There is a new opening in US – Iranian Relations
There is a new opening right now for US and Iranian relations.
Mainstream media reported that on Saturday, Feb. 7th, Vice President Biden, while in Munich, Germany, for an international security conference, offered “an olive branch” to Iran – and Russia. Ali Larijani, Iran’s head of parliament, in his response address, indicated a new willingness to deal.
On Iran, Biden repeated that the US was ready to talk to Tehran after three decades of frozen relations. “We will be willing to talk to Iran, and to offer a very clear choice: continue down the current course and there will be continued pressure and isolation; abandon the illicit nuclear programme and your support for terrorism and there will be meaningful incentives.”
…in a German newspaper interview, Larijari said Iran was ready to talk with Washington “without pre-conditions” but was still waiting for a “concrete offer” from the new US administration. “If the Americans are really willing to resolve the problems, then they must present their concept,” he told the daily Suddeutsche Zeitung, adding that “declarations in interviews or in speeches” were not enough.
In contrast, last year, the US delegation walked out during a talk by Larijani.
While much of Biden’s speech, in laying out the Obama Administration’s new foreign policy – stressing diplomacy and cooperation – focused on hitting the “reset” button in relations with Russia, his words regarding Iran certainly offer a new era in US-Iranian relations. In a response to the American overturns while addressing the conference, Ali Larijani, also offered openings to the Obama administration, stating it was time to “build bridges.”
This is indeed a time for a new opening with Iran. It is time to ‘normalize’ relations with Iran.
Evey opening in relations between nations includes first steps by both sides. The first step on our part, on the part of the United States, is to apologize for the Shah – the Shah of Iran.
The Shah of Iran was Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi – the monarch of Iran from September 16, 1941, until his overthrow by the Iranian Revolution on February 11, 1979. He was the last Shah of the Iranian monarchy. He was also known as a particularly harsh dictator, a despot who came to brutally suppress political dissent using Iran’s intelligence agency, SAVAK.
The Shah was backed to the hilt by the US and the West in general. He was temporarily deposed in 1953, but was returned to power by the CIA. The Shah’s main rival, Mohammad Mossadegh, led a nationalist movement to bring the oil industry under government control; he also wanted to institute democracy. This all upset British and American interests, who then moved to oust Mossadegh and bring the Shah back from exile.
The Shah ruled for decades. He came to outlaw all other parties except his own, declaring by fiat that anyone who didn’t join his party was a traitor meant for prison. By 1978 his prisons held as many as 2200 political prisoners. See a brief history at wikipedia.
It was due to American support, militarily, financially, that the Shah was able to stay in power for so long. No wonder the Iranians resent America. We backed their King George for decades. In 2000, U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright spoke to the US support of the Shah’s autocratic rule:
“In 1953 the United States played a significant role in orchestrating the overthrow of Iran’s popular Prime Minister, Mohammed Massadegh. The Eisenhower Administration believed its actions were justified for strategic reasons; but the coup was clearly a setback for Iran’s political development. And it is easy to see now why many Iranians continue to resent this intervention by America in their internal affairs.”
It is time for the Obama administration on behalf of all Americans to apologize to the Iranian people for our backing of the Shah of Iran. Until that happens, allow our small voice to be one in that direction.
To the People of Iran: We the People of America apologize for our support of the dictator, the Shah.
We are so sorry for our brutal, undemocratic and imperial policies that led our government to overthrow a popular prime minister. Please forgive us. Let us start anew in our relations, bringing understanding, diplomacy and cooperation. Both our countries had to throw off dictators. Let us begin anew again on that basis.