Ground Zero and US-Iran relation
by Goudarz Eghtedari 21-Sep-2007
Despite the intimidation and threat of being labeled as part of the Propaganda Machine of Ahmadinejad, I stand by my thinking that atrocities and violations committed by Islamic Republic are not good excuses for US administration to try to reject conciliatory overtures offered by the president and the rest of the Islamic Republic. I am 100% confident that NYPD did not count on Ahmadinejad's records of violating Human Rights in rejecting his request. They did so under the pressure by interest groups that do not accept half full glasses from Iran and are waiting for Iran to cave in, which as long as US is in such trouble in Iraq it just not going to happen. I am really sorry they missed the opportunity back in 2003. We can see this pressure not only on ground zero gesture but also on Columbia's invitation for speech.
It is obvious that Iranian government regardless of who is in the president seat is eager to move forward. Is it because they are threatened? Is it because they want to buy time? Is it because the hardliners want to be the party that finally opens up to US, and makes the home run? nobody knows, it can be none or all of the above.
One thing is certain, however, that if minimal resolution of the Iran conflict was of genuine concerns, any positive move should have been regarded as a step towards creating a respectful relation. We have not heard and will not ever hear that Bush's propaganda machine suggested to send a wreath over the Persian Gulf where the Airbus victims were drowned or at least set flowers on the tomb of unknown Iraqi victims of the war. After all it is understandable, that conflicts are not resolved when there is arrogance that runs at least one side of the dispute, and in this case to some extent the both sides.
These rejections also shows that US administration is not well advised on understanding the Iranian regime's psyche. In a sense for Ahmadinejad to go to Ground Zero is the first step and highest important gesture in respecting the Americans. Laying flower on the tomb of the unknown soldiers has always been a part of diplomatic relations and for Iranian religious leaders visiting the cemetaries has the same nature. Why did Khomeini go to Behesht Zahra on his first day in Tehran?
To answer those that appear to be all of a sudden very concerned about the Human Rights and democracy in Iran, I can only say that without establishment of a genuine and respectful relation between the US and Iran and without a full economic engagement of the west there, we will not see a major change in Iranian government's behavior. If you have any doubt just look at Cuba. International relations are so complicated and power structure so diversified that a weak US economy can not only rely on its military might to change the world. US has tried all in its toolbox to stop Iran's gas and oil explorations in the past two decades, Coneco, Total, Japanese, etc were all pushed out of the Pars project in the Gulf, and now Turkey is coming in to work there, Teyep Urdugan today told Berns to back off.
Iranian regime has its own buttons that if pushed will produce results. We can learn from Lee Hamilton and his remarkable action to bring home Hale Esfandiari. The US administration's arrogant policy of all or none so far has broken the Palestinian territories into two parts and I am sure will not produce any better in bringing democracy to Iran. How can a political system talk about globalization and embargo/disengagement at the same time? Only losers take the ball and go home.