Experts: Televised debates between Ahmadinejad and Obama will likely not be held
Azerbaijan, Baku, August 3 /Trend, T.Konyayeva/
The possibility of televised debates between the presidents of
Iran and the U.S., as well as their effectiveness cause doubts of experts.
"I think the US has every right not to take Ahmadinejad's offer of 'public debate' seriously,"
Shahram Akbarzadeh, a professor at University of Melbourne, wrote in an e-mail to Trend.
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Monday that during his visit to the UN General Assembly in late August he is prepared to attend the televised debates with the U.S. President Barack Obama "in order to determine whose proposals for solving world problems are efficient."
Iranian leader some time ago proposed to conduct such debates with
George Bush, however, Washington refused from this event.
Akbarzadeh said even when the Obama administration was prepared to discuss the nuclear issue with Iran without any pre-conditions (which meant that Iran could continue its enrichment program while talking to the Americans!), the response from the conservative leadership in Iran has been either silence, or accusations of bullying.
"Ahmadinejad has shown no good will towards the international community or the United States, he said. - He has snubbed all international efforts to resolve the nuclear deadlock."
Iran's nuclear program has been causing concerns to the international community since 2003, when the
IAEA became aware of its covert activities. In late 2003, Iran signed the Additional Protocol to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and voluntarily announced the suspension of uranium enrichment. But later it returned to this activity.
Enriched uranium can be used to produce nuclear weapons. However, it is also necessary as fuel for nuclear power plants. Several states, including the United States, accuse Iran of developing nuclear weapons for military purposes under the guise of peaceful nuclear energy program. Tehran denies the charges, claiming that its nuclear program is exclusively aimed at peaceful purposes.
President Ahmadinejad thrives on confrontation and the rhetoric's of the 1979 revolution, Akbarzadeh said.
"That is how Ahmadinejad justifies his role, not as a statesman, or a representative of the Iranian nation and its interests, but as an Islamist revolutionary, he said. - He is not interested in genuine debate. He is simply interested in recycling the tired Islamist slogans and throwing accusations at the United States."
According to Akbarzadeh, the United States should not offer Ahmadinejad such an opportunity.
He believes the nuclear deadlock is best addressed by quiet diplomacy and a willingness to concede past errors.
"President Obama has made significant strides in addressing past mistakes when he admitted to the US role in the 1953 coup in Iran, and propping up the Pahlavi Dynasty, Akbarzadeh said. -President Ahmadinejad has not shown a comparable level of personal courage and vision to reciprocate."
In June last year in
Cairo, President Barack Obama recognized that the United States organized the overthrow of Mohammed Mossadegh government in Iran in 1953. This is the first case in history when the current U.S. president has publicly recognized the participation of the United States in the coup.
According to Akbarzadeh, engaging in a 'public debate' with Ahmadinejad is futile.
Barry Rubin also believes the televised debates will not take place.
"No debate; nothing constructive would emerge," Rubin, the director of the
Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center, wrote in an e-mail to Trend.
According to Iranian political scientist
Pirouz Mojtahedzadeh, the reason why the U.S. would not accept the proposal by Iranian president to participate in joint discussions is the existence of Israel.
"The reason why the U.S. would not accept a proposal by Ahmadinejad is quite obvious, Mojtahedzadeh, chairman of
Urosevic Research Foundation of London, told Trend by telephone. - U.S. president [Bush, Obama or anyone else] has to take into account the existence of Israel in matters related to the Middle East."
Ahmadinejad's proposal implies observance of the simple conditions under which the United States should get rid of the strong influence of Israel, he said.
"Only in this case, the U.S. president will accept this proposal," said Mojtahedzadeh.
He believes that the U.S. president in this way will be able to prove his righteousness to the entire world community.
Regarding the possible outcome of debates, Mojtahedzadeh believes that if the debates take place, it is possible to achieve some constructive results.
"Naturally, during the debates, both sides will try to make relations between the countries to be improved, not to be deteriorated even more," he said.
Obama has not yet commented on the proposal of the Iranian president. According to the representative of the administration of the White House, the theoretical possibility of a meeting of two presidents in the debates is not excluded.
T.Jafarov contributed to the article