WESTERN COUNTRIES ENDORSE RAFSANJANI POLICIES – 25/09/1988

[Diary of a Vengeance Foretold] Part 85

SEPTEMBER 25 1988

”Iranian pragmatists are picking up where they left off at Irangate.”

Anonymous Iranian Official – Sept. 25, 1988

Two months after accepting a cease-fire with Iraq, Tehran appears to be moving toward moderation in both domestic and foreign policies, de facto reversing a decade long of aggressive policies.

 Hojatolislam Hashemi Rafsanjani, the powerful Parliament Speaker and commander of the army, is overseeing the implementation of these policies. Rafsanjani is apparently acting with the encouragement and blessings of Ayatollah Khomeini, who is reported to be in poor health.

Iran's former President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani

Iran’s former President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani

In the last couple of weeks, Rafsanjani has promoted countess military to the rank of General in an effort to trim the wings of the hard-line Revolutionary Guards in favor of the Iranian Army. All weapons research and development projects under the Revolutionary Guards were shifted to the army research and weapons development divisions.

Rafsanjani has also defeated Prime Minister Mir Hussein Moussavi views over foreign investment policy. Rafsanjani, who has asserted that the country needs foreign expertise and investment, has received direct and public backing from ayatollah Khomeini who recently accused Mousavi of having acted irresponsibly for opposing foreign involvement in the Iranian economy.

”Iranian pragmatists are picking up where they left off at Irangate,” asserts a government official. And the pragmatists just scored a major victory, as the United States Senate moved to impose economic sanctions on Iraq for using chemical weapons.

”It seems to me that if the Americans follow through, one may even start thinking of the possibility of an eventual resumption of ties with the United States,” said Vahe Petrossian, an Iranian expert with the London-based Middle East Economic Digest.

West Germany, France, Canada, Turkey and Britain are all taking steps to signal their eagerness to renew economical ties with Tehran.

”For much of the West, Iran remains the strategic prize of the gulf region because of its geopolitics, the size of its population and its market, its borders with the Soviet Union and the inability of the Arabs to forge a broad coalition that presents itself as a strong counter block,” said Philip Robins, a research fellow at the Middle East program of the Royal Institute for International Affairs in London.

NOTES AND REFERENCES

IRAN IS SAID TO CHANGE DIRECTION IN DOMESTIC AND FOREIGN POLICIES

September 25, 1988

House Panel Seeks to Penalize Iraq for Gas Use September 25, 1988

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