In 2005, Iran’s then President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad caused an international uproar.
The damage from the fallout remains to this day.
Ahmadinejade described the Holocaust as a "myth."
He declared that Israel should be "wiped off the map."
Genocidal threats have always proven to be heinous.
Those engaging in such rhetoric are not worthy to be in positions of leadership.
Ahmadinejad’s comments were a blatant reflection of the horrific mindset of a small, yet influential group of hardliners unfortunately holding power in Iran, a nation of 80 million poeple.
Iran is a country in which the majority of its population resents such nasty rhetoric.
At the time, Ahmadinejad’s behavior and other hardline actions, brought to bear on ordinary Iranians, some of the toughest U.S. sanctions, as well as years of isolation.
These chocked the country while enriching the pockets of certain government insiders and their accomplices in the private sector.
Nearly 13 years after Ahmadinejad’s abhorrent comments embarrassed ordinary Iranians globally, the current U.S. president is using pointed rhetoric to attack Iran and potentially "end Iran."
"If Iran wants to fight, that will be the official end of Iran. Never threaten the United States again!" President Trump tweeted in response to a rocket attack near the U.S. embassy in Baghdad. Accusing Iran as being responsible the attack, the president used very strong language, words not representative of true leadership.
That also is not okay.
The 2015 nuclear accord reached between Iran and six other global powers, including the U.S., proved the effectiveness of diplomacy, engagement, and discourse.
It’s hard to believe that when engagement can keep a country like Iran from capping its uranium enrichment and place its nuclear program in check, certain folks like to promote force, aggression, and ultimately an escalation of conflict.
At a time when political divisiveness is at an all time high, factual, nuanced, and textured assessments are leading to personal attacks by U.S. hawks.
These attacks are specifically target those Americans with an Iranian heritage — accusing them of supporting the regime simply because they oppose war, and support diplomacy.
This is one of the greatest threats to a constructive discourse on Iran in Washington.
Americans with an Iranian background, or dual nationals who understand nuances, are regional experts; they have field expertise, yet they are constantly attacked by hawks and insiders.
Uninformed labelling only reduces the conversation to immature rhetoric rather dialogue which is fact-based. Futhermore, it detracts from the narrative, as opposed to providing strong analysis — forgetting that any disagreement on war policy does not equate to supporting the Iranian government.
This is the easiest and quite frankly cheapest tactic used by hawks to discredit nuanced voices who don’t agree with the concept of war with Iran.
By canceling the Iran deal, President Trump showed the world that the U.S. will not "honor" what it had promised the international community. This gave Iran’s regime its biggest victory, one enabling them to call out America for not "honoring," and not doing so at a time when Iranians were compliant with the nuclear accord.
If the Iran deal was still on the table it would’ve been the fastest way towards regional peace advancement. When the doors are open and better ties are in place with our adversaries, then naturally those regimes have a harder time justifying their behavior in the region, as well as justifying human rights violations — and other actions.
It is then that they can be held accountable.
Yet, those Iranian-Americans who appose President Trump’s position on the Iranian nuclear deal are immediately seen as people who cannot be objective.
I’ve had the luxury to live and experience both countries I am now discussing: both as an ordinary citizen as well as a journalist.
In the matter of Iran-U.S. relations, it all lies in the nuances and understanding how discourse can in fact be effective in the longterm.
The fear of war and the usual repetitious finger-pointing and threats by U.S. hawks only embolden Iran’s hardliners, by bringing not only the Iranian population, but also the international community, to Iran's viewpoint.
This is evidenced by the millions of people who are against war with Iran.
These include some of the United State’s biggest allies, inclusive of: Europe, China, Russia, and many in senior U.S. government leadership.
The facts are what they are.
History will judge who was on the wrong side and who was on the right one.
The same way it will judge those who orchestrated the Iraq war, in search of presumable weapons of mass destruction, bringing death, terror, and destruction upon millions of innocent Iraqi civilians and the selfless women and men in uniform who fought that war.
For the people in the Mideast, and specifically in Iran, this is not their first rodeo.
To see these same tired and failed tactics being rehashed in order to possibly start another war, then I would be doing injustice, as in Iranian and an American, to sit silently by and not point out hypocrisies.
Gone are the days where journalists are trained to be mere "reporters."
When a journalist understands textured nuances and is raised in both countries, cultures, and can decipher the politics of both places — unlike a D.C. lobbyist — then he or she can speak to (and against) some of the greatest propaganda — globally.
At the end of the day it’s about standing on the right side of history, acknowledging nothing but the facts, while firmly believing that there are sellouts and talking heads whose sole responsibility is to divert the narrative by false accusations and sensationalized claims.
No more wars. Diplomacy over bloodshed.
Tara Kangarlou is an award-winning journalist who has has written, reported, and produced for CNN, CNN International, NBC Los Angeles, Al Jazeera America, Huffington Post, and Al Monitor. In 2016, she founded Art of Hope a non-profit 501(c)3 organization helping Syrian refugees overcome trauma, PTSD, and psychological wounds. She is currently working on her upcoming book on Iran. To read more of her reports, Click Here Now.
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