Forever Enemies?

American Policy and the Islamic Republic of Iran

Geoffrey Kemp
Release Date: April 4, 1994

America and Iran remain bitter enemies. Yet because of vital strategic interests in the Persian Gulf, Iran remains too important a country for the United States to ignore. Iran’s opposition to the Arab-Israeli peace process, continued support for terrorism and subversion, poor human rights record, and rearmament programs are reasons for heightened U.S. concern. However, despite these problems, fears about Iranian hegemony in the Persian Gulf or Central Asia are exaggerated.

Should the United states adopt a more conciliatory or more confrontation policy toward the Islamic regime? This book advocates a centrist policy and argues that Unite States must continue to confront Iran on the key issues of concern and work more closely with European allies or find a common policy toward the Islamic regime. The role of Russia is particularly important even though its strategic differences with the United States have been downplayed by the Clinton administration. Iran faces horrendous domestic problems as oil prices fall, its economy falters and its leaders openly and vehemently fight with each other, especially about relations with the United States. While an eventual dialogue with the Iranian leadership is in American interests, no concessions should be make to bring this about.