The final post from Dane in Iran before returning home…
Subject: Iran Travel 7
Having arrived in Tehran once more, this will be my final dispatch from Iran. It has been both a long and a short trip; a sweet and sad goodbye.
Looking back, I had hoped to meet more Iranian people in a more personal way, however, that was not the intention of the tour. The tour is set up as an introduction to Iran. I highly recommend it to anyone who wants a deeper understanding about the Iranians and their culture. Given the short time in a large country under the current political environment, it is difficult to deviate from a set Itinerary. It is possible to create your own itinerary, and perhaps that is what I will do in the future.
I can’t overly express how valuable I think it is for Americans to travel to Iran at this time. Iranians are truly genuine people who have a strong desire to connect. Their history is deep and varied for which they are quite proud. They have a lot to offer in the way of culture with a personal world perspective.
As I have experienced in the once Soviet Union of 1987, 1988, and 1989, I have had the same experience here in Iran. In both cases, the People are aligned with Americans – the People. In both cases, the People had/have disagreements with our U.S. governmental policies AND with their own governmental policies.
What this says to me: People the world around have more in common with each other than they have in difference. America is a good country, well respected for the strength and integrity of it’s people. People of Iran aspire to be like Americans just as the Soviets did, separate from our governmental policies, separate from their governmental polices.
This has been the main premise and motivation for this trip. People to People Diplomacy, in my view is the only way we are going to be able to go forward into the future. There are more than enough nuclear weapons already in existence to insure the total annihilation of the human species. Whether Iran has this technology is less significant than the fact that the U.S., Israel, China, Russia, Great Britain, France, India, Pakistan, and North Korea already have these weapons. We live in a time where these weapons are obsolete, their time has expired.
We will either rid ourselves from these weapons, or we will perish from them. According to the latest from the IAEC Iran is not missing any fissile material. Iran has 0 bombs, the U.S. has 30,000, Israel has 300, Russia has similar count to the U.S.
Eisenhower once said, paraphrased,
“I like to believe that people in the long run are going to do more to promote peace than our governments. Indeed, I think that people want peace so much that one of these days governments had better get out of the way and let them to it.”
Thanks for staying with me, my captive audience. It has been a fun ride and I look forward to being home. With any luck this is only the beginning of an opening communication with the Iranian people and the people of America. I hope this is not my last trip to Iran, only time will tell.
In the mean time, I will continue to promote citizen to citizen diplomacy as a legitimate alternative to the often flawed and glacial pace of governmental diplomacy.
Thanks again for listening.