A Misunderstanding of Mr. Pompeo's VOA Interview about Iran
درک نادرست از مصاحبه آقای مایک پمپئو با صدای آمریکا درباره ایران
Last week, Mike Pompeo the new US Secretary of State had an interview with VOA about Iran (1). The interview was conducted by Setareh Derakhshesh (2) of VOA Persian Service (3). Within a short while after the interview there was a misunderstanding within Iran's opposition as if the US Secretary of State was dictating to Iran's opposition not to seek regime change in Iran (4). Mr. Pompeo's message was clear when he used the phrase "normal nation" and "normal leaders" which simply meant if Iran's leaders behave like Gorbachev, U.S. will not be seeking their removal. In fact decent opposition groups of Iran are normal leaders and want the people live their life after the end of Islamic Republic and do not have a mission in mind for people to do once the regime changes. As we remember, Gorbachev was the one who said he wanted to make his nation "normal" like the people in the West who are not thinking everyday that some evil force is there to get them, the brainwash which the Communists had created in the Soviet Union telling people that the West headed by America wants to annihilate them and thus justifying a mission for Soviet people to destroy capitalism which meant America. This is what Karl Popper said about Gorbachev of that time in his “Lessons of this Century” published in 1997 a the end of his life:
"Only with Gorbachev do we find a man who realizes that he has to change the fundamental assumption of the whole of Russian politics, that they are the people whose mission it is to destroy capitalism - that is, America. Gorbachev has actually been several times to America and seen the reality there; he wants to show his understanding of a free people which is not aggressive towards Russia but hopes that Russia will come to her senses. And Gorbachev made an important statement when he said I want to make the people of the Soviet Union a normal people …You see, Gorbachev’s merit was to have understood that his people was not ‘normal’ whereas the American people was. The attitude is really quite different in America; they do not all the time have this horrible game in their mind." (5)
But as we remember, a "normal" leader like Gorbachev was being removed by hardliners of his own Communist Party at the end and Boris Yeltsin stood up to the Communist Party coup leaders and also called for regime change and it was only at that time that the U.S. offered help if Yeltsin asked for it and as we recall, at the same time, Richard Nixon was assigned by Ronald Reagan who was the US president at the time, to keep relations with those hardliners who wanted to remove Gorbachev from power, in case they succeeded. In other words, all these are not unprecedented in the course of change for a country like Soviet Union of that time, or Iran of today. All that Mr. Pompeo has expressed is that U.S. will support "normal" leaders like Gorbachev in Iran. He did not say who they are. The reality is that Iran's reformists and moderates contrary to Gorbachev who expressed his desire for the way of life in Western democracies, have continued to support an Islamic Republic of their own model. Nonetheless, there is nothing wrong with the US Secretary of State to express the good will of the U.S. to welcome "normal" leaders in Iran and hope for them to exist and to see them act. Frankly we in the opposition should also hope opposition leaders are "normal" leaders and do not have another "mission" in mind for Iranian people. It has been enough to have lived through a period of 40 years when Iranian people have been forced to carry out the mission of Islamists to return Iran to the society of 1400 years ago.
I believe Iran's opposition is making too much of this interview.
Hoping for a democratic and secular futurist republic in Iran,
June 1, 2018
VOA Persian Interview: Sec of State Mike Pompeo
نسخه کامل گفتگوی اختصاصی صدای آمریکا با مایک پمپئو وزیر خارجه ایالات متحده
2. Setareh Derakhshesh
3. VOA Persian Service
5. Beginning of the End of IRI, Second Edition
آغازِ پایان جمهوری اسلامی، ویرایش دوم