Iran

Iran

Iran

Iran

Excerpt

In the second half of the twentieth century the Orient has become a bone of contention between the conflicting worlds of the West and the Soviet Union. But the issues here are far more complicated than great power rivalry, for nascent nationalisms and internal unrest in the countries of the East overshadow the issue of acceptance or rejection of Communism, and our relations with these countries must be based on an understanding of their internal problems, not solely on the black-white yardstick of their pro- or anti-Communist positions. Many of the problems are age-old and not to be solved overnight, nor by a universally applicable touchstone of American democracy. For much of what has been developed on American soil is a result of traditions and circumstances peculiar to our land and people. In transplanting our ideas and techniques to other countries we may find that they do not flourish or that they develop in directions other than those followed in America. This is especially true in Asia where there are ancient civilizations with cultural patterns different from the West European Christian tradition. And Asia itself is no unit; there are many peoples and cultures in that vast land mass. The countries vary in language, in religion, in level of industrialization, and in a host of other respects.

That is why one must study the background of a country like Iran to realize her peculiar problems and those features which distinguish this country from her neighbors. To put all of the peoples and countries of the Middle East into one category with little differentiation is a great error; each peo-

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