For John, BLUF: Allow trade and eschew diplomatic relations. Nothing to see here; just move along.
Free-lance Reporter Michael J. Totten is a level headed viewer of the scene, so his opinion is to be valued. Here, writing for World Affairs Journal, he looks at our relationship with Iran—"Iran’s Hostage Victory" Here is the start of the article:
During Sunday’s Democratic primary debate, Senator Bernie Sanders argued that it’s time to bring Iran in from the cold. “I think what we’ve got to do is move as aggressively as we can to normalize relations with Iran,” he said.I am going with Michael here, and not Bernie.
If Iran had a representative government, if it wasn’t ruled by Ayatollah Khomeini, his dark theocratic Guardian Council and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, the United States and Iran would restore normal relations almost as a matter of course.
Iran would, in all likelihood, take its proper place as one of America’s premier allies in the Middle East alongside the Kurds and the Israelis. The extreme and often fantastical anti-Americanism so endemic in the Arab world is far weaker among the Persians, Azeris and Kurds who make up the Iranian nation.
Iran right now is like Poland under the Warsaw Pact—a would-be friendly nation occupied and ruled by a hostile regime. Good and proper relations will have to wait until the government is overthrown or reformed out of all recognition like Vietnam under its current communist-in-name-only government.
Regards — Cliff