Leaving disputes, focusing on common points will lead to better Iran-US ties

Tehran, June 6, IRNA – A number of US and Iranian experts have discussed promotion of Iran-US relations calling for making joint efforts by the two sides to bury the hatchet and help improve bilateral ties.
The call was made in a meeting recently held in the Atlantic Council – a Washington-based non-partisan think tank.

The meeting called ˈUS-Iran Relations Past, Present, and Future,ˈ was participated by Hossein Mousavian, former spokesman of Iranˈs nuclear negotiating team with the West under former president Mohammad Khatami, and by John D. Marks, the founder and president of the Search for Common Ground which is a non-profit organization based in Washington DC – as well as Barbara Slavin, a senior expert on Iran and the Middle East Region affairs.

The gathering was organized by Iran Task Force, a project by Atlantic Council, and Search for Common Ground.

Addressing the meeting, Mousavian divided the history of Iran-US relations into three different periods (first from 1856-1953, second from 1953-1979 and third from 1979 to present time).

During the first period, he said, relations between the two countries were friendly when US supported Iranˈs independence.

Mousavian said that the second period (from the 1953 US-led coup against Iranˈs democratically-elected Prime Minister Mohammad Mosadeq to 1979 Islamic Revolution) was the time of US dominance over Iran.

He said the third period (since 1979 to present time) was featured by severe ties between Iran and US.

The Iranian expert compared the third period with the time of US relations with the former Soviet Union during the Cold War era.

He noted that the hostility between Iran and US in the third period is much deeper than the hostility between US and the then USSR.

Referring to conflicts across the Middle East region, Mousavian underlined the need for Iran-US cooperation.

ˈIn a Middel East which is on fire, the US-Iran cooperation is a must,ˈ said the veteran Iranian diplomat.

He believed that mentioning only the disputed issues during any talks with Iran will be a mistake made by the US.

Mousavian referred to a statement once made by former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger who had said common points between Iran and the US are much more than any other two countries in the world.

He said the two capitals can reach an agreement on disputed issues by holding negotiations with flexibility.

Mousavian said the fight against organized crimes and drug trafficking as well as providing support for governments in Iraq and Afghanistan are among major issues over which Iran and the US have common interests.

Meanwhile, Marks suggested that the best way to eradicate, if not reduce, the fog of misperception between the two sides is via ˈthe exchange of technical expertise and scientific insights that can promote alternative solutions.ˈ



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