The United States and Iran have had a tumultuous relationship over the course of history, but many Iranians are pushing for positive change. In order to achieve a better future, it’s important to clear up common misconceptions about US-Iran relations. Here are some of the most crucial distinctions you should keep in mind.
The history of the relationship between Iran and the US is a complicated one, dating back to the mid-to-late nineteenth century. At that time, Iranians viewed the U.S. as a more trustworthy foreign nation, compared to the colonialist Russians and Brits. Unfortunately, what began as a tentative friendship inevitability soured following wars and overthrown governments. Due to the constant conflicts in the Middle East over the past several decades, including the September 11 attacks and concerns over nuclear weapons, there has been ongoing tension and threats. However, the majority of Iranians are against the theocratic regime, and actually want to work with the Americans to improve diplomatic relations.
Today, Iran and US relations largely depend on nuclear weapons and government leadership. Many Iranians, including those that are members of the Organization of Iranian American Communities (OIAC), are actually striving for change from within, rather than foreign influence. It’s a common misconception that Iranians want the United States and other nations to intervene in their affairs. Rather, Iranians want to see minimal meddling by other countries, allowing for inner change that will hopefully result in a secular, democratic, non-nuclear republic Iran.
Looking ahead to the future goals for an improved relationship between Iran and the US, there needs to be change from within the troubled nation. Contrary to popular public opinion, many Iranians are against foreign wars and appeasement, and they believe the current regime needs to be isolated through stricter sanctions. Changes to the regime can be made possible through a diplomatic relationship based on improving human rights, freeing political prisoners, and maintaining the separation of church and state. The Iranian people don’t want a dictatorship. They want a republic or democracy with a secular government and no nuclear weapons. Through more conversation and greater understanding, this can be achieved.