An International - Ojai VIEW
by Sepp-Michael Zehender, Stuttgart Germany
VIEW EXCLUSIVE: Issue #3, June 2008: Since 2005, Iran had been strongly focused on development of their atomic energy resources. Since then monthly and weekly news reports were published in the international news media about the efforts of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to sort of control Iranian atomic energy developments.
US President George Bush then imposed an embargo on Iran in March 2007. President Sarkozy of France and Chancellor Merkel of Germany followed up in September 2007.
Now, a year later in 2008, this embargo is hurting the Iranian economy badly and the private industry hardly has a chance to fight the resulting consequences. For instance, in the shoe industry, they cannot fight the cheap prices of the enforced Chinese imports and many of them already have gone bankrupt.
Also, all the IRAN AIR Boeing fleet, like the 747’s, are grounded, due to lack of maintenance from blocked or embargoed import of repair parts, etc, etc.
For an outsider coming from Europe, and being familiarised with the severe political problems the Iranian population of more than 86 million people have been confronted with in the last 5-years, I doubt very much that the “Geopolitical Approach" of the Bush Administration will lead to Peace in this area.
Meanwhile the inflation rate in Iran has reached a sky rocketing 24.2 percent, as published monthly by the Iranian National Bank.
The following Imam Khomeini International Airport (IKIA) “Airport Drama” is just one example in the dramatic political changes and resulting consequences in Iran’s recent development.
A report from the Tehran Times Int. Daily, Jan. 29, 2004: “A new Airport serving the Iranian Capital Tehran is to be inaugurated Sunday, Feb. 1, 2004 by President Mohammad Khatami." This new IKIA had originally been initiated by the Shah in 1973, but now 30-years later, is to be opened on occasion of the 25th anniversary of the victory of the Islamic revolution”.
During the previous 10 months, the IKIA Airport, situated 30 miles southwest of Tehran, with some 16 million inhabitants, had to be privatized and upgraded according to the operational requirements of the International Air Traffic. Within a month of completion, all IRAN Air international flights were to be transferred from the downtown Mehrabad Airport to IKIA. By the end of the Iranian Year, March 20, 2004, all international and some domestic flights were scheduled to be moved also, but this was delayed until May, 2004.
However, on the day of its delayed May opening, Iran’s Elite Revolutionary Guards, (SEPAH), one of the countries most powerful institutions, stormed the new airport, blocked the runway with military equipment and ordered that the complete existing airport management and all the airline representatives leave the airport premises immediately.
Reason? The security of the country of Iran and the dignity of the Islamic People of Iran is jeopardized! The Revolutionary Guards argued, that the airport privatization by the Austrian-Turkish Consortium TAV (Tepe Akten Vie) is a threat to their national security and dignity because TAV “also had dealings with arch enemy Israel”.
It took one year, until May 1st, 2005 to reopen the airport, “all flights to and from the United Arab Emirates will be handled by IKIA airport”, according to SEPAH. It took another 2 1⁄2 years (until November 2007) to handle the international flights from IRAN Air and the other international airlines flying to and from IKIA.
Yes, this “IKIA Airport Drama” is just another example for the dramatic political change in Iran’s development. The Iranian Mullah Regime realized, by the end of 2003, that the US-Regime invading IRAQ (in March 2003) and capturing Saddam Hussein in November 2003, would positively not continue invading into Syria and Iran.
This “major Political Change” is in short illustrated by the following additional facts:
• February 17, 2004: “ manipulated” election of the Iranian Parliament with the consequences of President Chatami’s resignation and the later inthronisation of the new President Ahmadinejad.
• July 2004: impeachment of the Minister of the Ministry of Road and Transportation, Mr. Ahmad Khorram, and the Secretary of State, Mr. Hassan Hajalifard in September 2004, and all his senior staff by the end of 2004
• The complete cancellation of the IKIA airport privatization in 2005 as one example (noted above) for the total political reverse trend, (from former President Chatami’s political view), of opening the country up to foreign Investors.
- S. Michael Zehender
Editors Note: Mr. Zehender was the chief engineer for the IKEA Airport and has had longtime relatives and friends in Ojai, whom he visits frequently.