`Iran News' on Sunday suggested that Iran can use the China experience to end its long-running antagonistic standoff with the United States instead of a plebiscite as recently proposed by Expediency Council (EC) chief Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani, IRNA reported.
"The leaders in Beijing did not need a referendum to reach the conclusion that it would be in the national security interests of China to end its decades-long antagonistic standoff with Washington," noted the English-language daily in its editorial.
"The decision-makers should simply weigh the pros and cons of the issue and if deemed advantageous to our national interests, not a second should be wasted in reestablishing ties with the United States," the editorial further said.
Interestingly, Rafsanjani, Iran's former president and current head of the poweful 26-member EC, recently proposed that the long-running and bitter row between Iran and the US could be resolved either through a referendum or by the EC with the approval of the Supreme Leader.
Rafsanjani apparently expressed his opinion during an interview with the quarterly publication "Raahbord," which hit newsstands in time for this year's New Year celebrations and the start of the war in Iraq.
Interestingly, the EC chairman's interview was conducted by two former government officials, Mahmood Vaezi, the former deputy foreign minister for European and North American affairs, and Abbas Maleki, former deputy foreign minister for research, on behalf of the quarterly which is affiliated to the foreign ministry's strategic research center, according to the daily.
The interview, however, was criticized by the daily as not coming up to professional journalistic standards.
The interviewers, it said, asked general questions that failed to elicit specific answers from Rafsanjani and mainly focused on general Iranian foreign policy, it added.
It said there are questions raised on the timing of the release of the text of the interview and whether Rafsanjani gave the go-ahead or the news story was released by the official Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) to coincide with the downfall of the Baathist regime in neighboring Iraq.
IRNA, in a report on Saturday, said Rafsanjani proposed the options by which to revive Iran-US and Iran-Egypt ties through primarily a referendum.
But holding a referendum on a foreign policy issue such as US-Iran ties would apparently contravene the principles behind domestic law, believes the daily.
Indeed, Rafsanjani would be hard-pressed to find any precedents in world history where an international policy issue of this nature was put through a plebiscite, it said.
Any decision on an issue such as resuming ties with America is a national matter, it added . "Identifying and making policy on the national interests of the country is among the principal and primary duties of the government."
It has become increasingly evident in the last two and a half decades that Iran's national interests are being ignored and even sacrficed for petty political and factional interests, the editorial criticized.
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