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Senator McCain's Counterproductive Remarks on Iran

Salt Lake City, UT - 7/16/08 - Solving the nuclear standoff with Iran requires a nuanced and carefully statecrafted approach from a dynamic and inspiring leader.

With U.S.-Iran relations strained at an all time high, the U.S. draws closer to military action with Iran that threatens to undermine U.S. interests in the region. When questioned on increased U.S. cigarette exports to Iran, Senator John McCain's insensitive comment last week, "maybe that's a way of killing 'em," reinforces cultural misperceptions and perpetuates unnecessary and counterproductive resentment among Iranians and Americans during this sensitive time.

While Mr. McCain's remarks do not reflect his distinguished experience or declared foreign policy objectives in regard to Iran, lumping the Iranian people together with the policies of the unpopular Islamic republic engenders animosity that hinders healthy public debate. Just as Israelis do not appreciate Mr. Ahmadinejad boosting his domestic political standing through his sinister and inexcusable rhetoric of "wiping Israel from the map," Iranian-Americans and the Iranian people do not consent to comparing themselves with the brutal fundamentalist regime that persecutes their counterparts for the sake of a joke.
As a presidential candidate, Mr. McCain's values and actions embody America worldwide. In the eyes of Iranian-Americans, who constitute one of the most educated and affluent immigrant groups in the U.S., his comments may have offended voters. For global onlookers, this disparaging banter may embitter Iranian moderates, create more fundamentalists, and legitimize the Islamic republic's bellicose rhetoric toward America as the "Great Satan." The last thing America needs is creating more extremists by alienating pro-American and pro-democratic Iranians, America's best ally in Iran to combat Islamic fundamentalism.
In respect for the Americans Senator McCain represents, and for the concern of U.S. strategic interests, it would be in his best interests to offer a formal apology to Iranians and Iranian-Americans. While no one is perfect, Mr. McCain still has the opportunity to act as a charismatic American leader and demonstrate his true character by displaying principles of tolerance, humility, and integrity.


The U.S.-Iran Alliance seeks to prevent a U.S. or Israeli war with Iran and promote Three Principles in Iran: respect for the U.N.'s Universal Declaration of Human Rights, free press on par with internationally recognized democratic standards, and free elections on par with internationally recognized democratic standards & monitored by international observers.

... Payvand News - 07/16/08 ... --

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