Fences-U.S. and Iran?
"We have no illusions that the
United States and Iran will be able to overcome decades of estrangement
overnight. We cannot build a mature relationship on carpets and
grain alone. But the direction of our relations is more important
than the pace. The United States is willing to proceed patiently,
step-by-step, or to move very rapidly, if Iran indicates a desire
and commitment to do so. . . .
"Next Tuesday [March 21st] will mark the beginning of the
New Year [Noruz] for Iran and the beginning of Spring for us
all. For everything under Heaven, there is a season. Surely,
the time has come for America and Iran to enter a new season
in which mutual trust may grow and a quality of warmth supplant
the long, cold winter of our mutual discontent. . . .
"We must recognize that throughout the world, the great
divide today is no longer between East and West, or North and
South; nor is it between one civilization and another. The great
divide exists today between people who are still ensnared by
the perceptions and prejudices of the past, and those who have
freed themselves to embrace the promise of the future."
Madeleine Albright, U.S. Secretary of State, addressing
the American-Iranian Council in Washington, D.C., March 17, 2000
and announcing that the U.S. was lifting its embargo against
Iranian carpets, pistachios and caviar. Albright's statement
was the first significant gesture of public rapprochement between
the U.S. and Iran since Americans were taken hostage at the U.S.
Embassy in Tehran 20 years ago.
From Azerbaijan International (8.1) Spring 2000.
© Azerbaijan International 2000. All rights reserved.
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