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BBC Monitoring International Reports

December 8, 2007 Saturday


Text of commentary by Abbas Maleki headlined "America's decline and Iran's national interests" published by Iranian newspaper E'temad-e Melli on 5 December, 2007.

US National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley, in his detailed briefing on Monday to the press, announced that America's latest intelligence assessments, as outlined in a National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) report, show that the Islamic Republic of Iran had ceased pursuing its covert nuclear weapons development project and in the Fall of 2003, the programme was halted. The report stated that in its assessment, instead of ignoring the political, economic and military costs in their rush to produce nuclear weapons, the Iranians decided to halt the programme based on a cost-benefit approach.

The publication of this report gives rise to two assumptions:

First: This report is a continuation of the process of intense rivalry in Washington between those who espouse the ideological views of the neo-conservatives, such as Dick Cheney, and pragmatists in the foreign policy arena like Condoleezza Rice. Following the Annapolis Peace Conference, the American foreign policy officials this time are of the opinion that contrary to assessments made in the past - that stability and peace will not be established in the Middle East region until the Palestinian-Israeli problem is solved - as long as the problem of Islamic radicalism remains unresolved, peace between the Arabs and Israel will not happen. In addition, in the opinion of the Americans, the most important geographic location within the framework of radicalism in the Islamic world is Iraq. Therefore, the Annapolis conference and any other measures that will decrease the mounting pressures being exerted on America and Israel in the form of military, political and most recently, economic pressure due to the drop in the value of the dollar, are only possible through the creation of a broad dialogue between America and its friends in the region on the one side and the influential forces in Islamic societies [on the other]. Consequently, Syria was encouraged to take part in the autumn conference and agreements were reached on the future Lebanese president. However, in the absence of the most effective forces in the Islamic world this conference did not achieve its main goal.

Second: Basically, the methods employed by Washington in its foreign policy and particularly in its policies on the Middle East - which incline towards the use of force - have not only been unsuccessful, they have also caused unrest in relatively stable countries such as Pakistan. The future of the American empire faces serious challenges. The problem cannot be summed up simply as one caused by a political faction in Washington making miscalculations and sending troops to the Middle East and Afghanistan, or the view that were one of the other parties in power they would not have made that mistake. Rather this country, this civilisation and culture perhaps, along with the social, political, military and economic attitude of this superpower is now experiencing serious shortcomings and the life expectancy of American civilisation is waning. The short period of global uni-polarism following the lengthy period of bi-polarism

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