Iranian-Americans and a war on Iran

by David Rahni (source: Open Democracy)
Wednesday, September 27, 2006

The United States, and its United Nations security council allies France and the United Kingdom, is exerting heavy pressure on the diplomatic consultations over whether Iran should be ordered to suspend its nuclear-enrichment programme. A resolution agreed under chapter VII of the UN charter, which addresses threats to peace and acts of aggression, would likely lead to sanctions against Tehran. Such a resolution would also pave the way for possible US military action by conventional or tactical-nuclear air-strikes, or through all-out military attack. Currently, veto-holding China and Russia are opposed to any resolution under chapter VII.

The approximately one million Iranian-Americans (part of a worldwide Iranian diaspora of 4 million) are keenly interested in this debate. They have been largely apolitical since their exodus from Iran in the late 1970s, when the monarchy was overthrown in a popular revolution that led to the establishment of the Islamic republic. But in the present crisis, many Iranian-Americans are organising to promote non-military ways of resolving the nuclear dispute, while yearning for a homegrown process of democratic reform that could finally bring Iranians the freedom and fairness for which they have struggled since the constitutional movement of 1906.

The consensus view of Iranian-American is congruent with US public opinion in regarding the rhetoric of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Iranian president, on certain foreign-policy matters as belligerent and reprehensible. Yet they believe that this, in and of itself, would not justify penalising an entire nation, which would be the effect of a military assault.

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