2009-06-28

An Asian news perspective on Iran

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by Neil Godfrey

In Asia Tims Online, US misunderstanding on Iran lingers By Ali Gharib:

Some extracts:

But much of the attention in Washington and elsewhere in the US is often misplaced, misguided, or completely detached from the realities currently embroiling Iran in its most significant crisis since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

US experts with firsthand knowledge of Iran grew older and their knowledge grew more obsolete. . . . . “We have a whole generation of foreign service officers who didn’t learn Farsi.”

“I was the point person on Iran from 2005 to 2008, and I never once met an Iranian official,”

Many pundits and politicians in the US view the current crisis as an opportunity to instigate a regime change in Iran, projecting their own aspirations on those of the demonstrators . . . . .

. . . . no credible evidence has emerged to suggest that the protest movement as whole endorses an overthrow of the system.

Undeterred by those realities, or perhaps unaware of the dynamics, US commentators continue to present the protesters as opposed to the system of the Islamic Republic.

the battle being waged in Iran is between two factions within the regime. Even Mousavi’s faction, . . . does not necessarily want to install a democracy in the Western sense.

“The neo-cons know nothing about Iran, nothing about the culture of Iran, . . . They have no interest in understanding Iran, in speaking to any Iranian other than Iranian exiles who support the idea of invasions

“There are people who . . . were worried, as some wrote in op-eds, that Mousavi would be a distraction and would make it easier to Iranians to build a nuclear weapon. And now all a sudden they want to be on his side? Go away.”

(Inter Press Service)

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