If the Iranian Secret Service is reading this thread--I have a message for them--Guess which finger I'm holding up?
What is it someone (Taheri?) said... Iranians are free to speak their minds, but they are not free long after.
Iran, Iraq, and two Shiite visions
As Shiite-run Iran begins its elections Friday, Shiites in Iraq follow a different vision toward their own democratic debut.
By Nicholas Blanford
Correspondent of The Christian Science Monitor
BAGHDAD The Shiite holy cities of Najaf and Karbala are back in business - teeming with thousands of pilgrims drawn from across the Middle East and Asia.
After decades of persecution by Saddam Hussein's regime, the Shiite resurgence in these two holy cities presents new opportunity - and a potential challenge - for the Shiite leadership in neighboring Iran.
Amid preparations for pivotal elections Friday in Iran - and later this year in Iraq - analysts see two Shiite visions of democracy vying for dominance. Some say the traditionally "quietist" clergy represented by Iraq's Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani is growing more influential at the expense of Iran's all-embracing system of clerical rule embodied by Iran's Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
"There is a strong possibility that over time large numbers of lay religious Iranians will switch their allegiance to Sistani, and some of the [Iranian] reformers are said already to have done so," says Juan Cole, professor of history at the University of Michigan and a specialist in Shiite affairs. "But the Khamenei establishment is extremely wealthy and offers scholarships, so the seminarians and clerics in Iran would have difficulty defecting en masse. Sistani does not have nearly as many monetary resources."
But Khamenei faces other, nonfinancial challenges. The powerful ruling clergy in Iran is under attack from a growing number of Iranians frustrated at the faltering attempts to achieve greater openness and political freedom.
Reformist efforts were dealt a blow in the run-up to Friday's parliamentary elections in Iran when some 2,400 mainly opposition candidates were barred from competing.
Iran's Wilayet al-Faqih doctrine (governance of the religious jurist, preached in the Iranian city of Qom) was devised in the mid-1970s by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini and served as the ideological underpinning of the 1979 Islamic Revolution in Iran which he led. It grants absolute authority over all matters - religious, social, and political - to a marja who has earned the title of mujtahid, a blend of judge and theologian.
Although the Wilayat al-Faqih system was successfully introduced into Iran's homogenous Shiite society, exporting the doctrine elsewhere has proved difficult.
Its most successful adaptation outside Iran is by Lebanon's Hizbullah organization which considered Khomeini and then his successor Ayatollah Ali Khameini as the group's marja. Establishing an Islamic state in Lebanon on the Iranian model remains one of Hizbullah's ideological goals, on paper at least. But Hizbullah long ago accepted that the tiny country's multiconfessional character mitigates heavily against the creation of an Islamic state.
So, too, with Iraq. Iraqi Shiites represent around 60 percent of the population. The remaining 40 percent is comprised of Sunni Muslims, several Christian sects and a tiny Jewish community. Furthermore, many Shiites are avowedly secular and have little enthusiasm for an Islamic state, whether governed by Wilayet al-Faqih or a less comprehensive form of Islamic rule.
Even groups such as the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI), which was supported by Iran during Saddam Hussein's regime, has begun to distance itself from Tehran's clerical rulers to boost its appeal among Iraqi Shiites.
"The Iranians have their own problems and that is not a model for us," says Sheikh Humum Hammoudi, a senior member of SCIRI's leadership. "We want our religious leaders to be advisers not [political] authorities."
The question of Iraq's political future is due to come to head in the months to come. Despite uncertainty surrounding the nature of the country's upcoming elections, the US is expected to hand over power to an Iraqi government by June 30.
"Changes are possible but the date holds," Iraqi administrator Paul Bremer told reporters Thursday. Bremer spoke before an expected announcement by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan. Mr. Annan was expected to say that elections are important but that they cannot be held by the end of June.
A rare insight into Sistani's views on Iran's Wilayet al-Faqih system was posted on the Internet last week by an anonymous Sunni tribal leader who met with the reclusive Shiite cleric at his home in Najaf.
"He does not believe in 'Wilayat al Faqeeh' as the clergy in Iran do.... He repeatedly stressed that religion has to be separated from government," the letter said. "He said that he firmly believed that the clergy should not interfere with the running of people's lives, with government or with administration. He had forbidden his followers from putting their noses into the state's affairs. He said that clearly and categorically (several times to stress the point!)"
According to Sheikh Jalaleddine as-Saghir, Sistani's representative in Baghdad, the ayatollah recommends a multisectarian government for Iraq.
"He suggests that the government should represent all Iraqis," he says. "The Iraqi people should be the marja of the Iraqi government."
As for the future constitution, Sistani favors one that does not contradict sharia (Islamic) law but is not derived from it, Sheikh as-Saghir says.
Yet Sistani does not speak for all Shiite clerics. The Wilayet al-Faqih system is embraced in Iraq by followers of Mohammed Baqr al-Sadr and Mohammed Sadeq al-Sadr, two prominent clerics who were killed in 1980 and 1999 respectively for defying Mr. Hussein's regime.
"Of course, there is much sympathy for the Wilayet al-Faqih among the Shiites because the two Sadr martyrs called for it and both died for their beliefs," says Sheikh Hamzi al-Tai, who heads the Kerbala office of Moqtada al-Sadr, a young extremist cleric and son of Mohammed Sadeq al-Sadr.
Nonetheless, few believe that the Wilayet al-Faqih system has enduring appeal to Iraqi Shiites.
"Apart from Mohammed Baqr al-Sadr, no one in Najaf agreed with Khom- eini's Wilayet al-Faqih," says Jaber Habib, a professor of politics at Baghdad University. "There's no great challenge from Moqtada al-Sadr as most Iraqis follow Sistani. Moqtada has support only because of his father. He is not a marja and is not advanced in religious studies. He is a flash in the pan."
Other than ideological differences, the Sadrists also harbor suspicions of Sistani's Iranian background - he speaks Arabic with a thick Persian accent. Many senior clerics in Najaf are of Iranian descent, whereas the Sadrs are Arabs of Iraqi-Lebanese origin.
Distrust of Iranian marja appears to have been behind the killing on April 10 last year of Ayatollah Abdul Majid al-Khoei, son of a noted Iranian scholar who returned to Iraq from exile in England and was stabbed to death in the Imam Ali shrine in Najaf. Followers of Moqtada Sadr have been blamed for the murder, and there are fears that Sistani could be next.
"As a Muslim, Sistani has a right to ask for the rights of Muslims. But he does not have a right to interfere in the affairs of Iraq," says Sheikh Tai. "We won't cause problems, God willing, but we won't allow anyone to interfere in Iraqi matters because this is a subject for Iraqis."
Still, while the resurgence of Najaf may have some impact on Iran, many analysts believe that it will not undermine the ruling clerics' grip on the country.
"I don't think [Sistani] is a threat to Iran's religious institutions," says Mohammed Hadi Semati, a Tehran University political scientist currently at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington. "I don't think there will be a rivalry between Qom and Najaf ... though in the long-term, there could be rival doctrines [about clerical rule]."
Instead, any influence exerted by Iraq over Iran is more likely to stem from the successful introduction of a stable and democratic system of rule in Baghdad rather than from differences in Shiite theology.
"It's difficult to change the regime [in Iran]," says Professor Habib. "The Iranians stick to Islam more than Iraqis. The Iranian clerics have more influence over the people than the clerics in Iraq. But if the situation in Iraq develops and we succeed in democracy and prosperity, it will have a great influence on Iran. Iraq influences Iran, not the other way around."
Scott Peterson contributed to this report from Tehran. http://www.csmonitor.com/2004/0220/p01s02-woiq.html
I hope word of this senate resolution reaches the Iranian people.
I think your purely educational pics might have something to do with an increase in hits ...............
An Open Letter To Senator John Kerry
SMCCDI (Public Statement)
Feb 19, 2004
Student Movement Coordination Committee for Democracy in Iran (SMCCDI)
February 19, 2004
Senator John Kerry
304 Russell Bldg.
Washington D.C. 20510
Fax: 202-224-8525; E.mail: email@example.com
Dear Senator Kerry:
For the past few months we have listened and observed with apprehension and dismay to your statements and views regarding the terrorist theocracy in Iran. Yet, we had remained silent!
We have read how you refer to the theocratic regime in Iran as a "democracy;" we have heard how, if elected, as the president of the United States you intend to "engage" this barbaric regime; this very terrorist regime that your own State Department lists as the most active "State Sponsor of Terrorism."
Why is it, Senator, in all your statements, you don't, even once, mention the oppressed and suffering masses of Iran? Obviously, as long as there is such preoccupation with appeasing the regime the people of Iran don't even enter your equation!
For us, recognizing the political season in the United States, we had maintained our silence respecting the internal politics of the country. And, above all, we still believe that United States is cognizant that supporting terrorists regimes, such as the Islamic Republic, is contrary to the values of the nation and would gravely undermine her status as the champion of the democratic principles and the ideals that she stands for; the very foundation of America. And, naturally, we fail to see how a powerful nation could be safer or its national security interests better served by "engaging" and rewarding a terrorist regime!
Senator, those Mullahs in Iran know better than most that: "Money is the mother's milk of politics." After all, they bought a revolution with it and seized a country. Contrary to the cynics, we refuse to accept or entertain the idea that the millions of dollars that the Islamic regime is disbursing to the Democratic Party, through your supposed Iranian-American fundraisers or the so-called Iranian-American PACs or alleged charities, has anything to do with your comments. Sir, those duplicitous and cunning Mullahs in Iran are dangling the lure of other advantages, prior to the elections, to the other side as well.
How a corrupt gang of Mullahs intends to manipulate the internal politics of a superpower is beyond belief. Even so, call us fools or naïve, we like to believe that, perhaps, in this great democracy, the famous adage: "Politics stops at waters' edge" may still be true.
Yes, up to now, we have remained silent!
But, Senator, on February 8, 2004, Tehran Times, Mehr News Agency, as well the newspapers in the United States reported that: "The office of Senator John Kerry, the frontrunner in the Democratic presidential primary in the U.S., sent the Mehr News Agency an E-mail saying that Kerry will try to repair the damage done by the incumbent president if he wins the election." And, includes your statement: "... America needs the kind of leadership that will repair alliances with countries on every continent that have been so damaged in the past few years, as well as build new friendships and overcome tensions with others." Adding further: "He believes that collaboration with other countries is crucial to efforts to win the war on terror and make America safer."
Once informed, obviously, we were outraged and disillusioned! Senator, by sending such a message directly to the organs and the megaphones of the dictatorial Islamic regime you have given them credibility, comfort and embraced this odious theocracy. You have encouraged and emboldened a tyrannical regime to use this as propaganda and declare "open season" on the freedom fighters in Iran. Sir, by so doing you have assaulted us directly and have insulted the honor and the dignity of the Iranian people.
Senator Kerry, this E-mail, this latest message has changed the dynamics completely; this elevates your statements and actions to another level; this takes it out of the internal politics of the United States and points it directly at us, the Iranian people. Senator, how does one "win the war on terror" by cuddling and pleasing the very terrorist State? This is beyond our comprehension! And, we fail to understand, how "collaboration" with a "State Sponsor of Terrorism" could be "crucial to efforts to win the war on terror and make America safer?"
Sir, diplomacy does not mean strengthening totalitarian regimes at the expense and the agony of the citizens of that country. Protracting the Islamic Republic's survival in Iran would only prolong our pain and suffering.
Senator, for us, silence no more! And we repeat what we have been saying to all those who appease the Islamic regime: You are either with us, with the Iranian People, or with the regime!
Senator Kerry, why do you hold such contempt and disregard for the Iranian people?
Senator, in 1979, through deception and ignorance of the populace, intrigues and plots of Western powers, inept foreign policies of the United States, the support of hungry, backward, atrocious and alien terrorists groups such as Hezbollah and other Palestinian mobs our blessed land was handed on a silver platter to a gang of corrupt and illiterate Mullahs. It was during a Democratic Administration of the United States and, right or wrong, Iranians have never forgotten the bungling policies and the betrayal of that Administration.
Riding on the nationalists' sentiments the Islamists swindled and terrorized, and at the end hijacked a nation taking its population hostage under the sham of religion and their perverted brand of Islam. At the expense of Iran and Iranians they pulled the biggest hoax in this ancient land and consequently stained its history and civilization.
Thus began the total ruination of Iran and the devastation of her children.
People were fooled into believing they were getting the lesser of the two evils--forgetting that lesser of the two evils is still evil. And this, this regime is "Evil" personified!
In 1997, the regime presented three candidates for president, hand picked by an unelected and unselected cabal of twelve--known as the "Council of Guardians." This panel vets all candidates for president and parliament -- including so-called "reformers." Under this charade, that you and other sympathizers of the regime call "election" and "democratic," people voted for the lesser of the evils. This time they knew, they were looking the "Evil" directly in the eye, but they had no choice and so they opted for what seemed like the lesser of the evils. Mr. Khatami, at the time, seemed lesser of the evils. But lesser of the "Evil" is "Evil" still! Tragically, he turned out to be ineffective and incompetent as well!
Sir, we understand you, along with others, dislike referring to the terrorist regime in Iran as "Evil;" Senator, ask us, ask the people of Iran! Well, we dislike it when it is called otherwise! We know better and we have every right to shout and call the regime for what it is. We have known this "Evil" up close and personal; we have been in its grip for over two decades and we are its immediate victims!
This "Evil" regime in the span of twenty-five years has totally destroyed the socio-economic fabric of the country and has taken it to the abyss. In a nation rich with abundance of petroleum and natural gas: 57% of the population lives under the line of poverty; inflation is at 20%, unemployment at 30%, and per capita income 30% less than 1977. And, on and on and on.
Senator, as a supporter of women's rights, the next time those so-called Iranian-American PACs or charities contribute to your Campaign, distributing our treasure and our blood money trying to humanize that grotesque regime, ask them about the abuses of women and children by the regime; ask them about the rapes; ask them about the public stoning, flogging, public executions, child prostitution, ask them Senator, ask them, demand to know. As an admired and highly decorated war veteran, in the name of your revered "Band of Brothers," and in honor of soldiers throughout the world ask them how many innocent officers and soldiers had the regime executed of late? Ask them how many students had they maimed or dismembered that day? Senator, ask them. Senator, insist to know about the 700,000 of our compatriots who are languishing in secret prisons; ask them about the torture of the political prisoners. Ask them about the terrorists' camps, the weapons of mass destruction, and on and on and on!
Senator, the next time one of these Iranian-American fundraisers has a lavish reception in his estate in New York or in his mansion in Los Angeles, attempting to gain favors for the regime, demand to know about the rampant hunger and disease, about the soaring crime and abuse of drugs; the unpaid workers, about the lack of medical care for the elderly and children, and on and on and on. Demand it from them, Senator!
Above all, Sir, before embarking upon "engagement" and "collaboration" with the regime, insist that they would read you, line by line, the Constitution of this Islamic Republic. Senator, perhaps you would learn the basic tenets of this theocracy which are: Exporting of their perverse revolution; demolition of United States' interests in the Middle East and around the world; total annihilation of Israel; and to carry out their objectives: Funding, arming and training of Hezbollah, Hamas and others.
Sir, this is the shameful legacy of this "Evil" regime you call "democracy!"
Yet, this "Evil" could not have sustained its grip on our nation without the help and absolute support of "Enablers." The European countries, Russia, China and others, which we have aptly dubbed as the "Axis Of Weasels," are the largest culprits. Blinded by their greed, they kowtow to the Mullahs and supply them with all their needs: From technology for weapons of mass destruction, to arms, to equipment for the torture and silencing of the Iranian population.
Torture and terror are regime's proven methods of control; that is how they have sustained their power over the populace for the last two decades. To carry on their inhumane acts, as usual, they have at their beck and call their pillars of support: The alien terrorists of Hezbollah and other foreign mercenaries. These conniving and treasonous Mullahs are shedding the blood of our beloved students by the hands of those foreign terrorists whom the regime has bought with the wealth of our nation and what rightfully belongs to the very students whose blood they spill!
Add to this mix the paid journalists, so-called experts, and, above all, a cluster of self-serving traitors, of Iranian origin with different adopted nationalities--mostly Americans -- who have amassed great fortunes at our expense.
Senator, our challenge is enormous, we not only have to face the "Evil" regime created among us, we, also, have to contend with these powerful and treasonous "enablers" as well!
And, you Senator, you call this regime "Democratic?" You intend to "Engage" this regime? "Repair Relations?" "Collaborate?"
So we are left to ask: Why, Senator? Why and how could a man of your honor and valor disregard the suffering people of a nation and appease a brutal regime? We are left to ask: Why Senator, why do you despise and hold in such low esteem the Iranian people? Why, Senator, why are you bent on prolonging our suffering by sustaining this wicked regime?
What gives you the right, Senator, to judge Iranians less than human beings by calling that mockery of a government a "democracy?" Why do you believe that the Iranian people deserve anything less than any other human being--their freedom?
Senator, what gives you the authority to deny the Iranian people their basic human rights by "engaging" this greatest abuser of human rights? In our ancient land, in this one of the oldest civilizations, almost three thousand years ago, Cyrus the Great decreed the first Declaration of Human Rights. We are the proud and nationalist inheritors of that legacy. Sir, today, the children of Iran have to go begging, for their most basic rights as a human being, to that pathetic Human Rights Commission of the United Nations, the same Human Rights Commission with Libya as its Chair, which, of course, exonerated a number of biggest abusers f human rights and among them the Islamic Republic as well.
Senator, like you, we respect and admire President John F. Kennedy and we, too, cherish his eloquence. We have been led to believe that his words have special meaning for you; don't these words apply to the Iranian people as well? And we quote: "The same revolutionary beliefs for which our forebears fought are still at issue around the globe the belief that the rights of man come not from the generosity of the state but from the hand of God." Freedom, liberty, and justice are our God-given rights too, Senator!
Sir, you have often cited the first few lines of the well-known passage by President Kennedy and they are: "Let the word go forth from this time and place to friend and foe alike that the torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans born in this century ..." But, Senator, the most powerful words are in the remainder of that quote: " ... unwilling to witness or permit the slow undoing of those human rights to which this nation has always been committed, and to which we are committed today at home and around the world."
"Around the world!" "Around the world," Senator! Why, then, what makes you willing "to witness or permit" the violations of human rights and dignities against us, the Iranian people--the very rights to which United States has always been committed? What do you hold against the civilized, decent, hard-working and oppressed people of Iran, Senator? Why do you intend to "engage" and "collaborate" with a tyrannical regime at the expense of its citizens?
Engagement? Engagement with a terrorist regime, Senator?
For over two decades, the European countries have embraced and under the pretext of dialogue, to strengthen the so-called "moderates" and instigating "reforms," have "engaged" the regime. The end result has been: Sustaining the regime in power, enriching the personal coffers of the Mullahs and their brood. And, total desolation and poverty of the Iranian masses. More importantly, to protect their own interests, the members of the "Axis Of Weasels" have consistently and deliberately fed the beast.
Yet, in the United States, there are those who persist in the failed policy of "engaging" the oppressive regime and insist that talks will yield tangible results and in turn empower the so-called "reformers," the very ones who are handpicked by the Mullahs in the first place and are nothing but puppets.
There are those who believe that they need and must secure the assistance of the Islamic Republic for success in Afghanistan and Iraq. Don't these advocates know anything about the ambitions of this repulsive regime? Isn't it about time that the policy of the United States is based on reality rather than wishful thinking?
The warlords in Afghanistan are Mullahs' lackeys; armed and funded by the Islamic Republic, and though the theocracy had no affection for the Taliban and Saddam Hussein, they loathe the presence of the coalition forces on both borders. If they seem compliant, for now, it is because the might of the United States Armed forces is within heartbeat. It would be a grave mistake to believe that they are allies for the United States in Iraq or Afghanistan. For the tyrannical theocracy to survive they have a vested interest in the failure of the United States in both Iraq and Afghanistan.
But the greatest delusion is to believe in the efficacy of Mr. Khatami. He is ineffective and has no support among the people. His doctrine is: Military and support for terrorists first, people last! Rather than implement reform, the Khatami dogma is "speak softly, while Iran builds a big stick." And it was put succinctly in the Telegraph-Opinion: " ... Mr. Khatami has rendered the mullahs great service: opening dialogue with the West without altering the basis of their power. It is a potentially far greater failure of Western intelligence than the inability to find WMD in Iraq."
To those who refuse to accept the true "Evil" nature of this regime, we recommend judging it on its actions and not just on its rhetoric. Isn't it about time that the United States seeks real change in Iran and not tolerate regime's usual shell games any longer?
Senator Kerry, last month when Senator Biden was "engaging" the terrorist ex-hostage- taker Mr. Kharrazi in Davos and the honorable Congressmen: Senator Specter, Representative Nye and Snyder, among others, were hosting and praising the other ex-hostage-taker Mr. Zarif as a special guest of the Congress, on February 7, 2004, World Net Daily under the title of: "Iran Hosting Global Terrorist Conference" reported: "Just as the U.S. State Department approves wider contact with Iran and as members of Congress begin planning the first official trips in 25 years, Tehran is sponsoring a 10-day conference of major terrorist organizations beginning next week. The purpose of the conference is to discuss anti-U.S. strategy. Among the groups headed to Iran to participate are: Hamas, Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad and al-Qaida allies Ansar Al Islam. The conference, dubbed 'Ten Days of Dawn,' is ordered by Iranian supreme leader Ali Khamenei, marks Iran's investment in sponsoring Islamic insurgency groups in the Middle East, Asia and South America."
Yes, Senator, Islamic Republic's "investment in sponsoring Islamic insurgency groups in the Middle East, Asia and South America." We wonder if Senator Biden, Senator Specter and the other distinguished Congressmen or the State Department Officials are paying attention!
Sir, "engagement" has a long record of failure, unless you consider support for Hezbollah, Hamas and other terrorist groups as signs of success!
Senator, You mean to "Repair" relations with this regime?
What do you intend to mend Sir? What has the United States done to the theocratic regime that you find necessary to "repair" and to put right? The fact that for the first time a government, a signatory of all the international laws, terrorized 52 diplomats as hostages for over 444 days while the United States watched helplessly; or, the CIA officers who were kidnapped and murdered? Or, the mass murders at Kobar Towers, and others and others and others? Or, perhaps, funding and arming of the Hezbollah, Hamas and Palestinian terrorists in order to harm American interests throughout the world?
Should the United States apologize again for what the terrorist Islamic Republic has done to her? Sir, Shouldn't it be the other way around? It is a topsy-turvy world, indeed!
Senator, "repair" seems to have a special meaning for you and your Party. Few years ago, the since exposed, American-Iranian Council, whose members are now in those so-called Iranian-American PACs and working closely with the Democrats, arranged for President Clinton's Secretary of State, Madam Albright, to apologize to the theocratic regime for America's role regarding the events of 1953 in Iran.
We were appalled: It was the wrong apology, wrong time, and to the wrong regime!
Senator Kerry, you refer to yourself as an "internationalist;" you are well traveled, cultured and you have extensive knowledge of the history and politics of other nations. Sir, you must know that: The events of 1953 involved the Late Dr. Mossadeq, a revered and respected nationalist leader of Iran. He despised the Mullahs, considered them backward and a grave impediment to Iran's progress.
Although, the theocratic regime seized power, on the back of those nationalists who betrayed Dr. Mossadeq's secularists ideals, they too dislike Dr. Mossadeq; for to them the nation of Iran has no meaning and anything that has to do with the history of the land prior to 1979 doesn't exist. Dr. Mossadeq must be turning in his grave for what has been done to his beloved Iran and in his name!
By such an inane apology to the theocratic Islamic regime United States had directly desecrated a nationalist icon and insulted the Iranian people. If any apology is to be given is due to the Iranian citizens not to those corrupt and illiterate Mullahs. We were disgusted and outraged and at the same time felt humiliated and ashamed for the United States for what was done on her behalf. Senator, who are these ignorant Iranian-Americans that have the confidence of the Democratic Party? Sir, you are being ill served.
Senator Kerry, humility in foreign policy for a superpower is magnanimous, being humiliated for the wrong reason is another matter!
Collaboration, Senator? You intend to "Collaborate" with the terrorist Islamic Republic?
In your Foreign Policy address, you stated: "As President, I will be prepared early on to explore areas of mutual interest with Iran. Iran has long expressed an interest in cooperating against the Afghan drug trade. That is one starting point."
Senator, that is the biggest misconception and a ruse. The Mullahs in Iran, with their lust for money, are partners in the drug trade with the warlords in Afghanistan. The theocratic Islamic Republic, by its notorious and unending duplicitous and conniving manner, is counting on gaining a number of advantages through "exploring areas of mutual interest" and "cooperating" with the United State--unfortunately, all to the detriment of the people of Iran.
Sir, we implore you, do not insult our intelligence, give the people the "Real Deal!" The truth is that: The Islamic regime has bankrupted the country and is in desperate need of foreign investment and economic assistance. On the other hand, there are the greedy American companies, and the Iranian-American operatives, who seek to create friendly and lucrative business relationships with the medieval theocratic dictatorship in order to enrich themselves by further enriching the power-mad Mullahs ruling Iran.
Which is it Senator, you either honor your own words: "We need ... collective action to end terrorist funding," or help finance a dying decaying terrorist regime? You can't have it both ways!
If, indeed, you mean to "end terrorist funding" in your "efforts to win the war on terror," then, why not take action to halt the existing sources of funds for the terrorist Islamic regime, before rushing to supply it with new resources?
Even with sanctions in place, there are, already, U.S. companies that are helping drive the economies of terrorist regimes, like the Islamic Republic. "These companies help to underwrite and support terrorism." As CBS' 60 Minutes put it: "Just about everyone with a 401(k) pension plan or mutual fund has money invested in companies that are doing business in so-called rogue states." The terrorist Islamic Republic is one of the greatest beneficiaries of these U.S. companies, Senator.
Given the fact that hundreds of New York City's police and firemen tragically died in the World Trade Center as the result of a terrorist attack, after September 11th, they were outraged when they learned where their retirement money was going. At their request, New York City Comptroller has opened an investigation.
Senator, since you enjoy the support of those courageous and beloved firefighters, shouldn't their wishes be respected instead of planning to collaborate with the State that could be contributing to the very next attack on them? Sir, is that how you intend to honor your own words and "to end terrorist funding;" by backing such regimes? Senator, the "most potent tools in changing the environment which sustains terrorism" are: Not to feed the beast but to starve it!
Moreover, Senator, if you mean to "make America safer" then why not a closer look at what the Islamic Republic is doing within America's borders? Especially, since you assert that you wrote the "international anti-money laundering legislation that is now the law of the land." Isn't Homeland Security paramount in making America safer?
Sir, why don't you insist on an investigation of the Islamic Republic's funded so-called Foundations or supposed Charity Organizations like the Alavi Foundation, in New York City? Benefiting from exemptions and protections accorded to charities, through these hypothetical Foundations, the regime provides financial and other means of support to: Numerous fundamentalist causes, different terrorist objectives, other nefarious activities, alleged Religious Associations, the supposed Iranian-American PACs and schools that teach anti-American rhetoric while spreading regime's distorted religious ideology--all within the very shores of America.
Senator, you claim you want to "win the war on terror and make America safer," at the same time you intend to "collaborate" with the most active "State Sponsor of terrorism." Which is it, Senator Kerry?
All we can say, Sir, is: We hope and ask that: You, Senator Biden, Senator Specter, Representative Nye and others who are determined in prolonging the life of this repulsive regime would have the humility and the honesty: To stand up and look the next victims or survivals of this deceitful regime in the eye and say: Yes we "Engaged," and, indeed, we "Collaborated!" Senator, you all, will have to live with your own conscience!
Senator Kerry, "engaging" those corrupt Mullahs and the leaders of the terrorist regime, in any way, is a tacit acknowledgment of legitimacy, particularly when their very basis for rule is being challenged from within. The Mullahs, in their attempt to demoralize the Iranian opposition, have always maintained, and counted on the fact, that the Europeans may talk about freedom, but the reality is that democracy is the least of their concern when it comes to making deals. We have always known they will do business with whoever is in power in Iran; we are well familiar with their hypocrisy. What is new, and different, to us is to learn about your vision of America's foreign policy as president.
Senator, you have said: "As President, I will chart a new course rooted in our enduring values." Sir, we have already heard enough to know what the shape of that course might be but we were unaware of the new definition of the "enduring values" of the United States!
Senator Kerry, by your statements and actions you have made your position perfectly plain. We heard you loud and clear! So be it, Senator!
Now hear us, Sir!
What has been imposed upon the people of Iran, for the last twenty-five years, is utterly against the Iranian heritage and every fiber and grain of their being. Contrary to your understanding the two factions in Iran are: People versus the entire Islamic Republic! The tyrannical Islamic regime is reviled with a passion; discontentment in Iran cuts across the spectrum and the opposition to the regime is wide and deep.
Iranians have come to despise the European Union that has sustained the theocracy; they recognize these and others for the greedy, self-serving, hypocrites that they are. Moreover, they know that the nonsense of "engagement" has only enriched the EU members and filled the coffers of the Mullahs while pushing Iran further into chaos.
It is no accident that the Iranian people are not simply pro-Western, but overwhelmingly pro-American. After all, while the United States has stood on principle, the European Union has for a decade engaged in dialogue with Iran.
In view of their experience with these European countries, Iranians esteem and look to the United States for standing firm and not cooperating with the regime. At this juncture, United States is in a unique position indeed! It would be a grave tragedy to squander this wellspring of good will by following misinformed and misguided policies.
To be sure, any relations or associations with the present regime that would, in any way, extend its life and its hold on power could bear crucial consequences for relations with the future generations of Iran.
While the future of Iran will be decided, solely, by its people and the ultimate responsibility to free the nation is with the Iranians, all we ask is the moral support of the United States. All we expect is that the United States will remain true to its principles of liberty, justice, and its ideals of democracy.
Senator Kerry, you may very well be the next president of the United States and since your overriding concern seems to be appeasing the terrorist regime at our expense, it is evident, you will "engage" and even "collaborate" with the "Tyrants in Tehran." You may prolong our suffering and jeopardize our position. We may have to bear the brunt a while longer, but we promise this: You will not silence us! To paraphrase President Kennedy's Poet-Laureate, Robert Frost: "
We have promises to keep, and miles to go before we sleep
" And, Senator, as an American citizen you must know that the true power rests with the people.
Senator, we will not be silenced! And we feel confident that our plight resonates with this nation above all; for, this country is held as the shining beacon of hope for freedom-loving people throughout the world.
We believe, our cause is just; for it is the cause of freedom. Our mission is clear and sacred, for it is to regain our blessed land. Our determination is strong and our resolve is steeled as well.
Sir, we are the future of Iran. We are the 70% of the population that is under the age of 30, and the rest are, simply, our mothers, fathers, sisters and brothers.
The Iran of tomorrow is ours! Senator Kerry, we will have the power! In the words of beloved Senator Robert Kennedy and as echoed by you: "Some men see things as they are and ask, 'why?' I dream things that never were and ask, 'why not?'" Indeed, "why not?" We will not merely dream our free, secular and liberated Iran of tomorrow we will make it a reality; this we pledge and more!
We will reclaim our sacred land, our national identity, pride, heritage, our proud history and our civilization.
On behalf of SMCCDI,
Aryo B. Pirouznia (for the Committee) http://www.daneshjoo.org/article/publish/article_3130.shtml
"The Islamic regime intends by this way to cut the population's link with opposition sources located abroad and is hoping to bring more voters to its ballot boxes."
Why can't they see how ludicrous this is? Everyone inside and outside the country knows what's going on. They don't have secrecy like they used to. They're exposed.
Hey! Khamenei! The emperor has No Clothes!
The ballot boxes have now been open since 6.30 local time, that is 2 hours ago.