Why is Iran seeking a confrontation?
September 25, 2012 | Jewish Tribune
Dr. Aaron Lerner
JERUSAlEM – There was a startling development last Thursday: In an interview published in the London newspaper Al-Hayat, Fereydoun Abbasi-Davani, the head of Iran’s nuclear energy agency, said for attribution that Iran often delivers false information to international officials regarding its nuclear program to protect its facilities.
“We have sometimes delivered false information in order to protect our nuclear facilities and our accomplishments. There is no other way to deceive additional intelligence entities. We often reveal a weakness that we do not suffer from, and sometimes we display a strength we lack. It is later apparent in negotiations with the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency).”
Again, these are remarks that a senior Iranian official made for attribution.
The fact that Iran saw fit to publicly state that they provide false information is in many respects more troubling than the “revelation” itself.
After all, the expectation was that Iran has been deceiving international officials for years.
But it’s one thing to deceive and quite another to openly admit to it – while giving every indication that the practice will continue.
Iran is, as the Hebrew saying goes, “pissing off the diving board.”
And by doing this Iran is sending a message loud and clear that they no longer care what the West in general – and US President Barack Obama in particular – thinks about Iran’s nuclear activities.
This would appear to be a stunning shot across the bow.
But is Iran really seeking confrontation?
Why should Iran seek conflict with President Obama given the president’s “no deadline no redline” stand – a position that President Obama justifies on the grounds that he does not want to commit the United States to actually use force against Teheran under any scenario?
Iran isn’t seeking confrontation with the US.
Iran is seeking to ridicule America.
By openly admitting to engaging in deception it expects to show the world that ‘Big Satan’ is so weak that Iran no longer has to show it even a modicum of respect.
Media coverage of this development has been fairly minor.
But if in the days to come there is no significant and substantive American response we could very well witness not only an acceleration of Iranian activity but also expression of a decline in the status of the United States in other critical arenas.
Dr. Aaron Lerner is the director of IMRA (Independent Media Review & Analysis), http://www.imra.org.il.