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“U.S. diplomacy with Tehran will only work if it is based on the same foundations as America’s opening to China in the early 1970s: acceptance of the other nation as an enduring entity with legitimate interests and pursuit of real rapprochement through the reciprocal accommodation of each side’s core interests. This is something no U.S. president, even Barack Obama, has been prepared to do—which is why the Obama administration still cannot face reality on enrichment. Such an approach is impossible so long as Washington demands surrender or indulges fantasies of remaking the Islamic Republic into something more palatable to U.S. constituencies. ”—Flynt Leverett and Hillary Mann Leverett, “The Soft Side of Regime Change: Trita Parsi’s A Single Roll of the Dice.”
“...three and a half years after George W. Bush left office, his successor continues to insist that Iran surrender to Washington’s diktats or face attack. By doing so, Obama is locking America into a path that is increasingly likely to result in yet another U.S.-initiated war in the Middle East during the first years of the next presidential term. And the damage that war against Iran will inflict on America’s strategic position could make the Iraq debacle look trivial by comparison. ”—Hillary Mann Leverett and Flynt Leverett
There Is No Reason to Take Flynt or Hillary Mann Leverett Seriously
Roya Hakakian explains:
Flynt Leverett and Hillary Mann Leverett’s “Going to Tehran: Why the United States Must Come to Terms With the Islamic Republic of Iran” is a long and elaborate promotional brochure designed to sell Americans on the mullahs and their nuclear program. The husband-and-wife authors both served in government, including stints on the National Security Council staff, before emerging as two of Washington’s most outspoken defenders of the Tehran regime. Their basic premise is that America’s foremost concern today must be energy security, and thus, given that Iran is one of the world’s biggest suppliers of oil, the U.S. must normalize relations. President Barack Obama, they argue, should take a page from Richard Nixon’s book and go to Tehran.
The authors dismiss as lies or misunderstandings everything that would get in the way of such a trip: the mullahs’ congenital hostility toward the U.S., their eliminationist rhetoric toward Israel, their illicit nuclear ambitions and terrorist activities, their brutality toward Iran’s women, minorities and dissidents—it’s all America’s fault, anyway.
America’s original sin, according to the authors, was the CIA-aided 1953 coup that dislodged Mohammad Mossadegh, the “democratically elected” prime minister of Iran’s constitutional monarchy, and returned the shah to power. If you are wondering how an evil monarch would allow his prime minister to be democratically elected, you aren’t alone. Unfortunately the truth—that Mossadegh was appointed by the shah—doesn’t supply the requisite dose of tragedy for the anti-American narrative. The coup, say the Leveretts, outraged a patriotic ayatollah named Ruhollah Khomeini, who, motivated by “the underlying principles of justice” and “equality among peoples and nations,” set out years later to depose the shah and restore Iranian sovereignty.
But American treachery didn’t end after Khomeini’s victory in the 1979 revolution, write the authors. Rather, the U.S. was continually plotting to depose him, and when the shah was admitted to America for medical treatment in October 1979, the revolutionaries just had to seize the U.S. Embassy in Tehran. The Iranian regime, as the authors see it, is the most innocent of international actors.
What about Iranian terror? “The most comprehensive, data-based study of suicide terrorism carried out to date determined that there has never been an Iranian suicide bomber,” claim the authors.
How about the regime’s anti-Semitism? Surely the authors ran across the New York Times report from an antidrug conference in Tehran last June, at which the Iranian vice president claimed that the Talmud teaches its students to “destroy everyone who opposes the Jews.” The Leveretts aren’t concerned: “The Islamic Republic, while anti-Zionist, is not anti-Semitic, as manifested in its treatment of Iran’s Jewish community.”
Read the whole thing, which is an utter demolition.