Tuesday, May 03, 2016

The Crocodile Smiles

"Our demand is a world free of weapons of mass destruction, especially freeing the Korean Peninsula and the Middle East from destructive weapons."
"Security in the Korean Peninsula and the Middle East is important for both countries."
"We want peace and stability in the Korean Peninsula, and on principle we are opposed to any type of weapons of mass destruction. [Iran's] desires are a world free of weapons of mass destruction, especially a Korean Peninsula and the Middle East free of weapons of destruction, especially nuclear."
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani 
Iran's President Hassan Rouhani and his South Korean counterpart President Park Geun-hye attend a press conference to cover issues of mutual interest, Tehran, May 2, 2016. (photo by MEHR NEWS/Mohammadreza Abbasi)
When on Candid Camera one smiles obligingly. And President Rouhani is a skilled smile-meister, well aware how engaging it is, how people respond warmly, setting aside any notion that behind that smile could possibly lurk sinister intent to portray himself and his country as anything they are not. In his world-peace pronouncement effectively stating that the world has been concerned over the Islamic Republic of Iran's nuclear program for no good reason whatsoever.

Suspicion entirely misplaced. The fact that a secret nuclear installation deep into the foot of a mountain near the holy city of Qom is simply Iran being discreet, not wishing to unduly alarm its neighbours, with no intent whatever to embark on a journey toward entitled nuclear weapons arsenal perfection to neatly match-and-tip the long-range surface-to-surface ballistic missiles it so proudly demonstrates to the intense discomfort of the Middle East a misapprehension, nothing less.

Israel Calls On World Powers To Punish Iran For Its Missile Tests
A ballistic missile is launched and tested in an undisclosed location, Iran, in this handout photo released by Farsnews on March 9, 2016. (Reuters/farsnews.com/Handout via Reuters)

Of course, this is also the country that inscribed on two missiles it sent up that "Israel must be destroyed", a message that complements previous promises by various administrations of the Republic that this is indeed the Iranian agenda; the destruction of a country and a nation in the Middle East, and nothing could accomplish it more expeditiously than with the use of a nuclear device. A scenario which incidentally was mused on in Iran of a complete strike in Israel.

And nor is Israel the only country in the region to be alarmed over the prospect of Iran's successful advances in nuclear weaponry, only a matter of time before achievement. It is that very inevitability that has Saudi Arabia and other Gulf States speaking of their own attainment of a nuclear asset, and they can afford with their massive oil wealth to place such orders with an agreeable Pakistan, while Iran takes pride in manufacturing its own.

But doubtless South Korean President Park Geunhye was pleased, since if she is gullible enough to believe it, she has an ally in Iran against her nation's nemesis. She has stated she has requested of Iran its aid in implementing the UN Security Council resolution that calls for the disarmament of the peninsula. So can she be credited in the naive belief that the smiling Rouhani will grant her wish? Against the reality that North Korea and Iran have closely collaborated on the nuclear file?

On the other hand, there are the practicalities involved. And one of them is the matter of oil, that very fossil fuel so generously endowed by nature to many countries of the Middle East, and of which enterprising nations with huge production machinery are desirous of obtaining on a long-term and reliably sustained basis. Since Iran has one of the largest supplies of oil and South Korea is the world's fifth-largest importer of crude oil, it's a match made in Gehenna.

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