Omid Memarian

Saturday, September 20, 2008

POLITICS: Iranians Hope for Temperate President at the U.N.
By Omid Memarian
(This piece was published in IPS News Agency and reprinted on Asia Times)

BERKELEY, California, Sep18 (IPS) - When Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad attends the 63rd session of the General Assembly next week in New York, many Iranian academics and political activists hope he will avoid the kinds of controversial statements that have hurt Iran's international image since he was elected to the office in 2005.

In his third visit to U.N. headquarters in the United States, Ahmadinejad will address heads of state from around the world amid objections from human rights organisations and at least one pro-Israel rally that is scheduled to take place in front of the U.N. building.

Ahmadinejad's controversial remarks about Israel and description of the Holocaust by Nazi Germany as a "myth" have provoked a tremendous backlash by the international community during the past three years.

Asked what Iranians expect their president to say, and not to say, at the United Nations, Sadegh Zibakalam, a political science professor at the University of Tehran, told IPS in a telephone interview that he should avoid discussion of the Arab-Israeli conflict and especially the Holocaust.

"He mustn't discuss the Holocaust issue. He must refrain from discussing Israel's annihilation and its leaders' demise," Zibakalam said.

"He should not discuss Iran's eventual victory over the United States and its attempts to teach humanity a lesson -- he must seriously stay away from this type of rhetoric," said Zibakalam.

"He must move towards language through which he can demonstrate the Iranian people's respect for Americans and their elected leaders, respecting whomever will be the elected president of the U.S., whether Democrat or Republican, demonstrating [Iran's] willingness to seriously negotiate about Iran's regional and nuclear issues with the next president," he added.

Pres. Ahmadinejad has repeatedly said that he is willing to talk to the United States and other nations. However, his aggressive tone and Iran's dismissal of a series of U.N. Security Council resolutions against its nuclear programme, coupled with Washington's repeated accusations of meddling in Iraq, have sent a somewhat different message.

"He has announced on numerous occasions his desire to negotiate or to reach a resolution through negotiations," Ali Mazroui, a former member of Iran's Parliament, told IPS. "His rhetoric and his actions, however, have fallen short of providing assurances [to those countries], enlisting their response."

"There is a kind of contradiction between Mr. Ahmadinejad's verbal and actual policies. I have no hope for any kind of change regarding new avenues for Iran during this trip," added Mazroui.

Regarding plans by human rights and Jewish groups to stage news conferences to protest the situation of human rights in Iran and Ahmadinejad's speeches against Israel, Dr. Elaheh Koulaee, also a former parliamentarian and now a professor at the University of Tehran, told IPS that the determining factor in international politics has always been the consensus among powerful countries of the world.

"Street protests and civil society activities have not been terribly influential in Iran-U.S. relations," she said. "Therefore if Iran and the U.S. use opportunities available to them to discuss their needs within the framework of their interests, I doubt these types of protests will affect those dialogues."

Last month, Esfandiar Rahim Mashaie, Iran's vice president, said that Iran is "friends of all people in the world -- even Israelis." His remarks were widely denounced by Iran's hardliner establishment. Mashaie later claimed that his comments were misrepresented and clarified that that no one inside Iran recognises the Zionist regime. Surprisingly, the president has resisted intense pressure from the Parliament and some of the hardliner Ayatollahs and has not yet commented on the controversy.

The Islamic Republic has never recognised the state of Israel, and it remains unclear whether Mashaie's remarks and Ahmadinejad's silence denote a policy shift, or whether it was simply a gaffe.

"[Ahmadinejad] has said things in international circles which have led those countries to assume a negative position vis-a-vis Iran, as opposed to improving our relations with them. For example, what he said about Israel and Holocaust and the tensions he created on international and regional political levels," said Mazroui. "I think none of these discussions can help Iran."

Hooshang Amirahmadi, president of the American Iranian Council and a professor at Rutgers University, told IPS that the Iranian people are wary of war and have been badly hurt by years of sanctions.

"They want nothing more than peace and are yearning for prosperity. U.S.-Iran relations have been their key concern for years and at present over 90 percent of Iranians, including those in the government, want the relations normalised and quickly."

Amirahmadi, who is going to meet the Iranian delegation during their time in New York, has traveled to Iran several times during the past six months and has visited with President Ahmadinejad. He believes that the majority of the Iranian people want their president use the opportunity of his presence on U.S. soil to build goodwill with the U.S. people and government.

"This means that they do not want Pres. Ahmadinejad to use words and terminologies that will be annoying to his host," said Amirahmadi. "More importantly, they want the president speak of the Americans very highly and with utmost respect."

"I think Mr. Ahmadinejad should also use the opportunity to mend relations with a key player in U.S.-Iran relations, namely Israel," he added. "Here is an opportunity for him to reinforce the view expressed by one of his VPs that Iran is a friend of the Israeli people and that Iran consider the Jewish people as friends of Iran, though there are those in that community who are inimical toward the Islamic Republic."

However, it appears unlikely that this will come to pass. At a press conference in Tehran this week, Ahmadinejad repeated his assertion that the Holocaust was a "fake" and said the Jewish state would not survive in any form.


At 10:06 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Omid;
when are you going to meet your master (Ahmadi nejad) these days? I read you (aparently) neutral essay about him. but he expect moer from you. beside he is waiting for you to sahave his ass and a warm kiss..!
by the way I saw you said about your fight! (wikipedia) which one you mean the fight against poor iranian people or agaainst you dirty mind to be famous journalist?

At 7:32 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

جوانان ایران به جهانیان فریاد می زنند که:
اسلام یک دین اهریمنی است.
ما فهمیده ایم که محمد رسول الله یک دین اهریمنی و یک فرهنگ اهریمنی خلق کرده و مادر و دخترانش فاحشه بوده.
اکنون محمد رسول الله در جهنم است.
Iranian young people shout to all world peoples: Islam is a Satanic religion.We understand, "Mohammed messenger of Allah" has created a satanic religion and he has created a savagery culture .his mother was prostitute, and his girl was prostitute. Now "Mohammed messenger of Allah" is in the Hell.
صيحه الشباب الإيراني إلى جميع شعوب العالم : الاسلام هو الدين شيطانيه. ونحن نفهم ، "محمد رسول الله" قد اوجد شيطانيه الدين وقال انه قد أوجد ثقافة وحشية. والدته كانت عاهره ، وكان له فتاة عاهره. الان "محمد رسول الله" هو في الجحيم.
Ирански младежи Да за всички народи светът: Ислямът е религия сатанински. Ние разбираме, "Мохамед месинджър на Аллах" е създала в сатанински религия, а той е създал savagery култура. майка му е била проститутка, а момичето си е проститутка. Сега "Мохамед месинджър на Аллах" е в ада.
Translation: English » Chinese
伊朗的年轻人喊向所有世界人民:伊斯兰是一个撒旦的宗教。 据我们了解, “穆罕默德真主使者”创造了撒旦的宗教和他创造了一个野蛮的文化。 他的母亲是妓女,和他的女童被妓女。 现在“穆罕默德真主使者”是在地狱。
Translation: English » Chinese (Traditional)
伊朗的年輕人喊向所有世界人民:伊斯蘭是一個撒旦的宗教。 據我們了解, “穆罕默德真主使者”創造了撒旦的宗教和他創造了一個野蠻的文化。 他的母親是妓女,和他的女童被妓女。 現在“穆罕默德真主使者”是在地獄。
Translation: English » Croatian
Iranska mladih ljudi vikati na svim narodima svijeta: Islam je religija Satanic. Razumijemo, "Mohammed glasnik Allah" je stvorio satanic religije i on je stvorio savagery kulture. njegova majka bila prostitutka, i njegova djevojka je bila prostitutka. Sada "Mohammed glasnik Allah" je u Hell.

Translation: English » Czech

Íránský mladé lidi křičet, aby všechny národy světa: Islám je Satanské náboženství. Chápeme, "Mohammed posel Allah" vytvořila ďábelský náboženství a on vytvořil divokost kultury. Jeho matka byla prostitutka, a jeho dívka byla prostitutka. Nyní "Mohammed posel Alláh" je v pekle.

Translation: English » Danish

Iranske unge råbe til alle verdens folkeslag: Islam er en Sataniske religion. Vi kan forstå, "Mohammed budbringer af Allah" har lavet en sataniske religion, og han har skabt en grusomhed kultur. hans mor var prostitueret, og hans pige var prostitueret. Now "Mohammed budbringer af Allah" er i Helvede.

Translation: English » Dutch

Iraanse jongeren schreeuwen om alle volkeren ter wereld: de islam is een religie Satanic. We begrijpen, "Mohammed boodschapper van Allah" heeft een satanische religie en hij heeft een barbarij cultuur. zijn moeder was prostituee, en zijn meisje was prostituee. Nu "Mohammed boodschapper van Allah" is in de hel

this is posted from Iran

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