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.
Dr. 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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.