THE STATE DEPARTMENT'S recent announcement that the United States will recognize the government appointed by Ayatollah Khomeini marked the United States' official acceptance of the reality of Iran's new order, and is a positive move toward maintaining communication with this turbulent nation.
Recognition does not, however, necessarily endorse the new government. In particular, Khomeini's call for the destruction of the state of Israel is a move the United States must deplore. In addition, the revolution that placed Khomeini and his appointees in power included many leftist groups as well as Shiite Moslems and the United States should not regard Khomeini as the only political force within Iran. Recognition of Iran simply maintains American contact with a nation that is vital to U.S. interests.
This recognition does, however mark the end of an era in the formation of U.S. foreign policy; the United States should no longer rely on client regimes and C.I.A. puppets to act as surrogate policemen, as the United States' heavies in the Third World.
The Iranian revolution, as did revolutions that preceeded it, proved the weakness of any U.S. attempts to impose a government or modernization scheme on an unwilling people. In future dealings with the Khomeini government and the Iranian people, the United States should continue to refrain from any attempts to reshape Iran--that is the Iranian's business, and their business alone. The internal reconstruction of Iranian society and politics must never again be left to American strategists and intelligence agencies.
ALTHOUGH THE U.S. must shun direct intervention in Iranian politics, it should strongly condemn one of the first acts of that government. In his announcement Monday, Khomeini caused alarm by naming Israel the next target for the Islamic revolution. While his statement, and the seizure of the Israeli legation buildings for use by the Palestine Liberation Organization, are dangerous harbingers or renewed warfare in the region, the implied threat to non-Moslem minorities and the thousands of Jews now living in Iran is especially troubling. The Iranian government and the international community must at the earliest possible opportunity affirm that persecution of any minority will not be the tools with which the various revolutionary forces in Iran consolidate their rule.