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Friday, June 19, 2009

Diplomacy Vacuum/Absent Conscience

Robert Burns writes:

Washington's lack of normal diplomatic access — both to Iran's hard-liners and its reformers — is now handicapping the administration on at least two levels. It restricts the American view of events inside Iran, where the government has cracked down on independent media coverage of street protests. And it limits U.S. officials' grasp of more subtle political undercurrents.

"There's a huge gap in understanding Iran," said Trita Parsi, founder and president of the National Iranian American Council, a nonpartisan group that advocates expanded U.S.-Iranian contacts.

"There is no more effective way to understand the perceptions and intentions and concerns of the other side than to actually talk to them directly," Parsi said. "Not having done so in a robust way for 30 years has created misperceptions on both sides."

link: The Associated Press: US has limited inroads to understanding Iran


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