Milestones of Mistrust: Unpacking 3 decades of the Iranian-US deepfreeze
A very famous man once memorably said, “We didn’t start the fire.”. Maybe it was Billy Joel. Or maybe it was Ayatollah Khomeini, when asked about the relations between his country and America.
However, to quote the words of another famous man, “the times, they are a-changing.”
The meetings mark the latest in a series of diplomatic engagements between Iran and the wider world since the election of the moderate Presidential candidate Hasan Rouhani.
More recently, Rouhani tweeted “Happy Rosh Hashanah” - a marked shift from his predecessor Mr. Ahmadinejad, who didn’t know the meaning of “Rosh Hashanah” or for that matter “happy”. Mr. Rouhani also held a fifteen minute long phone conversation with U.S. President Barack Obama.
At its meeting with the P5+1 Group in Geneva, Iran made a presentation called “"An End to the Unnecessary Crisis and a Beginning for Fresh Horizons.” The European Union said that the presentation was “very useful.” The Obama administration officials indicated that they were weighing a partial easing of sanctions if Tehran takes convincing steps toward addressing international concerns about its controversial nuclear program.
However, all is not rosy and rather still relatively frosty when it all boils down. It must be recalled, that only recently President Obama told the U.N. General Assembly in New York that “while signs of a diplomatic thaw between the United States and Iran are encouraging, (expectations) must be tempered by a decades-old mutual distrust.”
But what are the incidents that have led to “decades of mistrust’” between America and Iran? Why are the relations between two countries worse than those between an Arab mother-in-law and a (foreign) daughter-in-law (and things don’t get much worse than that).
In this glacial gallery, we unravel the thick iceberg between the camps to pick out the most significant incidents that have created an almost irreparable mistrust between America and Iran.
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