It has come to my attention that you are planning to visit the Islamic republic of Iran very soon. As you may know, in that country, at this very moment, a fierce battle rages between a freedom seeking nation and the forces of oppression. Oppression of everything that you -and Europe as a whole- stand for, or are supposed to stand for. In Iran, visiting dignitaries from abroad will be used against any opposition forces by the fascist leadership, as has been the practice for the past three decades. Whatever goals you may have to visit Iran, for the regime your presence alone will be sufficient. Because, anyone with the nerve to question the authority of the fascist regime in Iran will be told to shut up, since 'dignitaries from all over the world are standing in line to honour the Islamic republic with a visit.' I can only think that your intention to travel is the result of your naivety, with all respect. I do not want to think that you are actually going to Iran for your purse or that of your respective countries. That would be too gross. As a small reminder of the hospitality of the Islamic Republic of Iran, I enclose a link to a preview of a dramatised documentary that is made very recently about how people are being treated in Iran, once they fall into the hands of the people that you are going to meet. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XSlh4L_HIwE&feature=autofb Maybe I must remind you of the fact that not everyone is in the possession of a diplomatic passport. Visiting Iran at this moment is an affront to all the people who already gave their live in the struggle against oppression, and to all who are ready to die for the freedoms that you yourself already enjoy. What is needed right now, is to call back our ambassadors from Iran immediately, not visiting Iran and thereby showing your consent with what is going on. You were not elected to sell us to the fascists! If you have any political sense, you cancel this trip and you let the whole world know why. The reasons are self-evident: the people of Iran have sufficiently demonstrated that enough is enough. Ignoring the present situation in Iran, and acting according to the 'business as usual' approach that has stained Europe's policy towards the Islamic republic for the past thirty years, will bring you great shame and hunt you till your last breath. This is your moment to show moral courage. Seize it and you will be honoured for the rest of time. Ignore it, and you will show to the whole world what you are: a spineless, greedy politician, who failed when the moment to speak out presented itself. I wish you a lot of intelligence and courage, because you will be going to need it. Yours faithfully, Neek Seresht
To: U.S. Congress
United States House of Representatives
Washington, D.C. 20515
United States Senate
Washington, D.C. 20510
April 3rd, 2010
Honorable Members of US Congress
Voice of America (VOA) and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) are
international broadcasting services funded by US Government through
Broadcasting Board of Governors.
VOA and RFE/RL broadcast daily news and various programs worldwide
in many languages including Persian (Farsi). RFE/RL broadcasts in
Persian as Radio Farda.
We, the undersigned are:
1. Opposed to VOA and Radio Farda’s policy of censorship of Islamic Republic regime’s real opposition
2. Opposed to VOA and Radio Farda aiding Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI), in misleading the Iranian people.
The VOA Charter as published on their web site is as follows:
1. VOA will serve as a consistently reliable and authoritative source
of news. VOA news will be accurate, objective, and comprehensive.
2. VOA will represent America, not any single segment of American
society, and will therefore present a balanced and comprehensive
projection of significant American thought and institutions.
3. VOA will present the policies of the United States clearly and
effectively, and will also present responsible discussions and opinion
on these policies.
RFE/RL mission statement as published on their web site indicates:
“The mission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty is to promote
democratic values and institutions by disseminating factual information
From Central Europe to the Pacific, from the Baltic to the Black
Sea, from Russia to Central Asia to the Persian Gulf, countries are
struggling to overcome autocratic institutions, violations of human
rights, centralized economies, ethnic and religious hostilities,
regional conflicts, and controlled media.
Stability -- based on democracy and free-market economies --
throughout this region is essential to global peace. Based on the
conviction that the first requirement of democracy is a well informed
citizenry, and building on nearly a half century of surrogate
broadcasting to this region:
RFE/RL provides objective news, analysis, and discussion of domestic
and regional issues crucial to successful democratic and free-market
RFE/RL strengthens civil societies by projecting democratic values”.
VOA Persian Broadcasting and Radio Farda have violated their
charter and mission statement respectively by consistently broadcasting
subjective and censored news and programs.
• The news, opinions and discussions made on VOA and Radio Farda
are mainly in support of Islamic Republic regime and do not represent a
balanced view towards news and events related to Iran and US Policy
• VOA and Radio Farda guests and contributors are amongst Islamic
Republic Lobbyists in US and regime supporters - those whose goal is to
save Islamic Republic, by promoting various figure heads of the regime
as fabricated opposition leaders and saviors of Iran and Iranians. The
leaders and representatives of the Iranian society and various
political groups that are the real opposition to Islamic Republic are
rarely reported on or invited to participate in VOA and Radio Farda
• The current uprising, the continuous human right abuses in Iran,
the suppression, imprisonment and execution of Iranians go unnoticed in
VOA and Radio Farda or are not reported on in detail as to undermine
the real opposition movement in Iran that wants to put an end to
Islamic Republic and demands a democratic, free and secular Iran.
The regime in Iran censors and falsifies the news, shuts down and
blocks internet sites and monitors internet access in order to control
the news and information reaching its citizens – a trademark of all
Broadcasts by International media into Iran are the only source of
factual news and information for majority of Iranians. Iranians have a
right to know who the real opposition leaders and advocates of a regime
change in Iran are. Individuals who are for many years campaigning for
a free, secular and democratic Iran and represent their rights and
The broadcasts by VOA and Radio Farda are vivid evidence that they are
biased in their reporting; their policies are contradictory to
democratic values and they only promote those responsible for violation
of human rights and their supporters.
We are requesting from US Congress to:
1. Initiate an investigation into VOA and Radio Farda biased policies.
2. Enforce a fair and balanced broadcasting with an objective view of
events regarding Iran and demand engagement with the true forces of
opposition to current regime in Iran.
The fundamental question for honorable members of Congress is: “Is
Islamic Republic of Iran considered a rogue, violent, terrorist regime,
and an abuser of human rights that should not be tolerated or supported
by international community?”
We hope that US Congress would take action to support true forces
of opposition to current regime in Iran and take steps to implement
corrective measures in regard to VOA and Radio Farda.
Continuation of current policies of VOA and Radio Farda will leave no
choice for us as Iranian-Americans and/or supporters of People of Iran
and supporters of true forces of opposition to IRI regime to strongly
consider taking legal action against VOA and Radio Farda, and
ultimately US Government, for what we see as promoting violators of
human rights, condoning imprisonment, torture and execution of innocent
people and supporting a terrorist and tyrannical regime by these
Iranians advocating Freedom, Democracy, Secularism & Human Rights in Iran
It has come to my attention that you are planning to visit the Islamic republic of Iran very soon.
As you may know, in that country, at this very moment, a fierce battle rages between a freedom seeking nation and the forces of oppression. Oppression of everything that you -and Europe as a whole- stand for, or are supposed to stand for.
In Iran, visiting dignitaries from abroad will be used against any opposition forces by the fascist leadership, as has been the practice for the past three decades. Whatever goals you may have to visit Iran, for the regime your presence alone will be sufficient. Because, anyone with the nerve to question the authority of the fascist regime in Iran will be told to shut up, since 'dignitaries from all over the world are standing in line to honour the Islamic republic with a visit.'
I can only think that your intention to travel is the result of your naivety, with all respect. I do not want to think that you are actually going to Iran for your purse or that of your respective countries. That would be too gross.
As a small reminder of the hospitality of the Islamic Republic of Iran, I enclose a link to a preview of a dramatised documentary that was made very recently about how people are being treated in Iran, once they fall into the hands of the people that you are going to meet.
Maybe I must remind you of the fact that not everyone is in the possession of a diplomatic passport.
Visiting Iran at this moment is an affront to all the people who already gave their live in the struggle against oppression, and to all who are ready to die for the freedoms that you yourself already enjoy. What is needed right now , is to call back our ambassadors from Iran immediately, not visiting Iran and thereby showing your consent with what is going on. You were not elected to sell us to the fascists!
If you have any political sense, you cancel this trip and you let the whole world know why. The reasons are self-evident: the people of Iran have sufficiently demonstrated that enough is enough. Ignoring the present situation in Iran, and acting according to the 'business as usual' approach that has stained Europe's policy towards the Islamic republic for the past thirty years, will bring you great shame and hunt you till your last breath.
This is your moment to show moral courage. Seize it and you will be honoured for the rest of time. Ignore it, and you will show to the whole world what you are: a spineless, greedy politician, who failed when the moment to speak out presented itself.
I wish you a lot of intelligence and courage, because you will be going to need it.
Responsabilities of a succesful Transitional Government in Iran
RESPONSABILITIES OF A SUCCESFULL TRANSITIONAL GOVERNMENT IN IRAN
At the request of Minuvash, I made a list of tasks that the transitional government of Iran should face, for it to be successful. I don't claim to completely deal with all tasks. Consider this a starting point from where we can move on and see if there are points missing, that can be added. Though we prioritised the tasks at hand, within a given section I did not make any priorities. That is to say, these tasks are more or less equally important.
What you can see is that almost all immediate tasks are focussing on control. Control over the means of any system to exert its authority over the country. Then, once these first tasks have been accomplished, we can afford to look further and create the circumstances for what we really want to achieve with this change of government and policies. Finally, we have to take care of the victims and the supporters of the current system in a civilised manner. There is not going to be a day of reckoning, but all crimes committed since 1979 will be dealt with.
IMMEDIATE ACTIONS NECESSARY
1Declare a general state of emergency
In order for the transitional government to carry out its difficult tasks, it needs special authorities granted under a general state of emergency. Law enforcement possesses extended authorities compared to normal laws and regulations. The duration and nature of this state of emergency has to be announced to the public so that it is aware of the special circumstances and how long they will last.
2Maintain the territorial integrity of the country and secure control over the armed forces
The support of and control over the armed forces is imperative to secure the borders of the country and to prevent any third party from taking advantage of the situation. The armed forces secure the foundation of the transitional government
3Maintain law and order
The transitional government will be responsible for the maintenance of law and order under the new situation. Command of police forces is necessary, as well as neutralisation of the forces of old.
4Take control of the nuclear infrastructure
The nuclear infrastructure should be taken over as soon as possible. This includes all sites, known and unknown, where nuclear activity is taking place, as well as all staff and personnel working in this sector. All programs will be put on hold.
5Take control of the intelligence apparatuses
Self evident: all intelligence agencies will be scrutinised and staff arrested if necessary. Agents and their commanders will be held accountable for their acts
6Take over control of the prison system
Followed by the dismantling of the current system and the formation of a new prison system. Secure records and other relevant information
7Control the banking system
To prevent any capital flight and take control of money transactions in the country and abroad
8Secure control of the state media and communications services
State TV and radio will initially be the channel at the service of the transitional government to inform the people transparently about its activities etc. Internet services, as well as telephone, telegraph and satellite services will have to be in the control of the transitional government
9Take control of the oil industry
To secure the influx of foreign currency and at the same time to ease the anxieties of foreign investors, their respective governments and the oil companies.
10Initiate a constitutional gathering to draft a new constitution
The primary task of the Constitutional Gathering is to draft a new, democratic and secular constitution based on principles of human rights. The constitution should deal with: the separation of powers, the role of the government, the election process, the rights of the people, etc.
11Organise a free ballot and a referendum on the new constitution
The population will be given the opportunity to give its opinion on the new constitution in a free and fair referendum, with international observers (UN) present to overview the election process. The referendum should take place within 6 months or maximum a year after the erection of the Constitutional Gathering. Possibly a census needs to precede the referendum.
12Preserve financial stability and economic traffic
To prevent the collapse of the economy and to secure that normal economic traffic between citizens and between businesses will remain in place, the transitional government will have extraordinary powers to control and set prices, secure distribution of basic goods, etc.
13Maintain diplomatic affairs, both in the country (with foreign diplomats) and through the embassies abroad
The transitional government must secure its relations with foreign countries through its contacts with foreign diplomats in the country and through its embassies abroad. It is important that the foreign powers know what is going on in the country, what are the goals of the transitional government and how the transitional government wants to achieve those goals.
14Set up a new justice system
The old justice system needs to be replaced with a justice system that is modern, civilised and based on generally accepted notions of justice. All existing laws need to be reviewed and cleansed of references to shari'a law.
15Bring all Bonyads or foundations under control of the transitional government
The economy of the country to a great extend is being run through bonyads. This shadow system of money streams and ownership needs to be dismantled and brought under the control of the transitional government. Policies need to be developed on how to reallocate money and possessions formerly in the hands of the bonyads to the citizens of the country.
16Replace all political appointees in the current governmental structures
The entire political system that was, will be scrutinised and cleansed of the agents of the old system. Anyone in an official position will have to pay responsibility for his actions in the past decades. Possibly a special tribunal will have to be set up.
17Investigate fraud and embezzlement of state funds
A team of experts will investigate where the money went in the past decades. Financial crime will be dealt with in a thorough manner.
18Extend the new government to provinces and municipalities
The transitional government will have to be present in the whole country, which means that new provincial and municipal councils will have to be set up, in accordance with the new system.
20Control the distribution of food and basic necessities
The transitional government will have emergency powers to secure the distribution of food and other basic necessities.
21Re-establish international trade relations and reconsider any signed treaties since 1979
The transitional government will reconsider all treaties that the old system signed, and will declare its full co-operation with institutes like the IAEA. Furthermore, a treaty with Venezuela about the establishment of tractor factories and housing will be abandoned. Agreements with Hezbollah and Hamas will be abandoned, just as the payments to individual members of named organisations.
LONG TERM ACTIONS
22Set up new curricula for the whole educational system
The entire educational system will be overhauled and new curricula will be set up. The education for all students will be based on the new constitution, and void of overt ideological values. Criteria for attending universities will be based on educational results, not on religious or ideological zeal.
23Organise a national reconciliation and the trial of those who committed serious crimes
Although all criminal activities of the old system must be judged, the aim of the new system will not be revenge. People have to move on. Therefor, a national reconciliation will have to be organised, as was done in South-Africa after the fall of the Apartheid regime. However, serious crimes committed under the old system will be dealt with in special tribunals.
24Setting up de-IRI programs for all those related to the IRI
The participants of the old system will be re-educated to make sure that the future generations will have a mindset that meets the principals of democracy, human rights and equal treatment of the sexes. Educational programs will be set up to guarantee that the fascist state of mind will be no longer present in society.
I repeat once more that this list does not claim to be complete. It is a first attempt to discover the areas that any future government has to cover in order to successfully establish a new system that is democratic and based on human rights. Possibly there are omissions, and I invite all readers to come up with points that I have missed. However, in my humble view, here are some points that can not be missed in setting up a new governmental system for Iran.
Protest at the IRI embassy in The Hague, 5th of August
Several dozens of people gathered at the IRI embassy in The Hague on August 5th to protest against the human rights situation in Iran. It was a busy day at the embassy: protesters were given time slots by the city mayor. In the third part you will see Mujahedin people demonstrate. Some of the early protesters joined their protest, not so much because they agree with the MEK, as to show that Iranians can show solidarity and unity in these dark hours....
It was a very interesting gathering in Amsterdam, Saturday the 25th of July 2009. Many Iranian and Dutch people joined to demand human rights in Iran. Different political groups also took part in this demonstration to show solidarity with the Iranian people and their struggle for freedom and democracy.
Though the so-called Green movement had a strong presence at the outset of the manifestation, after a while, others, holding different flags than the Iranian tricolor with IRAN written in black on the white middle field, arrived. Among the late arrivals many flags with the sun and lion, Shir~o~Khorshid, flag of Iran since centuries until Khomeiny replaced the sun and lion ín 1979 with a spiderlike figure and koranic writing in Kufic Arabic.
At the manifestation the slogan "Down with Dictator!" was often overshadowed by "Down wiith the Islamic Republic!". For those with ears, it was obvious where the hearts of the true Iranians were yesterday and will be in the future ...
In the end, it was a positive show of unity by people of various backgrounds and opinions, showing they can work together for the establishment of a democratic system in Iran, no matter if they see themselves under the flag of the Green movement, Royalists, Nationalists, Communists, ethnic groups etc. It was an encouraging event. And it will not be a one time occasion...
Speakers included Shirin Ebadi, Nobel Prize laureate of 2003, calling for the women of the world to show their solidarity with the Iranian women who are being considered second class citizens in the Islamic Republic of Iran. She also urged secretary-general of the UN Ban Ki-moon to go to Iran and find out for himself and report what is going on with human rights violations in Iran.
There was a representative of Amnesty International speaking and a few Dutch politicians of resp. the socialist party and the liberal democrats. There was music by Dutch and Iranian artists.
Last speaker was Mrs Mina Ahadi, lawyer and activist against executions and stoning. She was pretty clear in her passionate statement: European peoples and governments... Stop recognizing them any longer as the Iranian government, close their embassies!!