CORAL GABLES, Fla. , Sept. 14, 2011 — There has been no contact between Iran and the United States since the 1970s, and that concerns the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
During a stop at the University of Miami, Navy Adm. Mike Mullen said that the lack of contact between the United States and Iran is troubling.
“Even in the darkest days of the Cold War, U.S. officials could still talk with the Soviets,” the admiral said. In the early 1960s, U.S. and Soviet leaders had the Hot Line that went straight from the White House to the Kremlin. The United States and Soviet Union had the two largest armories of nuclear weapons. Both nations had nuclear-armed forces on alert at all times.
The hotline allowed U.S. and Soviet leaders to quickly call each other to get accurate information if tensions ratcheted up.
Likewise, there were contacts at the United Nations and other areas. The United States and Soviet Union had embassies and consulates in each others’ country. This lessened the risk of a war starting due to miscalculation or accident, Mullen said.
The Iranian Revolution deposed the Shah of Iran in 1979. In 1980, Iranian radicals stormed the U.S. embassy in Tehran and took 52 Americans hostage. They were released in January 1981, and there have been no official contacts between the nations since.
Iran is attempting to develop nuclear weapons and wants regional hegemony in the Middle East, Mullen said. The lack of contact between the United States and Iran could be dangerous to the region and the international community.
U.S. Department of Defense
Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs)