The old adage is that “the more things change, the more they stay the same.” That is true in many things, but nowhere is it truer than with the Iran – United States relationship. The faces have changed, as have circumstances and environments, but the underlying, simmering issues remain the same and have for over 35 years. The only question is whether both countries have moved sufficiently socially, politically, and culturally to get beyond those issues.
Human Rights Violations
From hostage taking to silencing the voices of peaceful protesters, the Iranian government has long been mistreating its citizens in a variety of ways. Many people in Iran are denied their basic human rights due to their gender, religion, race, or political affiliation The U.S. has long strived to usher Iran into becoming a secular, democratic republic, but unfortunately, human rights in Iran have only further deteriorated. It’s hard to imagine a world where you can be sentenced to death over your sexual orientation, but thus is the current state of affairs in Iran.
Death in Abundance
While some view current President Hassan Rouhani as largely liberal compared to his predecessors, he’s still been unable to curb the rampant violence and death taking place in his country. The Iranian Parliament executed more than 450 individuals in 2017 ranging from non-violent drug offenders to political activists, making capital punishment a serious area for improvement in the eyes of the U.S. Several people were even sentenced to death for crimes they allegedly committed as children. Iran’s current criminal code is seriously outdated and is being scrutinized on an international level.
Corruption at the Highest Level
Iran’s judicial system and current economical circumstances are plagued by serious corruption. Whether it’s executives accepting bribes in return for favorable court decisions or systems of cronyism intruding government organizations, top officials in the Islamic Consultative Assembly have been guilty of some form of corruption. Regarding terrorism, the USA has castigated and leveled sanctions on Iran for what the US feels is a tacit if not overt support of radical Islam and terrorism since the Revolution in 1979. In either case, there is more than a little truth associated with the allegations that each is fond of meddling with the other in order to further larger, geopolitical goals.
These three elements greatly affect Iran – United States relations, have since at least the 1950’s and will likely until there is either a regime change in Iran or America pursues a completely isolationist posture. What do you think? Tell us below.