The empire strikes back (part 3)

der spiegel iran foreign minister

An Iranian diplomat’s perspective

A complete change of tone – “Assad poses no threat to Middle East” – but still dangerous. The Iranian Foreign Minister, Ali Akbar Salehi, spoke to Der Spiegel about his country’s continued support of the Syrian Assad regime.

“… we have to prevent catastrophes. I call on both sides [Syria and Turkey] to exercise restraint. In Syria, thousands are fighting against the government of Bashar al-Assad, and they are armed with state-of-the-art weaponry. If Turkey were to massively retaliate sometime in the coming weeks or months, they [the Syrian opposition fighters] would have no objections. They want to render peace initiatives impossible. They are seeking an escalation.”

I was immediately struck by the clever diplomacy in reply to some direct questions. Well, Salehi obviously represents the Iranian regime (just check his profile on Wikipedia), but his responses were measured and pensive.

Certainly, this was an interview, and not a political rallying speech (see the previous item on Romney), but it seemed to be a thoughtful piece of journalism and, at the very least, one can read between the lines and learn more about Iran’s perspectives on its neighbours, and the wider, international arena.

Useful dialogue, instead of jumping to ‘black and white’, uninformed conclusions.

Five minutes of your time, to read the full interview.[1]

[1]: Spiegel Online

Image source: Internet

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