By The Daily Star
Iran is currently celebrating its 30th birthday, with the passing of three decades since the nation's people succeeded in bringing down the monarchy of the US-backed shah and creating a government of their own. Yet despite having survived several external attempts to reverse the revolution, the Islamic Republic still behaves less like a confident, functional 30-year-old nation and more like a nervous teenage rebel fending off the authority figures in the United States and the United Nations Security Council.
The Iranians will need to adjust their own positions in order to adapt to a world with an America that is being reinvented each day that Obama is at the helm. The US president is widely popular around the world, and failing to respond to his challenges would risk allowing the Islamic Republic to be portrayed as the villain who seeks to thwart a sincere peacemaking mission. The best strategy for the Iranians would be to focus on the two arenas in which their country has most noticeably failed: public relations and diplomacy. Iran has never been able to successfully defend its controversial policies in the global arena, even though the country has arguably operated in accordance with international law. And although Iran is the most populous country in the Middle East, the country has so far been outfoxed by smaller, PR savvy nations that seek to demonize the Islamic Republic as a result of their own paranoia. The only way to change the current score is to join the PR and diplomacy game.
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