BY FARIDEH FARHI
I have recently returned from a three-month trip to Iran. I arrived in Tehran in early September before the famous Rouhani/Obama phone call and departed last week as the mood was turning more skeptical regarding the potential for some sort of final nuclear deal, which, in the words of Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, would “normalize” the status of Iran’s nuclear program if it were to happen.
Frankly, sitting in Tehran, it was hard to listen to various Obama administration officials’ frenzied explanations to the US Congress and Israeli government regarding how, even with the first-step agreement, Iran will remain in dire straits. It was hard to listen without becoming skeptical about the US political environment allowing an agreement that would also be acceptable to Iran. From the receiving end of all the nuclear chatter, the whole American demeanor on Iran appears imperious, even outright uncivilized; like people speaking calmly about the taking of others’ lives and imposing further economic misery on them as options that are still very much on the table.