the point where he doesn’t have to hide anymore, Khamenei needs time and money – both of which he will have as long as he stays in power.
Khamenei has Time & Money as long as he is in Power
Khamenei needs time – from prying IAEA and foreign officials – and Jalili, Tehran’s chief nuclear negotiator and the closest presidential candidate to Khamenei – has provided just what he requires.
Jalili’s strategy for ending the nuclear crisis and the resulting sanctions is a mixture of foot-dragging denials, accusations, non-transparency and non-cooperation. The result? The fifth round of P5+1 talks in less than a year , ended in April “Without Accord or Plans for Another Round“.
But Khamenei not only needs time from pressure from outside of Iran – he needs to continue to dictate his priorities and channel the necessary resources to fulfill his nuclear ambitions.
He needs a president who will be manageable. In order to do that, he not only rigged the elections by overseeing the disqualification of presidential candidates who “dared to differ“, he then proceeded to “urge” the remaining candidates “not to appease the West“.
Jalili, the ideal presidential candidate for Khamenei, is bound to protect him internally and give him four more years…more than enough to obtain a latent (at least) military nuclear capability.
Khamenei’s Priorities Openly Attacked
But it seems that Khamenei miscalculated a bit: the cost of his nuclear gamble is not easy to swallow when there is less to eat.
Iran’s economy has been hard hit by mismanagement of many of Khamenei’s priorities (a suspect nuclear program, support for Syria & terrorism – to name three) and more Iranians are questioning the price tag of his policy. While protesters on the street simplified it by chanting“Khamenei” & “Dictator” in Esfahan, some presidential candidates were more articulate:
- Mohsen Rezaee (former Chief Commander of the IRGC):”Our missiles can travel thousands of kilometers, but we have problems supplying bread and meat”.
- Ali Akbar Velayati (former Foreign Minister): “What people are seeing, Mr Jalili, is that you have not gone forward even one step, and the pressure of (international) sanctions still exists. The art of diplomacy is to preserve (our) nuclear rights, not to see sanctions increase…When the other side is ready to take three steps and you want to take one step it is obvious that you do not want to make progress.”
- Hassan Rohani (former Top Nuclear Negotiator): “All of our problems stem from this – that we didn’t make an utmost effort to prevent the (nuclear) dossier from going to the (U.N.) Security Council…It is good to have centrifuges running, provided people’s lives and livelihoods are also running.”
The Supreme Leader believes that his priorities are those of Iran and does not like to be questioned, criticized or attacked – ask Hossein Mousavi, the 2009 opposition leader, who is still under house arrest for doing just that.
How will Khamenei react to such open criticism from his people and from his presidential candidates? Will Rezaee, Velayati and Rohani join Mousavi’s plight? Will Tehran crack down on protesters?
But more importantly, will Khamenei receive the money and time he needs to finally take his nuclear program out of its closet?
Time will tell…but for once, the clock might be ticking just a bit against Khamenei.
Until then, the Iranian people will have to get over their pessimism.
Earlier related posts:
- Stifle Elections: https://iran2407.wordpress.com/2013/05/30/khameneis-priorities-stifle-iranians-election-hopes/
- Support Syria: https://iran2407.wordpress.com/2013/06/03/khameneis-priority-support-syria-at-all-costs/
- Power/Terror: https://iran2407.wordpress.com/2013/06/07/khameneis-priorities-power-through-terror/
here’s a Persian version – please share.