L’Iran et les principes d’identité et de légitimité

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L’Iran et les principes d’identité et de légitimité

Au moment où commençait le sommet du Mouvement des Non-Alignés (NAM) à Téhéran, l’ancien ambassadeur US aux Nations-Unies, l’ultra-dur et neocon John Bolton se trouvait à Tampa pour la convention du parti républicain. Il s’y trouvait, bien entendu, en ferme partisan de Mitt Romney, pour la “résurrection” d’une politique extérieure et de sécurité nationale maximaliste qui aurait été “trahie” sous la présidence Obama. Cette vision complètement surréaliste, puisque Obama est le parfait continuateur et accélérateur de la politique Bush en transformant ainsi la chose en une continuité en politique et en archétype de la politique-Système, méritait d’être confrontée à l’événement en cours à plusieurs milliers de kilomètres de là. Philip Klein, du Washington Examiner, demanda donc à Bolton, qui avait été à l’ONU, ce qu’il pensait de la participation de Ban Ki-moon, le Secrétaire Général de l’ONU, au sommet du NAM à Téhéran. Bolton répondit (voir le Washington Examiner du 28 août 2012), en qualifiant la visite de Ban à Téhéran de “pire erreur” que le Secrétaire Général ait commise. Il y avait de l’amertume dans son propos, Bolton parlant de Ban comme d’un proche qui aurait effectivement dévié de sa mission, ce qui confirme excellemment, par l'humeur découverte, le statut de Ban comme “homme de Washington/du Système”. A cette lumière, la présence de Ban à Téhéran constitue un acte qu’il ne pouvait éviter de poser à cause de la pression internationale, notamment des participants au NAM, à cause de la légitimité de cette organisation et de son poids, – ceci et cela montrant qu’il y a effectivement eu un processus de légitimation (de re-légitimisation) à double sens entre le NAM et l’Iran…

Bolton déclara donc à propos du Sommet et de la visite de Ban : «It legitimizes Iran. Number one, for the Non-Aligned Movement to make Iran its president. It tells you a lot about the Non-Aligned Movement and about the U.N. and it legitimizes Iran when the Secretary General of the United Nations goes there. It was a mistake for him to do. I’ve known Ban Ki-moon for 20-plus years. This is the worst mistake he’s made since becoming Secretary-General.»

C’est dans le texte de Amal Saad-Ghorayeb, dans Al-Akhbar English du 3 septembre 2012, que nous avons trouvé cette référence à la déclaration du Bolton. De père musulman chiite (directeur d’un institut de sondage à Beyrouth) et de mère chrétienne, Amal Saad-Ghorayeb est assistante professeur de sciences politiques à l’université américaine de Beyrouth, après avoir reçu son doctorat à l’université de Birmingham et avoir été Visitor Scholar au Centre pour le Moyen-Orient de Carnegie (CMEC). On voit que Saad-Ghorayeb est devenue commentatrice politique après une formation qui peut être assimilée à un parcours classique d’intégration dans la culture politique du bloc BAO. (Elle fut même invitée à parler devant le Collège de l’OTAN en 2009, invitation qu’elle refusa parce que la présence d’officiers israéliens dans l’auditoire ne s’accordait pas aux lois libanaises.) Son analyse sur l’Iran, sur la position de l’Iran mise en évidence à l’occasion du sommet de NAM , sur la politique de l’Iran dans l’affaire nucléaire et la “résistance” acharné aux pressions du bloc BAO (des USA), sont par conséquent d’un pressant intérêt ; ils sont d’un pressant intérêt en eux-mêmes, venus d'une telle personnalité et d'une telle culture politique ; ils le sont encore plus lorsqu’on découvre qu’il s’agit pour l’Iran, dans l’interprétation de Saad-Ghorayeb, d’une mise en évidence de l’affirmation de son identité, en tant que nécessité vitale comme en tant que principe, avec tout ce que cela sous-entend du point de vue de la souveraineté et de la légitimité (celle que déplore Bolton).

Parallèlement, on découvre dans son commentaire, dont nous donnons ci-dessous un long extrait, combien Saad-Ghorayeb comprend parfaitement le caractère absolument déstructurant et dissolvant de la politique américaniste. A cet égard, bien sûr, Obama parfait serviteur de la chose et du Système, comme Bush avant lui. L’extrait est long mais il a toute sa place.

«Despite Obama’s 2009 Nowruz message to the people and leadership of Iran where he called for an “engagement that is honest and grounded in mutual respect,” US diplomacy was not based on a recognition of Iran as an equal, but on a grudging tolerance of a “rogue” state Washington deemed inferior. In that same speech, Obama condescendingly asserted that while Iran should take its “rightful place in the community of nations...that place cannot be reached through terror or arms,” prompting Khamenei to respond: “Our nation cannot be talked to like this. In the same congratulatory message they (the Obama administration) accuse the Iranian nation of supporting terrorism, pursuing nuclear arms, and such things. What has changed?”

»The terms of the “dialogue” were therefore set by Washington and the talks used to dictate its wishes rather than to reach a mutually beneficial agreement. As former US diplomat Chester Crocker writes in his op-ed for the New York Times “Terms of Engagement”: “Engagement is not normalization, and its goal is not improved relations. It is not akin to détente…The goal of engagement is to change the other country’s perception of its own interests and realistic options and, hence, to modify its policies and its behavior.”

»The imperialistic hubris inherent in this attitude cannot be overstated for not only does such an approach presume to know what Iran’s interests are, but it also infantilizes the Islamic Republic by suggesting that it neither has a firm grasp of its own reality nor does it know where its true interests lie. This approach is a legacy of the American school of Realism which presupposes a universally valid definition of the national interest that is itself informed by the concept of power. According to this view, states can only have one type of self-interested identity and one understanding of interest defined as physical security, and economic and military power. The fact that states, like other social actors, have variable identities and rationalities which shape their perception of reality and their definition of interests doesn’t figure into the calculations of Realists or US foreign policy makers. Moreover, Realists also overlook the fact that over and above physical security, states also pursue ontological security, that is the security of their identities as particular kinds of actors.

»This is particularly relevant in the case of Iran, which derives its identity and hence, its popular and constitutional legitimacy from its jealously guarded independence. The US’ hegemonic role in Iran’s political, economic, military and security affairs, during Reza Shah’s rule, remains firmly embedded in the nation’s political consciousness. Not discounting the multiple social, economic, political and cultural factors which lay behind the Islamic Revolution, it was also in part, a reaction to US hegemony over Iranian affairs. The US’ heavy handed political intervention, security and intelligence penetration, and control of Iran’s economy, particularly its oil industry, rendered it tantamount to an occupying or colonial power in the eyes of many Iranians. The revolution was therefore at the same time a revolt against the monarchy and a war of liberation against US “imperialism,” as embodied by its key catchphrase: “Independence, freedom, Islamic Republic.”

»The very existence of the Islamic Republic was somewhat reactive and its identity defensive. Iran became a state preoccupied with protecting its new-found independence and dignity. So deeply ingrained in the political culture was the fear of foreign domination that constitutional safeguards were set up to protect the country from foreign control and to preserve its “metadiscourse” of independence, or “hyper-independence” as one scholar terms it.

»In effect, ideological principles such as sovereignty, justice, independence, self-sufficiency and dignity are not abstract values but founding principles and strategic necessities which emerged from Iran’s historical experience of foreign domination. This experience taught Iranians that the politics of dependency practiced by pre-revolutionary Iran was a sure recipe for strategic weakness and domestic collapse, as the Shah’s regime illustrated. Moreover, Iran did not see in the US’ Arab allies a success story worthy of emulation. From Tehran’s perspective, the US uses the political and military assistance it offers these regimes as a tool with which to extract political concessions, making them beholden to it. Moreover, in depending on the US to shore up their regimes domestically, Arab states are viewed as having lost their nations’ sovereignty, independence, and regional power in the process, not to mention their popular legitimacy, as the recent Arab uprisings illustrate. By remaining independent of the west, Iran believes it cannot be blackmailed into anything, as the US’ regional allies have been.

»Any fundamental changes in Iran’s foreign policy objectives would essentially mean that the Iranian state would have overturned its founding principles and destabilized its sense of ontological security. As Iranian Ambassador to Syria, Mohammad Reza Shaybani once explained to me: “If we were to become one of America’s moderate allies in the region there would be no meaning for the Islamic Revolution in Iran. If we gave up our principles, the US would support us again, but then there would be no difference between Iran now and what it was before the revolution.” This would be the case not only if Iran were to revert to the foreign policy of the Shah’s era or to transform itself into a “moderate” regime allied with the US, along the lines of Mubarak’s Egypt, Jordan or Saudi Arabia, but even if it were to adopt a politically neutral regional profile, as some observers believe Washington is actually demanding. Viewed from the Islamic Republic’s lens, detachment from current regional conflicts would not only be an abandonment of its ideological principles and strategic interests, but would also undermine its own identity.

»This explains why Iran has remained steadfast on the nuclear issue in the face of severe economic and political sanctions as well as threats of a military strike. For Iranian political scientist Homeira Moshirzadeh, Iran’s prioritization of its nuclear program, despite the economic and political costs this has entailed, lies in the fact that “Iran’s nuclear policy has become a matter of identity” and as such, is impervious to Realist and Rationalist deconstruction. Specifically, Iran’s nuclear policy is located in the discourses of independence and justice: “The discourse of hyper-independence gives meaning to the Iranian overemphasis on self-sufficiency and Iran’s rejection of proposals that imply dependence on foreign sources in the nuclear field. The discourse of justice allows us to understand Iran’s continuous reference to double standards in the international system and its demand for an international recognition of its right to nuclear technology.”

»The power of these discourses is evident in Ali Asghar Soltanieh’s (Iran's ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency), affirmation that “Iran will never give up enrichment at any price, even the threat of military attack will not stop us.” It is also evident in Khamenei’s recent declaration at the NAM summit that Iran “will never give up the right of its people to use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.” Such intransigence is not confined to Iran’s political class but extends to the general public as well, including supporters of the opposition Green Movement. According to the findings of a poll conducted by the University of Tehran, 78 percent of Mousavi supporters wanted “Iran not to give up its nuclear activities regardless of the circumstances” despite their recognition of the sanctions’ cost (a World Public Opinion poll revealed that 86 percent of this category believed sanctions would increase).

»As a matter of both strategy and ontological security, the attempt to goad Iran with incentives or bully it into a dependence on the West for its political, economic, security, or technological needs is fundamentally futile and counter-productive. The perceived loss of national dignity and sovereignty would call into question Iran’s political identity and would also jeopardize its hard-won status as a regional power, owing to its confrontational stands vis-à-vis the US and Israel. Even partial concessions on the nuclear issue and on Iran’s regional policies are seen detrimental to its strategic interests in so far as they are perceived as a sign of weakness and hence a prelude to further concessions.

»In the final analysis, the ongoing regional conflict between the US-NATO-Israeli-GCC axis and the resistance front does not leave much room for neutrality. Both Iran’s abandonment of its leading role in this regional front and its relinquishment of its right to a full nuclear fuel cycle would be equivalent to ontological insecurity, ideological betrayal and strategic suicide. So long as Washington requires that Iran stop being Iran, the latter will only continue to defy it and further entrench itself as a formidable power in the region.»

Il est intéressant qu’il n’y ait quasiment rien dans cette longue analyse, ni sur la religion, ni sur la démocratie, sni sur les droits de l’homme, etc., sur tous ces concepts complètement vidés de toute substance tels qu’ils sont devenus dans la langue entropique des commentateurs du bloc BAO et des diplomates et autres employés-Système des élites et directions politiques. Il est intéressant qu’il ne soit question dans cette longue analyse que des principes structurants tels que l’identité, la souveraineté, la légitimité et l’indépendance, qui sont les références offertes pour expliquer la politique iranienne vis-à-vis des pressions et menaces constantes du Système, et l’affirmation évidente que l’Iran ne devra ni ne pourra céder sur rien si ce pays veut continuer à exister. Face à la politique suivie par le bloc BAO, l’Iran ne peut que radicaliser sa position parce qu’il n ‘y a pas de voie moyenne (celle de la “collaboration” des pays musulmans dits “modérés” avec le bloc, où le terme “collaboration” prend effectivement la connotation politique et morale qu’il eut pendant la Deuxième Guerre mondiale) : «[T]he ongoing regional conflict between the US-NATO-Israeli-GCC axis and the resistance front does not leave much room for neutrality.» A l’inverse, on y trouve parfaitement exposée la matière déstructurante et dissolvante de la politique du bloc/du Système, comme par exemple dans la citation de Chester Crocker, où le diplomate US définit la politique US d’“engagement” (de soi-disant négociations, avec sanctions et menaces) comme une politique qui ne cherche en rien, ni la normalisation, ni de meilleures relations, mais un changement d’essence de l’autre, pour le conformer au stéréotype-Système : «Engagement is not normalization, and its goal is not improved relations. It is not akin to détente…The goal of engagement is to change the other country’s perception of its own interests and realistic options and, hence, to modify its policies and its behavior.»

C’est évidemment tout cela, et pas seulement le statut de l’Iran lui-même, que le sommet du NAM a légitimé par sa réussite et son ampleur. L’événement a montré qu’effectivement, ce qui est en jeu ne concerne en rien les habituels concepts entropiques mentionnés plus haut de la dialectique de communication du Système, mais bien ce domaine fondamental des principes qui sont les seules valeurs gardant aujourd’hui une essence pour manifester leur véritable existence, et, d’une façon générale, une existence quelconque dans le flux entropique du Système. En cela, effectivement, on doit intégrer plus que jamais la crise iranienne dans notre concept de “crise haute” et se garder de céder à la dialectique entropique à laquelle les commentaires habituels la réduise. Cette “guérilla linguistique” (sur les questions de la religion, de la démocratie, des droits de l’homme, etc.) qui pourrait sembler une partie de la bataille est en réalité, si elle n’est pas constamment réinscrite dans son cadre principiel, une capitulation de l’esprit, par révérence devant cette dynamique d’autodestruction du Système (l’autodestruction englobant l’interlocuteur dans ce cas, dès loirs que l’interlocuteur accepte le même langage), par capitulation et dissolution de la pensée.


Mis en ligne le 5 septembre 2012 à 05H31

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