Pejman Yousefzadeh, Attorney and blogger:
Events of the past few days appear to have done nothing to curb the Obama Administration's fetish for negotiations with Iran -- this despite the fact that Iran is currently in turmoil, and that if the Administration holds off on pressing for negotiations with the likes of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, it might--might--get a government in Iran more amenable to making a deal with the United States that assists both sides and improves the international security situation.As a side note of sorts, one might add that while the Obama Administration is right to believe that an excessive degree of interventionism from the United States would likely backfire, hanging back too much would lead to deleterious results. When Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi visited the United States during the Carter Administration, anti-Shah demonstrators organized near the White House while an outdoor welcoming ceremony was being conducted. Things got out of hand, the police responded with tear gas, and unfavorable winds ensured that the tear gas drifted over to the White House--turning the entire event to a disaster. Iranians who learned about this believed that the United States could have stopped any anti-Shah demonstration if the Shah was still in the good graces of the United States. Since the demonstration went forward, they concluded that the Carter Administration had lost confidence in the Shah--allowing the revolution to go forward without fear that the United States would do anything significant to back the Shah. And indeed, the Carter Administration did nothing to save him, thus reinforcing the impression in Iran that they wanted him gone.
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