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A modern geopolitical primer for Iranian expatriates

By Ramin Davoodi

Q. What would you do if Congress embargoes arms sales in the Persian Gulf region?

A. That would be so irresponsible that I am not even thinking about it. But if it happens, do you think our hands are tied? We have ten other markets to provide us with what we need. There are people just waiting for that moment.

If you remain our friends, obviously you will enjoy all the power and prestige of my country. But if you try to take an unfriendly attitude toward my country, we can hurt you as badly if not more so than you can hurt us. Not just through oil - we can create trouble for you in the region. If you force us to change our friendly attitude, the repercussions will be immeasurable.

- Shah Mohammad-Reza Pahlavi of Iran, Exclusive Interview, U.S. News & World Report, March 22, 1976.


 Iranians in America are starting to wake up to the palpable sense of danger facing their homeland.  This danger isn't limited to just the very real sense of a potential physical encroachment by an outside state; it is all the more felt, as it has been in decades past, in the imminently humiliating context of a loss of vital state sovereignty at the hands of larger, more aggressive powers.  Recent statements made by US Vice President Richard Cheney and Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice, alluding to the perceived need for confronting Iran over its alleged nuclear activities, lack the normal "spin" quotient accompanying much of what the Bush Administration emotes regularly regarding its foreign policy.  This is so because said statements accompany reports of alleged reconnaissance missions being flown over Iran, as well as the infiltration of Iran by US-hired or appointed intelligence operatives ranging from Mujahedin-e Khalq Organization (MEK or MKO) members, to European Union passport-carrying business vendors, to seemingly meandering expatriates who make a point of traveling to and from Iran annually.  For many Iranians abroad who desire to see Iran ultimately change into an Open Society, building feelings of anticipation, nay, elation, over impending changes are mixed with and trepidation, concern and a demonstrably justifiable sense of anxiety.


Yet what exactly is imminent?  Has the Iranian community collectively considered and consulted over the implications of any show of violence towards, or in, Iran in this day and age?  Or are we so inebriated with a half-witted sense of anticipation over seemingly epochal changes on the one hand, and the maddening general pace of life in the West on the other, that world events guided by other parties must, yet again, tragically visit themselves on our homeland and core culture?  Are we aware of the fact that Iran represents an increasingly valuable and indispensable pivot point in the modern global geopolitical and economic landscape, or do we, too, buy into the convenient media-issued image of Iran as just another corrupt domino that must fall to the "democracy" exporting Neoconservative juggernaut which stretches from San Diego to Washington, London and Tel Aviv?


Considering the dizzying global economic stakes that both the US and Iran face in this day of dissipating petrochemical reserves, shifting strategic alliances, precarious global finances, rising regional instabilities, diverging demographic trends and mounting environmental havoc, it is best that the expatriated descendents of Darius, Kourosh and Cyrus the Great take adequate note of various realities on the ground in Iran and Asia.


Read the full report (pdf format).


Baharestan Square, 1952



About the author:  Ramin Davoodi is an American citizen of Iranian birth with a master's degree in international finance and a bachelor's degree in political science. He is working towards a PhD in political economy.


... Payvand News - 2/28/05 ... --

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