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Wednesday, May 16, 2007

 

Tinoush Moulaei completely misses the point I try to raise. My argument is as much about futility of engaging the Iranian regime as much it is about questioning the morality of such engagement. Almost half of Mr. Moulaei’s response circles around the old argument that since the sum of the evil around the world is equal to the evil of the regime, this regime is only as bad as the rest of the world! This is absurd.

The people who encourage dialogue with the regime have never cared to explain clearly and specifically what exactly such dialogue will accomplish and why. It seems as if dialogue with the regime is an end by itself. This is another absurd argument. As a matter of fact, the recent history has shown that engaging the Islamic regime in dialogue has had dire consequences for the Iranian people. Under the presidency of Rafsanjani, the era that led to widespread poverty and corruption, unprecedented rich-poor divide, and killings of dissidents, Europe was busy calling its shortsighted trade deals with mullahs “critical dialogue”. On the contrary, the regime responded to the crisis in its ties with EU following Mikonos trial by bringing Khatami to the stage.

There is no evidence to suggest that engaging the regime diplomatically will even achieve specific foreign policy goals let alone helping Iranian people find their place among civilized nations again. As a matter of fact everything points to the contrary. The regime does indeed respond to the threat of force and the reason for its recent defiant moves is that no one takes US threat of force seriously anymore because of the Iraq quagmire.

Dr. Houshang Amirahmadi, a prominent advocate of Iran-US relations, once wrote Iran’s biggest crisis in the past 30 years has been the “crisis of normalcy”. I agree. He then goes on to suggest that resumption of ties with US somehow magically solves Iran’s normalcy crisis. I disagree. The proposed “solution” of this group has its roots in exactly what they criticize about some Iranian exile groups because of their US-centric outlook. Iran’s “crisis of normalcy” was not originated by the US and will not be terminated by US. You can’t be talking about normalcy in a country ruled by a regime that is anything but normal.
  


 

 

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