Iran is not an impossible partner

Biased beliefs take place of essential realism in Iran discourse.

Brad Rajek

The letter âÄúAn impossible partnerâÄù in The Minnesota DailyâÄôs Oct. 14 issue provided an extremely biased view of Iran that elicits only fear and hatred (comparison to Hitler and terrorists) toward Iran, Iranians and ShiâÄôas. Thus, I thought IâÄôd take the opportunity to counter the arguments with a list of statements by Juan Cole, president of the Global Americana Institute. Belief: Iran has threatened to attack Israel and the United States. Reality: Iran has not launched an aggressive war in modern history (unlike the United States or Israel), and its leaders have a doctrine of âÄúno first strike.âÄù This is true of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei as well as the Revolutionary Guard. The true belief of Islam is that one cannot attack another unless they are attacked first. Moreover, no Iranian leader in the executive has threatened an aggressive act of war on Israel, since this would contradict the doctrine of âÄúno first strikeâÄù and ShiâÄôism to which the country adheres. Belief: Iranian Prime Minister Mahmoud Ahmadinejad threatened to âÄúwipe Israel off the map.âÄù Reality: Ahmadinejad did quote Ayatollah Khomeini to the effect that âÄúthis occupation regime over Jerusalem must vanish from the page of time.âÄù This was an expression of a hope that the regime will collapse, just as the Soviet Union did. It is not a threat to kill anyone. Belief: The Iranian regime is fanatical. Reality: Iranian politicians are rational actors. If they were madmen, why havenâÄôt they invaded any of their neighbors? Israel invaded its neighbors more than once, and the United States invaded Iraq. In contrast, Iran has not started any wars. Demonizing people by calling them fanatical is an old propaganda trick. I would suggest that, before composing another article, the writer report the facts instead of spreading Zionist propaganda that demonizes an entire nation and religion âÄî unless that was the authorâÄôs purpose in the first place. Brad Rajek University graduate student