Monday, January 31, 2005

Iran: A United Front against War

Omid Memarian*
mailmemarian [at]

Iranians have been suspicious of American intentions since 1953, when an American backed coup ousted the popular and democratic leader of Iran, Mohammad Mossadegh, in favor of a dictator, Mohamad Reza Pahlavi, who remained in power with US support, until the Islamic Revolution in 1979. Even with the passing of over 50 years, the Iranian public remains suspicious and pessimistic when it comes to the US policy.
With the ramblings of another war in the region, this time Iran, it seems that the US is making a similar mistake in winning the trust of the Iranian public. This time, the slogan of "promotion of democracy" seems to be justifying US policy. But for Iranians and those in the region the question is about cost. How much will we have to pay for an American style democracy? What are the hidden intentions of the US? Is this part of a larger US plan to gain absolute control in the Middle East region?Distrust of American intentions will certainly prove to be a rallying point within Iran, even among long time foes. In actuality, these groups, often unable to agree on many issues, do agree on one thing-their opposition to the unilateral ambitions of the US. A military engagement in Iran will go a long way in strengthening the hand of conservatives and fundamentalists--something that would endanger democratic movements within Iran.

*Omid Memarian is a 30-year-old journalist living in Tehran