Saturday, October 31, 2009

US Iran Relations -3 Decades

Relations between the US and the Islamic Republic of Iran have been turbulent for decades. Some analysts prefer to trace this difficult relationship back to the takeover of the American Embassy in Tehran by Muslim students in 1979. Others however argue that the event that has thrown this relationship off track is a CIA engineered coup d'etat against the nationalist government of Dr. Mossadegh in 1953, therefore the date 1953 and not 1979 should be considered as the origin of this ongoing tension. Hillary Clinton has recently spoken about a trust deficit as a challenge to the relationship betwen the US and Pakistan, while by now she has probably realized that most Islamic countries, including Iran face the same dillema when it comes to relations with the US.
The political faction wielding power in Iran relies on harsh anti American rhetoric as an integral part of its political identity. Even when news about direct negotiations between Iran and the US during the Geneva talks came out, Ahmad Jannati the Head of the Guardian Council who is known for his radical views, tried to infer that Jallili has not spoken directly to the American envoy, "dialogue with the US is not permitted", he emphasized. The current government and more radical Principalist parties have repeatedly blamed the Reformists for yearning to mend relations with the West. Reformists are now accused of formenting a velvet revolution, they are accused of promoting a soft pro-west political viewpoint and many are facing harsh sentences after protesting against the results of a highly contested Presidential election earlier this year. The irony is that this same government and political faction is taking hasty steps to mend relations with the US hoping that this would relieve pressures and santions against Iran. The covert nature of these negotiations, the weak internal standing of the current government and the fact that a number of the Muslim Students Following the Line of Imam are still held on charges of formenting a velvet revolution are all omnious signals of a weak compromise that would barely address the concerns and expectations of either party involved .This seems to be the major reason why many political figures are concerned about the ongoing stalemate among high-level politicians faithful to the Islamic Republic. A large Clergy organization and Mir Hossein Mousavi have recently issued statements seriously objecting to the sudden change in direction in the IEAE (nuclear) debate. Contrary to certain foreign policy estimates, I believe that the Islamic Republic has the strength and courage to accept shortcommings, correct its diversions, mend its relations and bring its train back on its orginal and shining track.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Dearest Dr. Ebtekar,
I still do believe that attacking a foreign embassy was very erroneous action done by very emotional and revolutionary young students who did not obey the civilized international ruels! From my veiw points, what they did caused many more problems for their own country and ruined the diplomitic relations between two great countries.
Kind regards,
Azadeh, MD/PhD