The US has been hearing the same arguments from Israel regarding Iran for twenty years, but still appears inclined to sacrifice its own interests for the sake of its relationship with the Jewish state, Professor Seyed Mohammad Marandi told RT.
RT: Is it possible that Iranian President Hassan Rouhani's diplomatic charm could possibly create a gap between President Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, just six months after the US President's reconciliation visit to Israel?
Seyed Mohammad Marandi, dean of the Faculty of World Studies at the University of Tehran: It remains to be seen what effect it has on the American political establishment. I think it has had a major effect in other parts of the world and I’m sure it has had an effect on parts of the American population – despite the fact that corporate media and the political establishment is really close to Israel.
But with regards to the accusation that has been made by the Israelis, the Iranians in fact have been saying for weeks now that we’re expecting some fabricated story from the Israelis to disrupt any potential rapprochement [between Washington and Tehran].
What the Iranians have been saying for many years now is in fact that it is in the interests of the US as well as Iran to improve relations based on mutual respect. But so far, the US has not been pursuing its own interests. Rather, it has been sacrificing the interests of its people for the interests of the Israeli regime.
RT: The latest UN General Assembly has also proved that the Iranian and US Presidents can actually talk without resorting to threats and mutual accusations. Do you think that Israel should be concerned?
SMM: Israel should be concerned in the sense that it has been dishonest for two decades now. Obama, and I think other American leaders, have been hearing – the previous [American] president has been hearing – for almost two decades now Netanyahu claiming that the Iranians are going to develop nuclear weapons in two to three years. These two to three years have been going on for almost 20 years. It’s like a record player that got stuck, it keeps repeating itself. This by itself reveals the dishonesty of the Israeli Prime Minister and the Israeli regime.
Obama and the American political leaders know quite well now that Iran does not have a nuclear weapons program. Iran never had nuclear weapons program. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has never made any accusations directed towards Iran about Iran having a nuclear weapons program.
In fact, we all know that the only country in this region that has nuclear weapons is the Israeli regime. The only country that practices apartheid is the Israeli regime. And the country that will have chemical weapons in a year’s time from now is the Israeli regime.
RT: Is Netanyahu's visit to the US well-timed from your point of view, in order to try and win back some political points?
SMM: Well, obviously, Netanyahu’s obsession with Iran is quite deep. And when President Rouhani was initially elected, [Netanyahu] called the Iranian president a wolf in sheep’s clothes.
So, that sort of language is what to be expected from the Israeli Prime Minister. I don’t think it is going to be very difficult for him to persuade some people, because in the US, as I said, the corporate media is very much in the hands of the political establishment and the Congress and the Senate are very close to Israel.
But I think if American political leaders take note of what happened during the Syria issue and how opposed the American people are now to confrontations and military attacks, then they will choose a more reasonable approach when it comes to Iran.
Because after all, they couldn’t convince their own people about Syria, [while] Iran is a much stronger country.
Americans have themselves isolated internationally over Syria. So it would be best for the US to really think about a different approach, to treat Iran with respect, to recognize Iran’s right as an independent country for uranium enrichment for peaceful purposes – and to ignore Israeli provocations.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.