Green Years ...

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Clinton's Interview

What I was mentioning in "democracy in middle east: 50 years ago" about the historic coup as a reason that US and Iran have had bad memory and relationship, is said in Clinton’s recent interview.

Former president, Clinton had an interview with PBS’s journalist, Charlie Rose, on his staying for World Economic Forum, in Davos, Switzerland, about 2 weeks ago. In part of his like-always remarkable and thoughtful interviews, he spoke about relationship between Iran and U.S.

I had also wished in "Hersh Gate"that US "uses this situation as a power to force hardliners in Iran to accept step-by-step change to give more freedom to people, rather to actual using this power as war." I am glad to see Clinton's point of view is similar.

Here is part of interview:

Clinton: ... Iran's a whole different kettle of fish—but it's a sad story that really began in the 1950s when the United States deposed Mr. Mossadegh, who was an elected parliamentary democrat, and brought the Shah back in—[comments in background—Rose says "CIA"] and then he was overturned by the Ayatollah Khomeini, driving us into the arms of one Saddam Hussein. Most of the terrible things Saddam Hussein did in the 1980s he did with the full, knowing support of the United States government, because he was in Iran, and Iran was what it was because we got rid of the parliamentary democracy back in the '50s; at least, that is my belief.

I know it is not popular for an American ever to say anything like this, but I think it's true [applause], and I apologized when President Khatami was elected. I publicly acknowledged that the United States had actively overthrown Mossadegh and I apologized for it, and I hope that we could have some rapprochement with Iran. I think basically the Europeans' initiative to Iran to try to figure out a way to defuse the nuclear crisis is a good one.

I think President Bush has done, so far, the right thing by not taking the military option off the table, but not pushing it too much. I didn't like the story that looked like the military option had been elevated above a diplomatic option. But Iran is the most perplexing problem ... we face, for the following reasons: It is the only country in the world with two governments, and the only country in the world that has now had six elections since the first election of President Khatami. [It is] the only one with elections, including the United States, including Israel, including you name it, where the liberals, or the progressives, have won two-thirds to 70 percent of the vote in six elections: two for President; two for the parliament, the Majlis; two for the mayoralities. In every single election, the guys I identify with got two-thirds to 70% of the vote. There is no other country in the world I can say that about, certainly not my own. …….

…. here's the problem. Under their constitution, the religious council, headed by the Ayatollah Khamenei has the authority over intelligence funding, terrorism funding, and has the power to invalidate laws and scratch candidates from the candidate lists, so the people that represent the ... 30% to one third, can negate much of this two-thirds to 70%. And the President is in the middle, getting whipsawed and the people underneath him, supporting him, get more and more disillusioned. Now, they still kind of like the West in general, and America in particular, because we don't represent what they don't like about the governing of Iran since Ayatollah Khomeini. …

... I still hope there is a diplomatic solution. It is madness. There is an elected government in Iran supported by two-thirds of the people that wants a rapprochement with the West.... And we can't get there. It's crazy.

Here you can read the complete interview.


At 3:53 AM, Blogger Grillo said...

This being true, I've always been puzzled at how the fundamentalists retain control of Iran. How and why is Khatami ineffective?


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