PRES. OBAMA: BEGIN DIALOGUE WITH TEHRAN
Dear President Obama: Cc: Members of Congress During the short period of your administration, we in the Iranian communities living in the U.S. along with the war-weary Americans have witnessed that the U.S. policy of threats and sanctions towards Iran, inherited from the Bush Administration, have carried over and perhaps been kept in even greater force. Our two countries have not had normal diplomatic and trade relations for about three decades. The longer this state of alienation between our two countries continues, the higher the costs of lost opportunities and the harder to mend the impacts of this long, drawn-out estrangement becomes. Unfortunately, in contrast to your original and gallant call for reaching out to speak with the leaders of Iran, some individuals in your administration, influential lobbyists as well as voices in the U.S. media, have heightened the differences. Examples of U.S. interference in Iran's affairs were glaringly manifested in the preponderance and frenzied coverage in the U.S. media aimed at fomenting greater unrest in Iran's post-presidential election protests, and hostile statements by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Vice-President Joe Biden. Mrs. Clinton admitted that Washington was "behind the scenes" taking sides: "We were doing a lot to really empower the protestors without getting in the way." Before that on July 25th, Vice President Biden said that it was up to the Israeli government as "a sovereign state to decide if Iran constituted an existential threat" and that Israel was entitled to launch a military strike against Iran if they wanted to. Another unfortunate move by your administration and the Congress was the continuation of financial appropriations for the explicit purpose of bolstering opposition groups and financing anti-Iran government media campaigns in Iran, Europe and the U.S. It is our humble perception that the United States must not try to use Iran's post-electoral dislocations for shortsighted and tactical advantage. It is in principle in the interest of both countries to avoid interfering in each others internal affairs and make every possible effort to allay the real or perceived obstacles in the way of establishing mutual trust and respect. In this light, it is self-evident that the more the U.S. administration tries to isolate and threaten the Islamic Republic of Iran through wider and harsher sanctions, involving the European Union and the United Nations, there would be greater propensity for Iran to look to the East, resulting in greater commercial loss for U.S. industrial and financial corporations, not to mention the disheartenment of the American people with yet another war-prone, high tension condition in the Middle East. There are ample examples of the U.S. adopting diplomatic relations with countries that were far apart from the principles that the U.S. adhered to. We recall the U.S. establishing diplomatic relations with the U.S.S.R. in 1933, only 16 years following the first socialist revolution in a country much larger and influential than Iran. The second major diplomatic breakthrough was with the Peoples' Republic of China. Soon after President Richard Nixon visited China in February 1972, the U.S. dropped its opposition to Chinese entry into the United Nations and ground was then built for the eventual establishment of full U.S.-China diplomatic relations in 1979, thirty years after the Chinese revolution. In comparison, it makes sense for your administration to begin the process of normalization as soon as possible, given the U.S. difficulties in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan, which are consuming more and more lives and treasure of the American people. Normalizing relations with Iran that has enjoyed relative stability in the volatile region of the Middle East will extend security and economic exchanges that benefits all the neighboring countries of Iran. Therefore, we the undersigned, urge you to immediately begin the practical steps toward dialogue and communication with Iran.