Two concepts to understand about Iran

  • Article by: SEYED HOSSEIN MOUSAVIAN and MOHAMMAD ALI SHABANI
  • Updated: January 6, 2013 - 4:22 PM

In nuclear dispute, expediency can't come at the expense of dignity.

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passaicparkJan. 6, 13 4:48 PM

these loons must lie awake at night thinking of what to put on the news wire thay need ti wake up the us is not going to back off or let up the preident has said that and if thay dont we have a wake up suprize all ready

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thehoffersJan. 6, 13 6:38 PM

How much face did they save when they paraded the burnt wreckage of Jimmy Carter's folly in the desert?

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hermajestyJan. 6, 13 7:52 PM

I heard Jimmy Carter talk about the Iranian hostage crisis, and he consulted experts on Iranian culture after the failed rescue. They told him that in Iran, it is shameful to back down when insulted or threatened, that it was better to work behind the scenes. So Carter sent word to the Iranian government through back channels (the ambassadors of other countries) that if any of the hostages were harmed, he would order the bombing of Tehran.

Shortly after that, one hostage was released because he had started developing strange neurological symptoms. Evidently the Iranians didn't want him dying in their custody. It turned out that this hostage had MS, but more importantly, not one of the hostages died in captivity or was tortured during their captivity.

Name calling and beligerence are precisely the wrong attitudes to take with someone who belongs to a culture that values maintaining face, because then the person will feel compelled to respond in kind.

Note that the article said that the Iranians approached and asked to negotiate but that Cheney turned them down flat.

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FrankLJan. 6, 13 9:36 PM

Of course hermajesty, Reagan got the rest of the hostages out because they were afraid he would level the country. Our first mistake is thinking we need to negotiate with a 2nd rate country, you inform them of what they are going to do.

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davehougJan. 6, 1310:00 PM

If Iran WANTS to give up nuclear arms capability I think Iran would have found a way to do just that over the decades.

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hermajestyJan. 7, 1312:39 AM

davehoug: They DID make an offer, but war hawk Cheney refused to even negotiate with them.

And FrankL, "leveling" Iran with the hostages still in it would have been a really dumb thing to do, not to mention the fact that killing millions of Iranians to get 53 Americans back would have been monstrous, worse than anything the Iranians have ever done to the U.S.

Besides, there is some evidence that representatives of the Reagan campaign made a secret deal with the Iranians to release the hostages on Inauguration Day, since they both wanted to humiliate Carter.

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sharkysharkJan. 7, 13 9:04 AM

Obama made a lot of promises in 2009 (and since) that have gone no where. Don't hold your breath.

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mvp1923Jan. 7, 1310:30 AM

It is Khamieni and Ahmadenijad who must grasp the concepts of human rights and ceasing anti-Semitism, ceasing anti-women and ceasing anti-children's ideology in their politics. It is hardly a requirement of the world to cowtow to these fascists who bully the Lebanese, threaten genocide to a fellow UN member state, and manipulate their presidential elections. The world is correct to pressure them by whatever means necessary to teach them a lesson, not the other way around. Saving face should not be a concern. Saving lives should be.

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mvp1923Jan. 7, 1310:31 AM

It is Khamieni and Ahmadenijad who must grasp the concepts of human rights and ceasing anti-Semitism, ceasing anti-women and ceasing anti-children's ideology in their politics. It is hardly a requirement of the world to cowtow to these fascists who bully the Lebanese, threaten genocide to a fellow UN member state, and manipulate their presidential elections. The world is correct to pressure them by whatever means necessary to teach them a lesson, not the other way around. Saving face should not be a concern. Saving lives should be.

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redblack30Jan. 7, 13 3:04 PM

Once again - why did the Iranians seize the US embassy in 1979? One reason was that in 1953 the CIA, operating from the embassy, instigated a coup that restored the Shah to power. The Iranians didn't want the same thing to happen in 1979. The authors are right-if you want to reach a deal you have to understand the history and culture of the people you are dealing with, (as well as your own, I might add).

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