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Friends or Obstacles?: Iran, Human Rights, & US "Concern"

There was a time --- say, six months ago --- when I wrote often about US "experts" who offered analysis and advice on Iran. But, taking the advice of readers, I walked away from those pieces: I found myself getting frustrated and involved in diversionary battles which were more about pundits striking public postures than about the complexity of the issues in Iran.

What matters, not just in the end but from the beginning, is not the pronouncements and priorities of broadcasters and columnists but the hopes, concerns, and fears of Iranians.

Forgive me, but I am going to break the pledge of silence over US commentary for a moment today.

I am prompted to do so not by another one-dimensional portrayal of Iran or by the deceitful words of those invoking sensitivity for the Iranian people to justifying bombing the Iranian people. I do so because of two pieces, by two intelligent and thoughtful writers, which start from the premise that we need to review the approach to Iran.

Writing in Foreign Policy, Stephen Walt criticises "Sleepwalking with Iran":
I can't figure out who is actually directing U.S. policy toward Iran, but what's striking (and depressing) about it is how utterly unimaginative it seems to be....We continue to ramp up sanctions that most people know won't work, and we take steps that are likely to reinforce Iranian suspicions and strengthen the clerical regime's hold on power.

I think Walt is an excellent analyst and, even if you disagree with his position on sanctions and the nuclear issue, his critique of the US Government's tactics is incisively realistic:
The Obama administration's approach to Iran is neither feasible nor consistent. To begin with, our objective --- to persuade Iran to end all nuclear enrichment -- simply isn't achievable. Both the current government and the leaders of the opposition Green Movement are strongly committed to controlling the full nuclear fuel cycle, and the United States will never get the other major powers to impose the sort of "crippling sanctions" it has been seeking for years now. It's not gonna happen folks, or at least not anytime soon.

What got my attention, however --- especially given Walt's normally sure-handed evaluation --- was not the clarity in that paragraph but the resignation and confusiion in one later in the piece:
The first [problem] is the mindset that seems to have taken hold in the Obama administration. As near as I can tell, they believe Iran is dead set on acquiring nuclear weapons and that Iran will lie and cheat and prevaricate long enough to get across the nuclear threshold. Given that assumption, there isn't much point in trying to negotiate any sort of "grand bargain" between Iran and the West, and especially not one that left them with an enrichment capability (even one under strict IAEA [International Atomic Energy Agency] safeguards). This view may be correct, but if it is, then our effort to ratchet up sanctions is futile and just makes it more likely that other Iranians will blame us for their sufferings....Maybe our focus ought to shift from our current obsession with Iran's nuclear program and focus on human rights issues instead (though it is harder for Washington to do that without looking pretty darn hypocritical).

I think --- although I have to admit that I am trying to put this on paper after reading the above paragraph for the 20th time --- that Walt is saying: well, if we have to put pressure on Iran's nuclear programme and aspirations in the region, let's use rhetoric on human rights rather than sanctions as our weapon of choice.

Wrong. So wrong. I'm all for putting human rights up-front but it should not be picked up as an instrument simply because you don't like other tools in your foreign-policy box. Human rights should be acknowledged as an end, not a means. To do otherwise does not sweep away the hypocrisy that Walt notes, it reinforces the reality as well as the impression of deceit.

Which brings me to the latest intervention of Roger Cohen in The New York Times.

Cohen has been an important US voice on Iran for some time and, to his credit, he has tried to bring the internal situation to the attention of readers, having spent time before and after the 2009 election in the country.

And, to his credit, the starting point of Cohen's latest column is well-intentioned. He highlights and draws from the recent publication of Death to the Dictator!, the account of a protestor detained, abused, and raped by security forces.

Human rights, not just in this story but in thousands of others, not as a rhetorical device but as an important objective. Right?

Not quite. For Cohen uses his story for a personal goal: to set himself up as arbitrator between two viewpoints that he dislikes:
Since June 12, U.S. realists and idealists have had an Iranian field day. The realists have dismissed the Green Movement, proclaimed a stolen election fair, and urged President Obama to toss aside human rights concerns and repair relations with Tehran in the American interest.

The idealists have rained renewed fury on Ahmadinejad, called for his overthrow and urged Obama to bury outreach and back Moussavi.

Leave aside, for the moment, that Cohen's portrayal of "idealists" (not one of whom he names) is a caricature. My experience is that those who have criticised the Iranian Govenrment on "idealistic" grounds, i.e., human rights, have not called for a burial of outreach. To the contrary, if one wants to acknowledge the Iranian people, one has to reach out and establish connections: to learn, to understand, to disseminate information, and to discuss. Some, indeed many, may wish to see the back of President, but they do not necessarily advocate "overthrow" (which Cohen is using to imply military action or US-supported regime change).

Here's my problem, which goes far beyond Cohen's ploy of setting himself up as the centrist voice of reason.

When Cohen declares that we should "pursue engagement because isolation only serves the horror merchants", his "engagement" is --- ironically --- not on human rights concerns. It is a call for a resolution of the nuclear issue: "[Iran's] renewed interest in Brazilian-Turkish mediated talks is worth skeptical consideration".

I respect the position that, whatever our perspective, on the political and legal issues inside Iran, the priority must be on a resolution with the current Iranian Government. I understand the geopolitical reasons: not only taking the destabilising dispute over Iran's nuclear programme off the table but also furthering an accommodation over Afghanistan, Iraq, and regional issues in the Middle East.

What I find objectionable is the justification of that approach through distortion and mis-representation of the situation inside Iran. Now that the authors of Race for Iran, pushing for a "grand settlement" with Tehran, have finally publicly declared that human rights plays no part in their calculations, then let them stick to that position by offering no deceptive comment on developments over those rights.

And I'm just as opposed to using human rights as a sleight-of-hand to push a nuclear-first approach. Just because Roger Cohen, who has raised awareness of the situation in Iran and has a concern for those rights, is the perpetrator in this case does not affect that opposition.

Here is Cohen's concluding sentence in full: "[Iran's] renewed interest in Brazilian-Turkish mediated talks is worth skeptical consideration....if you believe Mohsen [the abused detainee in Death to the Dictator!]--- in the name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate --- deserves a future."

I have no idea of Mohsen's position on the Iran-Brazil-Turkey declaration on uranium enrichment. I doubt Cohen knows. However, I think I have a good idea of what Mohsen, and many others who have suffered in the post-election period, think of the Ahmaidinejad Government. A President and a Government who are using the nuclear game as a distraction from internal issues. A President and a Government which, it must be appreciated, will present any agreement on uranium enrichment as a "victory" for their policy and, thus, as evidence of their legitimacy.

So it is a bit presumptuous for Mr Cohen to use (I would say "manipulate" had this come from a less benevolent commentator like Charles Krauthammer) Mohsen's story not for Moshen's interests but for Roger Cohen's agenda.

It is still deceitful --- irrespective of whoever carries out the act --- to use human rights as his/her instrument of the moment to seek a settlement which is far removed from human rights.

Reader Comments (17)

According to Walt , "sanctions against Iran won't work"; I would just like to know, why are leaders in Iran so excited about them, begging, imploring foreign countries not to enforce them .
he says "Both the current government and the leaders of the opposition Green Movement are strongly committed to controlling the full nuclear fuel cycle";
it's not true, leaders of green movement have always said that it's our right to have civil nuclear ( as all the countries in the world ) and they don't care at all about a military one ; in the other hand, we heard iranian people shouting during their demonstrations " we don't want nuclear ..." repeating it several times !
Snctions will work, because economic situation in Iran is already bad and thanks to them, targetting only the IRGC's interests, will become worst, which will lead to people's and even Sepah's uprising; perhaps Sepah loves AN and has found him very handsome and wise !! but loosing everything because of his beautiful face is not their aim !
Nuclear issue is an international concern but HR issues will be interpreted, by our crazy leaders, as interferences of foreign countries in internal problems !! it's what they said to President Sarkozy who criticized them srongly at the beginning of the turmoil in Iran.

May 28, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnge-Paris

Whether or not one thinks sanctions will solve the 'problem' of Iran's nuclear enrichment, the human rights issues in Iran are primary. US and UN performance on solving the human rights issues in Iran is pitiful. Thank you for your commentary, as usual.

May 28, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterObserver

Well said as always, Professor Lucas. It chills me straight to the bone whenever I read about human rights being written off as "idealistic" or a "soft goal" or a useful tool for achieving a goal.

What kind of person can say such things? Whose benefit are these people working for if not their fellow humans? Faceless bureaucracies and corporations? I really can't blame those who take the leap into believing there must be something actually supernaturally evil affecting things, it seems so obviously wrong to put profits before people.

May 28, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRev Magdalen

Scott -

Is there anyone in the analyst world that you think presents the "correct" argument on sanctions? I have spent some time thinking through this and while I agree that broad based sanctions as proposed by US Congress will not work (we have history to show the overall uneffectiveness of this vis a vis the punish the regime), I am uncertain on the notion of so called targeted sanctions as I have seen supported by several analysts (names do not come to mind now).


May 28, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBijan77

Scott, what can I say that you haven't already said?

A few things :)

1. The gap between the realists and the idealists, as defined by Cohen, is insulting to those of us (like you) who don't believe that the Green Movement is doomed but also don't believe that it is an impending explosion of freedom. I think that the real "realists" realize (say that three times fast) that reforming a culture, and intercultural relationships, is a process that takes cultivation, patience, and time. No revolution happens in the course of a year, or even several. In Iran, the conflict between the Shah and the West vs. freedom fighters and Islamic revolutionaries took years, even decades, to develop. As we often note, there have been student-led protests in Iran since the late 80's, and Montazeri (rest his soul) has been speaking for at least that long.

I really thought Obama had some interesting ideas to cultivate that kind of reform. I'm worried that he will trample with his feet what he has sewn with his hands as he confronts the nuclear issue.

I will be disgusted if the push for cultural change, human rights reform, and increased democracy in Iran are all used as excuses for war. In the 21st century, we need to be working towards new plans that aren't restricted to a "war, or ignore it" approach taken by Bush. Obama needs to apply the vision that he has (or, at least, the vision that I thought he had a few months ago, and the vision I still think Jared Cohen has) into a policy that is effective.

We've paid the bill, the Greens have paid the bill, but where's the change?

May 28, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDissected News

Thanks to all for feedback.

Bijan, you ask a great question. While I apologise that I can't think of a commentator who --- amidst talk of sweeping sanctions, targeted sanctions, UN action, US Congressional pressure --- has gotten to heart of tactics, strategy, and possible outcomes of sanction, I think I have an intriguing observation....

While everyone has been fussing about the UN path, the most significant economic move has been the pullout of a number of companies from activities/investment in Iran. Read through EA's updates and you'll see a pattern of increasing pressure on a fragile Iranian economy from a possible "capital crisis" in numerous sectors.

My suspicion is that some shrewd, less public figures in US Administration have been working with other governments (note the geographic spread of the companies who have withdrawn from Iran) and firms to get this dis-investment. I think, at a practical level --- and, I add, setting aside for the moment the question of the ends of these tactics --- these manoeuvres have been as effective as much as the high-profile posturing has been ineffective.

There is an argument that the posturing is needed to keep the US Congress at bay while letting the private steps take their toll on Iran's Government. If so, that shows a level of calculation that explains Clinton's sanctions-first response this week to the Tehran Declaration.


May 28, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterScottLucas11

So Bijan, now you have ONE commentator who has figured it out :)

Dr. Lucas, you are on fire. We already know that Clinton is working behind the scenes with at least one private corporation to develop communication technology that can be somehow transmitted into Iran and bypass government censorship. Also, this strategy would require Washington to essentially guarantee these companies that sanctions are definitely going to happen. Good theory, chief.

May 28, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDissected News

A clue to the Obama/Clinton plan comes from the new National Security plan:

"Many years of refusing to engage Iran failed to reverse these trends; on the contrary, Iran's behavior became more threatening. Engagement is something we pursue without illusion. It can offer Iran a pathway to a better future, provided Iran's leaders are prepared to take it. But that better pathway can only be achieved if Iran's leaders change course, act to restore the confidence of the international community, and fulfill their obligations. The United States seeks a future in which Iran meets its international responsibilities, takes its rightful place in the community of nations, and enjoys the political and economic opportunities that its people deserve. Yet if the Iranian Government continues to refuse to live up to its international obligations, it will face greater isolation."" rel="nofollow">

In other words, let's increase economic pressure and world with Iran's neighbors and the rest of the world until somebody blinks (and it won't be us).

May 28, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDissected News

Aspirations and Reality?

Iran subscribed the “Convention on Human Rights“on 1968 and the agreement was ratified seven years later. After the revolution the Government notified that the designation “Islamic Republic of Iran” should henceforth be used.
The Islamic Republic is a fully member of the “Convention on Human Rights“. The last review of the Islamic Republic was held on 17 February 2010. The delegation of Iran was headed by the Secretary General of the High Council for Human Rights, Judiciary, Mohammad Javad Larijani. The Iranian delegation

6. “underscored explicit and extensive human rights references in the Constitution, such as chapter 7, on “The right of people”. Article 6 provides that all major decisions on all matters, including representation in high office, should be based on the people’s consent. It noted that the judiciary was independent from the executive and legislative branches, with the requisite principles to ensure due process.”

9. “With regard to the challenges facing Iran, the delegation stated that its human rights situation had consistently been used by some Western countries to apply political pressure and advance ulterior political motives.”

13. “The Islamic Republic of Iran highlighted the contributions it had made in human rights forums, including to standard-setting and literature, and emphasized the significance of an interactive and cooperative approach and the avoidance of confrontation, double standards and politicization.“

These are just only some examples, how Larijani described the human rights situation in Iran just some months after the rigged election. Full text:" rel="nofollow">

It’s hard to take what Larijani is talking about knowing what since the election happened in the streets of Tehran, inside Evin and Kahrizak and someplace else. But it’s important to know that human rights are no internal issues. Human rights are international. Also IRI accepted the “Convention on Human Rights”. And IRI is a signatory of the legal basis that Iran could be blamed concerning constantly abusing the human rights.

To me Human rights are basic to make politic because Politic without following the principles of Human Rights its Repression. To me it’s not possible to make a distinction between HR and politic – because most of the green demands are principles of the Human Rights convention.

May 29, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGunniy

Appreciate you juxtaposing these two interesting items Scott (and there's parts in both I appreciate). Pardon an "rant" from a fellow academic, but I'm not a big fan of reducing foreign policy debates to "idealists" vs. "realists," even as it's so commonly done. Reminds me of classic lectures from Inis Claude, noting how it had long been "victory by terminology" for the so-called academic "realists" -- as in few analysts during the cold war desired to be labeled as woolly-headed "idealists." (and oh how he delightfully muddied the waters with various sub-categories of soft and hard idealists, Christian vs. structural realists, etc. etc.)

Ah, but then came the constructivists (revenge of the "English School" - by another name).... who for a decade or more have been delightfully asking, "Is anybody still a realist?" Maybe not in academia, but surely in gov't, being "realistic" remains the rage, at least by terminology. (ah, but they say "soft power" is the new "realism")

But never mind all that, (and pardon the shop talk) I find it fascinating that Walt, an often clear-headed, compelling leading neo-insitutionalist realist yet again ends up sounding much like an "idealist" himself. Take his work with Mearsheimer courageously pointing out the "power" of the Israeli lobby in the US. Yet as Claude would note, according to realist analysis, states behave according to their "national interest" -- not this or that lobby group -- except of course it's never that simple, and so often realists have been left to counsel that states "ought to" follow their national interests, even when "objectively" they don't.... or so the "scientist" among our poli "science" brethren might "observe.")

And ironically, even now Walt has fallen for a curious argument (from the crusading "hard idealist" Friedman) -- to advocate deploying a human rights club, because it might help advance.... a "national interest" of the US?


PS: whatever happened to the human right to life? (as in paragraph 2 of the US Declaration of Independence)

May 29, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterescot

Yes Gunniy, off course that HR is an international problem for us but not for our dear leaders; the West has all the rights to say : " I don't want you to have a nuclear bomb because I protect my country of dangers coming from you " and so , it can set up all the pressures relying on this issue ; in this case Iran keeps its mouth closed, because it's legitimate and legal that each country defends its borders and its people; but if you say ,( as president Sarkozy) , that you are not right to behavor like this with your own people, their response will be : " mind your own business and don't interfer in our internal issue !!); so with this kind of regime you are obliged to use sanctions to resolve all the problems even HR's Issues; I heard once, on VOA, one of our compatriots saying : " if sanctions help us to get rid of this regime, we want them, we desire them and don't worry about us, we are able to eat cheese and bread during months in order to reach our aim "

May 29, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnge-Paris

Dear Ange-Paris

At least my understanding is the same as yours: The Regime tries to get the “Bomb” to ensure their inhuman political system.
But pointing out the Iranian human rights cases could help the people under hard pressure inside Evin ore elsewhere. At least I hope that it helps. Important to accentuate is that the publication of Iranian HR issues is a help to prisoners who are maltreated right now.

Therefore I think it’s better to see sanctions as a result of the violation of the non-proliferation treaty as a different issue.

Regards gunniy

May 29, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGunniy

Gunniy, I don't know if you have seen the link of Arshama showing a young boy after being tortured; I am not ablel to imagine how he managed to bear this horrible and unhuman treatement; I am full of rage and hate; I think that sanctions are not enough for those animals; today, 29 of May, Arshama has put a link saying that : "Ta taa, Obama starts massive US Air-Sea-Marine build-up opposite Iran!" rel="nofollow">

I'm extremely happy that the US force opposite Iran will be joined by a German warship,"...
There is a smell of war in the air ; look how they were useless as leaders that now our people will pay for them; I hope .......

Mister Ali, respected Samuel and co
You are responsible for helping iranian people, the future of "your" compatriots and your country is between your hands; don't let some corrupted people lead you astray buying your soul which is unvaluable; begin to spread my message; all their friends as Russia, China (and as soon as, Turkey and Brasil, because, in fact, they prefer to be with the West rather than Iran) have shown their back; iranian regime is finished but don't forget, you are " RESPONSIBLE" to "handle" the situation and "minimise" the costs .

May 30, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnge-Paris

Hi Scott,

I often come here and read your articles and the comments. Like others, I agree with some and disagree with others. For 11 1/2 months I observed. I wish I had 3 hours to write all that is on my mind right now, but I don't, so you all get a break. I will try to sum my thoughts up in a few direct paragraphs that I'm sure some will not like.

In 1933 a lunatic started propagating hate. In 1939 he invaded Poland." rel="nofollow"> Negotiations with Germany were fruitless, just as they are with the Islamic Republic and have been for 31 years. It took a long time to take back the territory Germany had seized. Let me note that the tide turned when we started directly hitting German command centers, ball bearing factories and fuel supplies. Please don't say there is no comparison because, there is. Germany took territory while infringing on its own populations human rights leading up to, and all through the war. First it was Jews, then it was mixed Jews, then Jews by marriage, then Gypsy's, then it was anyone who tried to help a Jew. Remember they made lamp shades from the victims skin? Lets not forget the book burning.

In Iran, all three things are and have been going on far too long. At the same time this thug regime imprisons and murders the Baluch, Kurds, Christians, Jews, Baha'i, journalist, human rights advocates and anyone else that opposes them. They also directly supply weapons to five war zones. Iraq, Afghanistan, Gaza, Syria and Yemen. They have burned the books and closed the presses just as the Nazi's did. Where are they different from the Nazi's?

They then cry out that we are interfering in their internal affairs. It irks me each and every time they say it, as I read daily reports of Iranian IED's killing U.N. and US forces in Iraq and Afghanistan. It irks me as Iranian rockets are launched into civilian areas of Israel from Gaza. It irks me when cargo ships are stopped with 500 tons of Iranian weapons being shipped to kill even more innocents. The blame lies solely on the regime, not the Iranian people.

We must stop these thugs the same way we stopped Hitler either by severe sanctions or by destroying the warehouses and factories where these weapons are manufactured and/or stored. They will then be too busy protecting their own to be killing our UN soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq. They will also be too busy to be shipping explosives to terrorist for car bombs in Baghdad, Kabul and Pakistan.

Now I will touch on Human Rights. In September 2009 we approached the UN with over 120 Human Rights petitions bearing over 1.8 million signatures. They have been ignored. Later at the onset of the P5+1 meeting we sent those petitions again, this time with 2.2 million signatures and asked that no Nuke deal be made unless human rights were part of it. They ignored us again. I and others said back in September and November that if the human rights issue isn't addressed firmly more killing will occur. As you all read the daily reports I don't have to go into detail about the recent executions and the 50 or more awaiting execution. If you don't stop it, we will have another Bloody Red Summer of 1988 or 1999. There are more than 50,000 innocent Iranians murdered at the hands of these thugs and not one International arrest has been made. Now they are sending out INTERPOL to do their dirty work and no one in authority stands up and tells INTERPOL to get the hell out!!! We will!! We won't have INTERPOL carrying out IRI extraditions to murder people under our protection.

Lastly, everyone that commented here about human rights never once brought up the Iranians we can help who's human rights are being trampled on in Turkey. Those who fled the regime are rotting in Turkey and not one damn person or government has done a damned thing to help. That includes the UNHCR.

Seven asylum applications a day are taken. 4,300 refugees waiting almost a year for an appointment. Fifty of them still carry the bullets in their bodies from the protest in Iran. 1000 of them were sick over the winter. To add insult to injury the UKBA and Turkey and the UNHCR are deporting Iranians back to the murderous regime to their slaughter.

You can't talk about human rights inside Iran when you can't even handle the violations under our care. Then some reporter or professor sitting on his arse in NY is going to debate the human rights issue?? It's a joke. If you want to be journalist then go confront our governments that say, "We support the courageous Iranian Students", when the camera is on and then let 10,000 of them rot in Turkey as soon as the camera gets switched off. It's time to ramp up the protest. As the brave students shouted out to Obama, your either with us or with the regime. I'm with the students! Who are you with?

May 30, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTheVeni1

Hi Veni 1,

Too many questions for one answer – with your permission I would like to contribute some thoughts regarding to your comparisons. Maybe we could leave the Human rights questions for the next comment.

Consolidation of power under the Nazis at 1933

1. Murderous repression – just only in March and April at 1933 – after the takeover of the Nazis at the 30.January - the Nazis took more than 35.000 (!) dissidents into concentration – camps. Lately this was the end of any opposition to speak of inside Germany. At 1933 the entire population of Germany was something like 60 Millions.

2. Consolidation of power just only with the means of repression does not work – even not in Germany at 1933. The absolute number of unemployed workers at 1932 was something about 5, 6 Millions. This number decreased to about 4,7 Millions at 1933. The result: The Nazis “caught” big parts of the workers with the promise to create paid jobs. That means that the backing of the Nazis of wide sections of the population was increasing since 1933.

3. The consolidation of Nazi - power at 1933 was a two sided coin:
a. Oppression of dissidents, what means – really no chance to survive with a different opinion and b. in a manner of speaking you could analyse an economical consolidation after the world-wide “crash” at 1929 in Germany. In the following years the Nazis were successful to combat unemployment.

What’s different inside Iran?

1. Activities of political parties in Iran are forbidden and restricted since 1980. The Islamic Iranian Regime murdered and tortured their dissidents at any time. Big mass murder so far as known - happened at 1980, 1982 and 1988.
The result: murderous oppression and murder of dissidents who were known.

Today it seems to be that the Regime knows that the majority of the Iranian Society is against the regime. Most of the people are really fed up with the factitious and murderous ideology of the horrible Iranian Dictatorship.

The rigged election of 2009 and the increasing heavy security measures after the 12.June are serious proves that the political development inside Iran is completely the other way around compared with Germany.

The number of dissidents in Iran is increasing and dissident ideas are infecting right now the majority of the society. The Intelligence Service knows it for sure how “dangerous it is “ spreading ideas of democracy and the right of self-determination.
The prove: Heavy security measures at all channels inside Iran since years, undreds of journalists and bloggers are under hard pressure, big activities of the Iranian cyber army, even cyber Basiji on EA (Samuel, Rezvan and M.Ali)

Another point: I can’t see any sort of an economical consolidation in Iran which could satisfy big parts of society.

2. The biggest point: If you don’t like to see the “little” differences – it’s a marathon and not a sprint - you have just only one solution left:
That means war – because you are right – you can only fight a Hitler with war.

Doe you really think that war is a solution ?

May 30, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGunniy

Dear Gunniy & TheVeni1
Perhaps we could avoid this war if 80 % of Sepah, which I am sure , agree with Green Movement, make a military coup in favor of Iranian People; Rafsanjani has choosen this situation, creating this Dark and Oppressive Hell for us, he has to redeem himself even if he lose all his wealth, just to save , minimum his children, and maximum all the people of IRAN; he has a lot of contacts in Sepah and Army.

May 31, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnge-Paris

Dear Gunniy and Ange-Paris,

I really don't have time to debate this as I have work to do so this will be my last post. The point of my comparison of the IRI regime to Hitler is that they are not going away unless someone takes them down. As Ange says, it would be nice if Artesh made the move from within. This is what we have been awaiting for quite a while. Mousavi and Rafsanjani keep saying they will do it with from within and they don't want outside interference. Well, and correct me if I am wrong, Mousavi was picked by Khamenei to run for president and Rafsanjani appointed by him or Khomenei. That my friend is not representative of the people; its representative of the regime. The only reason Mousavi has any backing is 1.) because he won the election and 2.) more importantly, the people of Iran think he is the lessor of two evils. They want religion out of politics and many want radical Islam and Sharia law out of Iran.

Maybe the people do want help from outside and some have voiced that they do. Were the signs during the protest written to Russia or China? No, they were written in English and the question directed precisely at the US president; Obama, are you with us or with the regime? If that wasn't obvious to all, then not only do we have idiots in the corridors of our universities but also in the White house. How much more clearly can it be spelled out???

Gunniy, I don't want war but I also don't want to stand on the sidelines and do nothing while the regime executes Kurds and fictitiously accuses innocents of PMOI or Royalist ties and/or agents of the west, or Baha'i accused of enmity against god. I don't believe discussing the economics of Hitlers' Germany verses Khamenei's Iran is even appropriate when the IRI is executing people. Screw the economy of it, this is about standing up and taking action to stop outright murder of innocent Iranians. If I have to pay 5 dollars a gallon for gas and pick up an M-14, M-16 or M-60 to save a thousand innocent Iranians I will; to hell with economics.

As per your request, > Maybe we could leave the Human rights questions for the next comment.,, My answer is NO! Human Rights is the main point and the main priority. My comments from earlier stand. We have 5 to10 thousand Iranian refugees in Turkey that fled for their lives from Iran because television and radio messages being broadcast from France, Germany, Great Britain and the United States of politicians standing respectively on their house and parliament floors shouting out "We are with you". Iranians fled thinking as I would after hearing those kinds of broadcast that the people outside understand their plight, and will help us if we can escape Iran. Some of us understand, but not the damn politicians and university debaters. While you all debate, those people are suffering and their lives put on hold by the UNHCR for 2 years with no place to go and nowhere to return to.

Again I say, it is an absolute disgrace. I don't think I need to address it any further. They ran to us across a border for help, it is time we gave it to them in a timely fashion.

I will add one last remark. We have worked up our own plan to help these Iranian asylum seekers and refugees outside of the deplorable UNHCR plan. Are you with us or against us? Go write about something useful. Get on the phone to your PM's or Senators. Do something constructive. The papers from supposed experts and NGO's about the deplorable conditions for refugees in Turkey are a mile high, date back to 1993, and have wasted hundreds of thousands if not millions of dollars in grant monies to compile, and not one damn thing has changed. In the most recent reports it has even gotten worse. So much for expert opinions and scholastic reports. Seventeen years with no improvements to the system. Lets say we put down the pens and put on some gloves and go clean this mess up!!!" rel="nofollow">


May 31, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTheVeni1

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