Former hostage says Iran war not inevitable

Editor’s note: Barry Rosen was the last U.S. press attaché to Iran. He was one of the 52 Americans held hostage by Iran for 444 days from November 4, 1979, to January 20, 1981. He is currently the spokesman for the Borough of Manhattan Community College/CUNY.

(CNN) — For most of my life, I’ve had a relationship with Iran, mostly good, but which included a long period in which Iran hurt me and other foreign service officers greatly.

I was the press attaché at the United States Embassy in Teheran in 1979, and one of 52 Americans held hostage for 444 days during the Iranian Revolution. I cannot forgive the youthful Iranians who imprisoned us and the regime that legitimized their cruelty, but I try to be as objective as possible as an observer of Iran’s situation today.

Let’s be frank. Iran’s intransigence with its nuclear intentions and the West’s efforts, led by the United States, to undermine Iran’s economy and, perhaps, its legitimacy, are moving both sides further from a war of words and closer to a hot war.

This war would easily draw in Israel, and perhaps even some of the Arab nations that are showing their Islamist side since the “Arab Spring.” It could well close the Strait of Hormuz and the drive the price of oil to impossible highs, prolonging a worldwide economic funk. And it would once again put the United States front and center in a third protra… >>>

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