Democracy and human rights In Iran: What role for the West? A Speech by Prince Reza Pahlavi II at the House of Commons, 18th November 2008
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is a great pleasure for me to be with you this afternoon, and I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Henry Jackson Society in London as well as Gisela Stuart MP for helping to organize this meeting.
Let me start by saying that in my talk with you today, I wish to go beyond the designated issue of democracy and human rights in my country, and any role which the West might have in promoting them. This is because, democracy and human rights in Iran is today intricately tied with a number of other key issues such as nuclear proliferation, regional stability and finally, international peace and security. To be more specific, I wish to say that the threat that is posed to international security by the Islamic Republic of Iran, is precisely because of the fact that Iran is today governed by a brutal dictatorship, where the will of the majority is ignored and anyone who in any way challenges the decisions of the state are severely dealt with. It thus follows that the establishment of a democratic system of government in Iran that respects the human rights of its citizens will undoubtedly pave the way for removing Iran as a major source of international anxiety. The implications of such a transition are quite obvious for both the people of Iran as well as the wider international community. For the people of Iran, the establishment of a democratic government would mean that their country would cease being an international pariah. Moreover, it would mean that country's vast resources would be mobilized for securing the future of the country by helping to cure its ailing economy instead of driving the nation to the brinks of an unwanted military confrontation with the international community over something ridiculous like uranium enrichment. Indeed a democratic government in Iran would invest in the people of Iran instead of investing in forces of instability and terror with whom they have bonded for promoting a militant anti-Western, and in particular, anti American agenda.
In my view, it thus follows that the West does have a role in seeing how this scenario develops. It can either stand aside or remain impervious to the plight of millions of my compatriots by trying to compromise with their oppressors or adopt a different, more ethical role of siding with them and helping them to attain their fundamental rights and basic freedoms.
Here, I wish to add that, in my view, there is no question that the prospect for change in the aftermath of the election victory of President Elect Barrack Obama, has already aroused a new atmosphere of great expectations on the part of people everywhere, including my homeland, who see his success as a new and promising catalyst for the construction of a new world order that is based on peace, freedom, justice and opportunity. Given his personal background, people – irrespective of their nationality or geographical circumstance – are hopeful that the new US president will be much more sensitive to the kind of problems and impediments which have held them back and compromised their honor and dignity at the same time.
The pertinent question, therefore, is whether such expectations are realistic or not? Another words, will it be business as usual where economic interest often trump human rights considerations or will we step into a new and different era with all its incumbent challenges?
Focusing on my country, it is fair to say that up until the last several weeks when world attention has been fixed on the ongoing international financial crisis, that Iran and Iran related issues – in one way or another – had consistently received a disproportionate share of attention in the world media. Iran's obstinate disregard of numerous UN Security Council resolutions and various international warnings concerning its nuclear policy and ambitions has created a situation whereby the country has become increasingly isolated while creeping slowly to the edges of an unwanted military conflict. It is also true to say that while certain parties in the West have periodically responded to Iranian disregard for international pressures such as those demanded by the Security Council and others that were more diplomatically conveyed in the '5+1' meetings, by insisting that "all options are on the table", there is a general sense that warnings of this nature are more indicative of rising frustration rather than clear intent.
It is clear that so far, the '5+1' policy in halting Iran's uranium enrichment program has failed to achieve its objectives, since neither the promise of inducements nor the threat of punishments have been sufficient to convince the Islamic leaders to change direction. It is in finding itself in such a situation, when its repackaged incentive offer has been effectively turned down, and in circumstances when the '5+1' have been unable to be more robust in imposing stricter sanctions against the clerical regime, that the debate regarding 'cooperation or confrontation' with Iran is once again being revived.
Now, when we speak of 'cooperation or confrontation', there is no question that everyone would prefer 'cooperation' to 'confrontation'. The most obvious factor is whether it is possible to arrive at an acceptable 'modus vivendi' with Iran or not? Here, it is essential once again, to take note that in the case of Iran's nuclear file, the West has been engaged in negotiations with Iran for over 5 years, where the Europeans in particular have gone to extreme lengths in order to arrive at some form of a compromise. Their failure is due to the fact that their offers of incentive have been insufficient to commit the Iranians to observing their 'red-lines'.
Thus, in very simple terms, unless the US and the EU are willing to re-draw the very 'red-lines' that they have marked of their own accord, then prospects for cooperation would appear to be very dim. No doubt if the '5+1' were willing to live with a nuclear Iran, it would inevitably lead to a major proliferation of nuclear weapons in the Middle East, making the region a greater powder keg than it already is, then I am sure that the current crises could be resolved 'cooperatively'. A recent study produced by the Institute for Security Studies of the European Union makes specific recommendations to this effect. But this is not a formula that I would recommend.
Here, I wish to be very candid with you: I believe that while one must strive for making every effort to make cooperation work, one cannot avoid confrontation by behaving expediently or by compromising one's own principles. I believe that the majority of honored guests here this afternoon are well familiar with the history of the 1930s when the will to cooperate in an attempt to avoid conflict, blinded responsible politicians and eventually forced them into a much more costly confrontation which they had tried so hard to avoid in the first place!
So what can be done or should be done? Will cooperation be the way forward or is there no choice other than confrontation?
Today, the diplomatic 'buzz word' seems to be 'engagement'. The obvious inference from this is that the US, in particular, should no longer insist on any preconditions and be ready to open direct talks with Iran. Here, it must be reiterated that perhaps for more than two decades we had a reverse situation, where the US was willing to come to the table but it was the Islamic regime that had the preconditions.
It is interesting to point out that while Iran has been clamoring for some time for direct talks with the US, and as signs have appeared that moves towards that end are now being seriously contemplated by the new Obama administration, another spanner was recently thrown into this mind-boggling equation by one of Ahmadinejad's close advisers in Teheran who said that Iran will only talk with "the US when it has left the Middle East and ended its support for the Zionist regime"!
Most proponents of this line of thinking – perhaps wishfully, nourish the prospect that once direct negotiation starts than all contentious issues that have led to an estrangement of relations between Iran and the US, which have also indirectly affected Iran-EU relations, may in time become resolved.
In this context, quite apart from issues of primary concern to a majority of Iranians who aspire to live in a society that is free and humane with all its incumbent paraphernalia, the Iranian regime would be expected to modify its behavior on such issues as its nuclear aspirations, active engagement in international terrorism and finally, its menacing and destabilizing activities in places like Lebanon, Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan and the Persian Gulf region.
But, is this a realistic expectation, given the nature of the Islamic Republic and the fact that for the past 30 years, militant anti-Americanism across the board has been the very foundation of its foreign policy? I certainly hope that the next US administration would give proper consideration to such realities. Most importantly, I feel that everyone in the West and in particular the US, would have a much clearer picture of issues, if they made a serious attempt at seeing matters from the prism of the Islamic leadership in Iran and not just their own wishes and priorities. I accept that this is not an easy challenge, but it is crucial and until such time that an effort has been made in this direction, there is no reason to hope that future policy decisions will be any better than those made in the past 30 years.
Having said all that let me make it clear that I am strongly opposed to any form of military action against my country. But for diplomacy to succeed, the aims as well as the obstacles to any intended objective needs to be carefully assessed and above all understood. Moreover, it is imprudent and self defeating if the West was to constantly find itself in a position of having to re-draw its own red lines.
Here, it is also essential that the ideological divide that separates the Iranian regime from the Iranian people as well as the wider world be also taken into account.
I would like to elaborate this point by suggesting that a consequence of the Islamic regime's estrangement with its own people who are without doubt its 'Achilles' Heel' in the course of the last three decades, has been the main impetus behind what I call its policy of 'entrenchment' in the Middle East region and beyond. In other words, as the regime gradually lost its popularity and legitimacy at home, it felt the need to hold some cards outside Iran for the obvious reason of fending off external pressures that might threaten its very existence.
Now let me say a few words about matters inside Iran. Despite its seemingly confident and secure outlook, the Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI) is in fact more vulnerable and damage prone than ever before in its 29 years of existence. The effects of the UN Security Council sanctions have already affected the country's economy by having a significant impact on the private sector, while the imposition of gasoline rationing as well as the recently introduced VAT charges, have resulted in huge public protests that have led to unexpected strikes and violence.
In previous years, the IRI has successfully been able to 'ride through' a number of serious crises, a factor that is a mark to their resilience as well as the support base on which their order was initially constructed. Nonetheless, the number of difficult circumstances which the regime has confronted in previous years have taken their toll. Moreover, the mass exodus of its most skilled and experienced entrepreneurs, managers, bureaucrats and educated elites have contributed greatly to a major mismanagement crisis across the board, resulting in a tremendous fall in the per capita income of all Iranians.
Today, the clerical regime's support base is at best no more than 10-15% of our population. In times of emergency, such as election times and the like, using the resources of our country, they are able to mobilize another similar figure. What this means is that in the course of the last three decades, the regime has alienated the rest of the population and is thus fearful of any circumstance that might lead to the mobilization of those it can no longer persuade.
Also, while Iran is perhaps the cradle of modern day 'Islamic Fundamentalism', it is an accepted fact that despite its general rhetoric, none of the regime's sanctimonious pronouncements have any bearing on the conduct of every day life amongst the Iranian people. Indeed, there should be no doubt in anyone's mind that, although a theocracy in name, Iran is today governed like most other secular dictatorships that the world has known, since people only obey the likes of Khamenei and Ahmadinejad, not because of their special relationship with the almighty, but simply out of fear or economic need.
This development is a natural consequence of successive years of failure by the regime to improve economic conditions, and to relax social and civil society demands in a milieu where 70% of the population is below the age of 30 and well versed with the desires and aspirations of their contemporaries in other parts of the world and in particular, the West.
In the sphere of foreign policy, because of its intransigence over its nuclear file, the IRI has never been under such international pressure since its very inception.
In the past 12 months, a total of four UN Security Council Resolutions have warned and subsequently punished Iran for its continued defiance of the international will.
Moreover, it is thought unlikely that Islamic Republic will ever accept any compromise involving a complete halt to its uranium enrichment program.
Iran's current stand off with the international community is also exacerbated by other factors such as Iran's continued reliance on resort to Terrorism – both direct and indirect – for the advancement of its foreign policy objectives which have further increased tensions with the US and its various allies in places like Iraq, Lebanon, Palestine and Afghanistan.
In summary, for more than a year now, the Islamic Republic of Iran has been in the midst of two extraordinary and dangerous crises. First, the amount of international pressure on Iran because of its uncompromising stance over its nuclear agenda, and
second, the country's domestic crisis fueled mainly as a consequence of its faltering economy, have both been unprecedented. As we speak, the pressures from these quarters have not declined, and there are no immediate signs that this crisis will be coming to an end any time soon.
How this crisis comes to an end is, nevertheless, a matter of supreme importance not just to the Islamic leadership in that it can mean survival or the beginning of the end for them, but for the West, given that it now has the opportunity for tilting the balance in favor of forces of democracy, progress and human rights.
Seen from the stand point of the West, I should like to point out that in the course of the past 30 years, there have been a series of confusing signals which have simply complicated matters. Focusing in particular on the US, there is little wonder that rhetoric and posturing should have eclipsed meaningful policy based on reality. As a result, there have been great many vacillations over the years that have ranged from accommodation and cooperation to regime change. Perhaps what lies at the heart of this problem – something which I believe to be a especially central issue for the new US administration – is the need to come up with a clear and robust policy that is capable of dealing effectively with Iran.
From the perspective of the EU and next US administration, while any talk of regime change – something that in any case is only the business of the Iranian people – may be set aside, securing Iranian compliance or cooperation over a whole host of critical issues highlighted by the current nuclear impasse will remain a clear priority.
Indeed, dealing with some of these critical problems is widely expected to be the first major foreign policy challenges of the new Obama administration.
Finally, I would like to leave you with this thought: In the last 30 years, since the advent of the Islamic regime in Iran, we have seen a sizable expansion in the number of highly destructive conflicts that have raged in the Middle East spanning from Afghanistan to the Eastern shores of the Mediterranean. As we speak, there are some unfinished conflicts that still continue to threaten the peace and stability of the region as well as the prospects of all future generations living in the Middle East.
What has happened in the last 30 years is history.
But looking to the future it is important to note that the Islamic regime, and the regional friends and allies it has been able to cultivate, have a vision of life and society that is in stark contrast with the majority of other regional governments and their allies which includes the EU and the US.
To move forward positively, it is crucial for the West not to once again indulge itself in tactics that have been tried and tested before, and seen to fail.
Therefore, bearing in mind all that has been said, and given the fact that we are living in an increasingly interdependent environment, it should be apparent that Without a creative new policy supported by robust diplomatic efforts that encompasses a role for the overwhelming majority of Iranians who do not share the visions and values of their current rulers, nothing will change.
A policy of misplaced cooperation will be tantamount to capitulation, except for the fact that the ultimate cost of confrontation will most likely increase with time. The only meaningful policy would be to engage the Iranian people and invite them to be part of a new and imaginative policy which will guarantee Iran's territorial integrity, freedom of choice and democratic expression plus a respect for individual human rights.
The American Enterprise Institute published an estimation of the amount of foreign investment in Iran during the period 2000-2007. These figures prove an interesting insight into what's at stake for which player in the confrontation with the Islamic Republic: the biggest foreign investor in Iran is China. This could be expected from a hungry, developing capitalist state dictatorship as it is. China has never shown any real sensitivity to human rights issues, especially when acquiring the necessary raw materials for its capitalist economy. Human rights are not an issue in China, let alone in Chinese foreign policy.
The next stakeholders, France and Germany, two of the leading economies in Europe, have seen their investment in Iran grow exponentially since 1997. In that year the EU endeavored in a policy of 'carrots and sticks'. Through economic exchange the EU countries claimed they were able to moderate the IRI regime. It was the year that Khatami -the smiling mullah- became president in Iran. In Europe 'engagement' was the buzzword. Through economic relations the extremist regime in Iran would change its rhetoric and policies to a more moderate tone.
We all know what happened since then: after 8 years of unfulfilled expectations and lots of tea pouring Khatami went and Khamenei appointed Ahmadinejad as the new president. From that day on, people in Iran are under the most heavy scrutiny by security forces since the early days of the so-called Islamic revolution in 1979. After almost ten years one can conclude that all the carrots offered to the IRI regime could not persuade the mullahs to ease down on their radical policies at home and abroad.
One issue to be tackled with the 'sticks and carrot' policy was the atomic case. However, also on this field the total failure of the European approach towards Iran is obvious. Four years of talk could not bring the IRI to stop its illegal atomic program. On the contrary, the IRI is developing intercontinental rocket capability. In the negotiations about the atomic issue there is no engagement at all, let alone any change in IRI policy. The carrots were held in front of a wax nose consequently no engagement whatsoever took place.
A couple of years ago I attended a meeting in Amsterdam where a professor in International Relations of Tehran University held a lecture. First of all, when I hear of scientist from the Islamic Republic, all alarm bells start ringing because there is no such thing as a real academic climate in the Islamic Republic. After the so-called revolution Khomeiny decided to close the universities for three years, and as it was written, it was done: the entrance of some universities the entrance was literally closed with cement and bricks, only to be opened again after the genuine islamic character of the university had been established. As if a university can be islamic...
However, the scholar from Tehran mentioned a few interesting points: he said that there are four areas in which the West and the IRI are in conflict, the first one being the nuclear issue. Then, secondly, the active role of the IRI in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Thirdly the IRI's support for terrorist movements in the Middle-East and beyond, and last but not least, the human rights issue.
Out of these four, it is exactly the human rights issue that leaves the IRI speechless. Khamenei and his henchmen have no answer to downplay the rightful accusations about human rights abuse in Iran. In the three other issues, the IRI had plenty of sticks to beat the West with. The professor meant that there was enough ammunition for the IRI to counter all the accusations of Western nations and make the waters of international politics muddy, except in the case of human rights.
The human rights reputation of the IRI needs no further introduction: the IRI is guilty as sin and its supporters know it. Staying away from the issue by the West has been a big mistake. Four years of cheek to cheek by ElBaradei, Jack Straw, Xavier Solana and all Islamic Republic so-called officials without any real progress have proven this point. There has not been not any positive development towards stopping uranium enrichment in Iran or encapsulating the atomic crisis in any way. On the contrary, the Islamic Republic is showing time after time that its vulgarity in international politics pays off as long as other parties are willing to tolerate it. Could it be that the economic interests mentioned above are the reason behind all of this?
Beating on the atomic drum, which has been the policy of the West for the past 10 years has not produced any steady rhythm, let alone an acceptable song. The cry of the Iranian people, the victims of double edged sword, is ignored. One the one hand people suffer from the dictatorial theocracy and its inhumane policies and on the other side they are victim of greedy international business that is supporting the theocracy, willingly of unwillingly.
In this context I wonder if the Chinese should really be blamed for pretending they suffer from a bleeding nose when foreign regimes and investment possibilities are at stake. On second thought, no!! No real human would wish for his fellow humans to be under the yoke of a dictatorship kept in place by greedy foreign economic interests. Long live the Iranian people that does not bow for the islamic fascists! They deserve our fullest support in the struggle to liberate themselves.
How much longer should the EU continue to feed the enemy? Human rights are the Achilles heel of the IRI, and it is time to change the tune indeed. Let's hear the voices of Iranians in the country and I don't mean the crowds that BBC reporters are always talking of.
In Iran more than 90% of the population has enough of the IRI and people are willing to come out for their political opinion if they know they have the genuine support of democratic nations. Then the extreme harsh treatment by security police that they suffer every time they voice their discontent, will not hold them back any longer. Security forces that serve a regime that is kept alive with money and goods that come as carrots into the country from abroad, as gifts from the very same countries in the above mentioned investor top six.
Human rights for Iranian citizens now!! Support the Iranian movement for democracy!!
October 29, the 'Cyrus the Great Day' And the anniversary of his issuing the first declaration of human rights.
Twenty five centuries ago, when savagery was the dominant factor in human societies, a civilized and compassionate declaration was written on clay and issued to the 'four corners of the world' that dealt with important issues relevant to the rights of humans, the same issues that not only in those days but even today can inspire those who believe in human dignity and rights.
This document, known as 'The Declaration of Cyrus the Great,' emphasized on the removal of all racial, national discrimination and slavery, bestowing to the people, freedom to choose their places of residence, faith and religion and giving prominence to the perpetual peace amongst the nations. This Declaration could actually be considered as a present from the Iranian people, expressed through the words of Cyrus, their political leader and the founder of the first empire in the world, to the whole humanity. In 1971, the general assembly of the United Nations recognized it as the first Declaration of Human Rights, thus, registering such an honor to the name of Iran as the cradle of this first historical attempt to establish the recognition of human rights.
Unfortunately, today, Iran is considered a country whose people are deprived of the very rights that were discovered, articulated and expressed by themselves. The body that holds the state apparatus in Iran not only does not recognize such 'rights,' but has done much (intentional and/or unintentional) harm to the mausoleum of Cyrus the Great in Pasargad plains -the very monument that has been registered by UNESCO as a human heritage and a 'shrine,' causing its immanent destruction in the future.
The International Committee to Save Pasargad that was shaped three years ago by a large number of people who appreciate national and world heritages, would like to use the opportunity of the Day of Cyrus to extend its best and warmest greetings for the occasion and repeat its plea to all those who appreciate the importance of Human Rights and its historical symbol in the shape of the mausoleum of Cyrus, to put maximum pressure on United Nations, and especially UNESCO, to use their utmost effective endeavors to save this invaluable treasure of human civilization.
Assembled during the waning years of the shah's regime, when the oil boom of the 1970s pumped in the cash, the collection debuted two years before the Islamic Revolution. [...]
"You will see works of Asian and Oriental civilizations in the Western museums, such as the Metropolitan, the British, the Louvre, the Hermitage. But you never find great antiquities and objects and artworks from Western civilization in Eastern countries' museums," said Ali-Reza Samiazar, Mr. Sadeghi's predecessor as museum director. "There's one exception to this, and one only: this collection."
However, in this article the LA Times is referring to 'the administration of reform-minded President Mohammad Khatami'. One wonders how 'reform-minded' a person can be when he never put his mind into real reform action. Khatami himself gave a clear indication about this when he confessed that all the time during his so-called presidency, he was nothing more but the 'tea pourer', in other words the bus boy....
When will the focus shift away from the bus boys to the ones they are serving??
"Ahmadinejad is Pinochet! Iran will not become Chile," the students shouted, the witness said.
TEHRAN (AFP) — Iranian students staged a noisy protest against President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at the country's top university in Tehran on Monday, likening him to the late Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet.
Riot police barred the group of about 100 chanting students from leaving the Tehran University campus, where Ahmadinejad was giving a speech marking the start of the new academic year, a witness told AFP.
"Ahmadinejad is Pinochet! Iran will not become Chile," the students shouted, the witness said.
The demonstrators at Tehran University, Iran's top academic institution, were ... (read more)
In Iran teachers, women and labourers are up in the streets, continuing to protest against what their life has become under the IRI. The only answer of the IRI is more blast on the atomic issue and internally a total media black-out on the protests. Hundreds, if not thousands have been arrested. Let's hope that the Iranian people will be able to sustain their protests and bring the IRI down.
Rafshanjani is off the hook... for now. Argentina asked Interpol to issue arrest warrants for a number of figures from the IRI nomenclatura for their involvement in the bombing of a jewish centre in Buenos Aires, more than a decade ago.
The Argentinian court ruled that the government of the IRI was involved in this terrorist act. For the moment Interpol refused to issue an arrest warrant for Rafsanjani, the pistachio farmer turned mullah/politician.
Possibly that Mr. Raf still has some credit with certain international powers that be, if only as a 'moderate' with whom 'a deal can be made' in case the atomic train really gets of the track. What happens to atrain with no breaks, after all? Not that Mr. Raf has not expressed his admiration for runaway trains in the past, by the way.
The fate of Mr. Raf will be decided upon in a separate procedure. He will have his own trial at the International Court of Justice, maybe in conjuction with his fellow crooks from the very beginning, the names everyone knows ...
Student activists: Death to despotism, Death to dictator
Iran Press News:
Despite unprecedented security plans and repressive measures by the fascist regime of the Islamic republic to prevent the gathering commemorating the occasion of "students' day", students and brave Iranians who were informed about today's protests showed that the university is still alive and despotism against religious tyranny blazes on.
According to received reports, today on this anniversary more than 4000 students of the Tehran University were able to gather; as they chanted slogans such as "Death to despotism" and "death to the dictators" they were battered by herds of the regime's agents and disciplinary guards. The number of intelligence and security agents is reported to have been more than 5000.
The students who are enraged by censorship and suppression of the universities, clashed with the regime guards and broke down the gate of the technical school of Tehran university and entered.
BERLIN, Sep 29 (IPS) - Amnesty International has issued an urgent appeal calling on its members to write letters to the Republic of Iran asking them not to stone seven women.
Nearly all of the women have been sentenced to die by stoning for adultery. Officially Iran had placed a moratorium on the cruel and painful practise in 2002, but Amnesty claims sentencing continues. The group has received credible reports that two people were stoned to death in May.
The United Nations Human Rights Committee has ruled that treating adultery and fornication as criminal offences does not comply with international human rights standards.
Protest Against Khatami's Speech at the WDC National Cathedral
SMCCDI (Urgent Action Call) Sep 1, 2006, 17:50
Dear Iranians, Dear Freedom Lovers,
Once again, Mohamad Khatami has been called back to duty in order to rescue the corrupt and tyrannical Islamic Republic regime. In that line, the 'former' 'president' of the Islamic regime has set foot on American soil in order to participate in a demagoguery show titled "Dialogue among Civilizations". The man, who has been one of the main masterminds of the backward Islamist ideology of "Monologue against the Iranian Civilization" and "Monologue against Humanist and Liberal Values", in general, is set to deliver a speech at a conference hosted by the "Center for Global Justice and Reconciliation".
This masquerade is to take place at the Washington DC's "National Cathedral" on September 7, 2006 at 07:15 PM (local time).
In reality, the Islamic Republic and its leaders, including Khatami himself, have never believed in a real "dialogue among civilizations". Rather, they have been and are promoting an ideology of death, calling for the slavery of the Iranian people and the gradual Islamization of the free world!
The Islamic regime's intelligence circles, helped by some of the very same naive or mercantilist foreign circles known since 1995, are seeking to influence the American and world opinion in order to reduce the current international pressure, at its highest level ever, and to extend the life of their miserable regime. Khatami's trip, to the US, and his scheduled speeches are, without a doubt, more desperate propaganda tactics in order to buy more time for the ruling theocratic oligarchy. He intends, by showing a false image of the Islamic regime rather than its real dark and blooded nature, to spin the increasing fear of a war and to buy time for his falling regime for which he has been successively its Ministry of Propaganda and Ideology, Its head of Security Council and its PR President.
Iranians will always remember his eight years of Presidency and its dark records!!! Eight years that Khatami used to deviate the International opinion from the increasing secularist and democratic aspirations of the Iranian People!! Eight years that under cover of 'reforms" and 'seeking world stability', he covered up executions, murders and hidden nuclear activities! Eight years that a naive foreign audience put their trust on the possibility of reforms from within an irrational and ideological political frame instead of empowering the Iranian People by shading moral support on it! Eight years of demagogies and naive dreams with a sudden wake up call and reducing the window of action by a deceived Iranian People exasperated by over two decades of Islamist tyranny! Eight years that could have brought Freedom and eliminated any long term prospect of any kind of war!!!
Dear Iranians, Dear Freedom Lovers,
Just as a reminder, in addition to many other human rights abuses that took place under his presidency, Khatami - qualified as "reformer" by some who are in a desperate search for a sort of temporary solution - had directly sanctioned the brutal repression of the 1999 Student Uprising, in which tens were killed and many others arrested and tortured. It was the very same Khatami who, abusing the trust placed in him by the very same students that later he qualified as a "bunch of hooligans" and unleashed his brutal repressive forces against them. Furthermore, tens of genuine activists, intellectuals and journalists were arrested, tortured or killed. One of the most known cases is that of a Canadian-Iranian photojournalist, Zahra Kazemi, who was brutally murdered in 2003 for taking photos of the Evin Prison, where thousands of political prisoners are detained in very bad living conditions.
We as Iranians who are struggling to save their countrymen and nation CANNOT stand idly by and watch while some naive or mercantilist circles are helping promote one of those responsible for our nation's suffering and plight!!
We cannot allow tyrants and terrorists to speak on behalf of our beloved homeland and oppressed countrymen!! We have to make our voice heard loud and clear!!!!
Let us all together say a big NO to terrorists and tyrants dressed as "moderates" and "reformists" !! Let us echo the Iranian people's outcry and aspirations!! Let us all together make it clear that demagogues like Khatami DO NOT represent the Iranian people and nation!! LET US ALL do it for OUR countrymen, families, OUR children and for the generations to come!
Be aware that the threat of a war will only be canceled if the door to demagogues is blocked and if the world shed its moral support on the Iranian People in order to free themselves! Eight years of demagogies and the wake up call should serve as a good lesson on which path to choose
Hence, we call on all the freedom lovers to join us in a peaceful demonstration which will take place on "Thursday, September 7, 2006, beginning at 06:00 PM (local time) in front of the "Washington National Cathedral", located at: 3101 Wisconsin Ave. N.W. Washington, DC 20016-5098 Map Link: http://www.cathedral.org/cathedral/visit/direction.shtml
Looking forward for your responsible participation. United We Stand, Divided We Fall!!
The "Student Movement Coordination Committee for Democracy in Iran" (SMCCDI)