Don’t Treat Iran Like it’s 1979
Here is a letter to the New York Times:
To punish Iran, Avi Jorisch wants the U.S. to “seize outright all Iranian assets in the United States” (To Punish Iran, Seize Its Embassy, August 1). Mr. Jorisch favors a retaliatory approach to this decades-old diplomatic disarray, but the situation is not so cut and dry.
Let’s not forget the motivation behind the 1979 Iranian Revolution and takeover of the U.S. embassy. The CIA and British SIS emboldened hardliners in the early 1950’s by deposing Iran’s democratically elected prime minister in support of the unpopular Shah. Apparently, we didn’t like Iran’s efforts to nationalize their petroleum industry – shutting the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company out of a lucrative market.
Seizure of Iranian assets in the U.S. will set a dangerous precedent, as prospects for reconciling diplomatic relations with Iran will suffer a set-back we can ill afford. The vast majority of Iran’s population under 35 is disillusioned with the current leadership and embraces western culture; however, Mr. Jorisch would give them a reason to rally around a regime they otherwise wish to be free of.
Craig D. Schlesinger