Front page – The return of the ayatollahs


How can the return of the ayatollahs to the concert of civil nations not be considered the best news of the year? For the time being, the Israeli and Republican gloom merchants have been wrong.

While the most nefarious predictions on the outcome of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspections were being bandied about by vast sections of the world’s media, we had already announced some time ago that a positive outcome could be expected.


We certainly approve the words of the Iranian foreign minister who a few weeks ago claimed that the day when the sanctions against his country were lifted would be “a great day for Iran, for the region and the world”. This marks the return to the international fold of a country of great tradition, with a solid economic structure (albeit in need of updating after years of isolation) and learned and efficient rulers. Great news.

This is an important legacy we owe to Barack Obama (and I don’t believe a new Republican president will try to undo these agreements with Iran), just as the primaries kick off in the long US electoral season, providing a further indication of the excellence of the US democratic system which we Europeans would do well to take inspiration from.

The pollsters for both camps have had to eat humble pie, with the hot favourites backed by the media and the economic powers doing much worse than their polls had supposed, while the electoral consultation proves once again that the voters do have a real and effective power.

The same cannot be said of the 28 European member states, overwhelmed by a plethora of local elections that water down the governing options of national leaders (constantly engaged in seeking easy consensus). We will soon find out if another Obama will steal the show from Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.

In the meantime, in Europe, we are constantly witnessing a passing of the buck between the capitals of the member countries and Brussels over the more strategic and momentous issues.

I want to make one point clear here: none of the 28 member states has a serious hope of regaining a central international role or achieving any appreciable economic growth outside a speedy and progressive European integration process.

Anyone who doesn’t understand this very simple recipe is both provincial and slapdash, two unfortunate traits that should not pertain to a political leader.

I sound off here by reminding everyone that in these days, in Myanmar, Aung San Suu Kyi will finally take office. A brave, visionary, intelligent woman whose natural leadership abilities stem from her background, her choices and her negotiating skills. The government measures that her party will try to introduce in order to free 50 million Myanmar people from the clutches of a military regime that denies basic freedoms will be constantly inspired by the Nobel Peace Prize winner’s political philosophy: “It is man’s vision of a world fit for rational, civilized humanity which leads him to dare and to suffer to build societies free from want and fear”. In upcoming issues, we will examine the situation in Myanmar.