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Dec 04, 2021
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Retired Iranian Ambassador Ebrahim Rahimpour: Our Foreign Policy Goal Should Be To Become 'Normal'; America Is An International Bully, But China Will Not Take Iran Seriously, Knowing That We Are Shunned By The U.S.

#9269 | 06:37
Source: Tanweer TV (Egypt)

Ebrahim Rahimpour, who has served as Iran's ambassador to India, Austria, and Ireland, said in a December 4, 2021 interview with Didar News (Iran) that the goal of Iran's foreign policy should be to "become normal" and to maintain relations with most of the countries of the world. Rahimpour said that it is wrong to think that Iran could have relations with Asia without having relations with America or the West, because Iran's value to China will plummet once it understands that Iran will never draw closer America, Europe or Saudi Arabia. In addition, Rahimpour said that Iran must have relations with America, even though it is the "Great Satan" and an "international bully." Rahimpour criticized Iran's past foreign policy, especially during the term of President Ahmadinejad, saying that it had been "amateurish" and a mistake to discuss the Holocaust so much. He explained that this only served Israel's interests and resulted in relations between Israel and countries like the UAE, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, and Azerbaijan. Regarding domestic issues, such as food and resource shortages, Rahimpour said that the Iranian people deserve answers.

Ebrahim Rahimpour: "The [Iran-Iraq] war did not end in a victory. I am not saying that Saddam won, but considering our slogans at the time – we did not win. We reached a point where the founder of the Revolution [Khomeini] had to drink the 'poisoned chalice.' "


Interviewer: "You were the head of the Asia and Oceania department at the Foreign Ministry. These days, we hear a lot about turning our gaze to the East and about focusing our foreign policy on Asia."


Rahimpour: "Forty three years have passed since the Revolution, and only now we discover Asia? This is very peculiar to me. Did we only find out about China now? What about Russia? When we carried out the Revolution, the slogan 'Death to the USSR' was right next to 'Death to America.' There are times... When they attacked Afghanistan, we 100% supported the Afghans, and then the USSR gave Saddam missiles and various equipment, in response to our support of Afghanistan and the mujahideen. Therefore, it is possible to have war with a country like Iraq, and then become something like allies. You need to add the element of time to our discussion. In this sense, I think Asia is important, Africa is important, Europe is important, America is important – and even Australia and New Zealand, which are very far and with which we cannot work in a comprehensive way, are important. No country is unimportant. America is extremely important.


"Indeed, Asia is important. Extremely important. But look at Asia during this period of American sanctions – all the [Asian countries] rejected us. You say 'Asia but not America' or 'but not the West'...  No. I think this is a dream, an empty illusion. We must work with everybody. It is true that you can have different priorities, and that you can focus on China, if it serves our interests. But even China... Once it realizes that you will never become closer to the U.S., never become closer to Europe, and never become closer to Saudi Arabia – China would process on its own path. Your value for the Chinese would plummet, because they would say: 'Iran has no alternative but to work with us.'  We must never allow this to happen.


"Now that the regime is made up of one [monolithic] group, there can be no more excuses. There is no one else to blame. You cannot even blame Rouhani. Rouhani has been around for a while. Whether it was short or long – it is over. Now answers should be given about the water problem of Isfahan and Khuzestan, about people's daily bread, electricity, the price of fuel, and electricity prices.


"Our foreign policy has been really amateurish in some cases, especially in the days of Mr. Ahmadinejad. This needs to be repaired."

Interviewer: "Can you give an example of what was amateurish?"

Rahimpour: "The Holocaust. Why was it necessary [to talk about] the Holocaust? This turned out to benefit Israel. Look what our policy towards Israel led to in the region: The UAE, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, and other countries. Azerbaijan as well.


"We can act differently. We can. In today's world, we must change our methods and tactics, even if we do not change our goals. Our methods and tactics are inappropriate. We have not accomplished the goal of having relations with 200 out of over 200 countries in the world, the goal of becoming normal.


"Why do we need to fight America, when the Russians and the Chinese will be the ones to benefit from this? Why? This is not right. Why do we need to fight ISIS when someone else benefits from this? At the end of the day, our presence in the region is part of our strength. There is no doubt about it. But we work hard and reap no fruits.


"America, whether we like it or not – well, obviously we don't like it – is an international bully, but after all, it was America that saved Europe from World War II.


"True, America was and is the Great Satan, but we cannot tell each and every country that they are bad, because ultimately, no one will be left."

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