Iranian nuclear talks resume today (Sophia’s definitely a better person to fill us in on the details) and Iran appears to be going on the campaign trail.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif released a video on YouTube in which he reiterates Iran’s nuclear program is peaceful and that it’s Iran’s right as a member of the family of nations to obtain nuclear abilities. Watch the 5-minute video for yourself:
Well, now I’m all warm and fuzzy. Which is a good thing. It’s 22F outside (-6 in “real degrees,” as Sophia would say). My poor choice to leave Israel aside, this video represents yet another piece of Iran’s media blitz to appear rational and peaceful.
A Christian Science Monitor article yesterday, however, illustrates well how, at best, Iran is expressing… mixed signals:
On Monday, Iran unveiled what Fars News Agency described as its largest “homemade strategic drone,” called Fotros, which it claimed can fly 30 hours nonstop with a range of more than 1,200 miles at 25,000 feet. The drone can be armed with missiles, can easily conduct combat operations, and can send “precise images and films throughout the mission,” said Iranian Defense Minister Brig. Gen. Hossein Dehqan.
A 23mm triple-barreled Gatling-style cannon that shoots 900 rounds a minute, billed as an “anti-cruise missile weapon system,” was also unveiled Monday. Iranian media also reported on a new lightweight sniper rifle and a shoulder-fired missile to bring down helicopters that one officer said “has no foreign rival.”
On top of that, Iran plans to start large military exercises on Nov. 22, the final day of the Geneva III talks, that will display armored and airborne power.
The article provides the caveat that Iran sees all this as a deterrent against “threats of military action from the US and Israel.” Yea, okay.
The slick, well-produced campaign Iran has launched is an interesting one. I do wonder whether it’ll change public opinion. Pew released a report today which makes it look as though that’s unlikely.
A majority of Americans see Iranian nuclear weapons as a major threat, and support the use of military force to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. Just about everyone (93%) opposes Iran acquiring a nuclear weapon.
In Spring of this year, 69% of Americans (and I concentrate here on the US, since the Obama administration is driving the negotiations) viewed Iran in a “somewhat unfavorable” or “very unfavorable” light. Iran definitely has an uphill battle on its hands.