The Iranian


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Sehaty Foreign Exchange


October 5, 2000

Pragmatic, but not patriotic

Articles like this ["Go Gore"], as well-thought out as they may be, neglect a critical perspective. Regardless of how much we assimilate, there will continue to be a negative reaction to Iranians as our nations' relations remain this negative.

Even as a 21-year-old student, I have felt discriminated against numerous times simply based on the impression many ignorant individuals have toward Iran and the Middle East. We are Iranian and we cannot, nor should we, desire to change that. To assimilate is reasonable, but to ignore our brothers and sisters in Iran is unacceptable.

The political argument that we must vote in self-interest rather than in the interest of Iran may be a pragmatic stance, but it is not a very nationalistic nor respectable one. Iranians are a very successful, wealthy, intelligent population in the United States and abroad. Given such outstanding credentials, we could be a very influential group globally, if we chose to unite and be more active, politically.

Admittedly, voting for Bush, Gore, or Nader may not make a difference in US-Iranian ties, but to ignore the issue only adds to the ambivalence that is prevalent in our expatriate population. Rather than publicly advocating one lousy candidate over another, why not advocate a more audible voice for our population?

Perhaps we will only see a gradual and long-term improvement in our nations' ties but, in the spirit of a much more worthy (?) president, ask not what America can do for Iran, rather ask what you can do for Iran.

Danesh Mazloomdoost


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