Term Paper: Iran U.S. Relations

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U.S. Iran Relations

and Iran relations have not been friendly since the fall of Shah's government. The realtions between the two countries has almost acquired a satus of conflict that the war with Iran is considered an option for the U.S. Diplomatic efforts are underway but in the light of current circumstances would the situation be resolved diplomatically by the two countries?

Good relations between Iran and the U.S. can be traced back to the eighteenth century when the two countries established their diplomatic relations formally. The realtions remained cordial till the Iranian revolution in 1979 when Ayatollah Khomeni became Iran's spiritual leader. Ever since Iran's relation with the U.S. soured and came to almost a conflict situation wehen Clinton administration imposed snctions on Iran. Hardliner in Iran also became strict on their point-of-view for favoring U.S. In any way. The situation improved with the election of reformist president Khatami.

The situation did not improve as U.S. accused Iran of nuclear ambitions, anit-Israel policies and support for terrorist activities while Iran have its own reservations / " Iran's grievances toward the U.S. include CIA involvement in the 1953 overthrow of Iran's democratically elected government; U.S. active support for Iraq in the first Gulf war; the 1988 shooting down of an Iranian civilian airliner by the U.S.S. Vincennes that killed more than 300 people; failure to appreciate Iran's neutrality during the second Gulf war; U.S. opposition to an oil line through Iran for Caspian oil; and Washington's allocation of funds for the overthrow of the current government in Tehran. U.S. resentments are the 1980 hostage crisis; Iranian support for Hezbollah in Lebanon, including the suicide bombing of the U.S. Marine barracks; suspected involvement in the bombing of the Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia; flag-burning and anti-U.S. slogans by crowds of demonstrators; covert efforts to develop weapons of mass destruction; human rights violations against ethnic minorities, women, and critics of the regime; and opposition to the Oslo peace process, along with support for Hamas and Islamic Jihad" (Adas 2002).

Post 9/11 Scenario

9/11 changed the world poltics in many ways. It also resulted in a period of co-operstion between Iran and the U.S. The realtion between the countries definietly moved in a better direction after the fall of Shah's government. When U.S. wanted ti invade Afghanistan it needed Iran;s support. Iran agreed to lend support to U.S. because theyt also did not see Taliban favorably and also because U.S. position supported unanimously by its allies was strong. Before 9/11 any atempts by any government to contact U.S. In any way was snubbed by the religious body of the country. Iran not only criticised the 9/11 attackas but also showed synpathy for the loss of lives which is in contrast with the way 'Death to America' slogan is used at Friday prayers in Iran. Before U.S. went to invade Afghanistan the diplomats of both the countries met several times in Geneva. Th offical alsomet wehen efforts were underway to set up a new representative government in Afghanistan.

Axis of Evil

The situation that became rather conciliatory beteen the U.S. And Iran, got back to the normal conflict situation when president Bush included Iran in his axis of evil speech along with North Korea and Iraq, warning that the proliferation of long-range missiles developed by these countries pose serious threats for the world and peace. Iran's religious right and harld line elements that became rather less apprehensive of U.S. intention now were back with their usual position. Some even say that sofenting in their stance never meant that they trusted the U.S.

Nuclear Ambitions

Now Iran's nuclear ambitions are considered the ultimate hurdle in the U.S. And Iran resumption of dialogue. Whenever pushed by elemnts like United Nations U.S. fails to agree to sit directly for the dialogue saying that Iran will not make concrete decisions and will employ the tactics of delaying the whole issue. The hope is seen in the support of U.S. when other parties like Russia and Europeans make a dialogue with Iran. Such efforts for dialogue and reaching as loution have so far failed to bring any positive results and so U.S. doubts the sincerity on part of Iran regarding their ambition of acquiring nuclear weapon. U.S. And Iran have not seen each other face-to-face diplomatically ever since the culmination of ther relations 26 years ago.

Involvement in Iraq

Blame has been made by the U.S. that the current turmoil in Iraq is mostly created by those coming from outside the country. Different elements are supporting such actions as it has been witnessed that those captured recently by the Iraqi or coalition forces have been non-Iraqis. For the current insurgency many put the blame on foreign financiers, jihadis and even the governments of Syria and Iran. Iranian governement in particular has bben accused of providing miltary arsenal for the sabtoge in Iraq. Iraqi Shia milltants have had supposed support of directly the Iranian government making the conflict in Iraq hard to handle for the U.S.

Move Towards a War

The situation changed when Hizbullah defeated Israel in Lebanon. With Hizbullah's support in Iran and its success in Lebanon, Ahmedinejad passed some statements in which he rejected UN sanction with a defiance and arrogance. The situation in Iraq got worsened in the form of Sectarian conflict which many believe are fuleed by Iran. Israel on the hand also became skeptic of U.S. stance specially after Bush's defeat in med term elections. All such circumstances led America to prepare for an offensive operation on Iran. " the Pentagon does have contingency plans for all-out war with Iran, on which Bush was briefed last summer. The targets would include Iran's air defense systems, its nuclear and chemical weapons faciilities, ballistic missile sites, naval and Revolutionary Guard bases in the Gulf, and intelligence headquarters. But generals are convinced that no amount of firepower could do more than delay Tehran's nuclear program" (Hirsh & Bahari 2007).

Opposition Within the Country

Iranian president Ahmedinejad and his government is not only facing immense political and diplomatic pressure internationally but it is also having its homegrown problems. The current government isfacing opposition due to the econmic problems that have cropped due to Tehran's decisions to continue its nuclear policy. "Last summer some 50 Iranian economists worte hima letter decrying his policies, which have frozen investment and precipitated a 26% drop in the value of the Tehran stock market. In January some of the President's formeer allies formed a faction to oppose him.' The parliament today is at the point of explosion' says Mohammed Atrianfar, a Rafsanjani adviser.'the volume of criticsm emanating out is unprecedented in the last century of Iranian politics'"(Macleod 2007).

Apart from opposition and criticsm Ahmedinejad terms with the relgious body of Iran in the holy city of Qum. The country's spiritual leaders have also been offended by his policies and statements. He has talked about certain religious beliefs that have garnered serious critism from the Ayatollahs, the country's spiritual leaders. The comments have also been made about handling of the threat of UN sanctions that could result in serious and negative economic impact on the country.

The change in Iran's stance is supported by arguments by its diplomats on differeent forums. Iran's embassador to the UN, Javad Zarif, for example has given very encouraging statements with regard to the flexibility in government's policies. To counter the skepticsm that if allowed Iran would use its civilan program secretively to build nuclear weapons. U.S. is admant that Iran should stoip all sorts of uranium enrichment. Zarif countered such skepticsm with his plans that its enrichment palnts could be jointly owned by international consortium. "An agreement could have other agreements the U.S. would want. 'You can put in a legal agreement that Iran could not withdraw from… [END OF PREVIEW]

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