Obama Iran Policy Contradicts Interests of Iranian Grassroots
by MANSUR RASTANI, PHD
May 2, 2012
For decades, the United States has been among the countries that have suffered massively from the Islamic Republic of Iran's (IRI's) sponsorship of terrorism worldwide. It all started in 1979 when the Islamic regime ordered the seizure of the U.S. embassy in Tehran in which 66 Americans were held hostage for 444 days.
Later in 1983, the suicide bombing of U.S. military barracks in Beirut executed by the Islamic Jihad Organization, an Iranian regime's terror proxy, left 299 Americans dead. The Khobar Towers bombing in 1996 carried out by IRI-supported groups of Hezbollah resulted in death of 19 U.S. service men. 60% of all American combat casualties in Iraq and 50% of combat casualties in Afghanistan have been caused by IRI-made IEDs. More importantly the footprint of IRI's terrorism in America became more apparent when the U.S. District Court ruled that Iran was behind the 9/11 Attacks.
American soldiers bring hope and leave graves in every corner of the world; they take bullets to protect the national interests of the country. Their lives are shattered to keep democracy alive. To a Commander-in-Chief, they are like his family members and their deaths are indirectly a loss of a family member to him. Mr. President, you don't negotiate and you don't deal with the terrorists who continuously murder your family members, you should do exactly what must be done with the murderers: hold them accountable by arresting and putting them on trial. That is what a Commander-in-Chief, who cares about the lost lives of his soldiers, does.
The bitterer tragedy of the IRI's sponsorship of terrorism has been the mark it has made on its domestic victims, the Iranian people inside the country, who have been under the systematic use of terror as a means of coercion by this terrorist state from its get-go. The Cinema Rex fire was the first act of genocide of the IRI shortly before it came to power, which resulted in the burning to death of over 400 innocent individuals. As the IRI came to power, the regime started mass executing the top officials from the predecessor government. In 1988, an act of violence unprecedented in Iranian history, was committed by the genocidal regime of Iran, the systematic execution of thousands of political prisoners across the country, which lasted for about five continuous months and resulted in the killing of as many as 30,000 prisoners. Any democratic government in the world is established based on its people's will; the Islamic government in Iran, by contrast, is run and carried on by imposing terror, violence, and fear among its public. The regime has fortified its hold on power by resorting to arbitrary arrests, detentions, rapes, torture, and extrajudicial executions. The "alarming" rise in Iran's extrajudicial execution rate has underscored the warning sign of mass atrocities in the country, a clear indication of the regime's ongoing silent genocide of political, social, ethnic, and religious groups. Additionally, the Iranian regime maintains a policy of "religious Apartheid" toward religious minorities in Iran - like the Christians, Baha'is and Zoroastrians, amongst others. Similarly, the regime advocates "sexual apartheid" in the country, where women and men are segregated from each other and women are deprived of their rights.
Mr. President, The mass murders in Iran have outrageously taken place on the watch of six U.S. presidents - Carter, Reagan, Clinton, GHW Bush, GW Bush, and Obama, yet none of those presidents has done anything beyond rhetorical condemnation against the atrocity, genocide, and apartheid acts of the IRI regime. Over the past few decades, the international community, including the U.S., has largely stood by and watched while mass atrocities in Iran occurred. The lack of leaders bothered by their conscience and the lack of effective response options has sapped the will of governments in responding to these unprecedented crimes against humanity.
Sovereignty is not a privilege but a responsibility that should be revoked if a regime commits acts of atrocity and genocide against its own people. Now is the time for the international communities to protect the rights of the oppressed Iranian people and save them from the long-drawn-out genocide in Iran by putting an end to the sovereignty of the IRI regime, which indeed belongs to the grassroots people of Iran.
Mr. President, the above-mentioned atrocious acts occurred when the IRI was still far from the nuclear threshold. How, then, is an Iranian regime emboldened by nuclear acquisition likely to behave? For more than a decade Americans have heard from different U.S. presidents that an Iranian nuclear weapon is "unacceptable." Despicably, nothing more than a protracted approach of incrementally tightened nonpolitical sanctions with Iranian people as its main burdened target, and diplomacy with the regime for a containment routine, have been utilized to stop the IRI's nuclear threat.
Years, if not decades, of diplomacy have led nowhere; consequently Iran blusters, threatens, and continues to work furiously to obtain nuclear weapons, with the patent support of Russia and China. Mr. President, as a result of your promise to "embrace a new era of engagement" with America's enemies, each passing day this potentially antagonistic regime is getting closer to witnessing a celebration in Tehran for the testing its first atomic bomb. The IRI Mullahs believe it is their responsibility to bring about nuclear war to facilitate the coming of the last Islamic Messiah.
Such a theocratic regime that values martyrdom more than life, even if lacks the technology for building the nuclear warhead, when the time calls, the IRI hardliners and fanatic leaders can easily promote the proliferation of dirty nuclear bombs and make them available in the hands of their terrorist proxies across the world. Any type of negotiation with the terrorist IRI regime not only undermines the repressive measures of the regime against its people but would passively underpin the acceptance of the perpetual IRI nuclear blackmail. Only adopting a policy of collapsing the power structure of the terrorist regime of IRI would put an end to its escalating nuclear threat.
Mr. President, during the Iranian uprising in June 2009 you abandoned the oppressed people of Iran when they asked for your support. Furthermore you chose to take sides with the terrorists and extended your outstretched hand to the eradicator regime of IRI. Mr. President, you don't negotiate with a regime that commits act of atrocities and genocide against its own people, maintains a policy of apartheid inside the country, sponsors terrorism across the globe, has ties to Al Qaida, throws threats at the regional states, interferes in the affairs of neighboring countries, attacks U.S. interests anywhere in the world, kills the best men of United States Armed Forces, and pursues acquiring a nuclear arsenal. The outcome of such negotiations and diplomacy would only help to strengthen the terrorists and to passively legitimize their actions.
Iranians today are the least religious people in comparison to the public of other Muslim countries, and the trend in their value orientations is towards individual freedom, civil rights, gender equality, democracy, and national identity. While the voices in Iran call for an end to Iran's religious regime, sadly, ongoing efforts have been observed in the West, which undermine those voices as if they are unheard. The paid lobbyists of IRI reformers have been busy lobbying political officials and lawmakers in foreign states to clean up the mullahs' messes by presenting to them showcases of fabricated data on IRI's records in favor of the regime for undermining its committed crimes, its sponsorship of terrorism, and its nuclear threats, and also to promote the cause for the reform of the Islamic regime.
These IRI lobbyists have ties to U.S. lawmakers and have infiltrated the White House, Congress, the State Department, and the main decision-making centers of the U.S. government. They have managed to influence and shape the U.S. government policy towards the Islamic regime in Iran in favor of the IRI reformers, who are part of the regime.
The grassroots people of Iran under no circumstances recognize either the IRI reformers nor their lobbyists as their representatives. In their struggle for democracy they reject any kind of reformed version of the theocratic regime; rather they are striving for securing a secular democratic government based on the principle of human rights. The question is why are the bureaucracies in Washington partnering with IRI lobbyists and the IRI reformers and not with the democracy promoting the political forces of Iran? Why isn't the U.S. administration clearly and forcefully supporting the secular Iranian grassroots opposition? The grassroots opposition of Iran needs the support of the world behind them, direct and indirect, logistic and strategic. Global backing of the Iranian grassroots can result in the collapse of the IRI regime if it is accompanied by a concurrent paralyzing of its power structure through imposing severe and effective political sanctions.
Mr. President, to make a long story short, if your policy in dealing with the Iran dilemma continues to be the status quo, I can regrettably assure you it will cost you Iranian support going forward.
Family Security Matters Contributing Editor Dr. Mansur Rastani is a freelance writer and a faculty member at NCSU, NCA&TSU and CSUM and worked as a researcher at NASA, the Jet Propulsion Lab and other governmental agencies. He grew up in Iran and can be reached through his website http://mansurrastani.wordpress.com.