IIC welcomes President Clinton's apology to the Iranian
Washington DC, April 19, 1999 (IIC) - The President's admission of the
past wrongful policies towards Iran from some Western countries goes a
long way in breaking the wall of mistrust between the two nations of the
US and Iran.
On 12 April 1999 the President of the United States made a further and
dramatic step towards rec-onciliation with Iran with an apology for historical
interference in that country's affairs. In
remarks on inter-religious and international dialogue, the President
stated that "it is important to recognize ... that Iran, because of
its enormous geopolitical importance over time, has been the subject of
quite a lot of abuse from various Western nations".
This is the closest yet Washington has come to recog-nize the legitimacy
of complaints about its anti-democratic policies during the last Shah's
reign. But at the same time, President Clinton emphasized that whilst 'we
can give people the legitimacy of ...their historic grievances,' all parties
concerned must address one vital question: 'Now, can we build a common
Tehran welcomed Clinton's remarks, but reiterated that it hoped to see
some deeds rather than only words. If Clinton follows his important statement
with the easing of US sanctions or approval of the pending food sale to
Iran, the momentum for Iran to respond in kind would be very great indeed.
In the mean time, President Khatami of Iran should show appreciation
for Clinton's apology. Last year, Iran's President expressed regret over
the hostage crisis, while mentioning Iranian concerns. Presi-dent Clinton's
vital recognition of Iran's historic grievances will help construct a strong
foundation for a substantive and productive dialogue after twenty years.
Improved relations with Iran, an important power in the Persian Gulf
region, are in the vital interest of the US. The current policy of isolation
is long overdue for review. IIC warmly welcomes President Clinton's willingness
to patch the tattered relationship between Iran and the US.
Iranians for International Cooperation
(IIC), is a not-for-profit, independent network of concerned global citizens
who strive to improve relations between the two former allies Iran and
Clinton's comments on Iran