Why Death To America?

Death-to-America has become the slogan of Iran, since the revolution of 1979. Most of the IRI foreign policy has revolved around that slogan, since the Embassy hostage-taking of 1980. USA and most Western countries have cited the active pursuit of Death-to-America as the reason for placing Iran under the category of state-sponsor of terror. But how did that happen and where is it heading?

Every so often, we the Iranian diaspora in US and Europe are reminded of our second-class citizen status, e.g. by the recent new visa requirements. Being mostly well-behaved, well-educated and well to do; we are naturally appalled. But can we fail to acknowledge the “elephant in the room”, i.e. Iran’s stated policy of Death-to-America?

Now, we the law abiding dual citizens of Iran and many other nations, may argue that we didn’t have anything to do with this mess, and shouldn’t be collectively blamed for the actions of the rouge regime of Iran. However, people of my age and older, who firsthand witnessed how the whole thing started; know full well that some 95% of Iranian population was on the side of Death-to-America when this enterprise commenced in 1979.

After the revolution of 1979, there was a fierce competition and a funny race among different revolutionary factions, to show who was truly the more Death-to-America group. As though, only the holder of that holy mantle could really claim to lead the people and would deserve to rule Iran. Communists evoked the Vietnam War horrors and photos. Nationalists reminded us of the US coup against Mosaddegh. The Mojahedin even had a song about killing the Americans! But Khomeini overtook the whole enterprise, by the trump-card of seizing the US embassy and holding them hostage for 444 days!

If you place any nation under the microscope, observing them closely “warts and all”; it is not hard to find a reason to hate a foreign country. In our own culture, the foreigner (Khareji) has historically been a derogatory term, and blamed for all the ills that have befallen Iran. But as time has gone on and many of us became physically, intellectually or at least “internetically” connected with the Western world; it has become clear that West has done more good for people than bad. Furthermore, when our own people have come to power, in our own nations and under our own holy banners; they have certainly done 100 times worse than any western Khareji.

So, as long as the moderates are in ascendency, we can hope to see a process of reconciliation between Iran and the US of A. Thanks god that at least the prospect of war is now in retreat, with the nuclear disarmament. Is it going to take another year or another generation for the full establishment of political ties and the opening of embassies? Let’s hope that things don’t get as bad as Cuba, before a settlement is reached.

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