Missed Chances to Melt Ice of Distrust between Iran, US: TrendNews Expert
Dalga Khatinoglu, head of Persian Department of Trend
General David Petraeus who is to take the post of the US commander-in-chief in the Central Asia, said on 9 October that їUSї talks with enemies are inevitableї.
In his statement, he did not specify whom he meant by їenemiesї, however, political processes in Afghanistan, strengthening of Taliban and Afghani Presidentїs asking Saudi Arabia to mediate between Talib and Afghani government show that one of the enemies that Petraeus meant is Taliban.
If United States accepts talks with Taliban, terrorist organization, even by force, not accepting talks with Iran, who also figures in the list of enemies, does not make any sense.
In fact, US has not yet removed the option of military intervention to Iran from the agenda. Radical forces will continue strengthening in the country and even will prompt official Tehran to produce nuclear weapon.
Though Iran severed ties with US in 1980, the sides showed sensitivity to melt the ice of distrust between two countries. But, on the contrary, these efforts lead to deepening of crisis and distrust.
However, unlike former presidents, current Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad enjoys more authority in the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran and he is strong enough to take certain measures. Furthermore, US has lost its authority in world community and it can be more inclined to make concessions to Iran. In any case, it would be better for Washington and Tehran to think about the ways of restoring bilateral relations not waiting for presidential elections of the two countries.
Mehdi Bazargan, who has been in power since the Islamic revolution of 1979, promised at his meeting with US diplomats in Algeria to improve US-Iran relations on condition that former Iranian king will be handed over to Iran who was receiving treatment in US at that time. Current US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said last week in his speech in National Defense University that Adviser to the President Jimmy Carter for National Security Zbigniew Brzezinski did not accept initiative of the Iranian government. US Embassy in Tehran was captured down two weeks later.
On one hand, during former President Muhammad Hatemiїs term of office, the sides attempted to take certain steps to restore relations. During second term of President Bill Clinton, Secretary of State Madeleine Albright confirmed that US government attempted to overthrow government of Iranian Prime Minister Muhammad Musaddiq in 1953, and she officially apologized for it, but Iran ignored his positive step. Unofficial (nevertheless authoritative) representative of the two countries held 18 meetings in 1999 to 2002 and discussed their relations.
The result of the discussions was Israelїs capture of the ship sent to Palestine with 50 tons of ammunition on board and describing this ammunition as produced in Iran and also Bushїs labeling Tehran as їa source of evilї.
On the other hand, during US attack on Afghanistan in 2001, Iranїs officials handing over identity cards of 300 Al Qaeda members hiding in Iran, to the UN, their deportation to their country and permitting US to follow them, did not ease tension. Washington said Iran deported not all Al Qaeda members. Tehran did not reject this claim, but said that remaining members of the organization are under home arrest.
In any case, both governments who missed a lot of chances and favorable conditions, at least, can take steps to resume talks. US State Department allowed for the first time current Council of Americans of Iranian origin to open their office in Tehran and Washington announced it is prepared to open an office in Iran to protect US interests. These moves provide great opportunities for both sides.
Unfortunately, both states are involved in dangerous games. Iran continues its uranium enrichment and US is willing to overthrow Iranian government and paralyze Iranїs economy. Both sides can get out of їmine-strewn zonesї and hold talks on the basis of mutual interests.
Once Iran and US officials hold discussion on Iraqїs security, it would be better for them to hold talks on their own security as well.
The correspondent can be contacted at: [email protected]