October 18, 2015

KNOWING YOUR ALLIES:

Where new cooperation could lead : The history of Iran and America is full of bitter memories on both sides. Could that ugly history ever give way to a sunnier view? (Marshall Ingwerson, OCTOBER 18, 2015, CS Monitor)

One of the ironies of our time is that the people of Iran are among the most pro-American in the greater Middle East. Sure, Americans may find it hard not to take those "Death to America" chants at least a bit personally. But Americans who have been to Iran find that on the streets and in shops and restaurants, they are greeted with enthusiasm.  [...]

The mild and methodical Mr. Rouhani is himself a change from the flaming, holocaust-denying, anti-American provocateur Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, whom he succeeded only two years ago. Rouhani argues that the importance of the recent nuclear deal he reached with the United States and five other countries could be the beginning of a whole different relationship that will, in the long run, matter much more than the deal itself.

If trust can grow between Iran and the US, if people in both countries can see - even over the next few months - that dialogue can work, then that new atmosphere opens many possibilities for cooperating around common interests, Rouhani said. He added that even Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei - the chief keeper of the conservative, anti-American flame - is open to this possibility. "So this path is not closed."

Rouhani suggested that Iran and the West could find common cause in the "existential fight against terrorism," and against Islamic State in particular. 

Posted by at October 18, 2015 2:42 PM
  

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