Wednesday, May 28, 2003

A lot of Iranian citizens want to reach out to the U.S. and the West. As The Guardian points out, no good deed goes unpunished:

The Pentagon's pronouncement that it would seek to "destabilise" Iran's Islamic republic has given the country's clerics ammunition to portray their liberal opponents as traitors. Hardly a day passes without warnings in the official press against reformists accused of sowing divisions.

"America is trying to undermine our national unity by provoking chaos and political differences as well as creating a crisis," said Mohammed Baqer Zolqadr, the deputy commander of the Revolutionary Guards.

Washington's rhetoric could not have come at a more awkward time for President Mohammed Khatami and his allies in parliament. As the political and constitutional battle between reformists and Islamists comes to a head, the US intervention is a distraction and a pretext for muffling dissent....

Great. And these are people who want to be our friends.

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