||[FREE IRAN Project] In The Spirit Of Cyrus The Great
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Joined: 22 Jul 2004
|Posted: Fri Mar 10, 2006 3:33 pm Post subject: speech: "For the Iranian People - Against the Ayatollah
The speech of Mr. Steve Beren, although made for some gathering in Seattle, but it concerns all of us Iranians irrespective of our political affiliations...
I urge you to read it carefully & forward it to others. But do not forget to send a thank you note to Mr. Steve Bern.
Thank you for your patience & cooperation.
Personally I thank you Mr. Steve Bern for your unceasing effort to help us gain our freedom again.
Subject: speech: "For the Iranian People - Against the Ayatollahs!"
February 18, 2006 – speech by Steve Beren in Bellevue, Washington at meeting to discuss the struggle for democracy in Iran (meeting sponsored by Constitutionalist Party of Iran)
Beren is an evangelical Christian, political activist, speaker, and writer based in Seattle, Washington. His articles in support of a democratic, secular, non-nuclear Iran are among those on his website at www.steveberen.com
To Dr. Homayoom, Mr. Ahi, Mr. Ghaemmaghami, and the other speakers today – I am honored to share the platform with you. To the organizers of today’s meeting, I certainly appreciate your efforts and I thank you for inviting me to speak at this policy conference on the Iranian nuclear threat and the struggle for democracy in Iran.
In my speeches and articles, I usually focus on two issues: exposing international terrorism, and the relationship between politics and morality from my point of view as an evangelical Christian. So why am I here at this meeting?
First, when it comes to international terrorism, in today’s world it is impossible to talk about terrorism without discussing the Iranian dictatorship. Second, when it comes to morality in politics, in today’s world it is impossible to discuss morality and justice with discussing the struggle of the Iranian people for democracy.
We are all fighting for a democratic, non-nuclear Iran, and that is a great cause. For the Iranian people! But against the ayatollahs!
I am an American, and I am an American patriot. I know a patriot when I see one. And when I look out at this audience, I see a room full of patriots – Iranian patriots and Americans. We each love our country.
I must point out that you in the audience are truly important, and the work you do is important. Those of you in this room should not underestimate your importance. The issues we are discussing today are not a mere academic exercise, but crucial to world peace and world security. And those of you in this room are not just curious onlookers, but directly involved in these vital issues. From your life experiences, you know the truth. What you do matters; never forget that. Do not underestimate the importance of the work you are doing.
A great nation and a great people have been betrayed. Iran, a nation with a noble history and a tradition of tolerance and respect, is now under the control of Islamic fundamentalists. The Iranian people are one of the oldest and greatest people on earth, and their history is rich – and there are about 40 references in the Bible to Persia, Persian, and the Persian people.
The mullahs who rule Iran constitute a dictatorship; truly – a fascist dictatorship. Contrary to Iranian history and tradition, they have placed Iran in the category of pro-terrorist outlaw states.
The Iranian people are oppressed and brutalized; Iranian traditions are trampled upon and mocked. The Iranian people deserve peace and democracy, but instead they are ruled by a dictatorship that is hell-bent on war and militarism. In today’s dangerous world, there is an international terrorist movement, using the trappings of religion to pursue a vicious political agenda. There is Al Qaeda, and Hezbollah, and in the Palestinian territories there is Hamas. In Egypt, there is the Muslim Brotherhood, and of course there are the Syrian and Iranian dictatorships.
Hezbollah, Al Qaeda, Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood, the Syrian dictatorship – these various Islamic extremist forces are not strangers to the ayatollahs – they are cousins!
They are united for tyranny, brutality, and hatred. In such circumstances, it would be a deadly mistake to underestimate the threat posed by the Islamic Republic of Iran’s efforts to obtain nuclear weapons. The threat is real, and in today’s world even a relatively small number of nuclear weapons in the hands of terrorists poses an unthinkable danger.
Some people point to the Cold War, when the Soviet Union had 10,000 nuclear weapons, and they argue that the ayatollahs could perhaps be contained. But in today’s world, you don’t need 10,000 nuclear weapons. Even a few would be enough – one for Hamas, one for Hezbollah, one for Al Qaeda, one for the Muslim Brotherhood.
There is a lot of talk about the “military option” being “on the table.” But who put the military option on the table? Who put the nuclear option on the table? Who put the “destroy Israel” option on the table?
The mullahs are on a war drive, they have put the military option on the table, they have put the hatred option on the table, they have put the “destroy Israel” option on the table. The world community must unite and say “No! Enough! Stop the Ayatollahs’ War Drive!”
The blame does not belong to Condoleeza Rice or Dick Cheney or President Bush. The finger must point at those responsible for putting the “options” on the table. The Iranian mullahs must be forced to take the nuclear option off the table!
The Iranian people deserve democracy and peace, but as I said they are brutalized and oppressed.
Once, before the Islamic revolution, a shopkeeper or worker or businessman could expect a measure of prosperity. But where there was once prosperity, there is now devastation. You can tell a lot about a government by how it treats its working people. And how does the Iranian dictatorship treat its bus drivers, its factory workers?
Parks and gardens have been turned into rubble. The rights of workers, students, and journalists have been violated. Families have been forced to give up their homes, and some families have been scattered and divided. Journalists sometimes find that their right to travel is restricted; artistic freedom is imperiled; newspapers are shut down.
I have never been to Iran, but I am in contact with Iranian expatriates all over the world – Norway, Germany, Canada, the U.S. and elsewhere. They send me pictures, they tell me their stories, and I have been compelled to take up this cause as my own.
Once, before the Islamic revolution, women could expect a measure of social freedom, a good portion of culture, a taste of modernity. Now, the clock has been turned back. Actually, it is not just the clock which has been turned back. A clock measures in hours. It is the calendar that has been turned back – decades and centuries, not just hours!
Certainly it is women most of all who suffer under the Islamic regime. You can see right into the heart and soul of a government by examining the status of women. And how do the ayatollahs treat the women of Iran?
We should not doubt the intentions of the Iranian rulers in seeking nuclear weapons. Their own words betray them. Usually, public words are indirect, more subtle, incomplete. What is said for public consumption is often more mild than what is being said behind closed doors.
Yet, if take the leaders of Iran at their word, at their own public word, there can be little doubt of their intentions.
Yesterday, the New York Times reported that Iran dismissed, shrugged off the “mounting world pressure” to halt its nuclear program. They quoted Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati as telling Friday worshipers: “Nuclear technology is our red line and we will never abandon our legitimate right to this technology. They (the West) are trying to terrify us with a scarecrow called the Security Council. We are not scared ... They will be harmed more than Iran if they act unwisely.” These are their public words; imagine what they say in private. These are the words spoken to worshipers; I never hear words like that when I go to church!
Last week, in a speech marking the 27th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said the following:
"Now in the West insulting the prophet is allowed, but questioning the Holocaust is considered a crime. We ask, why do you insult the prophet? The response is that it is a matter of freedom, while in fact they (who insult the founder of Islam) are hostages of the Zionists. And the people of the U.S. and Europe should pay a heavy price for becoming hostages to Zionists." [USA Today, 2/11/06]
Why should Americans and Europeans and Israelis “pay a heavy price?” They can’t do it right now, but that is their intention. Imagine what the ayatollahs would do if they had nuclear weapons.
In truth, the hysterical protests in Iran and elsewhere in the Middle East present a false issue. The cartoons were published in Denmark four months ago, and months later, the issue of the cartoons is brought to life for political purposes: stirring up a campaign against Denmark and other European nations, who have begun to become more outspoken and more united in opposition to the nuclear efforts of Iran.
The cartoons themselves certainly poked fun at Islam, hitting on issues of hypocrisy and silence in the face of terrorism. So what is the reaction? “Hey, you accused us of being violent, of being terrorists! That is not fair! That is not true! Just for that, we are going to attack your embassies, stage riots, burn your flags, threaten your citizens and diplomats. That will teach you to falsely accuse us of being violent!”
I saw on TV an example of how far this anti-Denmark campaign is going. Iranian bakeries, which sell danishes, are no longer calling them danishes. Rather, they are now “roses of Mohammed.” I don’t understand! Cartoons of Mohammed are bad, but pastries of Mohammed are good?? It seems that there is hypocrisy at work.
The Iranian dictator seizes upon this issue to try to stir up hatred among the people, and to deflect the pressure being put on Iran to drop its nuclear ambitions.
But why should Americans and Europeans “pay a heavy price.” Why should Denmark and Israel be under threat? Who will make us pay this “heavy price”? Does anyone doubt that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the ayatollahs, who don’t hesitate to torture journalists and students, would move beyond talk if they succeeded in acquiring a nuclear arsenal?
In that same speech last week, Ahmadinejad began his address to the crowd by saying: “The affront to the honor of the Prophet of Islam it is in fact an affront to the worship of God, and to the seeking of truth and justice, and an affront to all the prophets of God. Obviously, all those who harm the honor of the prophet of Islam...” To my American ears, used to American-style political speeches, Ahmadinejad did something very strange: he led the crowd in a repeated chant of “Death to Denmark! Death to Denmark! Death to Denmark!”
Later in his speech, the Iranian president said, in comments directed at America, Europe, and Israel: “You have destroyed the prestige of the Non-Proliferation Treaty. You should know that the Iranian people will not give up its indisputable right. Hear this: this is the voice of the Iranian people. It is expressing its opinion about nuclear energy clearly. Hear this: Nuclear energy is our indisputable right.”
And then, again, he led the crowd in another repeated chant: “Nuclear energy is our indisputable right.”
As the chanting died down, Ahmadinejad continued with this open threat: “You should be grateful that our people has acted nobly towards you so far, and has been patient. We want to remain patient. Don't make us lose our patience. The peoples have awakened. The world of Islam has awakened. Do not make us reconsider our policies.”
Some people make the mistake of underestimating the danger posed by Iran. They acknowledge that the Iranian dictatorship and the ayatollahs are fanatical, but they consider them more of a nuisance than a true threat. They consider the Iranian fascists to be crazy, unable to actually carry through on their rhetoric.
Well, some people are crazy, and they are in a straight-jacket in a mental institution. But other people are crazy, in government, in power, and trying to acquire nuclear weapons.
We should recall that much of the world made a disastrous mistake in the 1930s, underestimating Hitler and Nazi Germany. Many thought that Hitler was merely a crazy madman, and that he could never actually implement his plans for world conquest. But Hitler and the Nazis proved the appeasers wrong with the invasion of Poland in 1939, and the invasion of Denmark, Norway, France, Belgium, and Holland in 1940. The world must not make the same mistake again.
This past Wednesday, Secretary of State Rice spoke to the Senate in support of a request to dramatically strengthen the effort to support forces working for democracy in Iran. “The United States will actively confront the policies of this Iranian regime, and at the same time we are going to work to support the aspirations of the Iranian people for freedom in their own country.”
The program involves improved and expanded Farsi language radio and television broadcasts into Iran, and subsidies for labor union leaders, human rights activists, and political dissident groups. The program also includes a plan to set up Internet sites as a base of support for these forces.
Both the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal reported on this proposal from the Bush administration, but with decidedly different viewpoints. Same facts, same program – but remarkably different opinions.
In an editorial, the Wall Street Journal wrote: “(A) s we learned with the old Soviet Bloc, totalitarian regimes are often more brittle than they seem. Outside of Israel, the U.S. may have no better friend in the Middle East than the Iranian people. The more we make our voice hear over there, the likelier it is that they will someday have a chance to make their voices heard too.”
The New York Times, not in an editorial but in commentary slipped into its news report; voice a cautionary and hesitant note “about embracing the ‘regime change’ approach.” And they also say:
“American officials say the administration needs to be careful not to align itself with people in the Iranian diaspora who have political agendas that are unpopular in Iran. Among these are monarchists who support the family of the late shah of Iran.”
The New York Times does not like the Constitutionalist Party of Iran!
Why does the New York Times assume that the cause of constitutional monarchy is “unpopular”? That is up to the Iranian people, not the New York Times. Under the ayatollahs, there is no democracy, and the elections are a mockery. There is no women’s rights candidate, there is no free speech candidate, there is no anti-nuclear candidate, there is no constitutional monarchy candidate, there is no anti-terrorist candidate. Imagine an American election where the only candidates were Michael Moore, Cindy Sheehan, and Ward Churchill.
The Iranian people need real elections – a level playing field. Instead of a nuclear Iran, let there be a democratic Iran! Let the Iranian people decide!!!
Funny how the New York Times can always find those anonymous “American officials” that disagrees with Administration policy and agrees with the New York Times. At any rate, the difference between the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal reflects the overall divide in American politics. The differences are real, the debate is ongoing. That’s one more reason why what you are doing is so important. Never forget that; never underestimate that.
At today’s meeting, we have Iranians and Americans. We have Muslims, Christians, and Jews. We have national diversity and religious diversity. But when it comes to political affiliation, we had Republican elected officials and Republican candidates and Republican activists – but where were the Democrats? Why are there no Democratic political leaders with us today, joining the effort for a democratic Iran?
(If the Democrats wanted stability & slow process yet progressive towards attaining Democracy in Iran & indeed the entire Middle East, they would not have helped the tyrant Khomeini to replace the democratic M. R. Shah of Iran. Therefore they could not attend the meeting! –H.H.)
Are they too busy? Well, if the Democrats are too busy to come to this meeting, maybe on Election Day you should be too busy to vote for them!
The divide between the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times, and the divide between the Republicans and Democrats, represents a major challenge. A great effort is needed to explain and educate the issues to the American people. A majority of Americans may agree with government policy against terrorism, but a substantial minority are opposed.
And in many ways, we here in the Pacific Northwest, especially those of us in Seattle, have our work cut out for us. In the move “Apollo 11,” one of the key lines is “Houston, we have a problem.” Well, I must say to you, “Seattle, we have a problem.”
This past Thursday, the House of Representatives passed House Concurrent Resolution 341, for the purpose of “condemning the Government of Iran for violating its international nuclear nonproliferation obligations and expressing support for efforts to report Iran to the United Nations Security Council.”
This resolution noted, in part:
“Whereas President of Iran Mahmoud Ahmadinejad expressed, in an October 26, 2005, speech, his hope for `a world without America' and his desire `to wipe Israel off the map' and has subsequently denied the existence of the Holocaust….”
“Whereas President Ahmadinejad stated, `The Iranian government and nation has no fear of the Western ballyhoo and will continue its nuclear programs with decisiveness and wisdom.'”
To its credit, the House of Representatives passed this resolution, by a vote of 404 in favor, 4 opposed. But you know, we have a problem here in Seattle. One of the four members of Congress to vote “no” on this resolution was Dennis Kucinich, and another was Pete Stark from the Oakland, California area. And one of them was Jim McDermott, who represents Seattle and the 7th congressional district.
McDermott, who is friendly to Fidel Castro and was so friendly to Saddam Hussein that he is known as “Baghdad Jim,” is consistent and true to form. But he is a disgrace to this region and to the city of Seattle. We need to write our congressmen, of course. But in this case, we in Seattle need to remove him from office!
That brings me back to you here in this room. We have our work cut out for us. Not everyone will agree with us, and there are those who will battle us all the way – like the New York Times, like Congressman McDermott.
I know that many of you are frustrated, sad, fearful, depressed, overwhelmed. I certainly understand that – I can only barely imagine what it is like to be separated from your homeland, to have your families broken up, to have your lives torn apart. But do not despair.
I believe in you, the Iranian people, and I believe in your ultimate victory!
Do not despair. Those of you in this room should not underestimate your importance. The issues we are discussing today are not a mere academic exercise, but crucial to world peace and world security. And those of you in this room are not just curious onlookers, but directly involved in these vital issues. From your life experiences, you know the truth. What you do matters; never forget that. Do not underestimate the importance of the work you are doing.
We are all fighting for a democratic, non-nuclear Iran, and that is a great cause. Against the ayatollahs! But for the Iranian people!
Steve Beren is an evangelical Christian, political activist, speaker, and writer based in Seattle, Washington. His articles in support of a democratic, secular, non-nuclear Iran are among those on his website at www.steveberen.com
Joined: 23 Sep 2005
|Posted: Fri Mar 10, 2006 4:51 pm Post subject:
|An American’s Christmas Wishes
for the Iranian People
by Steve Beren, December 23, 2005
As Christmas Days approaches, hundreds of millions of people around the globe celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. This is a time of hope – hope for freedom, hope for justice, and above all hope for peace.
I’m an American and a Christian, and among my Christmas hopes, wishes, and prayers are my special wishes for the Iranian people.
At this Christmastime, and as we head into the New Year of 2006, here is what I wish for the Iranian people:
COMFORT AND JOY. An end to the torture, repression, and brutality. Freedom of speech, freedom of expression, freedom of religion. Toleration and respect. Equality for women. Let students be students, let workers be workers, let artists be artists.
PEACE. Stop the war drive of the Iranian mullahs. Instead of wasting the resources of Iran on developing nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction, use the great resources of Iran to benefit the Iranian people. No nukes for the dictatorship of the mullahs! For an Iran that does not fear democracy in Afghanistan or Iraq. For a diverse and tolerant Iran, with respect for the rights of the Kurdish people and all peoples. For an Iran that does not threaten Israel.
RESPECT FOR HISTORY AND TRADITION. The people of Iran have a long and wonderful history. Their nation is one of the oldest on the earth, and its contributions have often been remarkable. Why should a brutal dictatorship tear the Iranian people away from their history? Why should the rule of the mullahs replace the rule of the people? If the Iranian people want democracy and restoration of their historical monarchy, let it be!
BEAUTY. Let musicians, novelists, artists, dancers, and journalists have great latitude and freedom of expression. A just society benefits from the creativity of its people. A just society does not need to tell people how to dress or how to sing or how to think. Remove the restrictions on music – let Iran contribute to the world, and let Iran receive from the world.
DEMOCRACY. Today the dictatorship of the mullahs rules over the Iranian people. Let there be truly free and truly open elections. Let all parties compete, let all voices be heard. Let every women and every man have a vote. Let every worker, every student, every sector of society have its rights and responsibilities!
Merry Christmas to all my Iranian friends, and especially to all who love their country and who struggle for democracy. May God bless you all. My prayers and hopes are with you. Don’t be discouraged, there will be justice. Best wishes in 2006.
I am Dariush the Great King, King of Kings, King of countries containing all kinds of men, King in this great earth far and wide, son of Hystaspes, an Achaemenian, a Persian, son of a Persian, an Aryan, having Aryan lineage
Joined: 22 Jul 2004
|Posted: Sat Mar 11, 2006 9:46 am Post subject:
|Dear Mr. Beren;
I read your encouraging wards in your speech in Seattle.
I am an Iranian monarchist and I cannot understand the
animosity and the hatred of the New York Times and the
Los Angeles Times towards the Iranian monarchy. Was
the late Shah anti American? Are the Mullahs or the MEK,
pro Americans? Is the world a better and safer place since
the late Shah's departure in 1979? Why should we tolerate
criminals such as Stalin, Khomeini, Saddam, Castro,
Chavez and Ahmaghinejad?
The situation is not much better in London. The Shah was
a thorn in the eyes of the British and It is our belief that
the Brits were the prime instigators of Khomeini's madness
of 1979. The Brits could not tolerate the close alliance between
the two governments and the people of Iran and America.
Khomeini, the ruthless British bulldozer was send to
destroy Iran and create the anti-American feelings in the
region. The Americans were driven out of the region so the
European countries gain the full control of the market in
the Middle East. Brits should never be trusted.
But the old fox Britain is failing. Tomorrow, when our country
is liberated we will throw the British out of Iran and with them,
all those who prolonged the human sufferings in Iran by
maintaining a good relation with the terrorist Mullahs.
At that time we will remember the BBC, the New York Times,
the Los Angeles Times, The Guardian and the Independence
Mr. Bern, we Iranians are not anti-Americans. The late
Shahanshah was a close friend of your country and he
trusted the US governments. Sadly Jimmy Carter changed
Our country is ruined, our lives destroyed and our future is
so dark and uncertain.
Some known circles in Britain and America disliked the
late Shah of Iran and for 27 years, the Iranians had to be
punished as a result.
Over one million dead in a needless war with Iraq and over
several hundred thousand executions which continues as
I am writing to you. Nearly seven million refugees scattered
around the world. Over 250 thousand political prisoners. Over six million drug addicts, generations wasted and as President
George W. Bush so rightly indicated "A nation taken as
hostages by an outlaw regime" yet the New York Times
cannot accept a regime change in Iran.
I would like to thank you from the bottom of my heart and
please do not leave Iranians alone.
Mohammad-Reza Pardisan, London.
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