U.S., Israel, Iran work to build better relationship

  • Article by: MEHR (JAY) SHAHIDI
  • Updated: February 8, 2013 - 7:05 PM

After 33 years of wild accusations, hostile attitudes, belligerent posturing, terrorism and war planning, relations have, perhaps, reached a turning point.

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brotherkennyFeb. 8, 13 9:02 PM

Iran needs to supply UN inspectors unfettered access to nuclear sites.

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mdachsFeb. 8, 1310:26 PM

BrotherKenny, UN inspectors and most of the rest of the UN are pretty useless when it comes to nuclear programs, genocide, etc. Name me 3 UN successes in the last 5 years, please!

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brian100Feb. 8, 1311:07 PM

Your reasons for "hope" may be misguided, unfortunately, since your basic premise is wrong. You wrote: "Bush called Iran part of the "Axis of Evil" in 2002, followed by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's jumping on the world's political stage in 2004 by wishing to "wipe Israel off the map." Iran, like N. Korea and Iraq, did not threaten Israel. Nor did Iran at that point threaten to wipe them off the map. They were part of the "Axis" for other primary reasons: Iran, like the others, were the world's leaders in state terrorism, and were the main exporters of terrorism. Iraq no longer has that ability, although it did. N. Korea is still a problem by spreading nuclear technology to other despotic regimes. However, Iran is now way ahead of any of the others. They have created major international proxy terrorist groups, including Hamas and Hezbollah. They are training and arming them, and providing them with intelligence. Iran is a greater threat to the global economy as it continually threatens to close the Strait of Hormuz and block oil exports by the other oil exporting countries, among a long list of problems it is creating. Hence, the premise of this article that things may be getting "better," is closer to being the exact opposite of reality. When they were declared part of the "Axis," they were not building nuclear weapons, did not threaten Israel directly, were not sending ships and submarines into the Mediterranean and Red Sea, were not establishing cells in South America, and did not threaten to sink U.S. aircraft carriers in the Persian Gulf or otherwise cut off oil to the free world. So I think your "hope" is a bit ridiculous.

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marychristineFeb. 9, 13 8:16 AM

I am very pleased to see this article in the Strib. Any step toward a constructive engagement with Iran is a good step. And any step taken to prevent the tail (Netanyahu) from continuing to wag the dog (the U.S.)will also be helpful.

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jdledellFeb. 9, 13 8:21 AM

Brian100 - Lets get some honest perspective on the issues you raised. You complain about Iran's ships and subs sailing in the Mediterranean Sea. Good grief - Israel's submarines armed with nuclear missiles roam the entire world. Iran has not invaded another country for a thousand years. The US cannot say the same - we regularly invade other countries sometimes for good reasons and some just for the heck of it. When Israel invaded Lebanon in 1982 there was no Hezballah. The organization grew out of a Shite effort the toss out the Israeli occupiers. They finally succeeded in 2000. In the late 80's Iran started to assist Hezballah but that is no different than when the US provides military assistance to various countries. For example during the same period Iran was helping Hezballah, the US was helping Saddam Hussein in his invasion of Iran. Hamas was born with assistance of Israel to offset the PLO. Israel helped create the very organization that forms the hard core resistence to Israel's occupation. Remember, before leaving Gaza, Israel's 8000 settlers occupied 40% of the land, forcing 1.5 million Palestinians into the world's most crowded ghetto. Yes, there are changes that need to be made if there ever is going to be peace in the Middle East. Israel will have to be one of those also making changes.

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mn2niceFeb. 9, 13 8:23 AM

Mr. Shahidi, very few people in the United States with knowledge of Iran believe any of what you write in this article. When a country, such as Iran, led by the ayatollahs, pursues enriching Uranium beyond the degree of enrichment necessary to power a nuclear power plant (20 percent at the high end), it can only mean they are pursuing the attainment of one or more nuclear weapons. Their total lack of transparency and the fact they chose to hide their facilities deep underground speaks volumes about their real intentions. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad speaks in double entendre because he does not want to speak to disclose his true intentions, for if he did the world would know what he says and what he is doing are two entirely different things. Such behavior is that of a man who can be trusted. Iran does not and will not abide by international law. They actively work to deceive and misrepresent their intentions. They are a known supplier of arms to other states. They directly fund Hezzbollah, a known terrorist organization. The facts are that Iran has not demonstrated by its actions that is deserves to be trusted. If they want to be trusted, they must immediately halt any further enrichment of Uranium and open their facilities to inspection by the IAEA. If they truly want peace as you suggest, they need to prove it by taking all appropriate actions to stop the saber rattling and come to the table and negotiate in good faith. Only then will they be taken seriously.

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mvp1923Feb. 9, 13 8:44 AM

Mr. Shahidi, your political prejudices are what came through in your essay: not any political reality. Look at what Iran is doing via Hizbullah in Lebanon, and her role in continuing the bloody conflict in Syria. Secondly, the existential threat to Israel is real, unless you believe that every word that Mr. Ahmadinejad and Khamieni speak are proverbial "hot air." Mr. Obama has kowtowed to allowing Iran to develop its nuclear potential, which by the way, yesterday the Iranian government announced that they now have nuclear power, and in 3-4 months will have it funneled into making weapons. Hot air, Mr. Shahidi? Or do these words portray a far sinister reality? The Israeli intelligence community (not just Mr. Netanyahu) does not believe a stitch of what you are saying. And much of the American intelligence community doesn't, either. Look beyond your wishes for peace (that all civilized people have) at what is really happening.

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northhillFeb. 9, 13 8:44 AM

Are we any closer to establishing diplomatic relations with Iran than we were in 1980.The answer is no.I believe that the Iranian Government has no intention of doing this any time soon.The Iranian Government holds the US Government in utter contempt since 1979.The taking of American diplomats hostage showed this.Both sides know the history of Iranian American relations since World War II.They include the CIA installing the Shah and an American warship shooting down an Iranian commercial airliner over the Persian Gulf.Iran has no intention of ever being under America's thumb ever again.It still sees America and Israel as threats and is acting as if.

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lolorocksFeb. 9, 13 8:48 AM

Brian100 I think any policy shift from that of bombing the way to Democratizing a country is a good thing. Since when did having hope become ridiculous? Without hope we are doomed. Granted you make some valid points but the bottom line is all Iran has done is make idol empty threats. There leadership seems to dance along the crazy line but still hasn't acted on any of their proclamations. That's because they know better than to offer anything other than verbal assaults. Your notion that anything the Iranian navy sails could close the Straits of Hormuz or sink a US Navy vessel is misinformed. The Iranian navy couldn't sink a US aircraft carrier ever. They are more heavily defended than most of the US borders. I think most of the events with Iran has remained the same, not any better or any worse. Anytime you can achieve a peaceful resolution that results in zero US casualties that's a good thing. Then I guess. Bombing and destabilizing an entire region is a good back up plan?

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owatonnabillFeb. 9, 13 9:30 AM

"My good friends, for the second time in our history, a British Prime Minister has returned from Germany bringing peace with honour. I believe it is peace for our time. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts." (Neville Chamberlain, Sept. 30, 1938)................. The lesson here is that, had the allies acted decisively instead of giving in to the Nazis at this point, World War II could have been averted or at least greatly minimized. Just about all the Axis had going for them at that time was bluster. Instead, "peace in our time" gave them the necessary 2-year window to tool up and to produce the greatest fighting machine known to the world until that time. Ahmadi Nejad and his henchmen are masters of bluster, and their power depends on continuing antagonism toward The Zionist Oppressor and The Great Satan. Peace in our time? How is today any different than 1938?

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