By: Mir M.Hosseini
As a Norooz gesture, U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright announced lifting a few economic sanctions against Iran and declared a commitment to take extensive steps toward ending two decades of hostility. It was the most explicit overture towards normalizing economic ties with Iran. It signaled the prospect of ending such sanctions as the bans on American investment in Iran's oil industry and the blocking of large loans to Tehran by the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. Under American law, Washington cannot support loans for Iran through the I.M.F. or the World Bank until Iran is removed from the State Department's list of nations that support terrorism.
Iran also welcomed lifting of a U.S. ban on imports of Iranian carpet, caviar and pistachios, three main export items after petroleum and gas. The move was also considered as a positive signal towards reformists gaining majority in parliament elections.
Accusing Iran of sponsoring terrorism, a cliché branding of countries like Cuba and Libya that oppose a unipolar hegemony, Washington blocked Iran's 12 billion assets in the U.S. and passed a law imposing a sanction on companies investing in Iranian oil and gas industries. This gave an opportunity to rivals to get a share of the huge Iranian market that is also a gateway connecting East to the West. A failed U.S. sanctions policy has forced Iran to purchase a substantial amount of commodities from U.S. competitors and constantly changed the patterns of consumption in the region.
On Sept, 15, The United States and Iran took part in talks at foreign minister level for the first time since they broke relations more than twenty years ago. U.S. Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright, and the Iranian Foreign Minister, Kamal Kharrazi, joined their counterparts from six other countries at the United Nations to discuss Afghanistan. Reformist Iranian president, Mohammad Khatami started an active foreign policy showing a smiling side of the Islamic regime to the world.
The two countries broke diplomatic relations after extremists occupied the U.S. embassy in Tehran in 1979. However, hopes of normalization of ties faded away after neo-conservatives took office in the U.S. , leading to a rogue state policy that created another wave of anti-Americanism in the world; a forgotten fact after the Vietnam war.
The gesture was not real and under the new US administration hostilities restarted:
In June 2005, President George W. Bush issued Executive Order 13382 freezing the assets of individuals connected with Iran's nuclear program. In June 2007, the U.S. state of Florida enacted a boycott on companies trading with Iran and Sudan, while New Jersey's state legislature was considering similar action.
On June 24, 2010, the United States Senate and House of Representatives passed the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act of 2010 (CISADA), which President Obama signed into law July 1, 2010. The CISADA greatly enhanced restrictions in Iran. Such restrictions included the rescission of the authorization for Iranian-origin imports for articles such as rugs, pistachios, and caviar.
Although US sanctions have had a negative impact on the Iranian economy, Iranians have chosen the path of Resistence; shrugging off known imperial attitudes of the West towards Iran. In 1979, Ayatollah Khomeini, the founder of the Islamic Republic of Iran labeled the United States as the Great Satan and it was seen as a hardliner stance back then but as time passes by, it is beginning to make more sense. Iranian revolutionary ideas are now travelling at the speed of light around the globe and they will eventually change the world order.