Giannakopoulos Vasileios
(Hellenic Air Force Brigadier General (retired) and Former Analyst of the Hellenic National Defence General Staff )

Copyright: www.geostrategy.gr

On 20 May 2009, the Guardian Council of Iran officially announced a list of approved candidates, while rejecting a number of registered nominees. Only four candidates were approved by the Guardian Council, out of the 476 men and women who had applied to seek the Presidency of Iran in the 2009 election. 
The official results of the June 12, 2009 Iranian Presidential Election provoked the reaction of the Iranian reformists in many major cities. These reactions increased dramatically when the Musavi side accused President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for election fraud. 

The known events (thousands of Iranians who were protesting on the streets against Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the Supreme Leader demanding a new fair election) upset the coherence of the Iranian society and the relation between the theocratic regime and the Iranian people. Today, the supporters of the 1979 Iranian Revolution realize that “the Revolution is not so pure any more”. That means at least in the short term the reformists will continue to protest without cease.

Several western analysts saw the situation in Iran as the beginning of a new revolution against conservatives’ domination but at present time the ground is not enough fertile for the overturning of the conservatives, because:
• There is lack of any substantial external support, and
• A strong state mechanism, which is built by the IRGCs (Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps) and the millions of Basijis (paramilitary volunteer militia founded by Ayatollah Khomeini in November 1979), operates efficiently against any “internal threat”.
Given that the IRGCs and the Basijis guarantee the domestic security, it is obvious that Ayatollah Sayyid Ali Hoseyni Khāmenei and his supporters will achieve to maintain the theocratic character of the Iranian regime but the future evolutions are difficult to foresee. 
Concerning the external actors and especially the US administration, it is assessed that Obama’s strategy is similar (if not exactly the same) to the policy, which have been announced by Democrats in the “Iraq Study Group Report” (James A. Baker & Lee H. Hamilton) in 2007. That means at present time Washington will retain its “conciliatory profile” and will expect the Iranians in order to negotiate with them the major regional challenges as:
o The development of the Iranian nuclear program.
o The likely Afghan-Iranian cooperation against Talibans and al-Qaeda’s pursuits.
o The Tehran’s evolvement in Iraq and especially its support to Iraqi Shia community.
o The US-Iranian rapprochement at foreign affairs level, and
o The likely energy cooperation in Iranian hydrocarbon deposits and regional energy routes.
 Concerning Iranian issue Washington could rethink the current situation by other viewpoint. At first, US State Department could stop the “inefficient verbal policy” and proceed to a more “productive applied diplomacy”. Tehran’s hardliners seek to expand their oil and natural gas exports towards European and Southern Asia markets, to continue the development of their nuclear program, to be a regional power and to retain their prestige. Tehran is ready to accept a “generous deal”, which will help it to get out from the deadlock. State Department could negotiate with Iranians and offer all the above. Particularly, US could:
o “Guarantee” the raise of the economic, trade, scientific and military sanctions against Iran (UNSCR 1737, 1747 and 1803). So, Tehran could overcome its financial tightness and freely expand its oil and natural gas exports, especially from “South Pars” (huge natural gas field shared between Iran and Qatar) via Tabriz (Iran), Erzurum – Ankara (Turkey) and Komotini (Greece) towards European energy markets.
o Ask from Tehran the ratification of the Non Proliferation Treaty’s Additional Protocol (Iran signed it on December 18, 2003 but hasn’t ratified it). That means the IAEA’s (International Atomic Energy Agency) inspectors could investigate without prior notice all the Iranian nuclear installations and Tehran could develop its nuclear program only for the production of electricity.
o Ask from Iranian conservatives to change their behavior and stop their influence in Iraqi Shia areas and in Afghani Province of Herat. Additionally, US could ask cooperation in order to fight al-Qaeda, which is a common enemy for both sides.
 All the above proposals are characterized as “familiar to President Obama’s profile” and could change the “mood” not only between Iran and USA but additionally could be the begging to find solutions for more Mideast and South Asia’s challenges. It is obvious that if such a deal would flourish then the internal situation in Iran would improve step by step.  
 
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