The Iranian Revolution Starts Here
Amir Tafreshi, SAL Commentary - Special ToTthe Lightning
In an industrial corridor in north Los Angeles, at a small warehouse, sharing a space with a rug company sits America's newest weapon of mass destruction.
Well, maybe not a weapon of mass destruction, but perhaps a weapon of mass change. And this weapon we desperately need at this time in our war against terrorism.
Every day in this office, Dr Iman Foroutan sits behind his desk, with a camera in front, sending a clear message to Iranians worldwide on democracy and freedom. He is succinct, confident and goal oriented. And in return, the phones don't stop ringing.
Foroutan is the founder of SOS Iran, a movement based on values of civil disobedience with the clear goal of bringing change and democracy to Iran. They have no real budget, a makeshift office and a part time volunteer staff of five. Yet, they have lots of heart and a passion to rid Iran of the Islamic fundamentalists in charge and bring a message of hope to the people.
Next to him sits Ms Homa Ehsan, a woman of considerable respect with 50 years of experience in Iranian journalism. She flanks Dr Foroutan and the phones continue to ring from Iran, Europe and those here in the US.
What makes this movement different than other "democracy" advocating groups, is their organization, their plan and the vision they've built in order to bring change to Iran.
The movement, named Iran Farda (Tommorrow) aka SOS Iran, began as a "project" more than 9 months ago when academicians and specialist from all over the world, in as diverse fields as medicine, banking and civil disobedience, were brought together with clear tasks and objectives.
The goals of this project were well spelled out.
1)Design and implement a non-violent movement of civil disobedience specifically for Iran
2) Plan and arrange for a transitional government consisting of the spectrum of political organizations and ethnicities inside and outside of Iran.
3) And a roadmap from the transitional government into a referendum for change and a democratically elected government.
Three months ago, the movement officially began. The satellite TV station was set up as the medium for communication to those inside Iran. Yet, just at its infancy, this movement reached its first crisis.
The cost for a satellite broadcast to Iran is close to $35,000 per month and for a poorly funded operation such as SOS Iran, the task of paying such a monthly sum monthly is staggering. Even a budget item such as hiring an assistant to plow through more than 600 unopened e-mails from Iran is hard to handle.
This not-for-profit organization needs support. They may represent our strongest weapon to date against the Islamic regime in Iran. The people of Iran perhaps are the most pro-American citizens of any Middle Eastern country.
In fact, they were the only people in the region who held a mass candle light vigil on the eve of September 11th. Their government has been labeled a state supportive of terrorism, and according to the State Department, the most active terror sponsor in 2003.
Iranian people are most familiar with this since the present regime has continuously terrorized its citizens for the past 25 years in order to stay in power.
The Islamic regime of Iran, based on their own data, has spent close to a billion dollars on propaganda in Iraq. They operate more than 30 Arabic TV and radio stations aimed against American troops in the region. According to Iranian opposition groups, the Islamic Regime has more than 5000 informers and agents inside our country.
SOS Iran is familiar with this since they get at least one threatening phone call a day at their studio. Yet they don't even have the budget to hire a security guard at their doors.
We, the people, must take a stand to support and fund such groups and organizations. Our corporations who, unlike the European corporate community, don't have access to the Iranian market, including oil.
Before the Islamic regime of Iran obtains an atomic bomb, we need to aid the Iranian people to rise up and rid themselves of such Islamic influenced terror.
We owe this to our troops, to ourselves, and perhaps to our children as well.
Thanks. I've wondered about them.
(and the one rug I saw one day was beautiful)
also check out www.ahura.info