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Cooperation, Attention- Not force Needed in Iran By Roozbeh

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2006 2:58 pm    Post subject: Cooperation, Attention- Not force Needed in Iran By Roozbeh Reply with quote

International cooperation, attention - not force - needed in Iran

Roozbeh Farahanipour
Chairman Marze Por Gohar Party

A short while ago, I had an opportunity to debate Iranian politics on
an American website that was devoted to right-wing, neo-conservative
Although the people that I spoke with were not generally politically
well-groomed, one aspect of our conversations struck me. My new-found
“neo-con” acquaintances were under the impression that Iranians were
doing their part in the resistance against the regime. In fact, one
commented that if the Iranian people were not standing up, the rest of
world wasn’t obliged to stand with them. Another fellow, in an
extension of
the previous comment, questioned the extent of the unpopularity of the
regime among Iranians and believed that the claims of overwhelming
opposition against it were false. The sentiment among many of my new
acquaintances was that the use of force was the only solution. I was
aback by these statements, not because of their factual inaccuracies,
because I began to appreciate the extent of the ill-advised accepted
about Iran that I believe is due to a combination of half-truths that
spread by the Iranian regime and a lack of understanding of the Iranian
people by those who reside in this country.

The first obvious question seems to be why people in Iran tolerate such
unpopular regime in the first place. Indeed, eighty-five percent of the
people in Iran are not supporters of the Mullahs. However, the problem
Iran is complicated and is partly due to historical and cultural
that I will explain briefly. To begin with, Iran has historically seen
large amount of foreign interference in its internal affairs by the
powers. This was due to two reasons. First, Iran was always seen as a
strategic country where very lucrative trade routes, the Silk Road is
example, crossed from Europe to Southern and Eastern Asia. Second, the
20th century brought the discovery of vast oil reserves that were
through two world wars and a growing world economy. In fact, the recent
history of our country, starting with Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadegh
1951, has been rife with foreign meddling. Mossadegh, who was
elected, was removed from power by U.S. and British intelligence
because of his support for the nationalization of Iran’s oil industry
had primarily been in the hands of Britain before his short term in
He was replaced by Mohammad Reza Pahlavi until his removal by popular
revolts that lead to the Islamic Regime of today.

These events are still fresh in the minds of the Iranian public and it
that Iranians, generally, have a hard time trusting western and Iranian
opposition leaders that pitch democracy and openness on the one-hand
and the
impending use of force on the other. Iranians feel betrayed because of
events of the last fifty years and this betrayal in combination with
relatively high literacy rates and education has turned many Iranians
pessimistic and unenthusiastic consumers of political discourse. This
negative attitude to politics in general is greatly intensified with
threat of force. I am not inflating the truth when I assert that using
sort of force in Iran will have exactly the opposite effect that the
international community is seeking. Iranians are very nationalistic
We take pride, not only in our historical achievements, but our present
as well. Like it or not, Iranians are proud of their civilian nuclear
program. The dilemma is not the Iranian nuclear program per se, but the
that this regime may use the technology it has gathered to manufacture
weapons. If the international community were to act violently towards
the people feel has been a great achievement, it would be disastrous
for any
sort of political change in the country. In fact, many people who are
preaching democracy would, in the event of an attack, either be
silenced or
switch sides. This is not because Iranians are hypocrites or otherwise
flawed, but rather, because it is treason for an Iranian to support a
foreign element in what is perceived as an attack on the nation. We
were not
traitors to our countrymen when Cyrus the Great was King of half the
in 539 B.C. and we are not now.

As I write this article there is a war-of-sorts being waged in Iran and
people are dying because of it. The north of the country has
been unstable because of street protests over the last year.
southern Iran has also seen uprisings, especially in oil-rich Ahwaz
which is home to many Iranian-Arabs. The capital city, Tehran, has also
its share of violence as well and the hostility is intensifying. In
the Islamic Regime has recently issued hand-guns to all of its judges
one was killed and another was brutally disfigured by unknown
People are being sent to prison and others are losing their lives every
because of the fight. Unfortunately, there is little being reported by
western media. I'll give you a prime example. Last year, there were a
of riots in Tehran that erupted after a couple of soccer matches.
to what the news media described during those events, the riots were
staged by the familiar "hoodlums" that would be found after an English
soccer match. The riots were organized, planned, and executed by the
opposition groups. The response by the people in Tehran was fierce. For
first time in twenty-six years of occupation by this regime there were
actual street battles between civilians and the military. The crowds
defended themselves well and even went on the offensive. At one point
regime actually feared losing control. It baffles me that the
community didn’t stand in solidarity with the Iranians at that time.
Furthermore, the international media refrained from reporting the
Instead, they merely regurgitated the regime’s portrayal that the
was merely hooliganism and not political activism. The Iranian people
what happened, how come the rest of the world doesn’t?
When Ukraine had its “Orange Revolution” in late 2004 and early 2005,
world media played a very significant role. In fact, the government of
United States was very vocal in its support for Viktor Yushchenko who
against the incumbent Viktor Yanukovych. When the revolution took place
against Slobodan Milosevic’s regime in Serbia, it was directly because
foreign support. The revolutionaries had tactical and planning
They received printing presses and fax machines to spread their
These uprisings didn't happen because the people in those countries
more driven than the Iranians. I can wager that the reality is just the
opposite. Iran has more journalists in jail than any other Middle
country. We have political prisoners in jail by the thousands. In fact,
there have been so many political executions that a new website has
created with the express purpose of cataloguing the colossal number of
victims (http://www.abfiran.org/). We are fighting a war for freedom
and we
have been putting our lives on the line for twenty-six years. All that
ask for is a little help. Instead of telling us what a danger the
regime is,
reach out a hand.

What the Iranian people need is a commitment from the international
community that they will put aside their self interests in short term
monetary and political gain for the long term benefits that only
can bring. Unfortunately, the trend in the region has been for the
and not the latter. For instance, Western Europe, China, and Russia
have all
made lucrative trade deals with Iran that largely consist of oil and
fear losing those contracts in the event of a Regime change. Thus,
countries have been after their own interests at the expense of the
people. This trend must be put to an end. Please help us help our
by giving us the tools we need to organize against this regime. I can
you that the Islamic Republic is teetering on the brink and all it
needs is
a push in the right direction. Revolutions are rarely spontaneous
they require extensive planning, training, and support. In fact,
fight for independence was not void of international help. If it wasn't
French military support in 1776, this great country may never have been

Ruzbeh Hosseini is a J.D. candidate at Michigan State University
College of
Law and a Member of Marzeporgohar, a political party that is dedicated
to a
free, democratic, and secular republic of Iran.


orginal page:


Down With Islamic Republic
Long Live Iran

Roozbeh Farahanipour
Marze Por Gohar Party
Iranians for a Secular Republic
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