Saturday, September 09, 2006

Khatami Under Fire from Both Sides

Former president of Iran who is now the symbol of a failed reform movement arrived in the United States. His arrival sparked a new row of political bickering within both countries. In Iran radicals and ultra radicals condemned the trip in the strongest terms. Fatemeh Rajabi, whose spouse Mr. Elham is government’s spokesman wrote that this trip is an award to Khatami’s American policies, who has become a servant of White House. She demanded him to be defrocked. Her comments were responded by several reformers, conservatives and even radical daily Kayhan.

In the United States many neo conservatives took upon themselves to criticized State Department, to attack Mr.Khatami and even some compared him with Goebbels Nazi propaganda minister. Governor of Massachusetts openly announced that he would deny him state protection during his visit to Harvard. Many warned the public of not paying attention to Mr. Khatami’s propaganda.

Interestingly Mr. Khatami remained the icon of moderation during his visit. He asked for the United States to preserve its presence in Iraq until peace is restored. Repeated Iran’s position that a Two States solution is acceptable and If Palestinians make peace so would Iran. He asked American Muslims to be exemplary citizens and try to climb up the ladder of education and social progress. He condemned the terrorist attacks of 9-11 in the most severe terms, which USA could not expect form its so called allied Arab leaders to do. He condemned terrorism saying:

We, Muslims, should condemn this atrocity even more strongly. Terrorism, which means killing civilians in whatever name or title, lacks morality, and nobody who lacks such principle will go to heaven. Those who kill others and commit acts of terror, if they identify themselves with Islam, they are lying."

It must be noticed that moderates in both Iran and USA welcome these comments; while radicals and neo-cons condemned them. After all it seems Iran’s radicals are in agreement with their American counterparts.

One can’t help ask: Isn’t this the message America wants to transmit to millions of middle easterns?

And if it is then why American foreign policy and some American politicians are after silencing moderate forces such Mr. Khatami, who might not be a great success but is telling a forgotten truth.

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