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No wonder America gets Iran wrong
Even the British representative seemed more balanced than Sadjadpour!

Sonia Gilani
March 30, 2007

Iranians in the United States are a specific breed. Unlike us Iranians in Britain, there seems to have been a lot of pressure on "Iranian-Americans" (as you call yourselves) to hate Iran as much as the average redneck in Idaho does. Every time I visit my sister in the mid-West, I am struck by how much some Iranian-Americans wish to emphasize their American side by joining in the Iran-bashing that fills their TV screens on a daily basis.

Bash Iran as much as you please, I'll even join you at times, but please, do not pretend that the US or the West are innocent. And please, do not try to be more British than the Brits themselves in this latest nonsense international incident with the captured sailors. Just because we don't fancy the Iranian regime doesn't mean we should automatically take sides against Iran.

Watching PBS news, I was struck by how much the Iranian analyst in the studio went out of his way to blame the entire incident on Iran. In fact, he did a better job at pinning all the blame on Iran than did the British representative in the studio.

Though the presenter showed that both the Iranians and the Brits had produced GPS and satellite evidence to back up their claims, and though a hard-line American in the studio heavily criticized the British "evidence," the Iran analyst (Karim Sadjadpour of Carnegie Foundation) turned around and said that the British evidence was much more solid than that of the Iranians - without giving any explanation or argument to back up his claim. Even the British representative seemed more balanced than Sadjadpour!

Then he went on explaining Iran's desperation and how the Iranians have no idea what they are doing. Never did he bring up that perhaps, just perhaps, the British actually had trespassed into Iranian waters. Without any evidence, without any trial, Iran had been proven wrong and the Brits had been exonerated of all wrong-doing.

With "analysts" like these, no wonder America gets Iran wrong. And of course, he is not the only one. The list of these "analysts" are long - too long.

You simply don't see this in Europe (at least not in Britain). The analysts take their jobs seriously and are not expected to take sides - they are expected to analyze and explain things. And for the Iranian analysts in Europe, clearly, they abhor the mullahs like all other Iranians, but they don't have to prove themselves by hating Iran more than everyone else.

Perhaps our behaviour would resemble yours if we had more neoconservatives in Europe. Or if Iran had taken British diplomats hostage for a year or so. I am sure it is hard growing up Iranian in the US. I grant you that.

But imagine how hard it must be to be an Iranian in Britain right now. Yet, we are not keen on selling out. My dear Iranian-Americans, think about that next time you're about to be an Iran-hater -- you are not the only ones that have it hard. Comment

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Sonia Gilani

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