Published On: Mon, May 19th, 2014

Iran’s Neutral Stance on Ukraine a Mistake – An Interview with Christof Lehmann

nsnbc : Clashes between heavily armed military forces deployed by Kiev and self-defense militia in Donetsk, Lughansk and other southeastern regions of Ukraine continue as international tensions over Ukraine keep growing.

Christof Lehmann -2011Dr. Christof Lehmann is a psychologist and former independent political consultant. In February 2013 he became the founder and editor-in-chief of nsnbc international. He warned about the risk for a war in Ukraine since 2012 and forecast since early 2013 that a war in Ukraine had become unavoidable.

The crisis has been engineered by the US and UK, aimed at a long-term low-intensity conflict in Ukraine, to sabotage ties between the EU and Russia and the growing integration of Russian and European marked economies and energy sectors, said Lehmann. Their goal, he said, is to preserve the primacy of the US/UK Atlantic Axis over Europe while continuing the encirclement of Russia.

He warns that Iran’s neutral position with regard to Ukraine is a grave mistake. The following is the full text of an interview with Christof Lehmann for the Iranian newspaper Siasat Rooz, with Iranian journalist Vandaat Alvandipour.

Vandaat Alvandipour : We know that the West is trying to make Russia back down from its stance on Ukraine by imposing more sanctions, etc. .. According to your view, will western powers achieve any success in this row? Is there any possibility that Russia retreats?

Christof Lehmann: First of all, let us differentiate a little bit because one cannot understand the situation using simplifications like “The West”. The situation in Ukraine has been brought about, primarily by US and UK interests for two primary reasons.

Iran - Iraq - Syria pipeline. Click on image to enlarge.

Iran – Iraq – Syria pipeline. Click on image to enlarge.

The first reason is to prevent the further integration of the Russian and European economies and markets to secure the continuation of US/UK primacy in Europe. The other is closely tied to the fact that a completion of the PARS gas pipeline from Iran via Iraq and Syria to the Mediterranean would have meant that the EU would receive over 45 % of its natural gas for the coming 100 – 120 years from Iranian and Russian sources.This is utterly unacceptable for the USA and the UK. It is also unacceptable for Israel, for obvious reasons.

In 2012, when it became obvious that the war on Syria would fail, and again in 2013 after the adoption of the third EU Energy Package, I warned that an US/UK attempt to create a conflict in Europe over Ukraine had become unavoidable.

To return to your question. The US/UK are interested in the long-term destabilization of Ukraine with a 4th Generation, Gladio II -Style, low-intensity war. Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Italy and France are more interested in stability in Europe.

Not too far apart for peace?

Not too far apart for peace?

The US/UK continue positioning Russia as the power behind the situation in Ukraine and support the acting government in Kiev, no matter what. Germany, France, Switzerland demand that Kiev immediately stops its military operations and begins talks with representatives of the regions. Both Germany and France prefer Russia as partner, although they also are bound to act within EU policy guidelines.

Finally, don’t forget that Germany still is mentioned in the UN Charter’s “Enemy State Clause”. Germany cannot act as sovereign in this situation.

Vandaat Alvandipour : In the current situation, which part has the upper hand, Russia or west? Does this conflict have any winner? Or do you think that things are happening according to what West has planned? Did they expect what Russia has done (in Crimea …), or it was beyond their expectations?

Christof Lehmann : Let us differentiate again. The US/UK have already achieved one of their objectives, which is the destabilization of Ukraine.

Photo, courtesy of ITAR-TASS

Photo, courtesy of ITAR-TASS

The fact that an overwhelming majority among all ethnicities and language groups in Crimea rejected the ultra-nationalist, putchist government in Kiev has mitigated some of the risks for Russia.

The fact that an overwhelming majority of the population of Donetsk, Lughansk, Kharkow and other regions reject the Kiev government’s coup as illegal also mitigates some of the risks Russia faces.

The degree to which people in the southeastern regions rejected the coup d’état and rejected ultra-nationalists and neo-Nazis in key government positions mitigates risks.

On the other hand, it is this very rejection, that is the basis for the protracted low-intensity conflict which the US and UK want to engineer in Ukraine.

Vandaat Alvandipour : Is there any possibility of a direct war between Russia – Ukraine, or worse, Russia-West (or US), according to you opinion?

Christof Lehmann : We do have a 4th Generation war in Ukraine already. In terms of a conventional war with large-scale confrontation of conventional forces, the answer is no. That is, nobody is planning for it.

Admiral James G. Stavridis. Libya a teachable moment and model for future interventions

Admiral James G. Stavridis. Libya a teachable moment and model for future interventions

It is an obsolete, outdated kind of warfare, as former NATO Chief Stavridis rightly pointed out during a Forestal lecture in 2012. The future of warfare is unconventional war.

The war of the foreseeable future is low-intensity war with special forces and mercenaries. That said; the situation in Ukraine can easily lead to a Sarajevo like situation, like the one shot in Sarajevo that ignited World War I.

That is, a situation where events on the ground begin to determine policy-maker’s decisions instead of policymakers determining the developments of the events on the ground.

This risk is aggravated by the fact that many Western statesmen dress in a captains uniform while they hardly have the qualifications needed for cabin crew.

Vandaat Alvandipour : As you may know, Iran has adopted a neutral stance on Ukraine. What do you think about Iran’s stance? How may the Ukraine crisis affect the negotiations between Iran and the western members of the P5+1 about Iran’s nuclear energy program?

Iran's ballistic missile program, the latest added demand in the Iran - P5+1 nuclear talks.

Iran’s ballistic missile program, the latest added demand in the Iran – P5+1 nuclear talks.

Christof Lehmann : Yes, Iran’s silence about Ukraine is “deafening” and in part motivated by its negotiations about its nuclear program.

Is it a wise position? To know the answer to that question, we could ask whether it is wise to try to appease colonialism, imperialism or fascism, or if appeasing them generally motivates them to increase their demands?

Iran was also silent in 2011, when Libya was targeted. In fact, it counted on benefiting from the situation, hoping for a Muslim Brotherhood government, and called the NATO-Gulf Arab and Zionist engineered coup a “revolution”.

Iran lost then, the respect of many, worldwide, who defend its international rights as a matter of principle. Was it wise?

Vandaat Alvandipour : What is your prediction for Ukraine crisis? What would be next moves of Russia or the West?

Christof Lehmann : We will continue to see an unstable Ukraine. We see that Ukraine has become a front-line state between an increasingly split NATO alliance and Russia. We are returning to a multi-polar world and Ukraine is and will remain an area where NATO, especially US and UK aggression is testing Russia’s capabilities, and not to forget, Russia’s patience.

About the Author

- Dr. Christof Lehmann is the founder and editor of nsnbc. He is a psychologist and independent political consultant on conflict and conflict resolution and a wide range of other political issues. His work with traumatized victims of conflict has led him to also pursue the work as political consultant. He is a lifelong activist for peace and justice, human rights, Palestinians rights to self-determination in Palestine, and he is working on the establishment of international institutions for the prosecution of all war crimes, also those committed by privileged nations. On 28 August 2011 he started his blog nsnbc, appalled by misrepresentations of the aggression against Libya and Syria. In March 2013 he turned nsnbc into a daily, independent, international on-line newspaper. He can be contacted at nsnbc international at nsnbc.wordpress@gmail.com

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  1. Ricardo Correa says:

    Iran put its enemity to anti-theocratic Libya above its fight against Imperialism. Crazy old priests. They are sympathetical to nazis too, maybe they believe that nazis are anti-sionist. Are they silly or demagogical?

  2. Tantin says:

    Iran has made some serious mistakes in the last three years, has lost a lot of respect,,well said about their ridiculous stance on Libya, not to mention their position on Morsi who called for jihad against Syria,,their very own ally,,and still today they lament for the MB,,maybe they are trying to please MB Turkey who helps with sanction busting,,now they courting Meshal Khaled again,,another traitor to Syria,,instead of fighting for his people he is sitting in Doha drinking tea,,now he is joining another traitor Abbas,,,,try posting a comment on press TV about anti americanism see if you get it printed,,straight out pandering to the US so as not to upset sanction negotiations,,,recently they wanted to sell Gas to Europe against the Russians,,not happy that the Russians finally got their own medicine back by voting at UN with US in the past,,where is the wisdom here??,,,,Ahmadenezad was a better leader true to his principles,,,, this smiling High Priest Rouhani,,and that permenantly smiling Zarif are fooling no one,,,and they will get shafted by the Zionists again,,,,

    • @Tantin. – I am glad that you noticed 1) the Khaled Mashal deception and 2) the Morsi MB plan to use Egyptian troops against the Syrian Arab Army. I have written about these issues – extensively. Besides that, I see that you know your part about Iran – Turkey relations with regard to sanctions and technology transfer. Add drugs to that.

  3. Tantin says:

    Thank you for commenting Christof,,I must confess I was not aware about “drugs”” as well,,this adds a different perspective to the manoeuvrings of the parties. I have been an avid follower of events and I also have read your extensive coverage of issues and may I say you have calculated and postulated well..Iran has to do some deep soul searching and find an “honourable position” on all matters,,,sometimes even good chess players make mistakes ..look at Kasparov,,,,

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