'West fails to portray Iran as danger'
Fri Jun 17, 2011 7:26AM
Interview with Professor William Beeman, University of Minnesota
Russia and China have reiterated support for Iran's civilian nuclear program, pointing to the Islamic Republic's right to nuclear energy.
In a joint declaration signed in the Kremlin, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and Chinese President Hu Jintao also emphasized the need for diplomatic solutions to the disputes over the nuclear programs of Iran.
Press TV has interviewed Professor William Beeman, the chairman of anthropology department of the University of Minnesota, who says that the US and its allies' claims that Iran is as a danger to the rest of the world, have turned out to be baseless.
Press TV: How significant is the support of Russia and China at this point in time?
Beeman: If you remember, Russia had a long standing relationship with Syria during the Cold War and I think there are a lot of people who are of a particular generation who still remember their ties with Moscow. So the support is a very important factor in this particular situation. China is something new and the Chinese are always looking for a new trade and economic relationships with the rest of the world and I think the situation there with China is novel and it is unusual for Chinese to get mixed up with any political situation, they have been politically neutral in general.
Press TV: How far could Iran's continued cooperation with the international Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), coupled with moves such as this go in terms of settling the dispute with the West that has so far taken a hostile approach with Iran?
Beeman: If you remember, Russia and China have never been in favor of sanctions against Iran, they have continually, in their quest and diplomatic relation, said that Iran pose no danger at all and they were convinced that Iran's activity in the nuclear area were confined to production of electricity. So this represents their rather continual position with regard to this. There is no question that in solving the disputes between Iran and certainly the US and the West, there is a great need for mediation, for mediator, and Russia and China are prepared to serve as that mediator and they are not clearly going to go along with any further UN sanctions.
Press TV: Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has willingness to go back to negotiations with P+1 with regards to Iran's nuclear energy program. With this kind of support provided by Russia and China, will this provide and impetus?
Beeman: Let me to point out that the last time Russia and China were persuaded to go along with the United Nations Security Council sanctions against Iran, which were very ineffective and very minor, the US and the European powers did something which made Russia and China extremely angry, that is as soon as the United Nations sanctions were enacted, then the US and the European enacted a separate set of sanctions that were stronger than what Russia and China had agreed to. I think Russia and China were very upset this, they felt that Europeans had done an N-Run around them and so they said before that they are not going to be involved with that kind of the game again.
There is no question in my mind at all that there needs to be a dialogue with Iran, there needs to be people actually talking with Iran. Russia and China have good relations with Iran and they can serve as mediators but probably nothing is going to happen until the US finds a way to actually talk to the Iranian government. Right now there is no diplomatic relation between the US and Iran, they negotiate everything through media and this is a non-starter. Not only that but there has been an important change here in the recent weeks, we have had lots and lots of reports that state very clearly that Iran is not a nuclear danger to the world. One particularly important report came out in The New Yorker magazine by Seymour Hersh who pointed out that in the US and with the latest national intelligence estimate that Iran is not seen to be producing any kind of militarized atomic weapon, this has been widely reported in the press and widely debated. I think right now the thinking people are completely convinced that all of all of the attempts to portray Iran as a nation developing nuclear weapons is really a false claim.