Time for America and Iran to talk
- Salaam Alaikum,
Here is another wise and timely article by Imam Elahi
regarding the situation in the Middle East. We were told that the
newspaper cut an important part of the article because of its space
[The sentences cut by the Detroit News editors were: "Since its
inception in 1948, Israel has been dependent on the US for economic
and military assistance; one would think Israel should show some
concern for America's image and economic interests in the Islamic world."]
Read the article in Detroit News
Please send a comment to the paper! letters @ detnews.com
Islamic House of Wisdom
22575 Ann Arbor Trail
Dearborn Hts., MI 48127
It's time for America and Iran to talk
Imam Mohammad Ali Elahi
March 25, 2006
"O ye who believe! Let not others' hatred of you incite you to depart
from justice. Be just: That is next to piety."-- (Quran 5:8)
I n his State of the Union speech, President George W. Bush expressed
hope that one day America would be the closest of friends with Iran.
The president authorized U.S. Ambassador Khalilzad in Iraq to work
with the Islamic republic toward regional security.
If that is our goal, then why did Vice President Dick Cheney and
Ambassador John Bolton, at a recent AIPAC conference in New York,
threaten Iran with military force while Secretary of State Condoleezza
Rice allocated $75 million to support the Iranian opposition in an
effort to destabilize the Islamic republic?
The United States pledged in the 1981 Algier Accords not to intervene,
directly or indirectly, politically or militarily in Iran's affairs.
To demand regime change despite this international agreement is
Iran is not talking to America, and I am not a spokesman for Iran when
I say we need a friendly atmosphere for a civil dialogue. If we are
worried about Iran's cooperation on the nuclear energy issue, then let
the International Atomic Energy Agency finish its work instead of
engaging in nervous negotiations on the United Nations Security Council.
President Bush sent a wrong message when he offered help to India's
nuclear technology, even though India refused to sign the Nuclear
Non-Proliferation Treaty, while trying to prevent Iran, which has
signed the treaty, from having access to nuclear power. Iran doesn't
deserve to be insulted and treated this way.
Though thousands of Russian, Israeli, Pakistani, Indian and U.S.
nuclear weapons surround Iran, Ali Larijani, Iran's Supreme National
Security Council secretary, told Time magazine that nuclear weapons
have no place in Iran's national security doctrine because Iran's
spiritual leader, Ayatollah Khomenei, considered the production of any
nuclear weapon immoral.
The former Iranian president talked to us on CNN and for eight years
urged us toward peaceful dialogue. Following September 11, President
Khatami was the first who expressed sympathy with our nation. The
Iranians held candlelight vigils and a minute of silence for the
tragedy in Tehran's stadium.
Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright has called for Iran and
the United States to develop normal relations. Gen. Wesley Clark wants
America and Iran to talk "face to face instead of yelling threats at
one another across the fence."
Iran is an extremely important part of our world. The real wealth of
Iran is not its geopolitical situation, oil, carpets, pistachios and
caviar, but its 70 million men and women, more educated than ever,
with deep spiritual values and a great sense of pride for their
While the whole world is asking the United States to talk with Iran,
the Israeli government and lobbies are the only ones asking for war
with Iran. The real problem the United States has with Iran is not
over democracy or human rights. The real issue is Iran's opposition to
the Israeli occupation of Palestine.
We have to deal with the Katrina homeless, increasing poverty, health
care cuts and a skyrocketing national debt. Why don't our leaders put
our house in order instead of talking about another war? Iraq is enough!
An Arabic proverb says, "The wise man is not bitten from the same hole
twice," which means: "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame
Imam Mohammad Ali Elahi heads the Islamic House of Wisdom in Dearborn
Heights. Mail letters to The Detroit News, Editorial Page, 615 W.
Lafayette, Detroit, MI 48226 or (313) 222-6417 or
letters @ detnews.com.
Iran Leader Approves Iraq Talks With U.S.
By NASSER KARIMI, Associated Press Writer
Tue Mar 21, 2006
TEHRAN, Iran - Iran
Iran's Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Tuesday that he
approves of proposed talks between U.S. and Iranian officials on
Iraq, but warned that the United States must not try to "bully" Iran.
It was the first confirmation that Khamenei, who holds final say on
all state matters in Iran, supports the talks. His comments appeared
aimed at calming criticism by hard-liners over a major shift in policy
by the regime, which long shunned high-level contacts with a country
Tehran brands "the Great Satan."
President Bush said Tuesday he favors the talks and that American
officials would show Iran "what's right or wrong in their activities
inside of Iraq."
Khamenei said that "if the Iranian officials can make the U.S.
understand some issues about Iraq, there is no problem with the
"But if the talks mean opening a venue for bullying and imposition by
the deceitful party (the Americans), then it will be forbidden," he
said in a nationally televised speech in the holy Shiite city of
Mashhad in northeastern Iran.
Both the United States and Iran have said the talks will focus solely
on stabilizing Iraq and not deal with the heated issue of Iran's
nuclear program. No time or place has yet been set for talks.
Khamenei appeared to be weighing in to end hard-line criticism, while
insisting Iran would not bow to the United States in any talks. He
said some U.S. officials had depicted the talks as if the United
States were "summoning Iranian officials."
"I say here that the U.S. government has no right to summon Iranian
officials," Khamenei said.
Khamenei is considered the leader of hard-liners in Iran who largely
prevented reformists from opening greater contacts with the United
States. Still, under his rule, Iran has held lower-level talks with
American officials, particularly in multilateral gatherings for
efforts to stabilize Afghanistan
Afghanistan and counter narcotics, for instance.
Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said Friday that the talks
could help Iraq form a government, while Ali Larijani, the secretary
of the Supreme National Security Council, said Iran hopes the meetings
will help lead to U.S. troop withdrawal.
Iran has considerable influence with Shiite political parties who
dominate Iraq's parliament, and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice
Condoleezza Rice has said U.S.-Iranian talks on Iraq could be "useful."
In Tuesday's speech, Khamenei also dismissed the threat of U.N.
U.N. Security Council action over Iran's nuclear program.
"They threatened us with the Security Council as if the council is the
end of the world," Khamenei said, adding that Iran will pursue its
nuclear program and will achieve it with all its "heart and soul."
Khamenei made the comments as the U.N. Security Council postponed a
meeting Tuesday on Iran's suspect nuclear program, searching for new
ways to break a deadlock with Russia and China over the best way to
pressure Tehran, diplomats said.
The United States accuses Iran of seeking to develop nuclear weapons;
Iran says its program aims only to generate electricity and has
insisted it has a right to carry out uranium enrichment, a key process
that can develop either fuel for a reactor or material for a nuclear
The decision to postpone the meeting came after senior diplomats from
the five veto-wielding members of the council and Germany made little
headway on bridging their differences during a 4 1/2-hour meeting
Monday evening. Diplomats said Russia was the main holdout, with China
That deadlock has forced Britain, France and Germany the European
troika leading negotiations on Iran to reopen the text of a
statement that would be the first Security Council response. Diplomats
will focus on bilateral talks to try to find an agreement, they said
"We'll just keep working on it," U.S. Ambassador John Bolton said.
The United States and its European allies want a statement reiterating
demands by the U.N. nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic
International Atomic Energy Agency, that Iran suspend uranium
enrichment, the process that can be used to generate nuclear power or
make nuclear weapons. Diplomats said the Russians and Chinese have not
budged from their opposition to tough language including a demand for
a report in 14 days on Iran's compliance with the IAEA demands. Moscow
and Beijing have said that is not enough time, with China suggesting
30 to 45 days.
Associated Press Writer Edith M. Lederer contributed to this report
from the United Nations
WORLD VIEW NEWS SERVICE
To subscribe to this group, send an email to:
NEWS ARCHIVE IS OPEN TO PUBLIC VIEW