IRAN: Personal notes from January, 2019

Iran

  • It would be completely irresponsible to comment too much about Iran if I have not received real intelligence reports from our agencies and information from our allies, so I will keep it limited to comments on news media coverage and what is known publicly as real facts, and what I personally know from my past.
  • If elected President, I will want to hear the minutest details from the differing opinions in the Intelligence community regarding the Iran Nuclear Deal. I would want to consult our allies, not just “what” they want us to do, but “why” they want us to do it. I would want pragmatic advice as well regarding economic impact, impact on Israel and others in the region. I would also want to know about the economic status of the Iranian people. I abhor the idea of contributing to anyone starving or going through undo hardship!
  • Negotiating with different groups and cultures requires we understand the culture, how they view negotiations in general, and how they view us as a nation and a people.
  • I remember back in the mid to late 1980’s, I was in a college in Louisiana and I was in a Friday night outreach focused on reaching out to Students who were of Middle Eastern descent. One Friday night, the outreach was focused on educating us concerning how Iran, as a nation, and Iranians as a people, felt about America and I saw an Iranian video where masses of Iranians were chanting in Tehran, calling America the “Great Satan”.
  • To me, this is significant. Is this how the government and the people of Iran still feel about America? Has anything changed since the 1980’s? Is there anything we, as a nation, can do to change their viewpoint on this issue, or is it a no hope situation: we support Israel and we have a liberal free culture, therefore, we are the Great Satan? If that is the case, then at best, we work for peaceful coexistence in hope for a better day and a better viewpoint from an adversarial nation.
  • If it is cut and dry with no ground for the nation and the people of Iran to see us differently, that would determine what and how we negotiate with such a nation. If there is room for them to internally change their viewpoint about America, not just as a nation, but as their national media and culture changes, that would be a valuable thing to seek after.
  • How Iran feels about Israel is significant also. It is significant and different at the same time than our relationship with Iran. The two cannot be meshed as the same, for if they are seen as the same, the wheels will continue to be stuck in the mud and unable to move. If America is seen as independent of Israel by Iran, that could benefit both ours and Israel’s relationship with Iran because it would give us better potential leverage to foster peace between Iran and Israel in addition to peaceful coexistence ourselves.
  • Other significant factors are reports about Iran supplying weapons in Palestine and Syria to feed wars or war-like actions. In addition, Iran’s relationship with Russia is very significant as well. I won’t comment on these things because real intelligence is needed, but in my 5000 foot distant opinion, these things play a factor. I will be open any one of the three possible directions regarding Iran Nuclear Deal brokered by the Obama Administration: re-entering, re-negotiating, or continuing the Trump withdrawal. I don’t know the answer and I won’t make a blanket statement without real intelligence and a holistic view. That is how I look at the situation with Iran without having real intelligence and without consulting our allies.
  • As a side note, I believe it was completely foolish for then candidate Trump to tout his opinion on pulling out of the Iran deal. He did not even have government intelligence when he began making these blank statements and he locked himself into a campaign-type promise and it was a blunder of immense proportion in my opinion. He simply used it as a tool to attack Democrats and President Obama. Foreign policy should never be used as a tool for a campaign. It is repulsive and selfish in my world of thinking. I believe if people realize what a dangerous thing it is to tout specific foreign policy on a first year campaign trail, they would make sure this President is not re-elected.

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