The Foreign Service Journal - January/February 2018

THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL | JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2018 11 Moreover, I agree with Dave Schro- eder’s and Kenneth Quinn’s suggestion s that a better American relationship with Iran is not beyond our imagin- ing, provided the American people can ever forget the yearlong hostage crisis nearly 40 years ago that partisan politics, money and other factors now keep alive, as Dennis Jett writes. But none of that is relevant today as long as the new Shia-Sunni conflict rages in the region and threatens to drag in the Trump administration, like the Bush administration before it. This is also whetting President Vladimir Putin’s appetite to re-establish Russia’s pres- ence in the area, even in Iran, despite that country’s fraught history with Rus- sia (as John Limbert’s article reflects) . Finally, it was good to be reminded in the archive piece by Roy Melbourne, my predecessor in Tehran, of how the United States was viewed as Iran’s friend up until the crunch came in 1953, when the United States had to decide between its close ally, Britain, and Iran, which resulted in CIA/MI-6 assistance to the coup reinstating the shah. This was a heavy burden for the American embassy in Tehran to carry as the revolution built up over 1978 and 1979. It led Secretary of State Cyrus Vance to advise President Jimmy Carter against counseling the shah to use his military (contrary to the urgings of National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski and Iranian Ambassador to the United States Ardeshir Zahedi). Thus we can hope that political developments in Iran and the United States might someday result in a friend- lier relationship, however distant that prospect now seems. George B. Lambrakis FSO, retired Paris, France