That's the part where the U.S. denounces Iran's treatment of the imprisoned Iranian Americans on the basis of their work to promote "understanding" between their two countries. Scholars Haleh Esfandiari and Kian Tajbakhsh, says the document, "have labored for years to build bridges of understanding between our two countries; their efforts should be recognized as a benefit to both our nations."
Let's get this straight... For approximately 30 years, the United States has sanctioned, insulted, demonized, slandered, and even murdered Iranians. They have successfully dispensed an utterly one-sided narrative of U.S.-Iran relations before the world, while totally burying news of their own crimes against Iran, such as that coup, or the 290 innocent souls who were killed by the U.S. in a brazen act of terrorism in 1988. America has done everything humanly possible to avoid diplomacy, talks and negotiation with the country it has included in its "Axis of Evil", even spurning a conciliatory 2003 offer from Iran which offered negotiations over all outstanding points of contention.
Now, Iran is being condemned for inhibiting bridge-building and understanding between the two cultures? That's sheer lunacy. The Islamic Republic's own former President, Mohammad Khatami, was the one who crafted the "Dialogue Among Civilizations" theory enacted by the United Nations in 2001. Iran's current President has written several letters addressed to President Bush and to the American people expressing an "urgent" need for dialogue, all of which have been ignored. Ahmadinejad and Khatami have both visited the United States and conducted numerous interviews with American journalists (how many American officials have done the same?). To condemn Iran of sabotaging dialogue is not only patently false, but also acknowledges the profound wisdom of understanding and communication, rather than sanctions, threats, and aggression, in resolving differences. That means dialogue, mutual respect, fairness, and getting at the root of the story. It is a story that began not in 1979, but in 1953.
If one were to choose one thing to enlighten Americans about Iran, just one thing above everything else, it would be the tragic account of what happened to Iran's young democracy in 1953. Until that story is told, there can be no "dialogue among civilizations."
Sean McCormack, Spokesman
July 17, 2007
Iran Unjustly Parades American Citizens
The United States is appalled at the mistreatment of Americans Haleh Esfandiari of the Wilson Center, Kian Tajbakhsh of the Open Society Institute, and Ali Shakeri of University of California at Irvine’s Center for Citizens Peacebuilding, all currently imprisoned in the notorious Evin prison, and Parnaz Azima of Radio Farda, prevented by authorities from departing Iran.We are outraged that the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran would parade two of these American citizens on state-run television on July 16, showing Dr. Esfandiari and Mr. Tajbakhsh apparently reading statements made under duress.
These two individuals have labored for years to build bridges of understanding between our two countries; their efforts should be recognized as a benefit to both our nations. We call upon Supreme Leader Ali Hosseini Khamenei to treat these people with the respect they deserve, to put an end to any further broadcasts, and to release all Americans currently being held on groundless charges. We also call on Iranian authorities to provide the U.S. with information regarding the whereabouts of Robert Levinson.