Friday, January 30, 2009

The Rapprochement

"As I said in my inauguration speech, if countries like Iran are willing to unclench their fist, they will find an extended hand from us," American President Obama has recently said in an interview with Al Arabyia.
"It is very important for us to make sure that we are using all the tools of US power, including diplomacy, in our relationship with Iran."he said.

Iranian press is full of new and reactions on these developments. Some sound optimistic ,others are very cautious. The official National TV is however, restraining the news and analysis.

Iran is top on the agenda for not only the US President, but Secretary of State Clinton as well as UN Representative Susan Rice, who all commented on the US strategy on dealing with Iran. Even much has been said on that tone in Davos ,although the Erdogan -Peres debacle which has turned Erdogan into a national hero has topped the news on that matter.

The reality is that Americans do not have a clean reputation in Iran or in the Islamic world for that matter. They need to engage in confidence building strategies before any successful rapprochement occurs.

For the Islamic Republic ,there is no reason to pursue an antagonistic position if it sees any change in the tone and policy of Americans. I think the Government of President Ahmadinejad is prepared to engage within the well defined policy lines of the Supreme Leader. He is however, not the final decision maker on such matters which are classified as national security issues. Three issues have made things more difficult for both Americans and Iranians. First, the terrible assault of Israel against the civilian Gazan population, leaving about 400 children killed along with the biased support of the US government. Second, is the highly polarized political atmosphere in Iran in face of the up-coming presidential elections. Reformists have serious criticism on the economic and general performance of the government and this is giving them a difficult time internally. Third, are the attempts that seem to be pursued by satellite TV programs and other types of US funded activities which are endangering the civil society and internal opposition activity. The US Congress adopted funds to support opposition groups unaware of the fact that most Iranians active in the civil society or human rights activists seriously refrain from accepting any foreign assistance under such pretexts for fear that they would jeopardize their credibility not only in face of the Government but in face of the people as well. This American policy has put the civil society in Iran in difficult circumstances.

In any case , the rapprochement between Iran and the US needs more effort and action from the American side. For the moment it seems that the Iranian government is cautiously keen to pursue this line as it will positively influence their political conditions for the imminent elections.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

my kinda woman:

http://www.nehzateazadi.net/bayanieh/87/87_n_1106_taleghani.htm

bravo Azam Taleghani!

Katayoun said...

Dr. Ebtekar, I am going to write a few excerpts from a book that has been most influential in making who I am, dreaming and seeing the world as I do, and doing the crazy things I have been doing for the past 12 months in trying to bring my Utopian vision of a Humanist's world that is "Beyond Reality" (maa-varaaye vaaghe'eeyat) to a world that is far far far from ever FREEING itself from the constraints and limitations of the selfish, material, and imperfect necessities of "Reality" (vaaghe'eeyat)!


The book I'm about to quote from here is of course written in Persian, and I don't have a computer that is equipped with the kind of software needed to write Persian words, so I am forced to write this Persian text phonetically using the English alphabet and as you know it's not easy to read Persian that way, but in any case, I would appreciate it if you do post this comment and tell ALL your friends and colleagues, past or present, from both the Principlist and Reformist camps, whoever is considered rational "oghalaa" in Iran, to come and read it. Thank you!

These excerpts are from a chapter entitled "Naa-kojaa-aabaad" from a book entitled "Daftare Ayyaam" written by the foremost authority among Iran's most prominent 20th century scholars and greatest thinkers who is most famously known for his works in Persian Culture and History, History of Iran, History of Islam, Literature, History of Literature, Comparative Literature, and Literary Criticism.

Unfortunately though, I think this book (Daftare Ayyaam) may not be very famous or frequently read in Iran by the author's admirers because it is not one of those serious, scientific, and research-intensive books filled with references and only meant for highly educated and well-versed Iranologists, Islamic scholars and literary figures to understand! This is a book that even I could read it as a teenager, and I did, many many times when I was trying to find my way out of religiosity "zohd" to mysticism "erfaan".

There was a time (ages 10-14) when I used to pray 5 times a day, fast during the holy month of Ramadan, even do those after-midnight prayers "namaaz-shab" in addition to going to Friday prayers every week and wearing the Hijab ("roosary") voluntarily, all thanks to the influence of shaheeds Taleghani, Shariati and Motahhari on my young mind. But then I grew out of that phase and started to read poetry, write poetry, and put aside books that were supposed to teach me about the philosophical arguments of Plato, Aristotle and Descartes, and instead I became a LOVER of God, knowing with certainty, that:

"paaye estedlaaliyaan choobin bovad, paaye choobin sakht bitamkin bovad"

meaning:
rational thinkers stand on wooden legs, and how weak wooden legs are to stand on.


As I said, the chapter I will quote from, is called "naa-kojaa-aabaad", and I want Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei in particular to please please please read it!
NOT that I think Seyyed Mohammad Khatami becoming Iran's 3rd Supreme Leader would turn Iran into Nizami's Utopia of "naa-kojaa-aabaad"!!!!!!!! No, that's not what I mean at all!!!!

When I'm referring to this "NOWHERE LAND" - the literal meaning of the word "naa-kojaa-aabaad" and NOT the one the Beatles sang about - as you will see in these excerpts, what I'm talking about is basically this:

I am arguing FOR a highly Humanistic and spiritual state of "Selflessness" (az khod rahaayee), which would be needed in Iran's current leaders and rulers in order for them to be able to crush their own "selfish" desires, step aside from positions of power which they have held on to for decades, and pave the way for a better tomorrow for Iran!

This better tomorrow is what I alone (and not anybody else) believe can be achieved ONLY under Hojjatol-Eslam Seyyed Mohammad Khatami's Supreme Leadership (Velaayate Faghih) once he is promoted to the rank of Ayatollah and offered that position by his peers and his elders in Iran's Assembly of Experts upon Ayatollah Khamenei's OWN recommendation, just the same way that Hojjatol-Eslam Seyyed Ali Khamenei was promoted to that position at the age of 50, almost 20 years ago.

A tomorrow that can be achieved for not only Iranians, but with God's grace and with the help of President Obama, it can finally become possible for the entire Muslim World (ommate esslami)!

What I would like to say to IRI's politicians and leaders is this:

Could Prophet Mohammad's Genuine Islam (Eslaam-e naab-e Mohammadi) have possibly turned into a World Religion without the help of such selfless FREEDOM seeking men (mardaan-e aazaadeh) as Balal Habashi AND Salman Farsi?! Could the Arabs of "jaaheliyat" ALONE have been able to help Prophet Mohammad teach God Almighty's message of brotherhood and equality to the Persians of the Sassanid Empire or the Africans of Ethiopia if it was not for the FIRST Persian Muslim i.e., Salman Farsi, and the FIRST African Muslim i.e., Balal Habashi?!

So, let us think of President Barack Hussein Obama of Kenyan heritage as the descendant of that Balal, and let us answer the call for CHANGE in the way the entire world has been treating the Muslim World (for the past 14 centuries) by giving the helm of the Muslim World's greatest and most civilized nation to a TRUE descendant of that Salman like Seyyed Mohammad Khatami, and let us see where TOGETHER they can take this noble cause of "Dialogue Among Civilizations"?!

After all, do you not recognize the significance of the fact that the President of the United States of America felt proud enough of his middle-name to pronounce it loudly and clearly for the world to hear as he took the oath of office to serve a country of 300 million Christians, Muslims, Jews, Hindus, and non-believers?!

Would this have been even fathomable if (as one of your Ayatollahs said recently) the White House was STILL under the flag of Zionism?!!!! Think about it!!! but as I've said before, this CHANCE for "mutual respect" between the Western and the Muslim Worlds which has been offered to the entire HUMANITY after 14 centuries of the exact opposite, has a 4 year expiry date IF Iran and the descendants of Salman Farsi do not have the wisdom and clarity of vision ("cheshm-e basseerat") to SEE Balal Habashi in Barack Obama's eyes!



anyway, ... about this book "Daftare Ayyaam", ...
As the title of this book suggests, it is more like a diary, in fact a collection of the author's thoughts, conversations, and journeys which he had taken in his own life by the age of 53 when he published this book in 1975.

I am not of course writing the whole chapter (it is 20 pages!), but I'm selecting a few paragraphs from here and there in the chapter, which I hope will be enough to convey the message of the author about "selflessness", which is NOT the same as unselfishness, it is a very different notion, it literally mean "freedom from self".

I wish I could write this in Persian words, but anyway, here it goes in Finglissi! ...


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"Naa-kojaa-aabaad"

dorood bar naa-kojaa-aabaad! shahre aasheghaan, diyaare aarefaan, va sarzamine jaavdaanegaan ke dar faraasooye donyaaye vaaghe'iyat be tamaame kasaani ke osyaan dar moghaabele aancheh zesht ast aanhaa raa be jostejooye aancheh zibaast mikeshaanad, eemeni va faraaghat midahad, va baraaye dastyaabi be beheshte gomshode'ee ke ro'yaaye donyaayee behtar eenaan raa dar jostejooye aan sargardaan midaarad, be aanhaa komak mikonad. naa-kojaa-aabaad-e jaavdaaneh, ke teyye gharnhaaye toolaani tavaanesteh ast ensaanhaaye az khodi rasteh raa az gazande feshaare donyaaye vaaghe'eeyat dar amaan daarad, eshgh raa ke donyaaye vaaghe'eeyat aan raa be gonaah miaalaayad dar mowje taghvaa beshooyad va aasheghaan o aarefaan o shaheedaan raa dar kenaare elaaheye fanaa-naapazeer beneshaanad.
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be har haal baa vojoode tafaavothaayee ke dar manzare een baagh-haa va dar no'e tafreeh o kaare aanhaa hast, ghaanoone akhlaaghi ke dar hameye aanhaa haakem ast yek cheez bish nist: az khod rahaayee.
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hamraahe Rumi az aalaachigh biroon miaayam. naagaah sedaaye geryeye boghz-aaloodi dar ghalbam chang mizanad. delam milarzad va paayam az raftaar baaz mimaanad. Rumi baa ta'ajjob miporsad: sedaaye een geryeh raa nemishenaasi, dooste man? een naaleh az Ney boland ast ke hameesheh dar faraaghe yaaraan baa een talkhi geryeh mikonad. dar haali ke ghatrehaaye ashk bar goonehaayam mirizad be kenaare eskeleh reseedeh-am va hamin haalaast ke baayad sarzameene ro'yaahaaye delnavaaze deereeneh-am raa vedaa' konam.
bedrood naa-kojaa-aabaad! sarzamine khiyaal-angizi ke dar aan ensaan az khodiye khod rahaayee daarad va dar aan hich ehsaase vazn nemikonad. donyaa'ee ke dar eyne haal hich jaa o hameh jaast, hargez va hameesheh ast, aafaaghe sehr-aamizi ke dar aan azal o abad, vaaghe' o khiyaal, va gozashteh o aayandeh be ham mipeyvandad. bedrood naa-kojaa-aabaad! akhtare sobh be man labkhand mizanad va baaz baa negaahe garme khod donyaaye vaaghe'eeyat raa baraaye man dar mowji az shaadi va safaa ghooteh midahad. man be donyaaye vaaghe'eeyat baazgashteh-am, va aancheh dar seyre kheesh dideh-am, ro'yaa nist, maavaraaye vaaghe'eeyat ast.

(Esfand maahe 1354)
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Kathy said...

In response to your words published on the www.kalemeh.ir site Dr. Ebtekar, I just wrote a comment underneath this page,

http://www.kalemeh.ir/pages/3119.php

and in case they will not convey my message to you, here is what I wrote:


This is NOT the time for the Reformists to play football!!!!! YOU and the Iranian people cannot afford to have their beloved "Man in a Chocolate Robe" get so viciously attacked by the barbarians of the far right as we saw recently in the Majlis!!!!

So, I believe it is in the best interest of EVERYBODY that YOU Reformists do all you can to attract as many "zol-vajheyn" as you can ("zol-vajheyn" is what Dr. Larijani calls the supporters of Mir Hossein, i.e, the Reformist Principlists) to endorse Mir Hossein, so that Mr. Khatami can step aside as soon as possible with the peace of mind that his old boss Mir Hossein can weather the storms of the fanatic extremists like the Ahmadinejad crowd who have the audacity to STILL try destroying the good name of Iran's future Supreme Leader with their short-sighted idiocy and lunacy!

Go "zol-vajheyn", go!

Anonymous said...

where are the Reformists in defense of their freedom seeking brothers and sisters?

http://www.nehzateazadi.net/bayanieh/87/87_n_1117_setad.htm

shame on IRI, shame!

Anonymous said...

Dr. Ebtekar, please put the link of Dr. Larijani's speech at Munich's Security Conference here in your next post. I can't find it anywhere on the internet! I'm sure it would be interesting for your readers to know exactly what he said there last Friday. Please write a new post about Munich and Dr. Larijani's as well as Vice-President Biden's and Chancellor Merkel's and President Sakozy's or any other important talks you have the links to. Thank You!