Foreign investment in Iran 2000-2007
CHINA: at least $101.74 billion
FRANCE: at least $29.9 billion
GERMANY: at least $25.4 billion
JAPAN: at least $16.9 billion
RUSSIA: at least $3.75 billion
UNITED STATES: at least $3.6 billion
The American Enterprise Institute published an estimation of the amount of foreign investment in Iran during the period 2000-2007. These figures prove an interesting insight into what's at stake for which player in the confrontation with the Islamic Republic: the biggest foreign investor in Iran is China. This could be expected from a hungry, developing capitalist state dictatorship as it is. China has never shown any real sensitivity to human rights issues, especially when acquiring the necessary raw materials for its capitalist economy. Human rights are not an issue in China, let alone in Chinese foreign policy.
The next stakeholders, France and Germany, two of the leading economies in Europe, have seen their investment in Iran grow exponentially since 1997. In that year the EU endeavored in a policy of 'carrots and sticks'. Through economic exchange the EU countries claimed they were able to moderate the IRI regime. It was the year that Khatami -the smiling mullah- became president in Iran. In Europe 'engagement' was the buzzword. Through economic relations the extremist regime in Iran would change its rhetoric and policies to a more moderate tone.
We all know what happened since then: after 8 years of unfulfilled expectations and lots of tea pouring Khatami went and Khamenei appointed Ahmadinejad as the new president. From that day on, people in Iran are under the most heavy scrutiny by security forces since the early days of the so-called Islamic revolution in 1979. After almost ten years one can conclude that all the carrots offered to the IRI regime could not persuade the mullahs to ease down on their radical policies at home and abroad.
One issue to be tackled with the 'sticks and carrot' policy was the atomic case. However, also on this field the total failure of the European approach towards Iran is obvious. Four years of talk could not bring the IRI to stop its illegal atomic program. On the contrary, the IRI is developing intercontinental rocket capability. In the negotiations about the atomic issue there is no engagement at all, let alone any change in IRI policy. The carrots were held in front of a wax nose consequently no engagement whatsoever took place.
A couple of years ago I attended a meeting in Amsterdam where a professor in International Relations of Tehran University held a lecture. First of all, when I hear of scientist from the Islamic Republic, all alarm bells start ringing because there is no such thing as a real academic climate in the Islamic Republic. After the so-called revolution Khomeiny decided to close the universities for three years, and as it was written, it was done: the entrance of some universities the entrance was literally closed with cement and bricks, only to be opened again after the genuine islamic character of the university had been established. As if a university can be islamic...
However, the scholar from Tehran mentioned a few interesting points: he said that there are four areas in which the West and the IRI are in conflict, the first one being the nuclear issue. Then, secondly, the active role of the IRI in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Thirdly the IRI's support for terrorist movements in the Middle-East and beyond, and last but not least, the human rights issue.
Out of these four, it is exactly the human rights issue that leaves the IRI speechless. Khamenei and his henchmen have no answer to downplay the rightful accusations about human rights abuse in Iran. In the three other issues, the IRI had plenty of sticks to beat the West with. The professor meant that there was enough ammunition for the IRI to counter all the accusations of Western nations and make the waters of international politics muddy, except in the case of human rights.
The human rights reputation of the IRI needs no further introduction: the IRI is guilty as sin and its supporters know it. Staying away from the issue by the West has been a big mistake. Four years of cheek to cheek by ElBaradei, Jack Straw, Xavier Solana and all Islamic Republic so-called officials without any real progress have proven this point. There has not been not any positive development towards stopping uranium enrichment in Iran or encapsulating the atomic crisis in any way. On the contrary, the Islamic Republic is showing time after time that its vulgarity in international politics pays off as long as other parties are willing to tolerate it. Could it be that the economic interests mentioned above are the reason behind all of this?
Beating on the atomic drum, which has been the policy of the West for the past 10 years has not produced any steady rhythm, let alone an acceptable song. The cry of the Iranian people, the victims of double edged sword, is ignored. One the one hand people suffer from the dictatorial theocracy and its inhumane policies and on the other side they are victim of greedy international business that is supporting the theocracy, willingly of unwillingly.
In this context I wonder if the Chinese should really be blamed for pretending they suffer from a bleeding nose when foreign regimes and investment possibilities are at stake. On second thought, no!! No real human would wish for his fellow humans to be under the yoke of a dictatorship kept in place by greedy foreign economic interests. Long live the Iranian people that does not bow for the islamic fascists! They deserve our fullest support in the struggle to liberate themselves.
How much longer should the EU continue to feed the enemy? Human rights are the Achilles heel of the IRI, and it is time to change the tune indeed. Let's hear the voices of Iranians in the country and I don't mean the crowds that BBC reporters are always talking of.
In Iran more than 90% of the population has enough of the IRI and people are willing to come out for their political opinion if they know they have the genuine support of democratic nations. Then the extreme harsh treatment by security police that they suffer every time they voice their discontent, will not hold them back any longer. Security forces that serve a regime that is kept alive with money and goods that come as carrots into the country from abroad, as gifts from the very same countries in the above mentioned investor top six.
Human rights for Iranian citizens now!! Support the Iranian movement for democracy!!