Ayatollah Threatens Iran’s Best Hope For Peace
By James Donahue
Iran’s supreme leader, the Ayatollah
Ali Khamenei has accused newly elected U.S. President Barack Obama of showing that he is not willing to make change in Middle
Eastern affairs because he is following the same pro-Israeli path that former President George W. Bush maintained.
The Ayatollah, who apparently has the final
say on all state matters in Iran, has indicated that attempts by the Obama Administration to open dialogue with Iran and settle
disagreements on issues like Iran’s nuclear program and terrorism, cannot be achieved as long as Mr. Obama continues
to support Israel.
“The new U.S. president, who came to
office on the slogan of bringing change in the policies of the Bush administration, speaks of unconditional commitment to
defend Israel’s security,” the religious leader said at a conference in Tehran. “This means the same wrong
path as the Bush administration and nothing less,” he said.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has
indicated that Iran would welcome talks with the United States, but has asked for “mutual respect” when representatives
come to the table. He said he wants the United States to stop accusing his country of building nuclear weapons and supporting
terrorism in the region, which Tehran has denied.
We understand the distrust expressed by the
Iranian leadership. The United States has had a very bad track record in its dealings with Middle East nations for a very
long time, and the actions by George W. Bush was like taking a sledge hammer to any chance for improved relations anywhere.
On two different occasions, Mr. Ahmadinejad came to New York to speak before the opening assembly of the United Nations. On
both visits, he extended a hand of friendship, inviting a face-to-face meeting with Mr. Bush. Both times he was snubbed.
Bush passed up two golden moments in which
America might have opened important dialogue with that ancient Persian nation, and perhaps made it possible for diplomats
to travel to Iran and see with their own eyes just what kind of nuclear research has been occurring there. His refusal to
meet face-to-face with Mr. Ahmadinejad, even though both men were in the same building on the same day, was considered an
insult by the Iranians.
It is true that the Obama Administration
is carrying on with America’s long-standing support of Israel. But there also appears to be an effort to give other
Middle Eastern nations a fair hand of diplomacy as well.
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton
is in Israel this week, working hard to broker a workable peace agreement between the Israelis and Palestinians. The plan,
as outlined by former President Jimmy Carter, calls for dividing the area into two distinct countries. It is an unstable situation
because Israel is in the process of forming a new government under the leadership of former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
And Netanyahu does not appear to support the Carter plan.
We all know this will be a hard nut to crack.
The ongoing conflict between the Israeli and Palestinian people has perplexed world leaders for as long as anybody can remember.
The administration also has opened dialogue
with Syria, is starting the slow process of shutting down the Bush war in Iraq, and has asked Russia to help open the door
to more friendly relations with Iran.
President Obama is not close-minded to the
Moslem mind. His father was Moslem although he was raised by his grandparents in the Christian faith. He has demonstrated
his sincere desire to go out of his way to avoid conflict in his dealings with the House and Senate, and is quickly reaching
out to all world nations with this same gesture of an open hand of friendship.
The Iranian leadership would do well to take
advantage of this era of change that is truly sweeping America and consequently the world. The sooner we all get on the same
page, the sooner we can join forces to battle the real enemies, which are the economic collapse, climate change, overpopulation,
and a shortage of enough food, water, energy and clean air for everybody.