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Ahmadinejad’s letter to Bush opens dialogue in Middle Eastern rhetorical style

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Understanding how Middle Eastern rhetoric differs from Western communication can aid in deciphering diplomatic correspondence like the 2006 letter from President Ahmadinejad of Iran. Failure to understand such communications and respond appropriately may result in missed opportunities to avert hostilities or establish effective rapport with other nations. Success in grasping the intent of Iran’s diplomatic overture can provide a basis for creating a response that expresses American sentiments in a way that can be seen as intelligent and appropriate by Middle Eastern recipients. Such correspondence could entail establishing a respectable ethos, arranging content as expected, and emphasizing common values. Knowledge of the Middle Eastern rhetorical tradition can inform a viable understanding for diplomatic correspondence.
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Keywords: Middle-East; political communication; rhetoric

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: April 9, 2010

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