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Bay Area Panel Discusses Us-Iran Relations Under The Bush Administration

By Hamid Karimi

Sunnyvale, CA August 29 - BAIAD (Bay Area Iranian-American Democrats) held their second open discussion forum titled "Is Iran America's New Whipping Boy?" Dr. Ali Ferdowsi, chair of the History and Political Science Department at Notre Dame de Namur University, and Dr. Dariush Zahedi, lecturer at the University of California, Berkeley, discussed America's intense focus on Iran and the possible impact of US foreign policy on Iranians living in America and in Iran.

Professor Ferdowsi focused his attention on stark differences in Bush administration's new aggressive posture post September 11, 2001 compared to its predecessors. He reminded the audience that not since WWII, America has invaded two sovereign countries in a span of two years. Dr. Ferdowsi stated that without bringing Iran into America's fold, the adventures in Afghanistan and Iraq will result in geopolitical defeats for the world's lone superpower. Moreover, he argued that the goal of new conservatives and various NGO think tanks, as articulated in the "Project for New American Century" has been to eliminate all real and potential challenges to the US political and military hegemony in the world. "Security will not be pursued through balance of power, instead, it will be imposed since US wants to be trusted as the only preeminent power in the world," he said in reference to this doctrine.

Mr. Ferdowsi furthermore explained that any state that does not fit the model of American empire will be branded as a rouge nation and thus a target of regime change or placed on probation; new conservatives unabashedly believe that deterrence, sovereignty and balance of power work together and therefore, the use of force has to be both preemptive and preventive. According to Dr. Ferdowsi, Iran is the most important party in controlling the flow of oil and therefore it will remain the center of gravity in America's foreign policy. He concluded by saying that the result of Iran and Israel's competition over regional hegemony will determine the future political landscape in the Middle-East.

Professor Zahedi reviewed the history of Iran-America relations since the US-sponsored invasion of Iran by Iraq in 1980. He stated that despite some overtures, Clinton played an important role in Iran's isolation in the West. New conservatives, according to him, have two primary objectives which are to retain America's absolute hegemony in the world and to make the Middle East safe for Israel. The latter goal is mostly concealed and only reveals itself under the banner of expanding democracy and fighting Islamic theocracy in the region.

Mr. Zahedi contended that America's main concern before 9/11 was China and its current strategy is to control China's sources of energy by focusing on controlling the Middle Eastern oil and gas resources. Finally he predicted that regardless of the outcome of November election, Pro-Israel lobby will make certain Iran remains on the agenda. He does not think that the October surprise will constitute a military attack on Iran; rather it is likely that Pakistan may produce a gift to Bush administration.

Mehrdad Moayedzadeh, BAIAD's president was the last speaker at this event. By referencing numerous news articles, he underlined how the anti-Iran rhetoric has been stepped up in American media within the past 2 months. Moayedzadeh argued that such a sudden focus by the Bush Administration on Iran is not so much about any imminent danger from that country than it is about distracting Americans' attention from the more pressing issues of his presidency, such as healthcare and the economy. In the end, he shared his dream of a day when Iranian-Americans will have a strong political voice, engage actively in issues of importance to their communities and assume senior leadership roles in American politics.

... Payvand News - 9/10/04 ... --

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