Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Dennis Ross insults the Iranian people

In the New York Times today (June 26) former Middle East Negotiator Dennis Ross delivers a slap at the Iranian people. He writes

Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, allowed Mr. Rowhani to win the election recognizing that he had run against current Iranian policies that have isolated the country and invited economically disastrous sanctions. But it isn't clear why Mr. Khamenei allowed such an outcome, 

In this statement, Mr. Ross, who urged support of the Green movement in 2009 effectively ignores the reform movement in Iran, a movement that has been ongoing for more than 15 years. He also insults the Iranian people by implying that they have no agency in their own elections. 

Mr. Ross is a neoconservative connected with the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP) a well known anti-Iran think tank, still influential with conservative legislators and supported by AIPAC.

One uncharacteristic point in Mr. Ross' op-ed was his de-facto call for recognition of Iran's right to peaceful nuclear energy development. 

The answer should be that we can accept Iran's having civil nuclear power but with restrictions that would make the steps to producing nuclear weapons difficult, as well as quickly detectable.

Since Mr. Ross has been a hard-liner on this issue, calling for denying Iran any of its rights under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, this may signal that the extreme right, of which he is a member, is finally beginning to see after 10 years that this position has no currency. 
William O. Beeman 
Professor and Chair 
Department of Anthropology 
University of Minnesota 
395 HHH Center 
301 19th Avenue S.  
Minneapolis, MN 55455 
(612) 625-3400