Round table on Iran
30/06/2017

Where is Iran going? Tehran's domestic and regional policies 

15:00 to 16:00

On June 30, 2017, a colloquium organized by the Foundation of Studies for the Middle East on the situation in this region was held in Roissy-en-France. Iran's analysis and political role in the region as well as its future has largely occupied the minds of this day. Three panels of senior dignitaries (academics, researchers, civil servants, military, and politicians) were directly involved during the course of their career in solving the problems of the Near and Middle East.

The first panel moderated by Lincoln Bloomfield (Ambassador, President Emeritus at the Stimson Center, former Deputy Secretary of State for Military Affairs) aimed to decipher the analysis of policies on Iran.  

It was composed of John Baird (former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Canada), Joseph Lieberman (former senator and US vice-presidential candidate), Robert Joseph (Ambassador, US special envoy for the And Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security until 2007), Jack Keane (General, Deputy Chief of Staff of the US Army), Bruno Tertrais (Deputy Director of Foundation for Strategic Research).

John Baird, the first to intervene, criticized the Middle Eastern policy of Barack Obama and his administration during his eight years in power, especially concerning the hand held in Tehran. He blames Obama for his feverishness during the nuclear deal between Iran and the P5 + 1, and considers that facing Iran the option is certainly not the compromise both the regime has shown in the past its capacity Not to respect the given word. He then returned to the Iranian presidential election, which he described as a "democratic farce" insofar as candidates can not compete freely since they are chosen by the Supreme Leader.

Joseph Lieberman also returned on the nuclear agreement of July 14, 2015, evoking his certainty about the will of the Iranian regime not to respect the latter. He believes that the main objective of the Iranian theocracy remains the construction of the atomic bomb because it would guarantee the foundation of the regime. Lieberman recalled the role of the Iranian regime in international terrorism and its goal of destabilizing the Middle East by interfering wherever it can, as in Iraq and Syria. Like Baird, he strongly criticized Obama's policy that was too complacent with the Iranian authorities. The era that opens with Donald Trump, he hopes will try to review the previous plans to give back to Iran and his people his freedom. He recalled the dissensions within the regime, between a President increasingly hostile to the line of the Supreme Leader, revealing the inner frailties.

Jack Keane wished to point out that Iran's goal was to impose its leadership on the whole of the Middle East, which the Trump administration will not allow, he said. Although Trump is not the most competent in foreign policy, he tried to reassure his audience by saying that he had surrounded himself with the best advisers. The latter, he assured, will be able to guarantee an action plan against the dynamics of expansion of Iran and this, for the stability of the region. Given the wait-and-see attitude of Obama, General Keane explains that the new administration has already shown signs. First Trump's first trip to Ryad to reassure his Saudi ally, the main opponent in the region to the Iranian theocracy, and thus guarantee him his support against all forms of aggression. Keane recalled that the Americans must ensure that Iranian youth have an alternative to the current regime while at the same time explaining that Trump would not hesitate to use force against all forms of provocation of the Iranian regime. This is what happened in response to the Iranian ballistic missile.

Bruno Tertrais wished him, deconstructing this image of a moderate Iranian regime, holding him highly responsible for the rise of terrorism in recent years. For him, this mistake of the Europeans to believe that the regime is moderating is due to the fact that they confuse moderation and pragmatism. Because yes, the Iranian regime is pragmatic but by no means moderate. As a Frenchman, he wished to speak of the position of France. If it is currently discreet about the Iranian regime, it is hopeful to believe in the firmness of the new President of the Republic before the threats of the Middle East. He also wished to highlight the stupidity of the political spheres regarding their strategy to ease tensions with Iran through trade and business. Indeed, in history, episodes do not fail to remind us that this is only a pure utopia. Finally, he demonstrated the support of the Iranian regime to the regime of Assad and at the same time Daesh since the Syria of Assad made its best guarantor in the crisis that crosses Syria.