During a rally to mark the storming of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran

by Iranian students 32 years ago, a man burns an American flag

outside the structure in Tehran, Nov. 4.



Kayhan, Islamic Republic of Iran

Virtual U.S. Embassy in Iran is 'Tech-Savvy' Attempt to Spy


Is 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.


By Ghanbar Naderi


December 10, 2011


Islamic Republic of Iran - Kayhan - Home Page (English)

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announces that the doors to America's virtual Tehran Embassy are open.

AL-DUNYA TV, SYRIA: Syrian political scientist Calls on Iran to mobilize Shiites in Saudi Arabia, 00:01:48, Nov. 17.RealVideo

The new Web-based virtual U.S. Embassy is illegal and will fail to win over the Iranian people.


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.”   



Home Page of the virtual U.S. Embassy: blocked.



After 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 effort.


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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