Fischer Speaks in Teheran

Joschka Fischer speaking to the Iranian Centre for Strategic Research on August 1, 2006. An interesting piece of diplomacy.

Fischer acknowledges the "constant humiliation and interventions from outside" that have shaped Iran’s recent history, and even mentions God, as in "may God help us to prevent [a confrontation between Iran and the Security Council] from happening." He suggests a sort of regional stability pact, and draws on European history to justify it:

Europe developed the balance of power system after our religious wars in 1648. And we experienced its benefits and its nightmares over the centuries and finally its definitive collapse in two world wars between 1914 and 1945. My country challenged this European system twice in the first half of the twentieth century. At the beginning of the last century, Germany was the leading power of Europe, but we made the wrong decisions and ended in a complete disaster. What was our strategic mistake? We followed hegemonial aspirations that relied on military might and prestige, and we miscalculated the anti-hegemonial instincts of Europe. And twice we underestimated the strategic potential, the power, and the political will and decisiveness of the United States. Otto von Bismarck, perhaps the greatest German statesman of the nineteenth century, defined Germany’s role in his century as either “hammer or anvil.” In the second half of the twentieth century, it turned out that he was completely wrong, because this had never been a serious alternative. A new European system based on a peaceful balance of interests, common European institutions in the framework of the EU, and guaranteed security, produced by NATO and the transatlantic alliance, completely changed the course of German and European history for the better.

And watch out for the Americans. You never know what they’re capable of:

Whether anyone likes it or not, the United States is and will be the key player. It would be a dangerous misperception to think that the United States is weak because of the present situation in Iraq and Afghanistan. In the Middle East the United States is not only defending its interests and allies, but its role as the only global power. And it will continue to do this at any price.

One thought on “Fischer Speaks in Teheran

  1. > and even mentions God, as in “may God help us to prevent …

    He certainly didn’t fool his Tehran partners in, ugh, dialogue, as they’re not to dumb to read his biographies. They’re perverts, not necessarily idiots, so the minister’s sucking up will make them sniff excitedly the sweet scent of an atheist continent’s cold sweat.

    > constant humiliation and interventions from outside

    While I won’t quarrel about the Mossadegh and the Sha disaster, one of the Mullahs’ greatest humiliations was the existence of a genuine Iranian feminism, as the Sha, when he was not busy having his foes tortured, cared for women’s lib, as did his model Atatürk. The Mullahs nursed their wounds well(*), and a “regional stability pact” will solidify their perverted and corrupt reign for the sake of, uhm, stability.

    But I forgot: we’re in for meta discussions only, not for vulgar stuff like issues, so yes, except for some glitches, it was a gifted, though impotent piece of diplomacy, German industry reaping the windfalls – so, thinking again, impotent only as far as human rights and related trivia are concerned.

    * Speaking of joyous meta stuff: Isn’t there an eerie aesthetic to be discovered even in the joyous exploits of the tough, when they get going? The immovable figurine in its somber garb has something from a Canaletto still, if it wasn’t for the vorsprung durch technik impromptu. Seems like Islamism is pious power plus electrification.

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