Dialog For Peace
To the editor: In response to Mr. Raymond Sullaman, I would like to assure you that none of us who signed the letter have any intention of presenting Iranians as “easily led” or in the least gullible. I myself learned that Iranians are shrewd businessmen while bargaining for things in the Grand Bazaar in Isfahan.
However, we understand that if you are a student in the USA, you must be experiencing a lot of anti-Iranian sentiments, and you could easily assume that we were trying to be condescending. Far from it. Americans use the carrot-or-stick metaphor in referring to each other, and it’s pretty widely assumed that it means about the same as “you can catch more flies with honey than you can with vinegar” – in other words, you’ll get what you want if you make someone a good offer, rather than using threats or bullying.
I apologize for not having the foresight to imagine that the metaphor might land the wrong way with an Iranian student far away from Grayling.
You are right that the problem between our countries is much bigger than just doing business with each other. The history of animosity between us goes back to 1953, when the CIA engineered a coup which led to the overthrow of an Iranian democratically elected Prime Minister.
We notice you didn’t take issue with anything else in the letter – that we need to focus on peace rather than war, and that a war with Iran would provoke massive destabilization in the region and lead to widespread misery and death.
I hope we can have an ongoing dialog for peace. Both our countries have many good points, and we need to understand and value each other.