In response to a piece in which I thoroughly criticized the Iranian Intelligence regarding the arrest of American-Iranian journalist Roxana Saberi, I was contacted by an Iranian diplomat who asked, me; if it’s all about human rights, why isn’t anybody talking about the three Iranian diplomats who have been taken hostage by the U.S. forces in Iraq since 2007?
What was he implying? What is the connection with the arrest of a journalist in Tehran and those three Iranian diplomats in Iraq? And is that the reason why the United States has been tragically unsuccessful in helping to release Saberi or other American-Iranians in prison? Read more
(Huffingtonpost, Jan 26, 2009)-In his inaugural address on January 20, President Barack Obama said, “to the Muslim world, we seek a new way forward based on mutual interest and mutual respect.” But, without further defining ” mutual respect”, how can the President’s remark be anything but words or a vague and indefinite platitude?
Early last December, The New York Times reported that President Obama wants to make “a major foreign policy speech from an Islamic capital during his first 100 days in office”. These signals to the Muslim world are positive. Yet, Obama faces enormous challenges in imbuing mutual respect into policy shifts, new ways of communicating, and conveying the values of this country’s great people and constitution. Read more
It was a meaningful moment this morning for Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to be present in the General Assembly Hall to listen to President W. Bush’s last speech to member states. But, is this a message to the United States? It certainly is. There is no doubt in anyone’s mind that the mood in Tehran and Washington has changed.
It might seem that Ahmadinejad’s third appearance at the United Nations this week seemed to provide the Republican campaign with another chance to attack Obama over his previous promise that, should he become president, he will meet with U.S. adversaries, including the president of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. But the fact of the matter is that, regardless of who goes to the White House this January, the U.S. will start negotiations with the Iranian government, whether or not Ahmadinejad is Iran’s new president. Read more