Fernando Omar Zambrana: Letter to President Khatami

This letter was sent by me to Iran's President Seyed Mohammad Khatami in reaction to President Bush's conception of the now famous "Axis of Evil".

Honorable President Khatami:

I am extremely appalled by Mr. Bush's ignorant comments regarding the accusation of the Islamic Republic of being a part of the so wrongly called: "Axis Of Evil". Since I am completely in favor of a restoration and normalization of Iran-USA diplomatic relations, I think that Mr. Bush made an awful mistake even though his moves may have been coldly calculated by the best of his closest advisors.

I am aware of the fact that Iran is currently undergoing various internal changes as a result of its citizen's wishes for reformation in various areas. I understand even further that because of such matters, Iran should not be kept isolated from the rest of the world. The moment is prime to nurture healthy relationships with the rest of the international community, but I see how a bad mixture of internal and external elements just makes the whole matter harder and worse.

A possible explanation of Mr. Bush's dramatic attack on the Islamic Republic is given by a combination of different factors. First, there is the "war on terrorism" policy. It is not a secret that the Islamic Republic gave support in the past to the Hizbollah, who fights Israel from small bases in Lebanon. This, of course, pushes Israel classify the Hizbollah as a terrorist group, so the USA follows suit in the name of it's middle eastern "ally". However, things change with time. It is definitely obvious that, as stated by the Honorable Dr. Javad Zarif on the United Nations Plenary Session on the 2nd of October last year, Iran is definitely a state that seeks peaceful resolutions for conflicts that invite violence and murder. The Islamic Republic as of today rejects extremism and terrorism as a method of conflict resolution.

It is of gravest concern to me that the United States Government appears to analyze Iran in a Cold War reference frame. The USA still grieves for the famous hostage taking situation following the 1979 revolution and believes that some elements of the population are still "hostile to Americans" who visit Iran (as of the CIA fact book report on Iran). This, of course, contradicts stories from Americans who have constantly visited the Islamic Republic, such as Robin Wright. In her latest book, "The Last Great Revolution" she constantly recalls of the friendliness of Iranians to outsiders.

Third as to what I understand makes the US government to undermine any possibility of Iran-USA reconciliation is the fact that America needs "enemies". One of the biggest influence groups in America is the military-industrial complex. They hold a symbiotic relationship along with the government by providing the military with the most modern equipment in the world in exchange for an input of billions of US dollars yearly to the national economy and thousands of jobs.

The most current brainchild of the Military Industrial complex is the creation of the National Missile Defense system. To justify the investment of billions of tax dollars on such a system, the government needs to convince the population of the existence of "rogue states" that pose a threat to the United States. Every political scientist knows the fact that leaders are not going to be irrational by taking part in actions that might put in jeopardy their hold in power and the stability present in the lands they administer.

In conclusion, Mr. Bush's remarks regarding Iran are outright arrogant and sociocentric. His policy decisions fail to take into account a thorough analysis of the society and the people being dealt with. Such moves can be dangerous in the area of foreign policy.

Another worry is that the Iranian people might misinterpret the American Government's position as the point of view of the Americans in general. Many of my friends and acquaintances are very well educated and read in such matters and they recognize that the Islamic Republic stands for something different that what it may have been 20 years ago. The Iran founded by Ayatollah Khomenei has changed in practice even though the essence remains the same. We understand that Iran's society and law is evolving steadily, and we hope for reconciliation with our Iranian friends as we step on into the 21st Century.

With highest regards,

Fernando Omar Zambrana

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