U.S. sent envoy to Geneva talks to avoid pressure: Chomsky

July 29, 2008 - 0:0

TEHRAN - There are some speculations on prospects of Iran-U.S. relations. Washington sent its senior diplomat William Burns to Geneva talks on July 19 to join European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana and envoys from China, Russia, Britain, France and Germany.

Burns had said that he would be a listener in the meeting. Some analysts believed that his presence was a kind of diplomatic quibble. They believe this is a sign of shift in U.S. policy on Iran.
However, the influential American philosopher and author, Noam Chomsky, has a different view.
“I do not think the difference between participation and listening is a diplomatic quibble,” Chomsky told the Mehr News Agency in a recent interview.
“The Bush administration is under severe international and domestic pressure to rein in its radical extremism, which has led to catastrophes everywhere, and might bring about even worse ones” the American lecturer noted.
“Sending a non-participant observer is a way to avoid negotiations and diplomacy while trying to fend off criticism,” Chomsky commented.
Washington has signaled it is ready to open a diplomatic mission in Tehran for the first time since the 1979 Islamic revolution.
Chomsky said the U.S. may use the diplomatic outpost to undermine the Islamic Republic’s government under the pretext of defending human rights.
“Setting up a diplomatic office is pretty much the same, I think. The office can also be used for subversion under the pretext of protecting human rights, as in Cuba”.
“Nonetheless, I think these steps should be encouraged, though without illusions. The American population, by a large majority, opposes threats against Iran and favors diplomacy. These small steps can perhaps open the way towards bringing the government towards public opinion,” Chomsky added