Excellent interview with Iranian-American Hooman Majd that Andrew Sullivan posted here earlier today. Here is the interview in its entirety on Salon.com. Majd is someone whose advice should be trusted and followed, to name just a few of his credentials: he translated for Khatami and Ahmadinejad, is the grandson of an Ayatollah, and his father was a diplomat for the shah. A friend once told him that he was "...the only person he knew who was both 100 percent American and 100 percent Iranian."
Some amazing quotes from the interview:
But this is an internal matter. For the U.S. to get involved in any way is a huge mistake in my opinion. It makes Iranians very suspicious. One reason they were able to get 3 million people out on the streets from a broad socioeconomic spectrum across all political lines -- you don't get 3 million people on the streets of Tehran if they're all students like in 2003 -- is because the lower class, the middle class, the upper class, students, old people, families, religious families, women in chadors, men in beards, they all came out. These people also voted against Ahmadinejad or felt the vote wasn't fair.
The neocons know nothing about Iran, nothing about the culture of Iran. They have no interest in understanding Iran, in speaking to any Iranian other than Iranian exiles who support the idea of invasions -- I'll call them Iranian Chalabis. It's offensive, even to an Iranian American like me. These are people who would have actually preferred to have Ahmadinejad as president so they could continue to demonize him and were worried, as some wrote in Op-Eds, that Mousavi would be a distraction and would make it easier for Iranians to build a nuclear weapon and now all of a sudden they want to be on his side? Go away.
I'm not saying Obama is the most knowledgeable person on Iran, but he's obviously getting good advice right now. He understands way more about the culture of the Middle East than any of the neocons. For them to be lecturing President Obama is a joke. I have criticized Obama; for instance, I criticized him for having a patronizing tone in his Persian New Year message. But right now I think he's doing a good job. The John McCains of the world, they're Ahmadinejad's useful idiots. They're doing a great job for him.