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Crocodile Tears for Iranians

07 Jul 2009 04:0359 Comments

By MUHAMMAD SAHIMI in Los Angeles | 5 July 2009

Elections in Iran, whether presidential, parliamentary, or even for city councils, are always preceded by great debates over a simple issue: to vote or not to vote. The typical turnout in Iranian elections is around 60% of eligible voters. Turnout has never exceeded 85%, which was attained in the presidential election of June 12, 2009. (One exception is the April 1979 referendum right after the revolution, which holds the record for turnout. Iranians were asked to cast a vote either in favor of the continuation of the monarchy or an Islamic Republic, which was not defined.) So, the vote-or-not debates are generally aimed at encouraging or discouraging the 20% of eligible voters who decide to vote on certain occasions (as they did last month, and also in 1997 and 2001, the two times in which Mohammad Khatami was elected president).

Iran's presidential election of June 12 was no different. But that debate in Iran was practically settled as soon as Khatami announced several months ago that he would run for president. Huge crowds greeted him everywhere he went. After Khatami announced that he would withdraw in favor of Mir Hossein Mousavi and threw his support behind him, the same huge crowds began greeting Mousavi, which gave rise to the Green Movement. A great majority of Iranians came to reason that by voting they could remove Mahmoud Ahmadinejad from the presidency, and hence create a possibility for a better future.

The situation was different outside Iran. A part of the exiled opposition (if they can be called such), which included hard-core royalists, supporters of the Mojahedin-e Khalgh, and a group of politicians and journalists who emigrated from Iran in the past few years, called for boycotting the election. Given that the MEK is nothing more than a terrorist cult, I will not discuss them any further. The royalists, who are after regime change in Iran, and others, who were vehemently opposed to voting, argued, as they always do, that elections in Iran are not meaningful, and that it does not matter whether the people vote or not. But after the surge in the popularity of Mousavi, they mostly fell silent.

Among the War Party in the United States, made up of those Republican and Democrats who favor a militaristic approach to foreign policy, the debate about Iran's presidential election was, up to 2005, always the same. Prior to Ahmadinejad becoming Iran's president in 2005, and particularly when Khatami was president, the neoconservatives, the War Party and others always mocked him for being powerless. On the eve of Iran's presidential election of 2005, George W. Bush declared that in Iran power is held by "an unelected few," meaning that elections were inconsequential. But after Ahmadinejad was elected and began using his incendiary, but inconsequential rhetoric about the Holocaust and Israel, the War Party and the Israel lobby transformed him into the most powerful man in Iran, even comparing him to Adolph Hitler.

It is well known that Iran's president, while influential to some extent, is not the ultimate decision maker when it comes to foreign policy. But, regardless, the War Party, the neoconservatives, and the Israel lobby transformed Ahmadinejad into the most powerful man on earth, a mad man who, if he got his hands on a nuclear weapon, would not hesitate to use it against Israel. They even prayed that the U.S. would attack Iran, even though there is no evidence that Iran is interested in making nuclear weapons.

Two weeks before Iran's June 12 presidential election, the War Party and the Israel lobby began to worry about the possibility that Mousavi may be elected president. They worried that his victory would take away from them their main propaganda weapon against Iran: Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. They have always considered Ahmadinejad "Israel's greatest asset," and wanted him to win re-election. Many neoconservatives and Israeli politicians stated explicitly that, from their point of view, it would be better if Ahmadinejad won a second term.

They had good reason to worry. During his campaign Mousavi accused Ahmadinejad of using rhetoric against Israel and the West, as well as exhibiting such inflexibility in his nuclear policy, that have hurt Iran's national interests and security. In his one-on-one debate with Ahmadinejad, Mousavi criticized his stance on the Holocaust and the conference on the same subject that he sponsored in Tehran in December 2006. He promised that if elected, he would pursue a sober and flexible foreign policy that would not only preserve Iran's vital interests, but would also enable it to reach an accommodation with the West that would bring it out of its diplomatic isolation.

Mousavi's principled stance against Ahmadinejad, as well as his promise for a better foreign policy, was not what the War Party and the neoconservatives wanted to hear, since for years their goal has been convincing the public that there is no solution to the confrontation with Iran but a military one. Thus, about a week before the election, the War Party, the neoconservatives and the Israel lobby, demoted Iran's president to a powerless man again! In concert, they began emphasizing that it does not matter who Iran's president is, since all the important decisions regarding foreign policy are made by the life-appointed Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khemenei.

Writing in the New York Times, for example, Elliot Abrams, the neoconservative deputy national security advisor to George W. Bush, declared that, "The power of a putative reformist [an Iranian president] is illusory." Others, such as John Bolton, the former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, said the same thing.

But neither the exiled Iranian "opposition," nor the War Party in the U.S., could predict that the conservatives would commit fraud on such a grand scale to keep Ahmadinejad as president at all cost. Of course they were not the only ones who were cut off guard.

The fraud however provoked large-scale demonstrations and a violent crackdown on peaceful protesters, and the arrest of more than 2000 people, among them many important reformist leaders, journalists, human rights advocates, university students and others. In particular, the cold-blooded murder of Neda Agha Soltan, the beautiful 27-years-old woman, shook the world.

So the same Iranian "opposition," who had called for boycotting the election, began exploiting the situation. Suddenly, many "leaders" emerged instructing people on how to continue their protests and demonstrations until they had recovered their rights, including annulment of the elections and holding a new round of elections, the same elections that were not meaningful up until June 12. The same people who had said that elections in Iran were inconsequential, suddenly discovered that elections do in fact matter; they could result in the election of a moderate and enlightened man, such as Khatami (even if he was not successful); or Ahmadinejad, who has presented an extremely negative image of Iran, not to mention has also wrecked the economy with his dismal performance, and ruthlessly repressed people at home; or result in a vast fraud against Mousavi, which reignited and invigorated the democratic movement.

Reza Pahlavi, the same man who had called for boycotting the election and repeatedly called for sanctions against Iran, sanctions that hurt only ordinary Iranians, and in many cases, such as we saw in Iraq, have eventually led to war, suddenly started shedding tears for the demonstrators, the voters whom he had done his best to discourage from voting.

Mohsen Sazegara, the man who had opposed voting until the day before the election, was suddenly giving people "instructions" on how to resist the fraud. Others, mostly on the left side of the political spectrum, suddenly discovered the power of angry voters. Some even claimed that these protests were not on account of fraud or even Mousavi.

Just to make sure that I am not misunderstood, let me emphasize: The violent crackdown on peaceful protesters, which resulted in the murder of at least two dozen people, must be condemned internationally. No one with any conscience can be indifferent to the cold-blooded murder of Neda Agha Soltan and others like her. No one can be indifferent to the fact that the hope of a great majority of the Iranian people for a better future was extinguished. Let there also be no doubt that the arrest of so many people, particularly innocent protesters, as well as the harsh censorship imposed on the press, must be condemned in the strongest way possible.

Some Iranians living in the U.S., who support Ahmadinejad because they believe that he has stood up firmly to the U.S. and has succeeded in setting up Iran's uranium enrichment facilities, believe that international condemnation of what has been happening in Iran would be tantamount to interfering in Iran's internal affairs. Not so.

Condemning what has happened in Iran and expressing solidarity with the Green Movement would not be interference in Iran's internal affairs, because what is being condemned first and foremost are violations of fundamental human and civil rights of the Iranian people, and respect for such rights, and condemning their violations, are universal values.

Just as all peace-loving people condemn the carnage committed by Israel against the Palestinians, by George W. Bush and his cabal against the Iraqis, by Russia against the Chechens, by Saddam Hussein against his compatriots, by the Taliban against the Afghan people and especially Afghan women, and by the government of Sudan against the people of Darfur, they must also condemn what is happening in Iran.

But, for the condemnations to have any credibility, the condemners themselves must have credibility. Thus, in my opinion, only the condemnations of the truly antiwar activists, those who stood firmly against any sanctions or unprovoked attacks on Iran, and true believers in the universality of human rights, not those for whom human rights are a baton to hit the opposition, would be credible. If people like Pahlavi and Sazegara want to condemn what is happening in Iran, and their condemnation is welcome, they must first be honest enough about what they were saying before the election. In particular, Pahlavi must denounce his stance on sanctions against Iran. Otherwise, in the author's opinion, the good people of Iran need neither Pahlavi's tears, nor Sazegara's "instructions."

At the international level, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Physicians for Human Rights, Federation of Human Rights Societies, Reporters without Borders, and the United Nations Human Rights Council have credible track records of defending human rights. Thus, they can credibly condemn what is happening in Iran, as they have. They must continue doing so.

When the post-election protests erupted in Iran, the situation became even tougher for the War Party and the neoconservatives. They recognized that Ahmadinejad will apparently be Iran's president for four more years, even though a great majority of the Iranian people everywhere (including the author) consider his second term as illegitimate. So, how should they react?

Clearly, they could not make a 180-degree turn in less than a week, and declare once again that Ahmadinejad is the most dangerous man on earth and bent on destroying Israel and the U.S.! That would be too ridiculous, even for this crowd, although I must say that nothing that this crowd does surprises me. This crowd never tires of trying to start a war against Iran.

So, the War Party and the neoconservatives decided to do the next "best" thing, namely, shedding crocodile tears for the Iranian people, but also using the tears to prepare the public for a future war. A war would kill at least tens of thousands of Iranian people, the same people for whom they are shedding tears. In particular, they began attacking President Obama's sensible policy of condemning the violence and crackdown on the protesters, but refusing to take sides.

The Iranian people do not forget the positions of the same people who are now shedding crocodile tears for the good people of Iran. They do not forget that Senator John McCain who now sheds such tears, is the same man who said "bomb, bomb, bomb" Iran, and the same man who has consistently supported the illegal invasion of Iraq and the escalation of the Afghan war by the Obama administration, which has resulted in the slaughter of hundreds of thousands of people. The decent people of Iran do not need, nor have they asked for, the Senator's support. He should shed them for selecting a running mate such as Sarah Palin.

Let us not forget that William Kristol, the neoconservative with crocodile tears in his eyes, is the same man who was a major force behind the invasion of Iraq and did his utmost best to provoke George W. Bush to attack Iran. He now criticizes President Obama for being "resolutely irresolute" about interfering in Iran.

Just to see how much Kristol understands Iran, consider the following: He likens Mousavi, a pious man with an impeccable track record for being uncorrupted, to Boris Yeltsin, the corrupt drunkard who sold out Russia to the Mafia-like Russian oligarchy. There is a reason he is called the "little Lenin" of the neocons!

In the author's opinion, Iranians do not need Senator Joseph Lieberman's crocodile tears, the turncoat who had no loyalty even to his own Democratic Party, the man who supported the invasion of Iraq, who did his best to start a war with Iran, and who has been the sponsor of so many Senate resolutions against Iran. He now "greatly admires the courage and principle of the Iranians."

I suppose the Senator fantasizes that if the democratic movement succeeds, Iran will become a U.S. client state again so that he would not have to push for bombing Iran.

Iranians know that Danielle Pletka has been a long-time hard-liner on Iran at the American Enterprise Institute, the same institution that provided the "theoretical foundation" for the invasion of Iraq, and was home to such Iran "experts" as Michael Ledeen and Reuel Marc Geretch, who did their best to start a war with Iran. She also sheds crocodile tears for the Iranian people who, in her opinion, will suffer "the consolidation of power by a ruthless regime." But, remaining true to her real colors, she also provides clues as to how the problems with Iran must be handled by saying, "That Iran [under Ahmadinejad's second term] neither needs nor wants accommodation with the West," meaning diplomacy should not be pursued.

Finally, everyone knows that Richard Perle, the "Prince of Darkness," was the "brain" behind the Iraq invasion and the man who has been trying to pick for Iranians their future leader by coming up with an Iranian Ahmad Chalabi. Shedding crocodile tears for the Iranian people, Perle blames President Obama for what has been happening in Iran, because according to him, "When you unclench your fist it benefits the hardliners, because Obama appeared to be saying we can do business with you even with your present policies." Since he is bothered by Obama's supposedly unclenched fist, one can conclude that his crocodile tears are only for justifying a future war with Iran.

The Iranian people do need moral support, and need a lot of it. They can handle the rest by themselves. But, they do not need the crocodile tears of the warmongers who, for years, have done all they can to start a war with their country, or impose sanctions that would only hurt the common people.

In a message to the Iranians in the Diaspora, Mousavi said, "I am fully aware that your justified demands have nothing to do with groups who do not believe in the sacred Islamic Republic of Iran's system. It is up to you to distance yourself from them, and do not allow them to misuse the current situation." That is the right message, regardless of whether one is for or against the Islamic Republic. Anyone who supports Iran's democratic movement should heed Mousavi's call and support him as the movement's leader. The movement does not need a leader living in exile.

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'The movement does not need a leader living in exile.'

Strange comment. Why not? By that logic political leaders who spent time in exile such as de Gaulle, Lenin, Kenyata, Mazzini, the Dalai Lama, not to mention Mohammad himself, were either all superfluous or agents of foreign powers.

And please stop going on about the neo-cons and the so-called 'War Party'. This crisis is entirely of the mullahs' making, who thought they'd get one over the Messiah in the White House. (They may yet do). Neo-cons can say all they want. But this isn't about them, but about a tyrannical medieval monstrosity, fianlly losing whatever was left of its legitimacy (assuming it had any to begin with), and deciding to confront its own population head on.

Mehran / July 6, 2009 7:15 AM

Dear Mehran:

The article did not say that this is a crisis made by the neoconservatives. I do not understand your comment.

As for a leader in exile, not only is there not one (the pretenders are nothing but opportunists), but also the Green Movement began in Iran and under home-grown leadership. With a leadership at home, the movement will be much more difficult to crush also.

Muhammad Sahimi / July 6, 2009 8:53 AM






FAYE MOGHTADER / July 6, 2009 11:06 AM

what a load of crap... So only Marxists like this author can be sorry for us?

winston / July 6, 2009 11:31 AM

Vast majority of Israeli people sincerely wish freedom, peace, and prosperity to the Iranians, no matter what neocons or right-wingers think.

Max / July 6, 2009 11:45 AM

I cry no tears for the Iranian people - they elected their president,

Ahmadinejad. It was a fair election as those responsible for its execution certified it as so. Ahmadinejad is the leader of Iran, but the US and the UK tried to upset this election with their agent Mousavi who received less that 20% of the votes. Death to America!

Death to the traitors! Long live Ahmadinejad.

Radical Guy / July 6, 2009 11:49 AM

That is no marxist sir! A confused man who sees piety in Mousavi! Wonders never cease. Can it really be true that he forgets Mousavi's role in killing Iran's marxists and socialists? Tch tch.

caz / July 6, 2009 11:54 AM

@Radical Guy;

you just tell me on reason why ahmadinejad is a good president? stay on fact and no lies. Khamanei's son has 1,7 bill. $$ in UK!! did you know that?

Ahmadinejad is treading with Guns and sells to Taliban. the inflation is exploded at his Time and his wort is allways lie. Iran is a most importer of US ware and they make money with them. You have ni idea what to say?

i know. You will be the next protestor if you don't get your money in next 4 years. We will see

sqllab / July 6, 2009 12:16 PM

Dear Mr. Sahimi,

With all my appreciation to you, this time I really could not understand your point/s. I have many comments to this article, but I will refrain myself to a few questions:

1. If you agree that the Iranian president, whoever it is, has no influence on the foreign policy, can't you understand those who say that (in their point of view) there is no difference between Mousavi and Ahmadinejad?

2. Hasn't Mousavi been a son of the Islamic revolution? Hasn't he been the Iranian regime's prime minister during the Iran-Iraq war? The war in which HIS government sent 12 year old children to the battlefield?

3. Did the Iranian people have more freedom in Mousavi's term as prime minister?

4. Didn't Mousavi's government been involved in executing opponents, stoning women and hanging homosexuals?

5. People may change. Maybe Mousavi has changed. But if there is someone required to be honest enough, this is Mr. Mousavi himself. Honest enough to say: "I was wrong. I did bad things. I changed my mind."

7. Knowing that the real ruler is not Ahmadinejad himself, what do the Iranian people mean when they shout "Marg Bar Dictator!"?

8. Isn't it obvious that what happened in Iran last month is much more then a debate about ballot counting? Don't you think that people flew to the streets because they are done with this regime? Don't you understand that, so far, Mousavi's shoulders have been too narrow to lead a real change?

9. One last thing: When one says that Israel (or any other country) will be wiped off the map and makes secret nuclear efforts, isn't it circumstantial evidence that his goal is to produce nuclear weapons? Otherwise, he might mean to do the job with a rubber.

torlak kemal / July 6, 2009 1:02 PM

Well said. The hypocrits, the opportunists, like vultures always around. Ironic that a Pahlavi stands out of a crowd as if what he had to say now was of any interest to Iranians other than those who profitted from the Sha's circles, living with their fortunes in the U.S. since 1979, while before that they ignored the repression, the tortures, the killings, the SAVAK. That Pahlavi, and his supporters, should keep their nostalgia of the monarchic Iran for their private meetings in the exile, they surely would not dare to show any Pahlavi picture in a demonstration at a street of Tehran, and that shows how little in touch they are with today's iranians: as much as they were back in the days with their compatriots, when they chose to flee with their accumulated wealth.

Of course Iran doesn't need any leader in the exile, like Khomeini. It needs what it wants, and that is, to have their votes count.

Manuel / July 6, 2009 1:28 PM

Dear Dr.Sahimi,

Great article! I wish it could also be published in Nytimes, Washington Post or LA Times. I am forwarding this article to anybody I know.

Thank you so much for your sensible and logical assessment of the post-election unrest in IRAN and the reaction of all these so-called Iran-Lovers (Half-Pahlavi and Sazegara etc) and the Bloody Kristol and likes of him on US mainstream media.

I wish you could go on CNN, NBC or even FOX news to discuss the points you have articulated in this article.

Thanks for being the reasonable voice.


Amin Mir / July 6, 2009 1:44 PM

Dear Mr. Kemal,

I'd like to answer a few of your points, which I believe I have an answer to, despite not being the author.

1. I don't think Mr. Sahimi said Ahmadinejad had no influence on foreign policy, but rather than the real power is not in his hands, but in the Ayatollah's one hand. His words do have a negative effect on foreign policy, but pretending he's capable of what he says he'd like to do, is what Israel and neocons want people to believe. That is manipulation since they well know the reality. Now, I personally believe a big mistake from Mr. Obama to say that Ahmadinejad and Mousavi are not so different, since it seemed just a way to appease themselves from their disappointment on the fraudulent re-election of Ahmadi, and also it shows that America is only thinking about themselves, again. To the people of Iran, and to democracy, they are very different, since even if they were twin brothers, only one of them got the majority of the votes. It should be up to Iranians to judge whether they're different. The foreign-policy implications on the elected president should be a secondary concern.

2,3, and 4: I have no answer to these. I simply don't know. But I don't see how you're saying anything contrary to Mr. Sahimi.

5. Maybe you're right, maybe he should if he did those things, and if he really changed. But I go back to my answer to #1: I don't think not doing so makes him the same as Ahmadinejad. He got the illusion of people, he got the votes.

7. I think people, by dictator, mean Ahmadinejad, because they voted for Mousavi, and the coup d'etat is coming from Ahmadi. He's got Khamenei tied up, he probably has enough sh*t on him so that if he fell, the Ayatollah would too. Otherwise would Khamenei risk his power in support of Ahmadinejad if he could simply acknowledge the fraud, let Mousavi step in, and keep his almighty position? Why take the risks he's taking? Because he was probably left with no choice. So I don't think people see him as the dictator (at least until recently), but as an accomplice.

8. I personally think Iran would be much better off without the Ayatollahs and their theocratic system. I very much sympathize with those who want that change. But we must, again, be honest about what went on. People, during their demonstrations, didn't chant "Down with the regime", they chanted "Where is my vote?". They chanted "Mousavi", and that is because they simply wanted a reform. Maybe many of them in the streets would be happy with a change of regime, with a revolution. But women didn't take off the scarfs off their hair, they didn't want to seem to be asking for a regime change. Maybe they're too cautios. Maybe enough Iranian blood has been shed, and they don't want to mourn thousands of dead in another revolution, and they prefer a gradual reform, even if it takes longer. But they wanted to do it peacefully, and Sir, a revolution, a change of regime, we all know that wouldn't come peacefully. And as much as you and I may want it, we are not in the streets of Iran protesting, our children are not in the streets. If our lives, and those of our loved ones, were at stake, I'd like to see which path we would choose: reform in a decade or two, or revolution.

9. I think completely off-topic, and how does this relate to anything the author said? If you're defending Israel's right to War, because of circumstancial evidence, isn't it too circumstancial evidence for Iran, that the USA could be targetting it, under Bush's years, being included in the Axis of Evil, continuously mentioning the possibility of attack, and having invaded the two neighbooring countries (Iraq and Afghanistan)? Isn't it enough, from your point of view Sir, circumstancial evidence that an unjustified attack on Iran (just as the one on Iraq) was likely to happen sooner or later?

Finally, I think this article was ultimately about legitimacy. Legitimacy to rule, legitimacy to speak out, for those who have changed so radically their opinions, based on their interests, those who really are not interested in Iranians but in themselves.

Manuel / July 6, 2009 2:11 PM

Interesting point of view, but as a member of the War Party, as you call it, it's one I disagree with most vehemently.

I want nothing more than freedom for the Iranian people. Freedom to elect leaders who believe in individual liberty and freedom for all people - including women, and including non-Muslims. The freedom for Israel to exist.

If the Iranian people want freedom, then freedom-loving people support that.

If the Iranian people want to continue to be ruled by religious leaders who stone women and oppress followers, then that's ok too, but stop sending fighters to other countries (like Iraq) to stir things up. Stop supporting terrorist organizations such as Hezbollah. Stop acting outside of your borders and the War Party will leave you alone.

Xanthippe / July 6, 2009 2:51 PM

I do not understand this attack on neo-conservatives, or on conservatives. Mr. Obama is not conservative but his government told Israel yesterday that it has free hand in bombing Iran, if it wishes to. Even Bush did not so clearly say so.

And that is after ruler of Saudi Arabia allowed that Israel has right to bomb Iran.

Furthermore conservatives whether in States or elsewhere rarely presented wrong view of Iran, telling everybody that writers, journalists and film makers do not have freedom to write or make movies freely. Like some of liberals did, in US and elsewhere.

I understand that decision what will happen in Iran should be left to Iranians in Iran, not to diaspora. Or at least Iranian diaspora should not have main voice in any decision. But to fling mud on all conservatives who supported Iranians you through thick and thin, who tried to explain fools that Iranian government is not supported by whole Iran (I do remember many americans were saying that Ahmadinad is supported by majority of Iranians, and these americans were not conservatives but liberals and people from western Iranian web-sites) will help neither Iran nor the people living in Iran.

ella / July 6, 2009 3:49 PM

Mr. Sahimi,

Excellent article and analysis of events and people involved. Iranians on the street shall make the decision this time around, and just as you so eloquently put it, They do not need any tears of opportunism be shed for them particularly from people who in one breath call for bombing of Iran and in next they speak of their so called love of peace and harmony.

Their action, specially of people who take no break by portraying Iranians and barbarians and faceless enemy in order to feed their lust for more wars is an absolute insult to brave young Iranian women and men, who without any help from these war mongering gang stood in front of the most dictatorial regime in the world.

We have survived attacks and suppression from Genghis Khan to British Colonialism to Pahlavi Dynasty to Islamic Republic brutality for 1000's of years and came out victorious and maintained our Persian heritage, and we shall overcome this latest dictatorial regime OURSELVES.

Thanks you ever so much for your wonderful article and to Tehran Bureau staff and Publisher.



YT / July 6, 2009 5:00 PM

Dear Manuel,

I disagree with you about most of your remarks, but I will leave it at it and focus only on two points:

9. is not off topic at all, as Mr. Sahimi wrote in this article: "...even though there is no evidence that Iran is interested in making nuclear weapons." And

And circumstantial evidence or not, I hope you were not happy with Saddam Hussein ruling in Iraq, and Taliban and Al Qaeda ruling in Afghanistan. Things are not black and white.

When you are saying "...those who have changed so radically their opinions, based on their interests, those who really are not interested in Iranians but in themselves", the same thing can be said about Mr. Mousavi. Not talking about that national affairs and international relationships always go with people that are interested also in themselves. Again, black and white are not the only colors.

Finally, if the Ayatollahs' dictatorship stays in power, really there will be no significant difference between Ahmadinejad and Mousavi. We have the example of Khatami's presidency term. The difference between Khatami and Ahmadinejad is that Ahmadinejad is a real loudspeaker of Khamenei, while Khatami was just the "nice guy". In both cases the ruler was and is the Khamenei clique.

Thank you for your remarks, Manuel, but I am also interested to hear what Mr. Sahimi has to say about my questions.

torlak kemal / July 6, 2009 5:05 PM

Thank you for an informative article. Helped me understand some of the differences in position and agenda among the Iranian diaspora.

I was also reassured by your assessment that Obama's policy is sound. I have, however, written to the White House to urge that they do nothing to suggest that Ahmadinejad is currently the legitimate president of Iran.

I would be interested to know if you agree with this. Thank you.

Holly / July 6, 2009 5:28 PM

I disagree with the author. Although I was against sanctions before june 12th I think the only thing that will change iran is sanctions but not because of the nuclear issue, but because of human rights. This needs to be South Africa style santions.

Al A / July 6, 2009 5:43 PM

Between the two whoever has the office it's "DAMNED IF ONE OF THEM HAS IT AND DAMNED IF THE OTHER DOESN'T." The Iranian people should have had their choise for their vote.

Ron / July 6, 2009 5:56 PM

Dear Author,

In hope of what accomplishment did you write this article!!! People in Iran are suffering and if we really care for those, we would be working on writing something to unite all the oppositions, not just critcizing! Your kind of mentality has created nothing but diversions in our counrty and even helped in bringing us our lovely present government!! You are just one negative person unhappy about everything in life. Practice being a bit positive and try to unite and I promise you might be able to experience some happiness. Do you really want a secular democracy for Iran or you rather just create diversions??? It is time for all of you with a lot to say to be encouraging on uniting minds not creating diversions. Enough is enough, we have heard it all, we want a voice to unite us without critcizing any one except the murderers who are killing our people. UN has done nothing for 30 years and it's just talk and it is not going to do anything now! Iranian people are suffering and we know for sure just in UK Khamenei's son has $1.6 milliard and I think between Rafsanjani's family and all the rest of them no other matched rubbing of our nation has happended!! You have better suggestions than sanctions to bring this criminals to their knees, why don't you share them. I don't think worrying about Reza Pahlavie's tears will be solving any problem! Do you really want to help seek how we can all help in creating a secular democracy in Iran, it won't happen unless all oppositions learn to unite and present criminal Iranian government is weakened by sanctions!!Deos that make sense to you Mr Author...

Neda / July 6, 2009 7:10 PM

Sahimi >> "the War Party, the neoconservatives, and the Israel lobby transformed Ahmadinejad into the most powerful man on earth, ..."

What a load of crap. I guess for leftists like Mr. Sahimi who is ignorant of the history of the past 30 years, it must come as a surprise that the fascist goons of Pasdarans and Basijis are effectively running the country? This after the leftists supported the fascistic Islamic revolution (May 2009) and are responsible for Ayatollah Khomeini and the theocratic revolution.

If Iranian fascists want to continue the dictatorship in Iran, and promote Ahmadinejad, what the hell does that have to do with neocons? This sort of mindless postcolonialism and defeatism of Mr. Sahimi is all that is wrong with so-called Iranian left "intellectuals".

Hamid / July 6, 2009 7:18 PM

I thank all the people who commented on my article, even those who attacked me under a pseudo-name.


The AIPAC and the War Party made Ahmadinejad big, because it suited them. As I said, right before the elections, when it appeared that Mousavi might win, they shifted gear and demoted Iran's president to a powerless man. That is one point of the article.


I did not say who can or cannot protest. I only pointed out the oppotunism in some.


I agree with you.

Radical Guy:

I don't agree with you, but your opinion is respected.


Mousavi was not in charge of the security forces or the intelligence. They have never been controlled by Iran's president, nor by the Prime Minister.


1. That is not what I said. What I said was, they sold Ahmadinejad to the public in the U.S. as the most powerful man in Iran, which he was not, but then as soon as they thought that the next president could be a reformist, they demoted Iran's president to a powerless man.

2. Yes, Mousavi was a revolutionary. But, so what? The war lasted 8 years, and was started by Iraq which was supported by the West and the Soviet Union. It should have ended much earlier, but the IRGC did not want to end it. Mousavi was instrumental in ending it.

3. No, they did not, but that was also an era in which two wars were going on: One internal, one external. I have explained this in another article here (please see "Leaders of Iran's election coup").

4. These matters are decided by the Judiciary, not by the government.

5. What he espoused during the campaign was very different from his time as the PM. But, even an honest man must first find that he did grossly bad things before apologizing.

7. They mean both Ahmadinejad and others who support him in the leadership.

8. The fraud in the elections provided a context for the protests. I see things differently than you do.

9. Without meaning to defend Ahmadinejad, he did not say "wipped off the map," but "wipped off the page of time," akin to what happened to the Soviet Union.

Amin and the rest:

Thank you.

Muhammad Sahimi / July 6, 2009 7:48 PM


I only pointed out opportunism of some, including that of Mr. Reza Pahlavi.

I don't believe in him; I don't believe he is the leader of anything, but I also said that I applaud his condemnation of what has happened, if he first denounces his positions in the past regarding sanctions, and other things.

I respect your opinion.

Muhammad Sahimi / July 6, 2009 7:52 PM


Are you an Iranian citizen residing in Iran or overseas and if overseas under what qualifications you consider Iran as your country?

I wait to hear back from you.


Faramarz Fathi / July 6, 2009 8:22 PM

Faramarz - get off Neda's case and its none of your business what she is up to. Fake-nationalistic personal attacks of the sort you engage in, is against the democratic values that Iranians are fighting for.

Go and mind your own business, and if you dont have anything to contribute, simply remain quiet. We are fighting for the freedom of speech, and stop trying to silence Neda on this board.

Learn from Mr. Sahimi who is admiringly trying to promote discussion here, despite receiving criticism.

Hamid / July 6, 2009 8:38 PM


"such as John Bolton, the former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations,"

Mr. Bolton, a warmonger who has beating the war drums ever since he was born and instigating a war with Iran after their Iraq fiasco by the dyslexic they had installed, all to no avail, and currently losing no opportunity on Fox news to promote an attack on Iran by the Apartheid in state of Palestine was a US Ambassador nominee acting such as,. He never got confirmed and was ultimately shown the exit. He is currently serving the people who have his sole loyalty.

Faramarz Fathi

Faramarz Fathi / July 6, 2009 8:55 PM

Hamid :

Not a word or line in your post invalidates the questions put forth to Neda.

Further, quoting, " We are fighting for the freedom of speech"

Before I unleash the stream of my admiration and compliments to you and the rest you are relating to here It is imperative to establish your qualifications to take on such a grand task. 1) Please identify the location you are trying to promote freedom of speech. 2) Are you an Iranian? If so, are you in Iran or overseas?

I look forward to hearing back from you.

Faramarz Fathi

Faramarz Fathi / July 6, 2009 9:15 PM

Hamid, Thank you for your support! Faramarz, I was born in Iran and you are right the present government has taken my country away from me! I still feel the pain they are feeling and I also can't hold back my tears!

Mr Sahimi, You did not answer my question! Do you believe in Secular Democracy for Iran?

Neda / July 6, 2009 9:23 PM


The spaces here are allocated for the readers to intellectually debate and challenge this sapient writer with his erudite article. Not for one, to be inadvertently dropped here and undermine the valiant resistance exhibited by the Iraqis in face of their country being unjustifiably invaded and their enormous sacrifices being washed down the drain by being disguised as Iranian interferences.

Further, Hezbollah recognized as terrorists by whom? The State Dept I assume you will respond.

That is profoundly naive and void of any political insights.

No Sir/Madam, you have no standing here though you might find NI much better to your liking and more consistent to your mentality.

Faramarz Fathi

Faramarz Fathi / July 6, 2009 9:46 PM

Dear Mr. Sahimi,

I agree with EVERYTHING you wrote, Mr Sahimi. What a thoughtful and intelligent article. I agree with Amin (above) who said this should be published in all major newspaper, along with Huffpost and that you should be on all major cable news stations. However, they are busy with Palin and MJ!! What a shame.

Reza Pahlavi and people like him should stay out of this. I always thought the reason nothing was changing in Iran was because there was not a leader they could follow. Now, there is Mousavi. If he means what he says then, I will support him (along with all my family members who live in the U.S.).

I left Iran because I hated the Shah, but stayed in the States because I disliked the mullahs more. I hope for the best for the Iranian people. If things do change, my husband (who is an American Jewish Doctor) and I will go to Iran and volunteer our time. We are retired and have been looking to do something for humanity in our old age, where better than doing it in the country of my birth? But maybe they don't need any volunteers as they seem to be doing fine. In either case I would love to go for a visit after 35 years.



jaleh / July 6, 2009 9:49 PM

Dear Jaleh,

Do you know that Mousavie is just one of them, a shining light but agent of darkness. I admire him for standing up in front of them but won't forget that he is one of the ones who is responsible for the killing of thousands in 1980-1987. Iranian people need to have more choices than just the 4 candidates that IRI picks for them. Mousavie can be one of the candidates but also there should be a choice of a leader for a secular democracy in Iran. It is so touching to hear your devotion and wanting to help people of Iran. We do need to think of all that are being tortured in prison and the mothers that are silently mourning!

Neda / July 6, 2009 10:22 PM


Thank you for taking time to write back.

Quoting "Hamid, Thank you for your support!",

How did Hamid account as support for you? I pray you are not implying the fact that Hamid by displaying his brightest side by affirming that one who has deliberately ignored her personal and civil obligations and deserted motherland and is contributing to her new home overseas nowadays and support her current position as a pretender, fake and coward who prefers to take refuge behind the monitor and chant slogans that she is vaguely aware of their meanings, as support,.

"and you are right the present government has taken my country away from me! I still feel the pain they are feeling and I also can't hold back my tears!"

I never implied any government has ever taken your country away from you. And, if you are implying Iran is your country then one might ask what are you doing overseas. Evidently, you decided on your own to renounce your citizenship to avoid your civil and national obligations.

Faramarz Fathi

Faramarz Fathi / July 6, 2009 10:48 PM


First of all, I do not need to respond to any question, if I do not wish to. What are you doing? Interrogate me, because I said something that you do not like?

I believe in a secular REPUBLIC, not secular DEMOCRACY, because secular DEMOCRACY is what is used by the royalists to "sell" the Iranians their undemocratic system under a nice wrapping of democracy.

People like me are done with monarchy, royalism, etc.

Muhammad Sahimi / July 6, 2009 10:54 PM

I agree very strongly that the current repression in Iran must be condemned. I am a U.S. citizen and former member of the military. I would fight and die for my country as many Iranians are currently doing for Iran. I am Christian as well and pray regularly that whatever happens results in what is best for the Iranian people.

As I am not from Iran, I am not now and cannot ever be qualified to determine what that is. My cultural perspective will always be that of an American I am proud of that. I feel that the Iranian people have decided what they feel is best, but those wishes are not being honored. I have faith that one of the founding principles of the United States, that the power of those who govern is derived directly from the consent of the governed, will truly be learned by those who wish to thwart that consent.

If I am wrong and the election has not been stolen then I hope that will come to light. Regardless of the truth or fraud of the election, the repression and abuses committed against the people of Iran must stop. These crimes against humanity serve to harden the resolve of the rest of the world against Ahmadinejad. I fear that if they continue he, like Saddam Hussein, will be used as an excuse for another disastrous war that will benefit a very powerful few greatly at the even greater expense of multitudes.

I felt betrayed when my government went to war against Iraq against the wishes of the people and against the will of the United Nations. I was incensed when that same government rationalized war crimes and committed those crimes in my name. As much as I love my country I have never been so close to renouncing my citizenship. If I went through that again I'm not sure how I would endure.

If it helps I would like you to know that no matter what the leaders of a radical party may believe or do here in these United States there is a significant part of the country that truly hopes for the best for your country. Some may feel they need to inflict their form of government on you in their cultural myopia. Despite this many understand that unless you are free to choose the form and function of your own government that government can never be valid. Again the will of the people must eventually win out.

My ardent hope is whatever happens that the hope of a better Iran never fades from the hearts of its people and that whether I see or understand it that true Justice will prevail.

My prayers go with you all,

Alex Wollangk

Alex Wollangk / July 6, 2009 11:31 PM


The problem with all the links that you give is that they quote the same wrong translation of what Ahmadinejad said, which is not even what he said, but what Ayatollah Khomeini had said. I have read the original Persian statement and I know that it was mistranslated. Ardeshir Ommani has written extensively on the subject as well. This is not to defend Ahmadinejad, but to set the record straight.

Muhammad Sahimi / July 6, 2009 11:46 PM


Quoting "Fake-nationalistic personal attacks of the sort you engage in, is against the democratic values that Iranians are fighting for." End of quote.

Can you reference any words out of the two questions I put forth to Neda as an attack and further would please identify the location the Iranians are fighting for democratic values?

Be well and please do not disappoint me as you did on June 29 nth,.

Faramarz Fathi

Faramarz Fathi / July 7, 2009 12:47 AM


"Some Iranians living in the U.S., who support Ahmadinejad because they believe that he has stood up firmly to the U.S. and has succeeded in setting up Iran's uranium enrichment facilities, believe that international condemnation of what has been happening in Iran would be tantamount to interfering in Iran's internal affairs. Not so. "

Exactly, who are you labeling as Iranians living in US in above quote?

1) Iranians who have immigrated to the US but still holding dual citizenships?

2) Ones born to Iranian parents who still hold dual citizenships?

Faramarz Fathi

Faramarz Fathi / July 7, 2009 1:30 AM

Ignore outside countries - this is a problem which can only be solved by Iranians.

We outside Iran are all well aware that there are US warmongers trying to depict Obama as a weak man, in order to do what they want. But Europe is not like the US. We can easily see that the US has a system which Europe simply has not. In the long run, the NATO will fail, because a majority in Europe will not accept that the USA dictates how Europe should behave.

Ignore all warmongers - it is not important what they say.

For every neoconservative warmonger there are at least 3 peaceful people who oppose them (and 6 more people who dont care). From these 3 people at least 2 are much more intelligent than the neoconservative warmonger, so the brains is on the side of the good people, not the lying warmongers. And if those 6 people can be brought to side with the non-warmongers, then the warmongers have no chance to install their propaganda model at all.

People are smarter than everyone believes.

In the end it only matters what the iranian people want.

But what will you do when the regime _in_ Iran does not want to stop killing protesters? When Ahmadinejad's grip to power is so strong that he has no problem to kill everyone who opposes him?

It seems as if they can get away with implementing a torture state, where they bribe people to take out clubs and beat up others, like common thugs.

mark / July 7, 2009 8:32 AM


They are either "anti-imperialist, anti-US empire" people, or "ulta-nationalist" Iranians, or "hard-core" supporters of IRI.

Muhammad Sahimi / July 7, 2009 9:44 AM


"but about a tyrannical medieval monstrosity, fianlly losing whatever was left of its legitimacy (assuming it had any to begin with), and deciding to confront its own population head on."

And, how does this concern or bother you if I might ask Mehran?

Faramarz Fathi

Faramarz Fathi / July 7, 2009 12:03 PM


"If Iranian fascists want to continue the dictatorship in Iran, and promote Ahmadinejad, what the hell does that have to do with neocons?"

It does not and the Author here never applied it did.

"it must come as a surprise that the fascist goons of Pasdarans and Basijis are effectively running the country?"

Do they? Then, it is a surprise not confined to the Author here.

Speaking of the surprises I am not surprised the Author here did not decide to compromise himself by acknowledging a numskull here.

Faramarz Fathi

Faramarz Fathi / July 7, 2009 12:52 PM

Dear Mr Sahimi,

I am sorry if you did not like my question and I am sure by writing such an article you must have thought some readers might be interested in knowing what your wishes for future of Iran is! Please can you name me the countrys that have the Secular Republic system of government that you wish for Iran! Shouldn't the public of this republic all have a voice? I think it is kind of dictatorship, if what you are done with no one else should even be able to voice it or for it not to be an option! I believe all the people should have the right to voice their opinion and have a choice for their government, if it is a true Democracy!

Neda / July 7, 2009 5:48 PM


I must say that I am rather disappointed. I came to this site hoping to get an unbiased and open report on the state of Iran and the green revolution, but instead what I get is an article full of personal bias and the open personality bashing against people from other countries. What happened to reporting on events instead of editorializing on them? I am a US citizen, not of Iranian descent. I have seen a lot of the information coming out of Iran via twitter and facebook. My heart goes out to the people of Iran and I was deeply saddened by the violence against the peaceful protesters. As far as all of your references to the Neocons and the Warmongers, I find your statements childish and inappropriate. While I am at heart a pacifist, I do believe at times that violence is required to resolve an issue. Of all the people and places you listed that crimes against humanity are occurring, do you honestly believe that those issues can be resolved by you sitting in an office, writing a scathing article? Do you think the countless deaths will stop because you stood in the street waving a banner and chanting? No, I am sorry to say, they will not. There are times when the people that are being beaten down must rise up and cause harm to the ones that are beating them down. They must do so, not in anger and not in an act of revenge, but with a sense of purpose, a goal of defending themselves and their way of life, or of creating a better life for their children. As John Adams once said "I must study politics and war that my sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy."

Richard Johnson

Las Vegas NV

Richard Johnson / July 7, 2009 5:57 PM


You do not seem to know what republic means. republicanism is a system in which every important position is filled by democratic elections, the president, prime minister, members of the parliamnent, at least part of the judiciary, etc. There are many of them in this world!

Yes, Britain is a democratic country and a constitutional monarchy, but they have worked at it by at least 200 years to arrive where they are, which has been this way for ages. We do not have such an experience in Iran.

Muhammad Sahimi / July 7, 2009 8:10 PM

Dear Richard:

Thank you for your constructive criticism.

No, I never ever claimed that just writing scathing articles is enough to move things forward. The point of the article was, and is, that the tears that we see some people shed for Iran is not sincere. Some of the tears belong to those Iranians who were opposed to the voting in the elections in the first place, but now are opportunistically asking, "where is my vote?" And the tears that the neocons and the War Party shed for Iran are nothing but crocodile tears by the same people who have wanted to attack Iran for a long time, which would lead to tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of innocent people killed. They are opportunists who only want to exploit the situation.

Muhammad Sahimi / July 7, 2009 8:15 PM

Muhammad Sahimi

Well-composed article.You have tried to unveil desires of War Party/others. Again their dual face has emerged. At one end they keep on interfering Iran's internal matters and on the other hand they say Israel is sovereign state and they will not stop if Israel decides to attak Iran. US/west does not want to support Mousvi, instead they want to use him as a source to wrap up Islamic Govt. system. I hope US/West seems disappointed over Mousvi's statments in which categorically he has said that green movement people should distance themselves from those who are/may work against present system

Rahim / July 8, 2009 12:14 AM


I don't think anyone who has advocated a strong stand against "Iran" has meant a strong stand against the Irani people--entirely, 100% to the contrary: they have meant a strong stand against the tyrannical government.

I have no idea where this idea got started that the Irani _people_ were declared part of the "axis of evil"--obviously, that is a reference to the Irani government, and only pro-government, anti-Bush, or anti-American people (and of course there's much overlap there, but obviously by no means complete) would twist those words to mean otherwise.

Similarly, when the US invaded Iraq, it was not to depose the Iraqi people, but to depose Saddam. Not to steal their oil (Saddam already did that, and America reversed it), oppress them (ditto), crush their religion (ditto), etc. etc. But the many who hate Bush or America, or supported Saddam, Al Qaeda, or Al Sadr/IRI spread that nonsense far and wide--with tremendous success, and at the cost of many hundreds or some thousands of American lives, and tens of thousands of Iraqi lives. Maybe the invasion was a huge mistake, maybe it wasn't--time will tell. But the intent--and so far the effect, though it's still too early--was the very opposite, the precise opposite, of oppression.

If now the Irani opposition starts delusionally echoing those points, the very falsehoods spread by their current (in Iran) or have-been/would-be (Iraq) oppressors, they will risk losing a huge chunk of their support, with no gain to show for it except perhaps to move some of the International Left away from Khamenei/Ahmadinejad to themselves, or perhaps move some of the conspiracy-minded mob to themselves. If you feel you must say those things to get those results, I can understand that. But just make sure you (and other thought or action leaders) don't yourselves believe it! A mind is a terrible thing to waste, and down that road lies not the end of tyranny, but just a new form.

John / July 8, 2009 1:25 AM

dear Mr. Sahimi,

I'm a strong supporter of GW Bush's decision to topple Saddam, and I love the guy for sending MORE TROOPS to Iraq when the Surrender Monkey ISG,et al,tried to lose the war in Iraq.Just for the assembled Bush Haters,I will balance President Bush's two A+s in national defense with a D- in 'Iraqi Nation Building'.

I notice that you took time out from the noble work of protecting Iran, and liberating Iranians to attack Sarah Palin . There are several "Why I Hate Sarah Palin " blogs & websites where you will never get help for your fear of real women.

You are correct that almost everyone was " caught off guard " by the emergence of mobilized Iranian opposition that has attracted world's attention,and the hopes of small d democrats everywhere.Even as a suppressed,and failed movement,this changes everything.

And I checked with my buddies in the " War Party ",and I don't believe we will be able to bomb Iran until we're thru bombing several other coutries in the region. You can sleep tight for the time being.

bushtheliberator / July 8, 2009 8:13 PM

What this inspiring author has adroitly capered here is why these neocons have been beating the war drums for an attack on Iran to begin with.

Further, [No Crocodile tears for Iranians please!} title suits this article more than the existing one.

Faramarz Fathi

Faramarz Fathi / July 8, 2009 11:33 PM


The US armed forces are urgently in need of valors like you and you would pay your debt of gratitude to your country by joining the armed forces rather than seeking refuge behind the monitor like a coward to brag about people whose loyalty are not confined to this country.

The US as well as the Apartheid in state of Palestine will never attack Iran. Iran is in a strong military position with its options in retaliation will be not only swift and much more fatal but it will exceed the harms it has sustained and its people's resolve to defend the Motherland in face of a foreign attack on the country is unmatched.

As a fan of liberator you might be interested to know what your fellow countrymen think of your hero.

Please check the links listed herein.

Faramarz Fathi









Faramarz Fathi / July 9, 2009 1:11 AM

Western Europe generally has abandoned christianity. Until the people of Iran abandon Islam in the same way, there will be no change in that country. Your biggest problem is religious rule. Stop it now!

Daishin / July 9, 2009 5:48 AM

dear M. Fathi,

Thanks for the thought,but I won't be deployed until they open the First Geriatric Division.Our youngest,tho, has pulled two tours,and I expect the little grandbabies may also get a government paid trip to the ME .What sacrifice have you made for the liberties that you enjoy ?

If you will just breath slowly into a paper bag when you hear "Bomb, Bomb Iran " you may be able to regain your sanity, and that Boogyman won't be able to frighten you anymore.

GW Bush got he job done ! Saddam is dead, and Iraq's democracy is standing up .The role of POTUS is not measured solely by a MSM populrity contest.

bushtheliberator / July 9, 2009 4:38 PM

bushtheliberator :

Thank you for taking time to write.

Please identify the liberties you have put forth in your post "What sacrifice have you made for the liberties that you enjoy ?" And then I shall respond.

"GW Bush got he job done ! Saddam is dead, and Iraq's democracy is standing up ."

Mr. Bush indeed executed what he was brought in to do. But at what costs One might ask.

"If you will just breath slowly into a paper bag when you hear "Bomb, Bomb Iran " you may be able to regain your sanity,"

Accordingly, you shall look up the results of $250 million dollars war games the US did in Persian gulf in 2006 to assess the outcome of a military conflict with Iran.

Keep well.

Faramarz Fathi

Faramarz Fathi / July 10, 2009 11:19 AM

dear M. Fathi,

Before I go to bed at night, I drink two ,steaming hot,black cups of 'Death to America', but I still sleep like a baby.

If you believe in the Easter Bunny,I won't critisize that,

But you're a big girl now,and much too old to still believe that the American Boogyman is about to get you.

bushtheliberator / July 10, 2009 11:22 PM


It is certainly a compliment considering it is coming from one who calls Mr. Bush a liberator and understandable since his fans and supporters are strictly limited and related to those with dyslexia. The rest, in this country consider him a traitor at best and the whole world, I am confident, share my belief he is an affront to human being at best.

May I suggest you get off this high horse of yours and witness the miseries Mr. Bush has caused here and around the world.

Faramaez Fathi

Faramarz Fathi / July 11, 2009 6:17 PM

dear Ms. Fathi,

Pres. GW Bush has retired, but your "miseries" may not be over.Our new,Oprah Approved ,anti-war president BHO has sent 20,000 extra US Marine community organizers to Afganistan, and drones are rapidly rolling off production lines,and sent straight off to blow up the 'evildoers'.America's work goes on.Let's Roll, Obama !

bushtheliberator / July 12, 2009 12:27 AM


No amount of guns and tanks would suffice any purpose if it is void of any just, justice and cause, irrespective of the location and core of conflicts involved, One would argue!

Faramarz Fathi

Faramarz Fathi / July 12, 2009 6:06 PM

For the record, Reza Pahlavi was silent on the issue of boycotting the elections. He supported the expression of free will of Iranians in the June 12 elections. Since the elections, he has continued to support the expression of the Iranian people and urged the Islamic Republic to show restraint.

Reza Pahlavi has been an ardent protector of Iranian sovereignty - always eschewing any notion of western involvement in Iranian affairs, and certainly expressing stong opposition to any foreign attack on his fellow Iranians. Regarding sanctions, he has always been clear about the kinds of sanctions warranted - only those that prevent the regime from continuing to build a military arsenal, no sanctions that harm Iranian people.

JayBirdNY / July 15, 2009 1:43 PM