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Contentions

Party Like It’s 1979

Fans of talking to Tehran, take note: In the Islamic Republic, the unilateral abolition of diplomatic relations with the U.S. is celebrated as a holiday:

Hundreds of Iranian children bused in for the occasion crowded outside the former U.S. Embassy on Monday, burning American flags and chanting slogans to commemorate the 29th anniversary of the building’s seizure by militant students.

Equal parts school holiday and angry demonstration, Monday’s commemoration came on the eve of the U.S. presidential election and was marked by anti-U.S. and anti-Israel chants and the burning of flags.

What people like Barack Obama don’t see is that Iran, more than any country in the region, represents a customized Islamist threat to the U.S. The founding of the Khomenei regime was predicated on more than a radical interpretation of Shia Islam. It was, at its core, an anti-American revolution. As Ayatollah Ali Khamenei put it last week, “This conflict goes far beyond having differences over a few political issues.” When there is zero room for diplomacy, the mere suggestion of talks exposes the optimistic party as fools.



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