Obama, Let's Talk about Iranians
آقای اوباما، اجازه دهید درباره ایرانی ها صحبت کنیم
Dear President Obama,
Your interview with Thomas Friedman on July 15th, 2015 that was published in New York Times, was a very candid unprecedented interview of any US President about Iran, Iranians and Iranian opposition and deserves the applause of Iranian and American people (1). In the interview, you honestly stated two facts about US attitude towards Iranians:
1. You admitted as a US President about the US coup against the government of Dr. Mohammad Mossadegh in 1953 by saying "if you look at Iranian history, the fact is that we had some involvement with overthrowing a democratically elected regime in Iran."
2. Again as US President you admitted the US help to Saddam Hussein at the time of Iran-Iraq War by saying "We have had in the past supported Saddam Hussein when we know he used chemical weapons in the war between Iran and Iraq."
But the practical impact of such US attitude towards Iranian people and opposition has many other aspects that continues to create a wedge between the two nations. In the last 35 years, Iranians have had a hard time to get US visas when applying for it in any country. Just take a look at the number of Iranians who have immigrated to Canada next door during the same period and have made that country their new home. Do you know the US visa policy has made Iranians feel that they are being punished because of the relations of US with the Iranian government. Ask any Iranian inside Iran and they will tell you about their resentment about the US policy towards Iranian people. In all movies produced inside Iran, the example of Iranians abroad are those living in Canada and not the US, although they all love America in contrast to the people of most US allies in the Middle East, but Iranians are not welcome when dealing with US Consulates all over the world.
Also the attitude of US government towards Iranian politicians and opposition during the last 60 years has been defined by expecting Iranian personalities to be either lackeys of the US or be discriminated against. Just look at the way the management of Voice of America (VOA) has been working by only allowing those who are willing to act like intelligence servants get anywhere and most real independent journalists are pushed out whereas VOA is not an intelligence agency and is a journalistic office. In fact, a bulk of Iranian democratic political activists came to the US right after the suppression of Green Movement in Iran and some even started working in VOA, but mostly those who were willing to act like servants and first met some top US officials were offered the regular positions at VOA and others were kept as contractors and many were later laid off. After this experience at VOA, what do you think they would write to their friends in Iran about the US attitude towards Iranian opposition (2).
For the last 35 years, Islamic Republic of Iran has been
calling the attitude of US government towards Iranians as *arrogant*. Many in
the opposition who spoke against this assessment inside Iran, when coming to the
US, after their experience of dealing with the US government officials, wonder
what the US attitude towards Iranian people and opposition should be called.
Iranian people are as much interested in equal relations with the Americans as
the French people are. We do not want to be the servant of US government
officials even if we do not have bread on our table. If we are journalists, we
should be judged by our ability in journalism and not by how much we bow to US
officials. We are very proud people and have learned our attitude from the late
Dr. Mohammad Mossadegh.
Hoping for a democratic and secular futurist
Sam Ghandchi, Editor/Publisher
August 4, 2015
1. Thomas Friedman: Obama Makes His Case on Iran Nuclear Deal
2. Discussions about VOA
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