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As of January 2009, this site is definitely closed, but you can follow Safa Haeri on his new blog: DAMAVAND at http://wwwdamavandsafa.blogspot.com

LOSSES AND GAINS OF VOID IN IRAN-US RELATIONS

Published Tuesday, June 1, 2004



LONDON, First of June (IPS) As the new Iranian Majles, dominated by the ruling conservatives starts working, a veteran Iranian journalist advises them to stay away of “sloganmania” and warns that the decision-makers should not “sacrifice national interests for the sake of foolish slogans that have lost their charisma”.

Iran and the Iranian’s absence in recent terrorist operations, explosions and destructions was the best occasion to show the world that we had nothing and would have nothing to do with Mollah Omar, Osama Ben Laden or Saddam Hoseyn.

“Now that the conservatives have booted out the reformists from the Majles and are looking to the government, one must hope that they would quickly realise the importance of their responsibilities by ending the senseless void in Iran-US relations, allowing Iran to come back to the international community and play its due role”, Mr. Mas’oud Behnoud, a well-known journalist and commentator of Iranian affairs suggested.

Although the members of the new Parliament have been told to avoid “futile political debates” – a land mark of the sixth Majles dominated by the reformists -- and pay more attention to people’s needs, yet, most of Iranian analysts are of the opinion that one of the reasons the conservatives wanted to get back the control of the Majles “at any cost” was to have it approve open talks with Washington on the thorny and complicated normalisation of relations that were cut off by the United States after its Embassy in Tehran was stormed by revolutionary students on November 1979, taking 55 diplomats and staff as hostages for 444 days.

LOSSES AND GAINS OF VOID IN IRAN-US RELATIONS-Body

In one of his now celebrated declarations, Mr. Gholam Ali Haddad-Adel, the new Speaker – and the first one not being a cleric – who is closely related to Ayatollah Ali Khameneh'i, the leader of the Islamic Republic (his daughter is married to Khamenei's son), said the new Majles would work hard to make Iran an “Islamic Japan”.

Nevertheless, not only the new Majles started its inaugural session with shouts of "death to America", but Mr Haddad-Adel approved initiatives by the Revolutionary Guards to have people enrolling in suicide brigades for defending Shi'a Muslim's holly places in Iraq, now the scenes of heavy fightings between american-led Coalition forces with militiamen of the rebel cleric Moqtada al Sadr.

According to several Guards commanders, a so-called "World Islamic Martyrs and Fighters Staff Headquarters" was created to train Islamic suicide attackers.

“To express its opposition to the policies of Washington does not mean cutting relations with the world’s only superpower. The whole world is opposed to American’s arrogant behaviour except in Iran, where people, exacerbated by the ultra anti-American attitude of the rulers, see America as an ally”, Mr. Behnoud wrote in the Germany-based, Farsi-language website Iran Emrooz ( www.iran-emrooz.de )

After having reminded that Iran, with more than three millions Iranians scattered all over the worlds, but mostly in the United States, is “probably one of the few countries in the world where America is present in people’s daily life – even the grocery next door tells you the prices in US Dollars and the taxi drivers explain the price hike on the Green back’s value in the market – Mr. Behnoud says the endless, unabated anti-American policy and propaganda of the ruling conservatives waged mostly via the Radio and Television has no other result that turn the Iranians more pro American.

According to several Guards commanders, a so-called "World Islamic Martyrs and Fighters Staff Headquarters" was created to train Islamic suicide attackers.

One of the very few Iranian journalists well established under the former regime, Mr. Behnoud stayed in Iran after the Islamic Revolution of 1979, continuing to work as journalist under heavy pressures, constant menaces. However, he left Tehran for London, where he lives now, after receiving serious threats against his and his family’s life.

“The days people were dancing in front of the occupied American embassy in Tehran are over. The day when the world was divided between the Soviet Union and the United States is over. Today, American forces surround us. Our only lifeline is oil, which the Americans can close it, one way or another and starve us. If one days one could find pride in challenging Washington, today such a challenge does not fool anyone, mostly our Arab neighbours who, despite the Palestinisation of our foreign policy, not only never liked us and helped, but also continue to sincerely believe that Iran is still America’s – and Israel’s – best friend”, he added.

In his opinion, “never ever” the Arabs and Muslim nations helped Iran, as seen in the case of the three Iranian islands in the Persian Gulf, while in fact, it was the Iranian who benefited the more from America’s military intervention in both Afghanistan and Iraq, removing their two most dangerous enemies, the ultra-orthodox Muslim Taleban in Kabol and the Iraqi bloodthirsty dictator Saddam Hoseyn.

“This was not a wrong policy, but is there any logic behind the state (conservatives)-controlled and organised anti-American demonstrations. But whatever the logic, the end result is that the demonstrations and the anti-American diatribes not only have erased all the benefits from cooperation in Afghanistan and Iraq but also placed Iran in President Bush’s basket of Evil states”, he noted.

“Iran and the Iranian’s absence in recent terrorist operations, explosions and destructions was the best occasion to show the world that we had nothing and would have nothing to do with Mollah Omar, Osama Ben Laden or Saddam Hoseyn, but this golden occasion was deliberately lost on the altar of empty slogans favoured by some of the people who rule over the country”, he added.

The reformists, led by President Mohammad Khatami tried hard to normalise relations with the United States, but mostly because of the weak nature of Mr. Khatami and the lack of leadership, failed to to go ahead.

According to Mr. Behnoud, the reformists, led by President Mohammad Khatami, after taking the control of both the Executive and the Legislative, tried hard to normalise relations with the United States, but mostly because of the weak nature of Mr. Khatami and the lack of strong personalities and leadership among the reformists, the conservatives did not allow them to go ahead.

Among other things, the journalist mentioned the second trip of Mr. Khatami to the United Nations, where, in order not be placed near the former American President Bill Clinton, he failed to show up for the traditional family photo.

“At the beginning of the Revolution most of the political groups and formations were almost unanimous on cutting relations with the United States, today however, the idea do not work and the question does not make sense anymore since after the collapse of the Soviet Union, Washington has become the only superpower of the world, like it or not”, said Mr. Behnoud.

“Though I’m certain that at the end of the day, no one would ever accept the responsibility for the losses Iran have suffered because of antagonistic policy with the United States, yet, History must be told that the ruling conservatives are to blame, especially because that they first opposed radical policies to make it their own brand of governance. The Iranians would never forget”. ENDS IRAN US 1604

 

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As of January 2009, this site is definitely closed, but you can follow Safa Haeri on his new blog: DAMAVAND at http://wwwdamavandsafa.blogspot.com


LOSSES AND GAINS OF VOID IN IRAN-US RELATIONS-Main
Mr. Mas’oud Behnoud



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