The United States (U.S) has no relationship as inimitable, multifaceted and complicated as it has with Iran. Iran is the single country in the world these days with which the U. S. has no unrelenting and unswerving contact. Beeman the author of the book: Great Satan vs. the Mad Mullahs: How the United States and Iran Demonize Each Other, in an interview by McCormack (2006) stated that any negotiations or representations the two countries make with each other are more often than not done in the course of the press. The U.S. holds the Iranian United Nations ambassador on a very brief leash. He is not even permitted outside of a perimeter of about 30 miles of New York City.
The scenario above is entirely opposite of the relationship that existed between the two way back. It may be hard to imagine now, but Americans and Iranians once shared many common interests (Hopkins, 2005). In the early years of the 20th century, Iranians were at the head of the earliest effort to endorse democracy in the Middle East. In addition, the two countries upheld commercial and significant political connections between the two World Wars. During the Cold War, the United States had reciprocally favorable deals with the Shahs government a government that, despite its real and deep imperfections, ameliorated modernization of Iran and made the country a vital actor on the world stage.
Of greater significance, Iranians and Americans grew to know each other well in terms of business, sports, the arts and academia as they formed strapping and enduring ties. In fact, a phenomenal number of over 200,000 Iranians were studying in the United States by the mid-1970s. To provide a point of comparison, that is more than twice the number of students in the United States from any single foreign country today. Hence, a puzzling question at present is: what happened really to once great friends?
This paper will embark upon the relationship of the United States and Iran through the years, focusing on the U.S. foreign policies toward Iran until today. Moreover, this paper will also synthesize the changes in these policies since 1979 and examine whether or not U.S. has been successful or not to achieve what they want. Finally, this paper will also point out the factors that influence U.S. foreign policy specifically the Israel Lobby Group and their impacts on U.S. decisions.
U.S.-Iran Early Friendly Relations
Since the early to mid 1880s, Americans had been traveling to Iran. However, political relations between Iran and the United States instigated only when Mirza Abolhasan Shirazi was formally sent off as Irans first ambassador to Washington D.C. in 1856 by Nassereddin Shah Qajar, the then Shah of Persia (Lesch, 2003). The renowned vizier of Nasereddin Shah, Amir Kabir, also drew attention to direct links with Washington. In fact, by the end of the 19th century, negotiations were ongoing for an American company to establish a railway system from the Persian Gulf to Tehran.
Lesch (2003) narrated that the relations between Iran and the United States continued to be amiable up until World War II. Scores of Persian Constitutional Revolution constitutionalist Iranians turned up to regard the U.S. as a third force in their scuffle to infringe free of the mortifying British and Russian prying and control in Persian relationships.
It is even assumed that such engagements were the effect of contacts made by the Persian Constitutional revolutionaries with the executive branch of the U.S. government, even if no official documents of such contacts subsist. What is assured nonetheless is that Persias motivation for modernizing its economy and liberating it from British and Russian impacts had the satiated backing of American industrial and business leaders. However, the cordial relations between the United States and Iran were about to be altered at the beginning of the 1950s.
The United States came up with no in action policy towards Iran in anticipation of the occurrence of World War II. Kinzer (2003) reported that Irans nationalist Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadeq set in motion a phase of brisk power strengthening from 1952-53. As a consequence, it piloted a fleeting deportation of the Shah, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, to and afterward into power once more.
Mossadeqs nationalization of the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company, which is now known as British Petroleum commenced a great deal of the events of 1952. A concurrence had been completed to share proceeds of about 85% British and 15% Iran a set up by the British in the early 20th century,. However the company suspended their financial accounts from the Iranian government which led to a wide-ranging suspicion of profit monopolization by the company. As a consequence, a collective decision had been made by the Iranian Parliament to nationalize its investment of, what was at the time, the British Empires prime company.
By way of an acknowledge clandestine operation of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) nowadays called Operation Ajax, carried out from the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, the United States together with Britain, facilitated in arranging demonstrations to bring down Moussadeq and send back the Shah to Iran. The operation was however unsuccessful and the Shah escaped to Italy. Following a second triumphant operation he came back from his ephemeral exile. As a result, Irans fledgling efforts at democracy immediately resorted into dictatorship, as the Shah obliterated the constitutional restrictions on his office and started to preside over as an absolute monarch.
The Shah was given considerable American support for the duration of his period of influence. In fact, he was regularly conducting state visits to the White House and bringing in praise from various American Presidents. The Shahs intimate relation to Washington and his intrepid ambition of rapidly Westernizing Iran however, quickly commenced to annoy several portion of the Iranian population, particularly the uncompromising Islamic conservatives. For the reason that their ultimate mounting to dominance during the 1979 Iranian Revolution, Operation Ajax is contemplated as one of the nastiest CIA blowbacks ever.
Affairs in the cultural area nevertheless continued to be cordial. Pahlavi University, Sharif University of Technology, and Isfahan University of Technology, three of Irans topmost academic universities were all unequivocally patterned on American institutions such as the University of Chicago, MIT, and the University of Pennsylvania (Leslie and Kargon, 2006). The Shah in response was openhanded in bestowing American universities with financial presents.
The Turning Point of U.S.-Iran Relationship
United States of America has built on policies ever since the early 1970s which persisted only until the subsequent predicament, compelling the U.S. into a pressing manner, at the clemency of events and their successive strategic retorts. Many Iranians under the Shah, of course, wanted more than a robust economy and social freedoms. They wanted a greater voice in their country and broader democracy.
A great many Iranians resented the shahs arbitray and dictatorial rule. He banned political parties and made criticism of the shah a treasonable offense. He imposed state control over schools, universities and private organizations. More importantly, they disliked the shahs economic policies. They thought that the shah squandered oil revenue on unneeded military hardware, which they viewed as benefiting the United States (Middle East Resources, 1997).
Hopkins (2005) exclaimed that U.S. had no considerable relationship with the Government of Iran from the time when Iranian students stormed U.S. Embassy in 1979 and Iran held 52 American diplomats hostage for 444 days. Iran has never made an apology for this misdemeanor against the American people an incident still apparent in American collective consciousness. After the hostage taking, the then U.S. leader, President Carter initially opted for a policy of restraint, fearing that more aggressive action could jeopardize the lives of the American diplomats (MER, 1997).
In addition, the president mobilized broad international backing and ordered a freeze on eight to nine billion dollars in Iranian assets in the U.S. He called on American companies to stop buying Iranian oil for the U.S. market and exerted pressure on the Japanese and other allies not to increase purchases from Iran. The president enlarged the U.S. military presence in the Persian Gulf and sought collective economic sactions against Iran under the United Nations charter but the action was vetoed by the Soviet Union (Quandt, 1979)
As a consequence of Irans reluctance to ask for apology, it led to over 25 years of polarization between the two governments and division between their peoples. The Iranian-U.S. confrontation has already been through several dramatic chapters (Halliday, 2006), notably:
Irans National Security Strategy
Regardless of severe ideological expression, Irans regional-strategic goals are not all that poles apart from those of other states in the Middle East. Iran seeks out to increase its economic and cultural connections with bordering states (except Israel), broaden its sphere of influence, uphold regional constancy, and defy US military and political existence and policies.
Irans regional policy has two imperative features. The first being that from the time of the culmination of the war with Iraq in 1988, Iranian foreign policy in wide-ranging and regional dealings especially, have been motivated more by pragmatic national interests and less by ideological apprehensions
The second feature having an impact to regional policies is the verity that quite a few hubs of power have in use of vigorous positions in the plan and implementation of Iranian foreign and military policy. In countless means, the Iranian regime mirrors a steady jockeying for influence between diverse interest groups, personalities and institutions (Lowe and Spense, 2006).
This jockeying for influence between opposing splinter groups contained by the political and religious institutions is more convoluted by a number of fetters positioned on the nations military. With 545,000 people in military service, Iran has the largest army in the Middle East, larger than all other Persian Gulf countries (Bahrain, Iraq, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates) combined (IISS, 2006). However, Iran has not been permitted to buy Western weapon systems since the 1979 Islamic Revolution. In response to these sanctions, Iran has pursued four overlapping strategies (Bahgat,2007):
* Create a clandestine network of suppliers for its remaining Western weapon systems.
* Switch to non-Western sources, particularly Russia and China.
* Develop an indigenous military industry.
* Rely on missiles to overcome any weakness in conventional capability.
Anoushiravan Ehteshami (in Bahgat 2007), a RAND author, argues that in net terms of the Iranian military Iran has never recovered from the cost of the revolution to its prowess and resources. Nor indeed has the Iranian military fully recovered from the eight-year long war with Iraq and the twenty plus years of military sanctions imposed on the country by the West. With the exclusion of Iraq, a good number of Arab states confront modest or no moderation on the procurement of the mainly highly developed Western military technology.
In an attempt to surmount its mounting shortage in conventional military competence, Iran has devoted profoundly in an indigenous missile program. In the preceding few years, Iran has effectively accomplished several missile launches. These consist of an underwater missile named the Hoot (whale), a land-to-sea missile (Kowsar), and the most publicized Shehab-3 (shooting star), with a range of 1,300 miles (Reuters, 2004).
Notwithstanding this grand military upsurge, Iranian officials give emphasis that their country does not create any assertion on the territory of its neighbors. They also hark back possible adversaries that Iran has not instigated a regional clash for more than 200 years (Ahmiramadi, 2006). Irans contenders are however distrustful of these contentions and of the Islamic Republics purpose. This distrust has alerted on Tehrans nuclear determinations since the early 2000s.
The possibility of an Iran armed with nuclear weapons has been a primary distress for both regional and international powers. The U.S and a number of European nations have indicted Iran of in quest of a nuclear-weapons potential (Chubin, 2006). Iran emphatically forswears these allegations and articulates its nuclear program is merely for domestic use.
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has been dynamically inspecting Irans nuclear program for a number of years (Kibaroglu, 2006). The IAEA Board of Govemors has released numerous accounts highlighting two important thrusts. First, Irans nuclear activities have not been totally in observance with its obligations to the Non-proliferation Treaty. Second, even with these deviances and various grave indiscretions, the IAEA have not been able to find substantiation that Iran seeks to build up nuclear weapons (Amuzegar, 2006).
Four distinctiveness of Irans nuclear program ought to have highlighting (Bahgat, 2007). First, Irans longing for several form of nuclear enlargement is deep-seated in its turbulent history. a good number of Iranians recognize their nation as an immense civilization that has been dispossessed of its rightful position as a regional superpower by foreign intrusion. for that reason, mounting an indigenous nuclear capability would go a long way in re-establishing a good judgment of pride, respect, and regional leadership.
Second, Dr. Javad Zarif (2006), the Iranian Ambassador to the United Nations, and several other high ranking officials point out that their country is party to all international agreements on the control of weapons of mass destruction. These include the Non-proliferation Treaty, Chemical Weapons Convention, Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention, and the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty.
Third, various military analysts and policymakers are enormously suspicious that Iran entirely acts in accordance with these treaties. John Chipman (2006), director-general of the International Institute for Strategic Studies, concludes that an Iranian nuclear capacity is both almost inevitable, and certainly bad. as a final point, there is apprehension about Irans nuclear capability based on the point of view of the Iranian regime, what Dr. Peter Lavoy, Director for Counterproliferation Policy, Office of the Secretary of Defense, calls political relativists.
Political relativists direct to a countrys system of governance, its political ideology, and its strategic culture as the surest indicators of its likely conduct as a nuclear power (Lavoy, 1995). Particularly, there are fears that a nuclear-Iran would threaten its neighbors; challenge a US-based regional security system; and probably pave the way to the transfer of nuclear weapons to terrorist organizations.
US Foreign Policy towards Iran after 1979 incident
During the 1980s, U.S foreign policy played Iran and Iraq against each other to insure to insure that one did not become too strong at the expense of the other (MER, 1997)
Since then Irans leadership has preferred, repeatedly, to reject democracy, human rights and responsible action on nuclear issues and terrorism. Hence, anyone can presuppose that U.S. policy toward Iran nowadays has get through to a critical defining moment. To give you the contemporary state of play in the policy, Laipson, Sick and Cottam (1995) noted that it is important to note that U.S. approach focuses on Irans actions ” not the nature of the regime, not what they call themselves, not the Islamic character of the regime, but the specific actions that U.S. have observed the Iranian government get involved in.
These include, first and foremost, their involvement in terrorism, particularly that which undermines the peace process in the Middle East ” and their pursuit of weapons of mass destruction. In addition, U.S. focus a lot of its concern on their efforts to subvert friendly governments in the region, their unfortunate human-rights record, and their conventional arms buildup which could, if realized, pose real threats to small Persian Gulf states that are friends of the United States. At the same time, U.S. also have to focus on the long-term challenge from Iran ” not just the actions of today, but the potential, the capability that Iran could have, if it were to fulfill its ambitions, particularly in the weapons area.
The policy is trying to capture, on the one hand, our efforts to address Irans behavior today and, on the other hand, to develop a strategy that tries to anticipate a future Iran that would be a stronger and more formidable player in the region. Our approach combines pressure with other measures. We are trying to give Irans leadership a chance to make a strategic choice. They could change their policies in order to serve Irans interests, which we believe are fundamentally, among other things, economic growth and political stability. We think that Irans government has the chance to adapt its behavior in ways that would make it conform more to international norms (Laipson, 1995).
In the 1990s, the U.S. policy toward Iran and even in Iraq changed to the present policy known as dual containment that is containment of both Iran and Iraq. This policy was first applied to Iraq following the 1991 Persian Gulf war when the U.S. and some of its coalition partners initiated economic, military and other sanctions at the United Nations. The sanctions were approved by the UN and in effect, contained Iraq.
In 1993 the Clinton administration decided that Iran, like Iraq, should be contained because of the administrations belief that Iran supported terrorism worldwide and was pursuing the development of nuclear weapons. This policy calls for collective economic action against Iran and aims at denying Iran access to the money, supplies and weapons needed to complete a military resurgence.
To start with, in terms of economic policy, the dimensions of U.S. economic policy towards Iran consisted of an arms ban, a ban on dual-use technologies, a total import ban on Iranian products coming into this country, controls on certain items for export to Iran, and a diplomatic position of blocking all lending to Iran from international financial institutions.
Reinforcement or strengthening U.S policy towards Iran happened again during the Clinton administration in 1995 where he announced in an executive order a prohibition on all trade, trade financing, loans and financial services to Iran. He also banned U.S. companies from purchasing Iranian oil overseas, even if it is for resale overseas. And new investment by American companies in Iran was prohibited as well. The presidents executive order also banned the re-export to Iran from third countries of those goods or technologies that are on controlled lists for direct export from the United States to Iran. In addition, it prohibited U.S. persons and companies from approving or facilitating transactions with Iran by their affiliates.
As we can see, these are very strong, but not total, economic measures. They form part, but not all, of U.S. policy effort vis- vis Iran. The economic pressure, in a way, has to be seen in both the political and diplomatic context that is the U.S. overall policy. Anyone can assume then that U.S. is working and will continue to work hard multilaterally to make sure that the arms ban, the limits on credit and aid, the ban on support for Iran from international financial institutions, and cooperation with Iran in nuclear matters continue.
However, while U.S. allies have prohibited the sale of dual-use technology and weapons to Iran, they have been reluctant to stop all trading with Iran. In response to the allies hesitation, President Clinton signed a new law on August 5, 1996, The Iran and Libya Sanctions Act of 1996, which places sanctions on foreigners who invest more than $40 million in a year in the oil or natural gas industries of Iran and Libya (MER, 1997). This new law has provoked threats of retaliation, however, against U.S. firms by Europe, where oil companies have been pursuing ventures with Libya and Iran particularly.
Considering these policies, The U.S/Iranian rhetoric is reaching what many political observers consider alarming proportions. Iran and the US will come to a face-to-face confrontation for the first time since the Iranian hostage crisis 25 years ago if it spins out of control (Vesely , Barnett and Darwish, 2004). This is evidently observed by a chain of agitated responses, though, do not append up to an efficient approach toward this critical country in a region of unparalleled geostrategic importance. Reaping the promise of a new Iran policy and evading its risks, however, necessitate diplomacy wise in its historic impending, enduring and discreet regarding its objectives, candid and patent concerning its true enemies and friends, and convincingly unyielding in its exercise of the vital gears to produce the preferred results.
Adding up to the tension was the aftermath of the September 11 bombing of the Twin Towers of the U.S. Since then, the regional security environments in Middle East and security point of views have considerably altered (Bahgat, 2007). A handful of weeks after the terrorist assaults on the U.S, an international alliance headed by the U.S. plagued Afghanistan and toppled the Taliban. in March 2003, approximately less than two years later, another US-led international coalition overthrew Saddam Husseins regime.
The removal of these two regimes and the deployment of American troops in both countries were perceived as a mixed blessing by neighboring countries. Iranian officials nevertheless, turned out to be anxious that their country would be the next target of U.S. for regime change in the Middle East. Feeling defenseless, Iranian leaders indicated their compliance to demeanor dialogues with the U.S. on several subject matters, including their nuclear program and support for the terrorist organizations like Hezbollah and Hamas.
However, Bahgat (2007) noted that the failure of international coalition to determinedly overpower the insurrectionary coercion and institute steady governments in Afghanistan and Iraq has changed regional security dynamics. Consequently, the probability of a different international military altercation with Iran to be led by the U.S. has been significantly declined.
The unrelenting combating in Afghanistan and Iraq and the deficiency of any patent way out tactics have allowed Iran to become more powerful and provided it a great deal of required breathing space. Undeniably, Iran feels stronger now than it has in decades. As Martin Indyk, a former US Ambassador to Israel, argues, Following a decade of being on the defensive, the regime in Tehran now feels that its moment has arrived. As a result, the Iranians have been more hostile in upholding their assertion for regional leadership. This incorporates a determined nuclear program.
This Iranian moment has been further reinforced by developments in Israel and Lebanon. Hamas triumphed over a free election in the West Bank and Gaza Strip and created a Palestinian government that has declined to acknowledge Israel and the agenda for peace sanctioned by the US and other modest Arab states. In Lebanon, Hezbollah, another ally of Iran, survived a 34-day war with Israel that expanded its popularity throughout the entire Arab world.
Nowadays, Iran is undeniably having the burning desire to resume a place among the powerful and respected nations of the world (Beeman, 2005). For Iran this is intrinsically connected with modernization and technological development. Iran is determined to achieve parity with the most prosperous nations on earth, but to do it entirely on its own terms and by all mans.
In an interview with Beeman by McCormack (2006), he pointed out however that Iran is no threat to the United States at all. The only way that the Iranians could probably threaten the U.S. would be in some variety of constraints of the oil supply. This is however unlikely to happen since Iran is entirely reliant on oil sales for its economy. As the U.S. loves to point out again and again, oil is fungible. The United States does not acquire its oil supply from Iran in any case, however if Iran were to sell all of its oil utterly to China, for instance, it would still translate into that much more oil on the world market.
Scores of analysts however, propose that guaranteeing that the Islamic Republic does not get hold of a nuclear weapon ought to be the focus of U.S. policy toward Iran. A fiasco in this endeavor, they advise, will not only amend the stability of forces in the region, but more portentously still, it will sound the death knell of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). Hence, it is becoming increasingly clear that the rhetoric the Bush Administration employed to justify its pre-emptive invasion of Iraq (a rogue nation in the hands of a tyrannical regime alleged of having possible ties to Al Qaeda and a history of supporting global terrorism and also suspected of secretly developing weapons of mass destruction, which pose an imminent risk to the security of the United States and its allies in the region) may have been better suited to Iraqs neighbor Iran (Aslan, 2005). Now, as Iraq tumbles toward autonomy, the Bush Administration is frantically shifting its attention to the seemingly graver threat posed by Iran. U.S. recent policies have tended to thwart Irans development of non-nuclear alternative energy sources.
It is clear from the latest NIE [National Intelligence Estimate] that the Iranian government has more to explain about its nuclear intentions and past actions, especially the covert nuclear weapons program pursued until the fall of 2003, which the Iranian regime has yet to acknowledge. The Iranians have a strategic choice to make. They can come clean with the international community about the scope of their nuclear activities and fully accept the longstanding offer to suspend their enrichment program and come to the table and negotiate, or they can continue on a path of isolation that is not in the best interest of the Iranian people. The choice is up to the Iranian regime. President Bush, Dec. 5, 2007
The outline of Bush current approach toward Iran is as follows (Embassy of US Belgium, (n.d):
According to some estimates, Iran is three to five years from developing the capability to produce nuclear weapons. Kenneth Pollack in his famous book The Persian Puzzle, an ambitious analysis of the past, present and future of U.S-Iran relations, he expressed his concern for a must immediate action to divert the focus of U.S. from Iraq to Iran saying: As the world squabbles over whether to wield the carrot or the stick with Tehran, Irans nuclear clock continues to tick, creating what he calls a problem from Hell.
Nevertheless, valid as these perils are, Millani, (2005) noted that the catastrophes of the European Union and the United States to build up a logical policy on the nuclear concern; the failure of the Iranian resistance to take on the regime sincerely in relation to the security as well as the real deliberate and economic costs and benefits of the nuclear program; and, lastly, the adventurism of China, Russia, North Korea, and Pakistan have resulted in an Islamic Republic which today discovers itself in a win-win-win position on the nuclear problem . Not any of the three existing policies on the table”going in conjunction with the EUs suggested negotiated conformity, a surgical clout on Irans nuclear facilities, or a grand bargain between the United States and Iran”will lead to conclusion to the regimes nuclear adventurism.
The Failure of U.S. Policy Towards Iran
Despite these stern policies toward Iran Sick (2000), however observed that while in some areas Irans behavior was more or less as it had been a few years ago, in certain areas, had worsened. He and his colleagues examined how Iran has responded to American policy until now and whether Irans behavior had changed in the areas that U.S. had expressed greatest concern about.
In particular, they believe that the rise in terrorism against the Middle East peace process that began in the fall of 1994 has some links to Iran, and is deeply disturbing to one of U.S. principal objectives, not only in the region, but worldwide: the achievement of a comprehensive peace between Israel and its neighbors. Moreover, they also saw the continuing and, in some ways, accelerating signs of Irans efforts to procure the materials and technology needed for a weapons-of-mass-destruction program.
According to Sick (2000) present U.S. policy fails to deter the behavior of Iran for the main reason that Economic sanctions are always problematic, as weve seen in the case of Iraq, where the entire international community is united. He explained that unilateral sanctions do not work.
The United States is a powerful country and arguably the sole superpower in the world. However, it cannot impose its will on Iran without the support of many other countries that maintain diplomatic and commercial relations with that country. At present, there are only two countries in the world that think the U.S. embargo strategy is a good idea: the United States and Israel. But not one of Irans major trading partners has indicated a willingness to join in this embargo.
Moreover, he added that one of the weaknesses U.S. policy is its disproportionality. He said that U.S. is in the process of adopting much more stringent sanctions against Iran than it has imposed against the Soviet Union, which was a real threat to U.S. national security, even at the height of the Cold War. To illustrate, he used Coca-Cola Company as an example. He explained, Against all odds, the company managed to reestablish itself in Iran some years ago. Local soft-drink producers in Iran were outraged. Many of them are owned by parasitic revolutionary so-called foundations. This, they said, was a reintroduction of the Great Satan into Iran.
He also emphasized that U.S. policy is also based on some false premises. US policies, he said, do make Irans life more difficult in many ways, but the notion that U.S. going to drive it into bankruptcy and thereby bring down the Islamic government is romantic and infantile pipe dreams. Finally, he commented that U.S. policy of demonizing Iran has affected the U.S. own credibility in a number of areas. For example, the State Department report on international terrorism in 1994 states that Iran is still the most active state sponsor of international terrorism. But if you read the report it is remarkably silent on evidence.
According to Bill (2006), there are cultural underpinnings in the politics that exist in the relationship of the two countries and why Iran consistently refuses to coordinate in the peace process initiated by U.S. First, the preponderance of Iranian people is exceptionally nationalistic. It craves for rapprochement with the U.S. and for a return to the international system. It does not akin to be a pariah state. It desires to intermingle. It yearns for becoming affluent. Hence, U.S could easily cause offense on this extremely nationalistic constituent of the population. Moreover, Iran is profoundly disenchanted in U.S. aggression, finding it gradually more perplexing. Second, this regime deems that America, joining forces with Israel, is undoubtedly hegemonic in its aspirations. The Iranian regime considers dreadfully susceptible and supposes that the peril is from U.S..
When it reflects in terms of arming itself, it is roughly wretched. Iran can not gravely imagine in terms of dissuading U.S. if the latter procure it on directly. It can only assume in terms of discouraging U.S. pawns, as they perceive it, which may show aggression to them. Finally, Iran does not see itself as sustaining terrorism. Rather, it sees itself as underneath regimes that are struggling for their lives or for the return of their property, of their territory. And its a genuine conviction. They are baffled, again, by U.S. portraying all of this as support for terrorism.
Hence, one can surely presuppose that there is, as Dick Cottam also mentioned, asymmetry in the peace process. The United States has loads of other stuffs it is concerned with, has a supreme position in the world that Iran can not unswervingly contend with. Iran almost certainly identifies itself as in various ways destitute in the two-pronged relationship, such as it is. That definitely something that will be intricate for them to prevail over.
. Meise (2007) briefly gave Irans rationale for opposing the peace process. He argues that the U.S.has misconstrued the intentions of Iran. A great deal even is that, it has misread indispensable basic vogues in Iran, the largest part of which are complimentary to the objectives U.S., and is captivating measures that are probable to invalidate those vogues. The most awful case in his analysis is for American policy eventually is the possibility that it could infuriate Iranian nationalists that they will turn out to be as antagonistic to the United States as Iranian nationalists were under the shahs regime
Thus, Iran contends that: first, the divergence between the Arabs and Israeli is perceptibly to be exceedingly lop-sided, and that irregularity in Israels favor is waning. The emergence of foremost widespread movements is the ground for this observation. In particular, Hezbollah and the Intifada have enhanced the general power portrait in the relationship between Israel and the Palestinians. Hence this is the mistaken instance for peace negotiations given this positive inclination. Second, Israels protector, a country that pledges the Israelis perpetual pre-eminence in conducting affairs with the Arabs is directing the negotiations.
This in return, supplements to the unevenness. Consequently, this is not a set-up that the Iranians suppose they would akin to partake in. Third, there has been no endeavor in this key movement to deal overtly with Islamic spokesmen in a course of action that influences their lives extremely. This gives the impression that this hefty and fundamental lobby group is to be overlooked. Irans position, therefore, Meise believes is precisely similar as the stance of resurgent Islam in all places and it is not one they can just bargain away. They deem that even if there is a motion between Israel and the Palestinians, it will not end, since too much of the population has been ignored in the process.
Simultaneously, if we come across in terms of man hours used up on negotiation, Iran is disbursing enormously diminutive attempt in being indifferent to the process. Syrian president Hafiz al dramatically express that because of the little effort that Iran gives, it has, in consequence, if one makes an agreement with the Israelis, Iran will think it is a mistake, but it will go along with that agreement.
Moreover, Meise accepts as true that the United States has not critically attended to the predicament of Iran, the Arab states and several other countries in the world on this matter. There are lots of states that consider they may perhaps sooner or later be given a nuclear ultimatum with no likelihood of prop up from another nuclear power.
In the Middle East, the nuclear power that they anticipate the ultimatum from is Israel. And not a soul in that locale thinks for single second that the U.S. or any other nuclear power would assist them if Israel were to release such an ultimatum. As a result, in view of the fact that they assume this is a levelheaded state of affairs, they are going to endeavor to secure themselves in opposition to it. Nonetheless, they have geared up very, very minute in that bearing to this point.
The Israel Lobby Group
. The Israel lobby in the United States is composed of various groups which attempt to influence American foreign policy in support of Israel and its policies. The Israeli (or pro-Israel) lobby is composed of formal and informal components (Bard, 2006). These components tend to intersect at several points so the distinction is not always clear-cut. The informal lobby isthe indirect means through which Jewish voting behavior and American public opinion influence U.S. Middle East policy while the formal lobby is consists of organized lobby groups, political action committees, think tanks and media watchdog groups.
John Mearsheimer and Steve Walt in their published article The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy in The London Review of Books (2006) argued mainly that the unconditional U.S. support for the Israeli government has harmed U.S. interests in the Middle East and that American organizations allied with the Israeli government have been the primary influence regarding the orientation of U.S. Middle East policy. According to them, at the contemporary Israel lobby is dominated by a number of right-leaning organizations.
They claim that the tone of the right-leaning component of the Israel lobby results from the influence of the leaders of the two top lobby groups: American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), and the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations. They go on to list, as right-leaning think tanks associated with the lobby, the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, the American Enterprise Institute, and the Hudson Institute.They also claim that the media watchdog group Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America is part of the right-wing component of the lobby.
A number of scholars, Zunes (2007) pointed out has emerged to insist that it was not oil interests, military contractors, ideological imperialists, and related powerful sectors of Americas ruling class who were responsible for the U.S. invasion of Iraq and other tragic manifestations of U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East, but was instead the responsibility of a rich cabal of Jews who manipulated the Bush administration to engage in policies it would not have otherwise supported.
If the U.S. maintained no amiable relationship with Iran, the situation is exactly opposite with U.S. dealings with the Israel. In fact, Al Gore (1994) lamented We have deepened and strengthened our relationship to the point where it is probably the closest that we have with any of our friends and allies anywhere in the world . . . We support Israel because it is our major democratic ally with strategic and ideological and cultural ties that grow stronger each year . . . As we work to achieve the goal of peace in the Middle East, we are guided by the fundamental principle which forms the basis for the peace process: our absolute commitment to Israels security and to close U.S.-Israel relations. . . . The security of Israel is important to us, and we make no bones about it. . . . The U.S. stands by Israel in an unshakable partnership for peace.
Furthermore, Secretary of State Warren Christopher in 1993 exclaimed that the relationship between the United States and Israel is a special relationship for special reasons; it is based upon shared interests, shared values, and a shared commitment to democracy, pluralism and respect for the individual.
As a consequence of this friendly relationship between the U.S. and Israel, it is commonly acknowledged that lobbies play a large role in shaping policy and that the pro-Israel lobby enjoys a near-monopoly on U.S. foreign policy formulations (Talhami, 2006). The issue of lobbies per se has been a subject of debate as of late since they enjoy an inordinate degree of eminence in this country. This contrasts sharply with the minimal role that political lobbies play in other Western democracies. Only in this presidential democracy are lobbies able to marshal votes and monetary resources in the game of influencing policy makers.
No one, for instance, questions the power of the pro-Israel lobby in this country, which has been described as the most potent influence on foreign policy since the demise of that of the Nationalist Republic of China. The subject of several studies in the past, such as Edward N. Tivnans The Lobby: Jewish Political Power and American Foreign Policy (1987), the pro-Israel lobby has an established reputation for being an effective king-maker. It has also been credited with the making and unmaking of several political careers.
Aruri (1997) beforehand, stated its observation that United States policy in the Middle East during the past half century has been the subject of conflicting interpretations. It has been described as a non-policy, a policy without vision, a policy by increments, sorely lacking an over-arching principle, conceptual framework or long-range strategic planning (Rubenburg, 1986). It has also been described as a policy dictated by the U.S. pro-Israel lobby and by Israel itself, hence the impressive continuity which the policy has exhibited and continues to exhibit since the beginning of the Cold War.:
Under the heading, Production Aspects: Lobby Techniques and Finances, Terry substantiated Aruris argument by presenting a thoroughly professional assessment of lobbies in the U.S., particularly those which bear on Middle East policies. She describes and analyzes the seminal role played by the AIPAC in influencing Mid-East policy. From its publications, such as Facts and Myths, and Near East Report, which are regularly fed to influential policy-makers, to its mobilization of the Jewish American voter at election time, to its saturation campaigns targeting legislators via letter, telephone and fax machine, AIPAC stands out among the rest of the lobbies as the most effective special interest groups around.
This picture is contrasted with the weakness or sheer absence of Arab lobbies. Pro-Israel views, she observes, are often transmitted to American presidents through direct contact by personal friends or prominent figures. Here she cites Trumans friend Eddie Jacobson and Fords warm relationship with Max Fisher, a Michigan businessman and effective fund-raiser for the Republican Party. Terry observes that no Arab American personality has ever risen to such a rank in recent American history. Neither has there ever been such Arab-American interest in pushing the Palestinian cause on elected officials. She also describes political philanthropy as an old Zionist practice in this country and a relatively recent endeavor for Arabs and Arab-American groups.
In summary, this is a well-rounded and factual treatment of a very crucial aspect of U.S. foreign policy making. Indeed, one could make the claim that no understanding of American foreign-policy decision making is possible without understanding the role of lobbies and interest groups. Terry in his book goes beyond these bounds by also examining the culture which spawns such anti-Muslim and anti-Arab views and facilitates the influence of the pro-Israel lobby. The success of the pro-Israel lobby according to her can also be the result of the general ignorance of the American public regarding Middle Eastern people and their legitimate aspirations.
Terry is also very candid about the failures of any Arab lobbying effort and the sheer absence of credible Arab voices in Washington. By juxtaposing the description of the pro-Israel lobby and its effective power with the visible weakness of Arab lobbying efforts and influence, Terry has succeeded in driving home a very important point, namely that the absence of one kind of influence opens room for manipulation by the other.
Over the years, scholars sought to answer the puzzling question on what happened to the two countries the U.S. and Iran that were once good friends and shared common interest. Starting from the skirmishes that occurred in 1979, the cordial dealing of the two countries turned out to become hostile with one another.
In explaining the relationship that now exists between the two, realism could perhaps best describe it. It holds, that at a minimum, states seek their own preservation and, at a maximum, drive for universal domination. Only after survival is assured, can they afford to seek other goals, including idealistic ones. As a result, states act, first and foremost, to maximize their security.
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