Our highest level governmental meeting was with Vice-President Rahim Mashaee. He's a longtime associate of President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad, now in charge of The Iranian Culture and Tourism Office, and was recently suggested by Ahmedinejad as a new Foreign Minister.
Vice President Mashaee shares many of President Ahmedinejad's perspectives, and speaks out of a sensibility that, frankly, seems incomprehensible when we view it through the filters of our culture and news media. But hearing a passionate and eloquent advocate for the Islamic Revolution was a singular gift. It gave me a lens into the mind of theocratic Iran, a perspective it is essential we learn to grasp. I'll offer this in three posts, of which this is the first.
Early on, he offered his perspective on America and its recent policies toward Iran:
You are here on a very positive mission. Communication between Americans and Iranians is essential. All humans should get to know each other, learn about each other and help one another. The human world has never been peaceful because people never really come together yet. I am glad you have come.
Is there any real problem between the people of Iran and the people of the United States? No. There is none. I don't think there is any real problem between any peoples of the world. The Iranian people like you very much. But they dislike the administration of the United States.
The ideals of America gave a lot of hope to the world. But when American political leaders talk about a "new world order," we can see that they're not really talking about a more enlightened way to manage the world for the benefit of everyone. Their vision is empty. They don't want to really manage the world so that everyone is taken care of.
Under the guise of "competition" American policy has never really been fair. It has been based only on their own profit, not truly caring about the humanity of everyone. It's now obvious that an American-ruled world is completely impossible - because the American government hasn't even recognized people of other countries as real human beings.
There's no place for love in the American government's policies or their economy. I ask you: look at America's way of relating to the rest of the world, and tell me what you see: Where's the heart? Where is it? You can't show it to me, can you? Why not? Think about it!
Isn't what's most important attaining the level of being that is closest to God, Nirvana, the very aim of the prophets? Can we be satisfied if we cannot choose that? Are the people of the world thus free today? Do they have their basic needs met, and do they have the basic security that is necessary to any higher aspiration? American imperialism is against this necessary future of the world's people. So it cannot and will not prevail. Those without love for people, who don't think about people's welfare, are condemned to be defeated.