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Washington tunes in to Iranian radio (Takes callers from Iran - must read)
BBC ^ | 12/03/03 | BBC

Posted on 12/03/2003 9:47:33 PM PST by freedom44

conservative American think tank has joined up with an opposition Iranian radio station to broadcast into and out of Iran.

Callers said President Mohammed Khatami had made little difference Usually, the American Enterprise Institute hosts forums with politicians, officials and analysts from the "inside the beltway" Washington community.

But for a one-off event, it invited ordinary Iranians to air their views to listeners in Washington and across their country through KRSI Radio Sedaye Iran - which broadcasts from Los Angeles on short wave and on the internet.

The station said there could be reprisals against people phoning in, so KRSI would call those who had previously got in touch - though they said they had not selected activists with any particular viewpoint.

The full names and other details were also withheld for security reasons according to the AEI, which is close to the Republican Party and Bush administration.

KRSI is one of a number of broadcasters which circumvent jamming by the Iranian authorities and transmit radio and television programmes into the Islamic Republic calling for change.

'Reforms dead'

All of those interviewed from Iran said they opposed both the mullahs and those portrayed as reformers, such as President Mohammad Khatami.

One woman who described herself as a housewife who had joined the activists said she saw no hope for reform by the regime.

Women are back in the police, but have few freedoms, opponents say "We have given them a lot of chances, especially when Mr Khatami was being chosen.

We have given him six-and-a-half years but nothing has happened and we don't trust them any more," she said in comments translated from Farsi for the Washington audience.

A woman student said bluntly: "Reform in Iran is dead."

She said there were some "tricks" that could persuade some that there was some form of democracy in Iran but added she was not fooled: "Believing in reform is nonsense."

A poet called Mohammed said even those people who had pioneered promised reforms admitted that they had got nowhere.

"Because of the ideological framework, reforms are not possible in such a regime," he said.

Each caller said the situation seemed to be coming to a head. "The people of this country are ready to fight, to sacrifice their lives," said a university professor.

People or prince

But there was a range of answers when callers were asked who should lead a new Iran.

The housewife said "People can lead themselves", some called for the return of the son of the ousted shah and others said there should be a council of leaders or a referendum.

This election is nothing, all of the people have been through this - even our baker says no

Aresh Mohammed the poet said: "The one person who can lead the country is Prince Reza."

All agreed that it should be the people of Iraq who should decide.

"The people of Iran should choose if they want a king or a republic," said Saeed, who described himself as an activist in the south of Tehran.

But they also agreed that elections scheduled for early next year would do nothing to improve democracy and all the callers said they would stay away.

"This election is nothing. All of the people have been through this. Even our baker says no," said a man called Aresh who told listeners he had been jailed for activism.

Seeking support

Several asked for help from the United States, either directly in terms of funding of opposition movements such as KRSI or at the very least by not courting the government leaders.

Students have been at the forefront of pro-democracy protests A disabled veteran of the Iran-Iraq War said: "I want the government of the United States to support Iran emotionally, that is all we expect."

A student who called herself Ms Nargess said it would be in the long-term interest of the US and European countries to support the opposition.

"The potential ally of the US is the people not the mullahs."

Washington's hawks and doves differ widely on ways to handle Iran, and it is impossible to tell if a broadcast heard by an invited group in a conference room in the US capital will do anything to change minds.

But as the special broadcast came to its scheduled end after two hours, radio host Saeed Farahani had a message for listeners at home and abroad: "I'm asking you all to resist."


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: iran; krsi; krsiradio; reform

1 posted on 12/03/2003 9:47:33 PM PST by freedom44
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To: knighthawk; McGavin999; SJackson; tet68; Eala; Stultis; river rat; risk; F14 Pilot; DoctorZIn; ...
iran ping
2 posted on 12/03/2003 9:55:11 PM PST by freedom44
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To: ConservativeLawStudent
ping
3 posted on 12/03/2003 9:55:25 PM PST by freedom44
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To: freedom44
Thanks for the post. Disappointed they didn't translate live. Hoping we can get transcripts or excerpts or something.
4 posted on 12/03/2003 9:57:22 PM PST by nuconvert ("There's no point playing Christmas jingles in a section selling sausages.")
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To: freedom44
This is a big move, it may not seem like it, but this is a LOT bigger than it looks.
5 posted on 12/03/2003 10:06:34 PM PST by McGavin999
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To: freedom44
Thanks for the post~!
6 posted on 12/03/2003 10:06:41 PM PST by F14 Pilot
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To: freedom44
More Muslims asking the US for help in freeing them from oppression.

If that's the case Ramsey Clark will be the first to defend the theocracy, all under the banner 'defender of the oppressed'.

How is that America can produce someone noble like George W. Bush and at the same time someone as debased as Clark?

7 posted on 12/03/2003 10:08:19 PM PST by moni kerr (Lead, follow or get the hell out of the way)
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To: moni kerr
Good to know that the Mullahs' TV showed him (Ramsey Clark) using his remarks to get credibility for the Islamic Revolution which toppled one of our greatest allies in the Middle East.
8 posted on 12/03/2003 11:08:50 PM PST by F14 Pilot
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To: freedom44
Good wins in the end. That's what I want to believe. God, it would be so much easier if the global Leftists in the media spoke the truth and demonized the mullahs--instead they remain neutral or prefer them to Bush. It's grotesque how difficult the Left makes things. The Left loved Mao, loves Castro, loved Stalin-- they love anybody that opposes America.
9 posted on 12/03/2003 11:16:00 PM PST by faithincowboys ( Zell Miller is the only Democrat in DC who isn't committing treason.)
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To: freedom44
Oh, GOODY... *This* is what the CIA should be doing on a regular basis, to destabilize the Iranian government - and for my money they should go right ahead and do it right out in the open and dare the American Left to criticize it.

I love it!!

10 posted on 12/04/2003 12:02:43 AM PST by fire_eye (All leftists appear identical, when viewed through an ACOG...)
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To: fire_eye
The Iranian people are about to rise up = please tell others to support and contact all government officials..
11 posted on 12/04/2003 7:11:01 AM PST by faludeh_shirazi
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