December 26, 2000
Optimisim in foreign policy
In response to Mrs. Setareh Sabety-Javid letter, "Where
have you been?", I do share your concerns, and your criticisms
are noted. However, my article ["The
time is now"] focuses on U.S.-Iran relations, not domestic matters.
I do not believe that foreign powers should be allowed to intervene
in Iran's domestic politics. And even if they were permitted to do so they
would not do it on behalf of democracy! That is a challenge for the Iranians
My reference to dialogue among civilizations is made in the context
of Iran's foreign policy. In that context, whether we like it or not, the
idea has gained the Islamic Republic some added degree of international
legitimacy, helping the government to mend relations with a number of key
In the context of domestic politics, however, that phrase and the corresponding
idea of "dialogue among Iranians" remain mere propaganda. Again,
just like you, I am also disappointed. But unlike many, I was never an
optimist about that particular reform process.
I do, however, believe that the Iranian society is going through structural
changes which, along with developments globally, make it hard for any political
force to remain oblivious to the need for democracy, social justice and
economic development in Iran. Should we wait till that moment arrives before
U.S.-Iran relations is normalized? I do not believe so!
The tension with the U.S. has already cost the Iranian people enormous
economic loss and international prestige. This must be stopped and I am
optimist that it will some day!