a rally to mark the storming of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran
Iranian students 32 years ago, a man burns an American flag
the structure in Tehran, Nov. 4.
Kayhan, Islamic Republic of Iran
Virtual U.S. Embassy in Iran is 'Tech-Savvy' Attempt to Spy
America's newest diplomatic initiative, a virtual U.S. Website in Tehran, an
attempt to reach out and build bridges with the Iranian people - or a clever
new strategy for espionage? This column from Iran's state-run Kayhan lambastes
the virtual U.S. Embassy as not only a lame attempt to make up for a failure of
America diplomacy, but illegal as well.
U.S. Secretary of State
Hillary Clinton claims that Washington has opened the virtual embassy to
encourage dialogue with the Iranian people, and in the absence of direct
contact, to work as a bridge between Americans and Iranians. But foreign
ministry officials say that the Web-based embassy is in fact an attempt to spy.
For instance, Foreign
Ministry Spokesman Ramin Mehmanprast said that the project of American outreach
will fail to overcome the effects of U.S. hostility toward Tehran. In his words:
“The virtual initiatives will neither compensate for American mistakes, nor
relay the desired message to the Iranian people."
Over three decades after the
closure of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, this virtual embassy went online last
Tuesday, with versions in English and Farsi. Majlis lawmakers argue
that the virtual diplomatic mission is illegal, although Washington asserts
that it is not really a diplomatic mission.
Majlis member Fatemeh Ajorlou
remarked, “This virtual embassy is illegal. It just serves as further evidence
that in dealing with Iran, the U.S. has made a huge mistake. And in any case,
their actions have failed to undercut our mutual ties with the American people.
Such a move is an indication of sheer desperation and defeat.”
MP Ajorlou also said that
Iran should deal with the site by taking legal action in the cyber arena, as it
is an American attempt to meddle in Iran’s internal affairs. “Under the 1961
Vienna Convention, the establishment of diplomatic relations between states
- and of permanent diplomatic missions - takes place by mutual consent alone. The
United States should have negotiated with Iran before opening such a Web site. But
they didn’t. Because this virtual embassy is not intended to promote friendly
ties, or develop economic, cultural and scientific relations.”
the Islamic Revolution and the U.S. embassy takeover 32 years ago, relations were severed. The
embassy was stormed by students who opposed U.S. meddling in Iran’s internal
affairs and American support for the ousted Shah. Since then, the Pakistan
Embassy has represented Iran's interests in Washington and Switzerland has represented
U.S. interests in Tehran.
Nevertheless, less than a day
after it went online, the Web site was blocked by Iran. It is just the latest tactic by a tech-savvy Obama
White House to overcome Iran's decades-old indifference about communicating with U.S. administrations. Amazingly, the administration has pledged to continue with this
In addition to illegal
sanctions and restrictions, over the past three decades or so the U.S. government
and its allies have committed numerous crimes against Iranians (with overt and
covert wars and terrorist attacks). Under the circumstances, we'll have to wait
and see if Washington manages to find a way to hoodwink Iranians with a tactic
that attempts to open its own “virtually yours” communication channel!
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