What can we do?
From: Trita Parsi, Stockholm School of Economics
Dear Iranians and non-Iranians,
I think time has come to initiate a sincere and long-overdue struggle for the human rights of 60 million Iranians. What THE IRANIAN survey on U.S. sanctions demonstrated was that more and more Iranians are coming to understand that our thinking about the regime and the situation for the past decades, have not been rational.
Our verdict on them, as tyrants, have been correct, but overwhelmed by hatred we have unfortunately resorted to counterproductive measures. We have punished our own, already suffering, people back home in Iran.
Although one may, and most probably should, have reservations for any clergy ruling our country, we Iranians need to realize a very basic fact of life: The wisest strategy is often to use and exploit the best available and realistic alternative.
As a well-known political fact of the Middle East, politics is the key to economic advancement. Just as sanctions affect our economy negatively, so does the lack of a high-level dialogue between Tehran and Washington, albeit indirectly. By working for the commencement of a dialogue, we can help our people more effectively than any other strategy.
As Iranians who give top priority to the well being of our people, it is of utmost importance to guarantee that the radicals in Iran do not get the upperhand. We are empowered to make a change, and we are indebted to our people to make that change. (They caused the last couple of month's positive developments in Iran all by themselves, while we Iranians in the West were either calling for sanctions or doing absolutely nothing at all.)
So what can we do? Well, the opportunities are out there. We just need the will to grasp them. We can write/petition our members of Congress/Senators/MP's, we can inform the decision makers of our respective host-countries on the true will of the Iranian people, we can book meetings with the our politicians and directly share our views on this subject with them, we can write editorials to newspapers etc.; simply: We can change the political atmosphere by making sure that our views get "out there".
I was delighted to read all the comments to the sanctions survey where Iranians called for petitioning against the sanctions. We, a group of concerned Iranians, did that this last summer, and ever since we have bombarded the U.S. Congress, the EU Parliament etc., with letters, faxes and petitions. But we need help. You are all welcome to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also visit our homepage (under construction) at: http://www.geocities.com/CapitolHill/Lobby/3725/