Skip to comments.Iranian Alert - September 11, 2005 - A dangerous Iranian terrorist is flying into NY City next week.
Posted on 09/11/2005 2:06:10 PM PDT by DoctorZIn
Ahmadinejad - A dangerous terrorist is flying into NY City next week.The following are a few reports on the arrival of the Iranian President's trip to the UN next week.
Freepers need to join SMCCDI in their protest in front of the UN this next Wednesday - Friday!
- Iran Press News reported that Hamidreza Assefi, spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Iran said: The U.S.'s refusal to grant a visa to the Islamic Republic's Parliamentary delegation to attend the world conference of international parliamentarians is considered exceedingly rude. Adding: The United States with this action has proven itself unqualified to host international networks.
- Iran Press News reported Shokrollah Attaarzadeh, member of a division the Islamic regime's majority, in reaction to the United States refusal to grant Haddad Adel and his delegation visas said: Ahmadinejad must order Iran's extrication from the United Nations charter and have the embassies of countries who associate with America, closed.
- Mehr News reported that Ahmadinejad who is going to attend the summit of the United Nations General Assembly in New York will travel to there directly from Tehran. In a reversal, the State Department will let him bring with him the Majlis speaker Gholam-Ali Haddad-Adel and his parliamentary entourage.
- Reuters reported that the United States granted a visa to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
- The Peninsula reported that the speaker of Iran's parliament yesterday cancelled plans to visit New York for a UN meeting because of delays in receiving a US visa.
- Nasser Rashidi, The Global Politician reminded us that the State Department says Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is a terrorist, but will grant him a visa anyway.
- SMCCDI has obtained a permit for protest by the UN for the September 14th protests of Ahmadinejad in NYC. They need our support.
- SMCCDI released a public letter to John Bolton, the US Ambassador at the UN regarding Ahmadinejad's visit to the UN.
- Political Prisoner, Mehrdad Haydarpour, Iran Press News writing from Evin Prison asked: What could the decrepit wolf, Ahmadinejad, have to say at the U.N.?
- Iran Press News reported that the Democratic Front of Iranian Kurds called for New York demonstrations against Ahmadinejad's presence at the U.N.
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Anyone know what the bloody hell is wrong with us?
Why is this guy allowed in here?
Arrest him on sight!
OH!!!!! How I just WISH I could be there to FREEP this TERRORIST! I hope that a lot of Freepers in the area will go! If anyone does go, will you PLEASE ping me to the pic/review thread/s?
This sounds like a job for the NY Freepers!
I don't want him here either. He gets to come and parade his lies before the UN while Ganji...
Somewhere I read recently on FR that his visa was denied.
More of the "extend the hand of friendship" to the religion of peace.
Citizen Action! Everyone go buy pies and wait til he spews!
Nah, hit him with armpit bread (nuun). Those that have been to Iran will know what it is. ;^)
PINGING THE NEW YORK FREEPERS!!! We need a serious FREEP if this 'King of all Dung' is allowed into the US to visit the UN. Could you please post a link to this thread in your Locale page, and please see if you could be there for a Freep? THANKS!!!!
Also what you do is call them all ...ARABs...they hate that..
Do we have the Turtle Bay Patriots yet?..Or is that only when the blue helmets emerge??
Thank you for your kind words about our military. I do not understand the governments reversal in the decision to let him in. When the visa was originally denied, I thought that the State Department had finally gotten some Chutzpah.
Maybe, just maybe he could become a hostage for 454 days. Nothing personal, just payback.
Join the rally to protest the presence of Islamic Republic terrorist president, Ahmadinejad, in New York City on September 14, 2005
Join the nationwide effort to pass the message of this rally. Help Iranian people in their effort to achieve democracy and peace by sending a loud and clear message to mullahs' regime, that we will no longer tolerate their policy of terror and fundamentalism.
Sep 14, 2005 Time: 11:00 a.m New York City
Dag Hammarskjold Plaza 1st Ave and 47th East, United Nations
See link for more information................
Now you are REALLY confusing me!
Turtle Bay Patriots, UGH! SCREW the UN! And here is a link that states, among a zillion other reasons, WHY! Turtle Bay Tea Party
Iranians of all stripes and colors will be out in force at the UN this week to protest Ahmandinejad. Such as:
Those seeking a secular government
Those seeking a restoration of the monarchy
Those supporting the MEK
Having non-Iranian citizens joining in the demonstration will be a huge encouragement to both the Iranians in NYC and inside of Iran.
The speaker of the parliament of the regime was denied an entry to the US last week!
I did a quick search on this NYCA thing and Congressman Ed Towns (D-NY)
Check the links for interesting stuff:
To me, it seems that MEK (bad guys) are doing a great job covering their faces and disguise themselves as legitimate opposition of Iranian regime.
It sadens me to see any type of support for them inside the US govt. I wonder if President Bush and his admin really care about what might happen in Iran after the fall of Mullahs.
Elahe Hicks of Human Rights Watch said that many, many Iranians resent the MEK. Because this group is so extremely resented inside Iran, the Iranian government actually benefits from having an opposition group like this, she said. James Phillips of the Heritage Foundation agreed. When they sided with Iraq against Iran in the [1980-88] war, that was the kiss of death for their political future. Even Iranians who might have sympathized with them were enraged that they became the junior partner of their longstanding rival, he said. ...
Iran: Bombs and Democracy
Update: The New York Times is reporting that following more bombings in Tehran, for a total of seven pre-election bomb attacks killing 10 and wounding over 70, the Iranian government doesn't suspect the MEK this time. Instead, they're placing the blame on Baath party loyalists who resent Iran's influence in Iraq. Which I imagine is way better for the Bush administration than former Hussein employees who are now US loyalists.
You know what the second most annoying thing about FOX News is? The cowardly wankers won't consistently post transcripts of their programming. After having hoped to find a transcript of their hour-long report on Iran ever since it aired in April, I finally stumbled across one at a website that seems entirely devoted to proving that Iran is the most evil country on earth. So if you missed it, you can now go read the transcript of FOX's Breaking Point Investigation -- Iran: The Nuclear Threat.
You'll miss the startling graphics swooping towards you on the screen and the paranoid tone of the announcer, but the whole special could pretty much be summarized by this quote from Chris Wallace's opening: "So how great is the threat? What should the White House do about it?" I should note that I too am concerned at the possibility of a "despotic theocracy in possession of a nuclear weapon," as Sen. Biden said, but that's why I voted for Kerry. The special was filled with so many falsehoods, half-truths and twisted facts that it was totally ... expected. They could have called it 'Be Afraid: Iran,' and called in the director of Starship Troopers without any significant change in tone. Though this was a genuinely funny moment:
Johnathan Hunt: ...One more thing, as unbelievable as it may sound, all the facilities we know about are perfectly legal under the international treaty that's supposed to stop the spread of nuclear weapons.
Yes, ladies and gentlemen, the crafty little buggers are acting within the law of non-proliferation treaties they've signed on to. Where, oh where, will this perfidy end? Kidding aside, there are serious issues posed by US relations with Iran. Mostly, how long can we convince them that we aren't going to bomb, invade or try a coup d'etat, in order to buy time to bomb, invade or try a coup d'etat?
Also, how can we avoid drawing domestic attention to the fact that Iran is more democratic and respectful of human rights than many of our regional allies? It's a low bar, I know, but there it is. The Iranians may be regularly chanting "Death to America" as part of their hollow weekly ritual to affirm the power of the ayatollahs, but it's the Saudis who are going to Iraq, strapping bombs to themselves and attacking US troops and and Iraqis with impunity. The Iranian government may insist that women wear veils, but as a consolation prize, they also get to work, drive, vote, go to college, run for office, own businesses and walk unaccompanied down the street.
After reading this news item this morning, I'm wondering if the US government hasn't already gotten started by means of a group that US conservatives often describe as being 'pro-democracy.'
Three bombs went off near government buildings in Ahwaz, Khuzestan province. Khuzestan has a large concentration of ethnic arabs with close ties to Iraq's Shia community, and is the province adjacent to Iraq that was the focal point of Hussein's invasion of the country. Hussein assumed that the Arabs of Khuzestan would rather be part of Arab-ruled Iraq instead of a Persian majority country like Iran. He was wrong.
Many Iranians will probably suspect the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK), an organization that's been on the US State Department's own list of terrorist organizations since 1997, though it should have been on there for much longer. From the 2004 report, emphasis and link mine:
The MEK philosophy mixes Marxism and Islam. ... The MEK advocates the overthrow of the Iranian regime and its replacement with the group's own leadership. [Ed. -- Note that they were active during the reign of the Shah, and that they would likely oppose any government in Iran that didn't include them. You can go here to read a more comprehensive State Department history, detailing their activities both before and during the 1979 revolution.]
... The group's worldwide campaign against the Iranian Government stresses propaganda and occasionally uses terrorism. During the 1970s, the MEK killed US military personnel and US civilians working on defense projects in Tehran and supported the takeover in 1979 of the US Embassy in Tehran. In 1981, the MEK detonated bombs in the head office of the Islamic Republic Party and the Premier's office, killing some 70 high-ranking Iranian officials, ... Near the end of the 1980-1988 war with Iran, Baghdad armed the MEK with military equipment and sent it into action against Iranian forces. In 1991, the MEK assisted the Government of Iraq in suppressing the Shia and Kurdish uprisings in southern Iraq and the Kurdish uprisings in the north. In April 1992, the MEK conducted near-simultaneous attacks on Iranian embassies and intallations in 13 countries, demonstrating the group's ability to mount large-scale operations overseas. [Ed. -- Here, the report lists several additional incidents from a stepped up offensive against the Iranian government from 1999-2001, including assasinations of Iranian military and law enforcement personnel, as well as mortar and bombing attacks on government buildings.] ... After Coalition aircraft bombed MEK bases at the outset of Operation Iraqi Freedom, the MEK leadership ordered its members not to resist Coalition forces, and a formal cease-fire arrangement was reached in May 2003.
... Over 3,000 MEK members are currently confined to Camp Ashraf, the MEK's main compound north of Baghdad, where they remain under the Geneva Convention's "protected person" status and Coalition control. ... A significant number of MEK personnel have "defected" from the Ashraf group, and several dozen of them have been voluntarily repatriated to Iran.
... Before Operation Iraqi Freedom, the group received all of its military assistance, and most of its financial support, from the former Iraqi regime. The MEK also has used front organizations to solicit contributions from expatriate Iranian communities.
Yes, you read that right. A group listed as a terrorist organization by the US State Department was given Geneva Convention protections that weren't extended to Iraqi civilians or thousands of other US detainees, many of whom had never been proven to have any terrorist ties at all. And not just any terrorist group, but one supported for many years by Saddam Hussein.
Guess how popular the MEK is inside Iran? Guess how popular they are inside the US Congress? Though there are both Democrats and a few Republicans who condemn the MEK, they do have their supporters. From a Democrat this May:
... The twelve-term Democrat from New York [Congressman Ed Towns, (D-NY)] said, Human Rights Watch should view the MEK as its partner in defense of human rights in Iran not perpetrators. I firmly believe HRW report on MEK published on May 18th will only advance Tehrans agenda to derail the fight for democracy and human rights in Iran, calling on the group to retract the report and provide a more factual account of rights violations in Iran. ...
From a Republican in 2003, emphasis mine:
... This group loves the United States. Theyre assisting us in the war on terrorism; theyre pro-U.S., said Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) in an interview with The Hill.
...Last week, State Department spokesman Greg Sullivan told The Hill the MEK is considered a combatant and U.S. officials believe its soldiers are undertaking some of the action in the south [of Iraq] where enemy combatants have disguised themselves as civilians.
Ros-Lehtinen vehemently disputed States assertion to The Washington Times, calling the spokesman a weasel and a gutless bureaucrat who wont come out of his cave. Sullivan did not respond to a request for further comment.
... In no meeting or briefing I have ever attended has anyone called this group an anti-U.S., terrorist organization, she continued, adding that the group has provided useful intelligence to the U.S. government on Irans nuclear ambitions.
Ros-Lehtinen further said that there is wide support in Congress for the MEK and that it will be one of the leading groups in establishing secular government in Iran.
... Elahe Hicks of Human Rights Watch said that many, many Iranians resent the MEK. Because this group is so extremely resented inside Iran, the Iranian government actually benefits from having an opposition group like this, she said. James Phillips of the Heritage Foundation agreed. When they sided with Iraq against Iran in the [1980-88] war, that was the kiss of death for their political future. Even Iranians who might have sympathized with them were enraged that they became the junior partner of their longstanding rival, he said. ...
Well, I guess Marxism is about as secular as you can get, but maybe the congresswoman missed the word that comes after that. If the world made any sense, you wouldn't end up with a rabid neotheocon like Ros-Lehtinen supporting Marxist Islamic terrorists. But if Marxist Islamic terrorists are your only inroad to a country whose government you want to topple ... well, maybe you put up with alarming bedfellows, emphasis mine:
... The MEK insists that it should lead a US-backed effort to bring what it has termed democratic rule to Iran. Last month it organized a rally, attended by several powerful Republican lawmakers and billed as the "2005 National Convention for a Democratic, Secular Republic in Iran", at Washington's historic Constitution Hall.
Since the March 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq, where the MEK had been based since 1986, the group has tried to persuade Washington that it holds the key to overthrowing the Islamic republic next door. It has been backed in this quest by right-wing lawmakers, a group of hardline neo-conservatives and retired military officers called the Iran Policy Committee, and some US officials - particularly in the Pentagon - who believe the MEK could be used to help destabilize the Iranian regime, if not eventually overthrow it in conjunction with US military strikes against selected targets.
While the group's supporters in the Pentagon so far have succeeded in protecting the several thousand MEK militants based at Camp Ashraf near the Iranian border from being dispersed or deported, they have failed to persuade the US State Department to take the group off its terrorist list, to which it was added in 1997 based on its attacks during the 1970s against US military contractors and its participation in the 1979 seizure of the US Embassy in Teheran. The European Union also cites the MEK as a terrorist organization.
After a year-long tug-of-war between the two US agencies, a truce between the State Department and the Pentagon was apparently worked out. MEK members at Camp Ashraf were designated "protected persons" under the Geneva Conventions. Since then, the Pentagon has recruited individual members of the MEK to infiltrate Iran as part of an effort to locate secret nuclear installations, according to recent articles published in The New Yorker and Newsweek magazines. ...
If the MEK turns out to have been behind the bombings in Ahwaz, you can bet your bippy that the explanation for it all across the Arab world will be that the US instigated it through their pet Marxist terrorists. It won't matter if it's true, because the US has created at the very least an appearance of impropriety and would be harder pressed to criticize other governments for being state sponsors of terror. Even US claims of Iranian nuclear capabilities, which come from the MEK, have suffered a blow with recent findings that traces of weapons-grade uranium discovered on Iranian centrifuges has a signature consistent with the Pakistani origin of the centrifuges themselves. So between unsubstantiated allegations and supporting people who are nasty in their own right, the Bush administration may push the regime in Tehran into exactly the direction they claim to try to prevent. Not pretty.
Finally, Kam Zarrabi wants answers to Three 'Stupid' Questions: 1) Why would the United States, the only global superpower, choose to promote the ideals of freedom, self determination and democratic reforms among the Middle Eastern nations; how would that serve Americas best interests? 2) Why shouldnt the Israeli regime opt for peaceful coexistence with a sovereign Palestinian state next door, as envisioned by the United States and the world community? 3) Is Iran going to abandon its pursuit of the atom bomb, denounce terrorism, and stop its human-rights violations?
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Then when we release him, blindfold him, spit on him and kick him.
The protest is being advertised by Iranians who are against the regime. That includes people we like and people we don't like.
The group you asked about has links to MEK, as DoctorZin explained. They are hated by most Iranians, so they are not a group I would like to march with.
The group doing the advertising that I posted in #16, is a more pro-monarchy group. I don't care if iranians want to return to a monarchy or not. That's their decision. But I don't have any bad feelings about the group.
There will be other groups too. All sharing a hatred of the regime and agreeing that Ahmadinejad is a thug and not a legitimately elected representative of the Iranian people.
We are encouraging people to participate in the anti-regime/anti-Ahmadinejad demonstration to show solidarity with all the people suffering under the regime who want to get rid of them and be able to choose their own gov't.
Please encourage others to participate.
Thank you for this excellent explanation.
Tri-State Chapter members and others: Please do attend this demonstration if at all possible.
Keep ypur freinds close, and your enemies closer
Isn't his appearance at the UN due to the weapon's investigation? This isn't a 'casual visit'.
Just when you think he's the archetypal sleazy, reflexively Marxist Brooklyn pol, he flips the script on you.
Hope to see you there...
Bring a Camara! Get this on the net!
So far, the only congressman from New York City to do so, to the best of my knowledge.
Not all of them friendly.
FREE IRAN BUMP!
I want my country free but MEK is not a choice I like for future of my country!
In Depth: Reza Pahlavi
Fareed Zakaria: In 1978 when my guest came to the United States, he was the Crown Prince of what appeared to be one of the most powerful monarchies in the world. Reza Pahlavi was the son of the late Shah of Iran. Today he is one of the most tireless advocates of democracy and human rights in that country and has spent many years organizing in various ways an opposition to the current regime. Pleasure to have you here.
Reza Pahlavi: Good to see you again, Fareed.
Fareed Zakaria: Let me ask you; what is your sense of what is going on internally in Iran now? We have had an election in which what appears to have happened is that the more conservative elements within the ruling establishment have won against what appeared to be the more worldly elements; Rafsanjani being a more worldly character, but also regarded as very corrupt; the current President--Ahmadinejad regarded as more austere, more hard-lined, but also more honest. What does that tell us about whats going on inside Iran?
Reza Pahlavi: Well in a nutshell because its a very complex picture to explain--what you have is basically a choice made by the regime to gather its last strength as a means of survival and the only way they could attempt to maintain some degree of control is by tightening the grip. You can see that as--as ever apparent in Iran today in terms of whatever was the hope of reform, which is now completely dead as a movement, and instead you have even a more radical system in place than you had before the reform movement even started.
Fareed Zakaria: But why did people vote for Ahmadinejad? I mean here is a hard-lined conservative; there were five options people were given. I--I understand that the system is rigged and that all the real democrats are not allowed to run, but you had five options. The liberal reformer came last; the most hard-line conservative Islamist came in first. Does that suggest there is some constituency for this--for the Mullahs?
Reza Pahlavi: Well first of all as you indicated, the numbers are definitely rigged because by every statistics that we checked into, most of the people boycotted the elections for good reason, and the reason they didnt want to participate was not because they had to yet again make a choice between the lesser of the two evils, but because they knew that the regime is holding the so-called elections only for one purpose and that is to make the outside world believe that there is some degree of legitimacy for the system itself. Give credence to the regime by participating in elections could only have meant that. But the bottom line is that the appearance of Ahmadinejad was a total surprise to the majority of the people who thought that Mr. Rafsanjani would be the shoe-in candidate. But it shows yet again that the regime has maneuvered to have somebody like Ahmadinejad in a position where they can more easily have at this--their own appearance at the higher ranks under the much better and closer control of Ahmadinejad, the supreme leader himself. The bottom line is that it has created an environment of instability. The bureaucracy is dysfunctional. The middle class is totally uncomfortable with this as far as--whether theyre in private or public sector; its also hurting the lower classes because basically without a functioning bureaucracy youre not going to have any kind of goods and services in the way that will satisfy even the lower classes.
Fareed Zakaria: But let me ask you this, Reza; for two decades people like you have been saying this regime is about to crack and crumble and it doesnt happen. Why?
Reza Pahlavi: Well I think there are several reasons that goes into this. Number one is that most of the foreign countries that have been dealing with Iran until today have never sensed a kind of foreign threat emanating from Tehran oddly enough despite the fact that the regime had been involved with terrorism and had been involved in a lot of activities regionally and beyond. Now the nuclear question is coming into the picture and people are taking the threats coming from Tehran more seriously. But until then, I dont think the outside world who was too busy looking for economic interests and in a sense undermining what has been a human rights issue or a lack of political freedom issue in Iran had never put the kind of pressure that is usually exerted onto the totalitarian systems. Case in point, I dont think that we saw a fall of apartheid in South Africa or for that matter the liberation of the countries behind the Iron Curtain ever since the Soviet Union crumbled had it not been for pressure from the outside world. So how the world can in fact increase the chance of change is what I want to address to answer your question.
Fareed Zakaria: But let me ask you this.
Reza Pahlavi: That hasnt been done.
Fareed Zakaria: At $66 a barrel is it likely that there will be either weakness internally or much pressure externally? In other words, the Mullahs are racking up huge surpluses in terms of the budget--their budgets because of the price of oil.
Reza Pahlavi: If that means that the regimes own collaborators would help it maintain its war machine in part, one could argue that. Does it affect the people? No; the people are even more poor than before, theyre more disenchanted, theyre more disillusioned, and frankly you have to keep in mind, Fareed, when this regime came into power in Iran in 1979, Iran had a population of about 35,000,000. Today its nearly 70,000,000 people meaning--meaning that 35,000,000 people in that country are 25 or younger, meaning its a whole new generation that aspires to different future. They want to be like the Western world. They want to have the same freedoms that people enjoy in the country like the United States where theres no discrimination against women or against minorities or creeds or different faiths. What we have in Iran today is the total opposite of that dream.
Fareed Zakaria: The nuclear program of Iran was started under your father.
Reza Pahlavi: Correct.
Fareed Zakaria: Shouldnt Iran--in his view, my sense is he believed that Iran should have had a nuclear option because it was a great power in the region, but whats wrong with the Mullahs fulfilling that--that policy?
Reza Pahlavi: Talking about nuclear technology is one thing; Iran was a signatory to the NPT and therefore it was not a question of developing nuclear weapons at any point. Fareed, we live in a country and its kind of funny because when I think of it, people would not let individuals drive a car while intoxicated. You wouldnt want to have known a child molester is hanging around prep schools. Yet, youre talking about a regime that has been proven time and again to be involved in all aspects of--of terrorism both at home and abroad, and giving them access to sell technology is like giving the keys to a drunk driver. Can the world trust this regime at the end of the day? My point is its not about the nuclear technology; Im defending the fact that Iran ought to have the option of that technology or any country for that matter. But what is accountable at the end of the day are regimes and governments that are answerable to their own citizenry and to the norms and rules of international law, meaning theres a democratic system in place, absence of which in Iran causes all the concerns. If 76 percent of Iranians believe that Iran should have nuclear technology, almost 92 percent of the very same people are worried that Iran will have access to that technology under this very regime. That means that they make the difference between our rights as opposed to this regime having access to it.
Fareed Zakaria: In your efforts to speak with and organize some degree of internal opposition in Iran is it your sense that the last few years youve been more successful or is it getting worse?
Reza Pahlavi: The success is based entirely on the fact that we have a new generation coming into the picture, a new generation of leaders, thinkers, managers, who once in a position of power and authority will be able to address the situation.
Fareed Zakaria: In Iran?
Reza Pahlavi : In Iran as well as outside, but in Iran--again, Im addressing the generational people who know exactly what they want. They are committed to the very same ideas that the whole world knows it will breathe a sigh of relief if in fact it does take place. Unlike the Ahmadinejad(s) of this world who are completely on the opposite of the scale. So the internal struggle in Iran is based on whether or not we can help the people aspire to such freedom? How can we help them; how can we engage them; how can we help them identify each other and communicate with them? Not only it should be the burden of the democratic opposition of which Im part, but I think this is where foreign government should start investing because the only way that youre going to bring the regime down in Iran by helping the Iranian people decide for regime change; Im not suggesting that the outside world should advocate it, but the Iranian people demand it. The best way to do it is to help the pro-democracy movement. Why; because that is why it will--that is where it can hurt the regime the most. Thats its weaknesses. Its not air strikes; its not any kind of other scenarios that will make a regime think twice and take the outside world seriously and thats I think what--what is the US government or European governments or any other government for that matter--we have to invest in this youth because they represent a future not only of Iran but I think of the region.
Fareed Zakaria: Let me ask you one last question. When you left Iran, youre 17 years old, and you were the Crown Prince. Do you sometimes look back wistfully at what--the world that you lost?
Reza Pahlavi: No; Ive been brought up with the morale of feeling comfortable in two ways and to me the biggest principle in my life has been never lose faith in the Creator and always have a clear conscience, and as far as my political judgment goes, I always look ahead. I never look back. And that has been my commitment to my compatriots and to my country. Im an Iranian above all. I very much doubt that had I been there and have simply transitioned into--as a Crown Prince to the next monarch in the country I would have had all the experience and knowledge that I have acquired since Ive been outside of my country. I consider that a blessing--not a curse.
Fareed Zakaria: Okay; the school of hard knocks.
Reza Pahlavi: Exactly.
Fareed Zakaria: Reza Pahlavi, pleasure to have you on.
Reza Pahlavi: Nice to see you again, Fareed; thank you.
btw - Ed Towns is not just a supporter of the protest, he's a supporter of MEK. They have contributed thousands to his campaign. They have also contributed to Gary Ackerman's campaign.
So, how does a terrorist group whose assets have been frozen continue to contribute? One answer: they hide their identity by changing their name.
He's also the only Democrat from my congressional delegation to routinely oppose the anti-smoking zealotry that characterizes most pols from my city.
That stance is most likely related to his southern roots, and presumably, the corresponding support he receives from the tobacco industry, so it's not too far-fetched to say that there might be a reciprocal political-and financial-relationship between him and MEK.
However, I don't know if that's the only factor at work.
Timmerman has done a phenomenal job of exposing the linkage between campaign contributions by the MEK-and its more appealing, pr-oriented front, the Nat'l Cou. of Iranian Resistance-and support for their agenda, e.g. pols like Towns, Toricelli, among many others in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, who have lobbied vociferously for their removal from the State Department's list of international terrorist organizations.
However, there could also be a significant minority of officeholders who simply support them because they stand in opposition to the IRI regime, and are under the impression-or misimpression-that they can be integrated into some sort of anti-mullah coalition, in much the same manner that fractious dissident organizations like the PUK, KDP, SCIRI, Dawa Party, Iraqi National Accord, etc., were able to coalesce under an anti-Saddam banner.