Nowrooz was highly politicised this year in Iran. It all began with the official announcement by Khatami that he will pull out of the Presidential race despite speculation and polls that indicated that he had the highest voter appeal among all candidates. Then, we heard the Obama Nowrooz message which had vast coverage in media in Iran and particularly over the internet. A day later the Leader spoke in Mashad on the occasion of the new year and made clear references to the overture . Finally, Larijani, the Majlis speaker said that the crisis in relations is not an emotional issue and therefore cannot be resolved with words alone.
The reality is, that although Obama's rise to power in the US has been viewed with optimism in many political quarters in Iran, and though he has endeavored to change his tone and approach in dealing with Iran, other members of the administration and the Senate and Congress have not taken similar direction. The overall mentality it seems, is still to follow the carrot and stick approach and hope to achieve something out of pressure and intimidation. Was it not possible for the Congress to at least, delay the imposition of sanctions as a sign of genuine change?
I believe that the Leader clearly pointed to the deep mistrust which still overshadows the relationship. He has pointed to grievances indicating that there is a deep rift between the two countries mainly due to the actions and policies of American administrations. My overall understanding is that the Leader did not close all doors but pointed to the direction and road map for improvement of relations.
Contrary to Larijani , I think relations between Iran and the US, are in a way, emotionally strained. Americans had staged a coup d'etat in 1953, leading to 25 years of dark dictatorship and repression for the Iranian people. Iranians stood up in 1979, to take up their affairs in their own hands and to establish an independent political system not reliant on either superpowers of that age. Americans did not like the idea at all and they started a campaign to undermine the Revolution by any means. The story goes on to take an emotional tone since the big bully cannot repress his patriarchal hegemonistic emotions for Iran and the Iranian people cannot repress their beliefs and feelings for Iran since they see their future their dignity, their homeland at stake. So this is an emotional account by all means. Struggle, perseverance, hope ,altruism and sacrifice all have their origins in sublime emotions, as hatred, greed, lust are rooted in emotions. Therefore I would disagree with those who think this is not an emotional affair. Obama should take action and change the course.