The Center for Peace and Environment (CPE) held its annual General Assembly session last Thursday. About 60 members attended the meeting, in which the Executive Director, Dr. Sedique Babran delivered a report on the Center's activities for the past year. In light of the very difficult circumstances we faced last year, the Center was not as active as before. We had a very important session before elections last year entitled "Expectations of the Environment from the President" .Along with large group of NGOs and experts in this field, we proposed a plan for environmental protection for the next President. The approved plan was taken up by most candidates and Mir Hossein Mousavi even convened a session on the matter, which was attended by a very large numbers of activists and environmentalists from around the country. Later, after the disputed elections and the ensuing events the CPE, like many other NGOs was not very active. This Assembly approved the Director's fiscal report and elected an Inspector for the Board as routine.
Today, the 28th of Mordad is the anniversary of the American coup d'etat against the nationalist government of Dr. Mohammad Mosadegh in 1953. Operation Ajax was aimed at toppling the Prime Minister and reinstating the Monarchy who had fled the country considering the growing power of nationalist and religious revolutionary forces. The event brought a terrible blow to the democratic processes of Iran and returned, Iran to 25 years of dark despotism and backwardness . The Shah then, indebted to the US for protecting his throne became a subservient servant to protect American interests in the Persian Gulf. Iran was coined as the Gendarme of the Region, for more than 60,000 Armed American forces were stationed in military bases in Iran. While in a state of hypocrisy, common to the cold war era, Americans claimed to lead the world to freedom and democracy, the case in Iran was totally moving in the opposite direction. These double standards led the Iranian nation to stand up during the Islamic Revolution in 1978 and oust the Shah and establish a Republic based on Islamic standards. Even though American Secretary of State, Madeline Albright, during the Clinton administration presented an official apology , the event has left a deep scar in the history of Iran. Many observers believe that the current democratic challenges and pressures on Reformists, are rooted in such tragic policies of Western powers.
Incorrect American policies during the Islamic Revolution and since then up to now, has strengthened the walls of mistrust between the two countries now for decades. In many international gatherings when we discussed the history of the Revolution and the Takeover of the American Embassy in Tehran in 1979, many observers believed that the American staged coup d'etat of 1953 set a legitimate stage for the skepticism and suspicion that led to the student takeover in 1979.
We still today, stand in a quagmire of mistrust complicated by the bullish approach of a former superpower that needs to learn how to engage in dialogue not as a superior, but as equals.