TEHRAN – Could Iran be on the road to reestablishing ties with Israel?
According to at least one Iranian law professor, the answer is yes.
Prof. Nameth Ahmadi is a professor of law at the University of Tehran. He is also an advisor to the favorite to win Iran’s presidency,
Ali Ahbar Hashemi Rafsanjani. While he is under no illusions about the conservatives' power in his country, he does not rule out future diplomatic relations with Israel.
“As long as Iran remains an Islamic Republic, there is no chance (of renewing ties with Israel). But you’ve got to remember - while the government is fostering ties with the Arab world, most Persians hate the Arabs," he says.
“When Iran becomes a republic we will renew ties with Israel. In the past, relations between our countries were excellent, and I believe they will be again.”
Ahmadi bases his belief on the fact that most Iranian young people - a majority of the population - as well as most women, no longer want to live under Islamic law.
“The mullahs will continue to control religious institutions. But there will be complete separation of church and state,” he says. “It won’t happen today or tomorrow, but it will happen eventually.”
Two jail terms
While Ahmadi’s comments are likely to anger the Iranian regime, he is unlikely to be deterred from speaking out. He was sentenced to two years in prison for denouncing the Shah in the 1970s, and following the 1979 Islamic revolution he was jailed by the late Ayatollah Khomeini for organizing anti-government rallies and activities. Today, nearly 20 years later, he is again speaking out to predict the mullah’s downfall.
“Changes in Iran will happen very slowly, but they will surely happen,” he says.