Rapprochement With U.S. Subject to Accepting Iran's Conditions, Mutual Respect-FOCUS

January 7, 1998 - 0:0
TEHRAN In the course of an opinion poll conducted by the Tehran Times on President Khatami's address to American people, more Iranians voiced a cautious approach in dealing with the U.S. Administration. An official of Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Mines (ICCIM) Asadullah Askarowladi told the Tehran Times that the biggest problem with the United States is that it works for the interest of the racist Zionists. Askarowladi, 60, said, Israel will never get support of Washington if American Administration takes care of its national interest.

Vice-Chairman of the ICCIM Askarowladi said, Mr. Khatami understands domestic and foreign situations better than us and he also knows that during the last 40 to 50 years Iranian nation was oppressed by the United States. Although the U.S. could not succeed, it made Iran a victim of economic and political sanctions, Askarowladi said. In the first place, we believe that the U.S. government should beg the apology of Iranian people.

This is the first step, which if not taken, our people are not yet prepared to establish relations, he said. Ironically the U.S. sanction had a good effect on Iran as we tried to be self-sufficient in various fields, he said, adding that the U.S. should lift the sanctions. We believe that they should take the first step and remove the sanctions." Next we should talk in the form of two governments, with mutual independence and remote from political influences and interventions.

As regards the Middle East affairs, we should wait and see what our leader will say, because we have our own values with regard to the Middle East issue and the Muslims of the world, including Palestine, whose conditions should be clarified. Today, the situation in Middle East is not like those in the '50s, '60s and '70s. So what is the meaning of these unsparing supports for two or three million in the face of one billion population? Why do not the U.S. policy makers think that they are sacrificing one billion people for two or three million population? I do not advise face-to-face talks.

After we sat at the negotiating We do not feel any need to talk, but at the same time our Prophet (S) has recommended that we can talk even to our enemy but under certain conditions. The U.S. should resolve the D'Amato and then come to talk. We do not want to remain in the talks to the end of the world, but there are two or three stages to reach conciliation.

We have many giant projects in which the U.S. economic sectors can participate, but this can be done if the D'Amato law is settled. Our oil sector in the Persian Gulf and the Caspian Sea is vast. Such is our gas fields. We have a two-track railway project which will be extended from Sarakhs to Chabahar and Badarabbas. The U.S. economic sector should stand against the government and participate in these colossal projects.

We respect and support our president and obey whatever our Leader Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei observes, because we believe in Velayat-e-Faqih, he said. A university professor, Seyed Mohammad Hashemi said, America is trying to control this region and thus it was taking all necessary precautions not to antagonize all the states in the Middle East at one time and for that reason it was gradually trying to put one country against the other in order to distract the attention of the people.

The American government has also been trying to ask Israel to keep its policy in conformity with that of the U.S. but sometimes things do not move as desired and Israeli leaders deviate in order to assert themselves or maintain their independence. There are certain pressure groups in Europe and the United States but these groups although very active in their domestic politics do not play a positive role as far as the Israeli atrocities in the Middle East are concerned.

This is probably because they have all been brainwashed due to intensified adverse propaganda launched by the Western media against Muslim nations. In view of these facts it would be most appropriate to educate the American people and inform them about the American foreign policy in the Middle East which they have little knowledge of and clarify the position of Iran and its neighbors.

If we have done that we have achieved the true objective. The American government controls the gigantic propaganda machinery and in this perspective we have climbed over the walls and reached to the American people directly to tell them the truth. This would be a wise move and it might touch the hearts of the innocent American people who might realize that the picture being shown to them was not the real picture.

Since we have followed the path of truth, we are very much hopeful that our voice would be heard in the far corners of North America Hojjatoleslam Dr. Seyed Mahmoud Alavi, Member of the Majlis Committee on Foreign Affairs, told the Tehran Times that in his view the address was positive because it could clear the mind of the American people about certain facts.

There are countries in the world where the governments try to hide facts from their people in order to achieve their predetermined goals. Under such circumstances, it is necessary for us to educate the people and feed them with all the information they need because the innocent people are inquisitive to know about the day-to-day moves of their governments. For this purpose we have to reach to these people and address them directly in a bid to uncover the realities of life, he said.

Alavi added that the United States is one country where the powerful propaganda machinery and the biased electronic media has brainwashed the people in such a way that they are unable to see the true picture about what occur in different parts of the world. They only know what their government wants them to know. This is evident from the fact that common man on the streets of America knows very little about the outside world because the U.S. media is all the time drawing their attention towards their various states as if the U.S. was the entire world and Washington was the ultimate end.

The organizers of the American propaganda machinery have been levelling various accusations against the government of Iran. These accusations were not only baseless but were in fact designed to misguide other nations in a bid to prevent them from knowing the truth about Iran and its successful Islamic Revolution, the MP said. The American people either know very little or do not know at all that their government is pursuing a policy of hegemony and neo-imperialism, trying to subdue the weaker but independent-minded nations.

The Americans are to be told about this and how these smaller nations feel about it. The American people like any other nation are a good people and they listen patiently if they are addressed in a straightforward, rational and logical manner, he noted. However, the powerful print and electronic media of the United States have made certain facts about the outside world so complicated and intermingled with false propaganda that it sometimes becomes very difficult to filter out the truth from the sheer lies.

The American people are also facing this acute problem in knowing the bare facts. However, they have not yet reached the stage where it becomes totally meaningless to try to make them understand and realize the wrongdoings of their government which is run by the vested interests, Alavi stated. The American people are today puzzled as to why the peace-loving people of Iran have taken such a strong stand against their government.

Taking these facts into consideration, it is a wise course adopted by President Khatami to address the American people directly, clear their minds and clarify the Iranian position, he said. On the issues President Khatami should include in his address to the American nation, he said, the most important issue which President Khatami should emphasize in his interview is the issue concerning independence and freedom of Iran which has to be safeguarded at all cost and that the basis of relations between Iran and other countries should always be respect for each other's rights and non-interference in each other's internal affairs.