About one month after the beginning of the new Iranian calendar year (21 March 2010), and following the international recognition of Norouz by the United Nations General Assembly, Iran is facing new challenges. Some of the challenges are domestic, while others emanate from Iran’s regional and international policies as well as international pressures put on the country. Some Iran experts maintain that social unrests following the presidential polls in 2009 have led to the isolation of certain parts of the Iranian society, media crew, and political circles, parties, and activists. Post-election events have indeed deepened the gaps in Iran and put the country on a wrong track, which cannot help to solve any of the existing problems.
As history has proven in past several thousands of years, enemies usually hit Iran at such junctures by fanning the flames of differences. Ambiguities in international relations, especially where Iran’s national security is at stake, have further complicated the situation. Examples of this point include:
- Iran’s nuclear case: the 5+1 group and the Security Council are planning to impose tougher sanctions on Iran as the country is getting ready to host an international conference on disarmament and nonpruliferation, rivaling the conference on nuclear security in the United States;
- Elections in Iraq and persistence of pulitical challenges over the composition of the next Iraqi government;
- The ongoing situation in Afghanistan and prospects of possible reconciliation between Karzai and the NATO alliance and the Taliban forces;
- Iran’s relations with Saudi Arabia, which have been marred by an ongoing crisis of distrust between the two states, in addition to territorial and strategic pressures from other Persian Gulf states which are in line with the regional interests of Western countries;
- Israel’s continuing threats to use military force against Iran;
- Tension between Iran and its northern neighbors over the country’s share of the Caspian Sea’s energy resources;
- Insecurity of the Iranian borders due to the widespread presence of foreign troops in neighboring countries and activities of terrorist and insurgent groups in border areas.
Establishing a happy, healthy, and progressive society by taking advantage of the knowledge, expertise, and capacity of all social classes and political groups is the best way to overcome the abovementioned difficulties. Problems can be successfully solved only when the majority of the Iranian nation, regardless of their political tendencies, lend their support to the government. National unity is an inevitable necessity under existing circumstances, and to secure Iran’s rights and interests, there is no better option than strengthening national unity and fostering peace and tranquility in the country.
Firouzeh Mirrazavi is Deputy Editor of Iran Review.