eu seeks closer ties to iran
June 17, 2002 10:51 PM   Subscribe

eu seeks closer ties to iran This approach has got to be better than calling states 'evil'. This is the same as the US keeping links with China, a less than perfect regime, and one that could be called a sponsor of terrorism. " Mr Patten told the BBC: "It can't seriously be anybody's idea of a good way of promoting stability in the region to think that we should isolate and cut Iran off for ever." He said there should be recognition of the strength of the reform movement and be aware that there were other elements which were far less friendly to the West. "If you don't talk to the reasonable people, you fetch up with fewer reasonable people to talk to." it's been over a decade since i was in Iran (1992) and the reformers/moderates ahve gained very significant ground since then. The Axis of Evil speech did tremendous harm for moderate Iranians, as it seemed to justify the hardliners stance on the west. your thoughts.....
posted by quarsan (13 comments total)
Europe's no angel either, but I agree in this regard. Iran actually has moderates we could theoretically deal with, and a society that's fairly resourceful and clamoring for reform. That seems to be something to grow from. In the long term, if we ever want stability in the region, we need to encourage the existence of self-sufficent nations (as opposed to bought-off "clients" like Egypt) that actually have interests besides the oppression of their people and fomenting a hatred of the West.
posted by artifex at 12:16 AM on June 18, 2002

Iran is the model we should want future radical Islamic states to follow. Eventually, people become sick of the repression and start demanding more rights. The US should also seek closer ties with Iran. Unfortunately, I don't see that as a likelyhood as long as Bush is in power.
posted by Loudmax at 4:05 AM on June 18, 2002

How about calling the radical elements evil, and engaging the "moderates"? Gee, no, that wouldn't be wishy-washy enough for most Europeans.
posted by ParisParamus at 4:25 AM on June 18, 2002

when i was in iran in 92, even though the hardliners were in charge, there was a suprising amount of open discussion. the fact remains that hardliners just don't deliver. i found in ordinary conversations that everyone i met was opposed to the way things were. they are now gaining the upper hand.

calling people evil, doesn't contribute anything at all. it is foolish soundbite politics. it harmed the moderates, who had been advocating closer ties with the west. therefore, in this case at least, the axis of evil speech was counter productive.

but where is the war on terrorism going? it has become a war against people bush's daddy doesn't like.

if the us can have a dialogue/trade with china, whose record in tibet for example, is less than perfect, why can't europe have a dialogue with iran?
posted by quarsan at 4:37 AM on June 18, 2002

cutting off iran is just what the more radical Islamic elements would want anyway...
posted by dagnyscott at 5:24 AM on June 18, 2002

Since we have normal, even chummy relations with countries like China, Saudi Arabia and Russia* who repress and slaughter their own citizens with the best of them, it is so very hypocritical of the U.S. government to single out Iran as "evil."

Our troubled relationship with Iran is a legacy issue, but the time has never been better to establish a functional relationship with that country. I'm surprised that with the lesson of Cuba (and Iraq and Burma and North Korea), we haven't learned how ineffective cutting off all relations with a country truly is. Engagement is the single best hope for forming a stable, non-radical and productive Iran that is open to the West.

*Not that there aren't good reasons to deal with each country
posted by thewittyname at 6:07 AM on June 18, 2002

As Tiger_Lily stated, in this thread reagarding this article ('net access in Iran),
'...for the most part, increased exposure between us will create a greater compassion for co-existence.'

Trade, culture, communications - bring 'em on. It's how the Cold War was won...

PP: How about contributing something useful to the thread instead of trolling. Gee, no, that wouldn't be snarky enough for you. ;-)
posted by i_cola at 6:35 AM on June 18, 2002

Oh, & at the risk of being overly pedantic, there is a significant difference between Europe the continent and the European Union (EU)
More here.
posted by i_cola at 7:10 AM on June 18, 2002

How about calling the radical elements evil, and engaging the "moderates"? Gee, no, that wouldn't be wishy-washy enough for most Europeans.

How about reading Diplomacy for Dummies, Paris? No, that wouldn't be gung-ho enough for most Americans.
posted by riviera at 7:19 AM on June 18, 2002

Paris is still here? Crikey, the boy has some thick skin. Let's not say more about the thickness of his skull.
posted by Jongo at 7:34 AM on June 18, 2002

In related news...
Web gives a voice to Iranian women [BBC via Blogroots]

riviera: Tarring most Americans with the PP brush? Not fair! ;-)
posted by i_cola at 7:44 AM on June 18, 2002

A good article on Iran from the current NY Review of Books: Who Rules Iran?
posted by homunculus at 10:44 AM on June 18, 2002

Yeh, I can't belive how stupid bush was in making that comment, especialy about iran.
posted by delmoi at 12:00 AM on June 19, 2002

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