3.25.2009

Iran & Obama's Rapprochement

by Melissa Mahfouz
Special to iVoryTowerz

President Barack Obama’s reinvigorated diplomatic efforts with Iran are leading to a much-needed restoration of U.S. credibility. Despite the criticism that the Obama administration is reaching out to a belligerent and fundamentalist regime, the fact remains that the forging of renewed and effective diplomatic communication with Iran is vital to the stimulation of peace talks and nuclear disarmament. President Obama’s address to Iran occurred at an opportune moment with the celebration of the Persian New Year, Nowruz. Yet, the question remains if the president’s message is truly substantial or too idealistic for U.S. foreign policy initiatives.

Several inhibitors seem ubiquitous with U.S.-Iran diplomatic efforts. The United States is still greeted with skepticism. Support for Israel, both militarily and financially, the recognition of Hamas as a terrorist organization, and a hypocritical stance on nuclear armament continue to come to the forefront of Iran’s political wariness with U.S. rhetoric, no matter how upbeat and promising it sounds. To add more fuel to the flame, Iran is still seeking an apology from the U.S. and the recognition of wrongdoing from the 1953 ousting of President Mohammed Mossadegh in a CIA-directed coup. The U.S. had declared Mossadegh as a communist in a large part due to his resistance to crude oil solicitations by the British after Mossadegh had nationalized Iran's oil industry.

What needs to be done is already in the beginning stages of actuation. The Obama administration has recognized the legitimacy of the Iranian government, and has made an unprecedented effort to reach out to the general populace. Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has also been recognized as the leading political figure in the Iranian regime, rather than allotting President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad sole acknowledgment. If a diplomatic foundation can be established, issues such as nuclear proliferation and Iran’s underlying influences in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict can be brought to the negotiating table. In time, we shall see if President Obama’s assertion of a “common humanity that binds us together” comes to a political fruition.

(The graphic was created with the aid of the Despair, Inc. Parody Generator. The photo in the graphic is from Daniella Zalcman of New York City via Flickr, using a Creative Commons license. To see President Obama's Nowruz address to Iran, please check below.)












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