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Not the right strategy

By Cyrus Samii
January 17, 2001
The Iranian

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 TEXT

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.

Comment for The Iranian letters section
Comment for the writer Cyrus Samii

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