Iran and the United States: An Insider's View on the Failed Past and the Road to Peace

By Partow, Negar | New Zealand International Review, March-April 2015 | Go to article overview

Iran and the United States: An Insider's View on the Failed Past and the Road to Peace


Partow, Negar, New Zealand International Review


IRAN AND THE UNITED STATES: An Insider's View on the Failed Past and the Road to Peace

Author: Seyed Hossein Mousavian with Shahir Shahidsaless

Published by: Bloomsbury Publishing, New York, 2014, 368pp, US$35.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Since the termination of political ties between the United States and Iran in 1979 many scholarly efforts have been made to explain the reasons for the failure of reconciliation efforts between the two countries. This is because the termination significantly impacted the political map of the region and the balance of power amongst the major regional actors. The present book is a brilliant attempt to elaborate the position of Iran's government and the obstacles that have prevented the re-establishment of ties with the United States or the progress of any possible opportunity for re-normalisation of political ties.

In his book Mousavian, an Iranian career diplomat since the 1979 revolution, studies United States--Iran political relations in a historical context to identify the factors that have shaped the fate of many attempts for negotiations, including spoilers, ideological positions and the domestic politics of each country. He argues that mistrust between the parties is the core factor in the failure of many unofficial attempts conducted by moderate technocrats since 1980. Through a detailed historical account of the major events that have shaped Iran--US relations, Mousavian explains how mistrust developed as the dominant factor and then suggests ways through which the two countries could more positively interact. He acknowledges the difficult path to normalisation of relations but suggests that the benefits of dialogue for both countries supersede the cost that each has paid for the historical issues.

Rather than a literature-based book solely concentrating on secondary resources, Mousavian has produced one that combines scholarly literature as well as personal experience. Mousavian argues that for Iran's supreme leader and other politicians, particularly amongst the conservative factions, the United States' ultimate goal is regime change and replacement of the Islamic Republic with a puppet regime. On the other hand, the US administrations of the last three decades, while differing in policies and in some cases more lenient towards the resumption of political ties with Iran, all share a mistrust in Iran's sincerity. Mousavian, who has been either a member of Iran's nuclear negotiation team or their advisers since 2002, explains how mistrust between some political factions in both countries prevented any direct negotiating opportunity between the United States and Iran until the election of Rohani as president of Iran in 2013. It is this engrained mistrust that has doomed to failure any attempt at reconciliation even though Iran and the United States have co-operated in regional issues such as Afghanistan and, later, reconstruction of Iraq's political system. For Iranians, this mistrust, he suggests, is embedded in historical events such as the 1953 coup in Iran and the United States' unconditional support of the Pahlavi regime during the 1979 revolution.

Mistrust leads to misperception and mis-analysis. Mousavian notes that there is a lack of understanding of US domestic political dynamics in Iran and vice versa. Conservatives in Iran do not seek changes in the status quo, as they view the United States to be a declining power and adopt a more ideological position. The moderate technocrats also at times interpret the rhetoric of US presidents towards Iran as humiliating comments rather than a political rhetoric aimed at the domestic political environment. As the result of such mis-analysis, Iranian conservatives criticise the moderates for their confidence-building policies towards the West and view the US interest in the resumption of the relations as another plot against the Islamic Republic.

By explaining the existing conflict situation in the Middle East and progress in Iran's nuclear negotiations, Mousavian suggests that there is a necessity for direct negotiation based on various issues between the United States and Iran. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Iran and the United States: An Insider's View on the Failed Past and the Road to Peace
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.