print
memri
October 13, 2006 No.
1321

Iranian Daily Close to Supreme Leader Khamenei: ‘If Any Country Such as North Korea, Concludes, for Political or Security Reasons, That It Must Have Nuclear Weapons, It Will Ultimately Succeed... Even if the Whole World Is Opposed...’

On October 12, 2006, the Iranian daily Kayhan, which is identified with Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, published an editorial titled "Lessons from North Korea."

The following are excerpts from the editorial: [1]

"North Korea Has Built A Nuclear Bomb Before the American's Eyes... Despite the Great Pressure it Was Under, And [Despite] Years of Harsh International Sanctions - And No One Has Managed to Do Anything [Against it]"

"How does a particular country go nuclear? This is an important question. But what is more important is the question of what happens [to it], and to the attitude towards it on the part of the international community, and to what extent the attitude towards it and towards its place in the international arena changes when it goes nuclear.

"There is, of course, another question: Do countries which, up until now, have had a monopoly on nuclear weapons want to preserve this monopoly, or will they permit new players to appear? In other words, if any country expresses interest in producing nuclear weapons, is there a safe way to prevent it? North Korea's nuclear test on Sunday [October 8, 2006] helps us give direct answers.

"North Korea's [acquisition of] nuclear [capability] is the product of persistence. Korea was not seeking to prove its regional power, nor to renew the advantages [to be found] in renewing the ancient empire that it had lost, so as to restore its national pride. What led Korea to this point was nothing but persistence in the face of the U.S., which would not agree to talk [with it] face to face and to assure it that it would not act to topple the North Korean government.

"The Koreans said many times before that if America would stop its operations to topple their government, and at the same time would go back to implementing the agreements that it had signed [with them] in the past in the framework of nuclear cooperation, and which it had then violated unilaterally, [then] North Korea would have no problem whatsoever with the inspection of their efforts to produce nuclear weapons. But the Americans, with their usual defective mindset that they have always had... persisted, and now it's all over.

"As the Russians said on Monday [October 9, 2006], in a first response to North Korea's nuclear test: 'It is the American stubbornness that has led to this situation. Had Washington agreed to be a little more flexible and to sit around the table with Pyongyang, the issue would have been resolved long ago, more simply, and at a lower cost.

"[North] Korea has built a [nuclear] bomb before the American's eyes, despite the great pressure it was under, and [despite] years of harsh international sanctions - and no one has managed to do anything [against it].

"If Any Country, Such as North Korea, Concludes, For Political or Security Reasons, That it Must Have Nuclear Weapons, it Will Ultimately Succeed... Even If the Whole World is Opposed"

"What this means precisely is that if any country, such as North Korea, concludes, for political or security reasons, that it must have nuclear weapons, it will ultimately succeed in implementing its wish - even if the whole world doesn't want it to. The superpowers may manage to slow down [its] path [in going] nuclear, or may apply economic and psychological pressures on it and on its citizens - but in the end the wish that arises from among the people is what prevails and determines the policy.

"If the Americans were truly concerned about the spread of nuclear weapons in the international arena, they should first be concerned about their [own] behavior and policy; [it is there that] they will find the root of the evil. The only way for countries to stop producing nuclear weapons is by giving a logical answer to their security problems. Otherwise, when the Americans still seek to vent their rage in the international arena, and threaten insecurity to this or that [government], it cannot but be expected that these countries will aspire to improve their defensive capabilities in various ways.

"As long as the superpowers - like America - are connected to the aspiration to monopoly and to aggression, it can be concluded that North Korea's attaining of nuclear weapons means absolute defeat for the policy of 'apply pressure and threats in order to change the model of countries' behavior.' The Americans must realize - even if it is difficult for them - that pressure and threats are not a suitable way to negotiate with the world..."


[1] Kayhan, October 12, 2006.