To say that American Iranian relations are strained is a major understatement. Iranian officials often view any involvement by the United States in the Middle East as a security threat, and a deterrent to their ability to exercise influence in the area. The United States views Iran as a dangerous power that is poised to take control in a troubled region and worries that some Iranian views are harmful to global security interests. With this backdrop, Iranian-American citizens are poised to continue to play a key role in brokering mutual peace between these two powerful global players.
Recent Troubling Patterns
Iranian Americans are in a unique position of being able to see more clearly both nations’ policies towards one another. For example, most Iranian Americans are opposed to both appeasement of the current Iranian regime (often resulted to in the Obama era) and foreign involvement in wars in the middle east (such as the invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan after September 11th). Many Iranian Americans lived through the cultural revolution in 1979, and understand that U.S.-Iranian relations cannot get better until human rights and political freedoms are improved within Iran itself. Many believe that the current Iranian regime does not respect the rule of law or properly separate church from state. Iranian Americans have unique understanding into the importance of these principles, and are poised to work with friends and loved ones still living in Iran to seek grassroots change within Iran itself.
While many Iranian Americans support US and UN sanctions in some form that target Iran’s despots and IRGC (Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps), it’s important to note that these sanctions should be implemented and put in aaction. Iranian Americans also play important roles in helping U.S. politicians understand why all sanctions must be specifically targeted at the current Iranian regime, and that even stronger sanctions against the regime can continue to put pressure on the Iranian government and foster change from within Iran.
Engagement with Iran
Many Iranian Americans believe that American diplomats should not engage with Iran rulers due to the lack of meaningful moderate within the theocracy. Iranian Americans support cutting off all ties with the current regime until fair elections can be held within Iran that are properly monitored by foreign officials. Until both Americans and Iranians understand the importance of this, the status quo will likely be maintained.