An Opening to Iran? They've Sold Us This Rug Before

[Weekly Standard] Michael Rubin - In 1979 when Ayatollah Khomeini returned to Iran, many in Washington had been happy to see the shah go. On Nov. 1, 1979, Zbigniew Brzezinski, President Carter's national security adviser and now, ironically, an Obama adviser on Iranian affairs, met in Algiers with Iranian Prime Minister Mehdi Bazargan and Foreign Minister Ibrahim Yazdi to discuss normalization of relations. Iranian students, outraged at the possibility, stormed the American embassy in Tehran, taking 52 diplomats hostage for 444 days. On Aug. 31, 1984, national security adviser Robert McFarlane decided to ship arms to Iran to win the goodwill necessary to free U.S. hostages held by Iranian proxies in Lebanon. Not only did the Iranian leadership stand McFarlane up during his trip to Tehran, but Hizbullah seized more hostages for Tehran to trade. During President Clinton's second term, the State Department encouraged U.S. businessmen to visit Iran, until Iranian vigilantes attacked a busload of American visitors in 1998. Secretary of State Albright even ordered U.S. officials to cease referring to Iran as a rogue regime, and instead as a "state of concern." It was during this time that, according to the 2007 National Intelligence Estimate, Tehran sought to develop a nuclear warhead. The writer, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, was an Iran country director at the Pentagon between September 2002 and April 2004.

2009-02-10 06:00:00

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