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U.S. Policy in the Persian Gulf

July 21, 1988

The downing of the Iranian Airbus was another manifestation of our tragic policy in the Persian Gulf. It is time to reevaluate our stand in that region in order to establish a sound policy. As a superpower, it is our responsibility to provide gains and/or prevent harm for all parties. Thus far, our presence has only perpetuated the violence.

If the U.S. cares for genuine peace, it has to work out a policy based on facts and long-term interests. But peace cannot be obtained by a policy of international intimidation or by excluding the Soviet Union as an influential power. On the contrary, for every loss of influence by the U.S. as a result of poor policy-making decisions, there is potential gain of influence by the Soviet Union. The following points need to be emphasized.

- Iran is indispensable for U.S. interests and for regional and international stability. There must be a genuine approach towards understanding Iran and its Islamic Revolution.

- Islam is now an element in the structure of the U.S. which has to be considered in its national and international policies. Islam and Muslims can be an enormous constructive element in world peace and prosperity. It is erroneous to assume that dealing with and even supporting a secular regime is better for the interests of the U.S. and the West.

- The destiny of Iraq must be decided by its own people. If Iraq continues to pump billions of its petro-dollars for significant Western military support, the prospect of independence for the Iraqi people is compromised.

- The small Arab gulf states, such as Kuwait, Bahrain and Oman, cannot always receive security against geopolitics and demography, especially when their oil resources begin to dry out. They have to fulfill certain requirements for political survival which cannot be gained by foreign forces forever.

- The U.S. can contribute and provide full support to a constructive approach by encouraging Saudi Arabia to step forward towards a settlement.

- Serious contacts between the U.S. and Iran should be developed by both parties. Legitimate channels should be used, avoiding such irresponsible activities and shortsighted plans as secret agents and clandestine operations.

- The Iraq-Iran War would come to an end if a real rapprochement between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia on the one side and Iran on the other can be reached.

But an essential principle of justice must not be ignored: a condemnation and punishment of the aggressor.


Muslim Political Action Committee

Los Angeles

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