Monarchs and Missed Opportunities
By: Kian Mokhtari
It is heartache to grow up in a country --surrounded by historic evidence of an illustrious past-- but with present-day realities looking you right in the face everyday to say that the time for hometown glory daydreams has long passed.
The duality of what could have been verses what is, can become unbearable at times, crushing the spirit and twisting the soul out of all shape.
A natural reaction is to look for causes of the fall from grace in the past and the bleak looking future prospects.
When the Industrial Revolution was in full swing in the West, Iran was being ruled by superstitious and barely educated Qajar dynasty monarchs who had a penchant for oversized Harems. One even burrowed money from Britain to keep himself surrounded by blushing brides.
The Qajars cannot be blamed for everything however, but they are the most recent examples of complete failures of Iranian governing systems at most crucial junctures in world history.
Although the Pahlavi dynasty has been blamed for failings during a later period, the real fall of Iran from grace came in the 19th century through a succession of womanizing, poorly educated Qajar monarchs. In effect the Pahlavis just could not clear up the massive mess left over to them quickly enough; and this was coupled with their own falling way short of the mark when it mattered.
The reactionary result is Iran today, struggling to put a tardy recent past behind and explode into the future from amid a most disagreeable present tense.
The terrible realization of a very possible future pseudo-sovereignty has struck home with amazing accuracy and clarity. When oil runs out what little independence Iran has managed to wrestle back from its adversaries will again have to be surrendered.
And so, the vicious cycle of Tehran 's drive for nuclear energy and Western powers' anti-Iran libel proceeds with the Western strategists still driving along the Iran containment road; but with the political sign posts taken down.
Iran is being limited with its wings clipped gradually --although no one is prepared to admit in the West that the 1990s' dual-containment policies against Iran have been polished and placed back on the US table of options.
After a dinner hosted by Iran's Foreign Minister Manoucher Mottaki following a recent UN disarmament conference, a US State Department spokesman said the US and other delegates had failed to bridge differences over a proposed nuclear fuel swap deal with Iran.
The White House called it a "missed opportunity."
And with the latter comment Washington has once again displayed its poor grasp of all things Iranian.
In Iran , missed chances are as much a fabric of life as Persian rugs.