Commentary | October 04, 2010

The Gathering Storm Over Iran

Writing for livemint.com, W. Pal Sidhu analyzes the relationship between the United States and Iran, in response to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad comments at the annual gathering of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

“Last month, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s repugnant claim that the events of 9/11 were a U.S. conspiracy set an all-time low in this regard, triggering a walkout by the representatives of 33 countries—a new record,” writes Sidhu.

Sidhu argues that Washington DC’s and Tehran’s mutual misperceptions lie at the heart of this problematic relationship.  With Ahmadinejad’s pronouncements of the U.S.’s immoral political and economic system, and the U.S.’s belief that Iran is on the verge of collapse, neither country evaluates the other realistically.  Both countries’ assessments are too extreme.

Sidhu concludes that Iran made a serious mistake in choosing to attack the U.S. rather than communicate at this year’s UN General Assembly: “Clearly, both sides missed a ‘golden opportunity’ to negotiate their way out of the dangerous impasse on the sidelines of the UN.  In this instance, the blame lies squarely with Ahmadinejad.”

Click here to read Sidhu's piece on livemint.com.