Not the right strategy
By Cyrus Samii
January 17, 2001
The debate over U.S.-Iranian rapprochement is on a floor as thin as
ice. The issue of rapprochement has reached a critical level so as to allow
little room for "in-between" postitions other than "for
immediate rapprochement" or "against immediate rapprochement".
Such criticality demands, in my opinion, the utmost respect for accuracy.
There is not only money at stake here. The very well being of an indeterminable
number of lives is also at stake.
Under such critical circumstances, I read the petition from Iranians
for International Cooperation (IIC),
only to find the following line:
"Mr. President, Iran is not the same country it was twenty years
ago. A majority of the population has no remembrance of the revolution
or the hostage-crisis. We should not fail this new generation of Iranians,
as we should not fail our own generation of Americans who are blessed from
the agonizing memories of the past. " FULL
Indeed, age population statistics verify that a "majority of the
population" would have no first-hand phenomenological relationship
to the events of the Islamic Revolution. But such a portrayal is a disturbing
disavowal of the Iranian youth's intellectual relationship to the revolution.
To seek to deny this intellectual relationship -- to go so far as to
declare the impact of the revolution as, for the most part, forgotten --
is questionable. The residue of the revolution continues to make up a core
component of the political-rhetorical milieu in Iran -- the evidence is
in the words of the press, the politicians, and the protesters.
The use of such transparent misstatements in an appeal to a U.S. president
serves to promote a sense of dubiousness in regards to the intentions behind
the petition. At best, the petition suggests that the opening of trade
relations would be an effective move toward securing U.S. national interests
and may, in turn, provide for the interests of the majority of Iranians.
But more realistically, the petition reads as shady effort toward profit
interests with what may be termed "denialism" as its key strategy.
As much as I am interested in enjoying the fruits of the land of my
heritage, I cannot endorse this strategy of "denialism" -- that
can only serve the interests of a very few at the expense of the very many
whose interests are discarded by this amnesiac fantasy.