April 11, 2000
Compensation, one way or another
I disagree with your article on the unconditional release of Iran's
assets by the United States, by virtue of the simple fact that in many
instances such an act would trample the only chance victims of misbehavior
of Iran's government might have to be compensated for damages within a
semi-civilized context ["Getting
down to business"].
As an example, for no apparant reason and subject to an arbitrary ruling
by a Revolutionary Court judge in Esfahan in 1979 (Omid Najafabadi, who
was subsequently executed in 1988 for being "corrupt on earth"
and a homosexual) my family had all of its assets -- composed mainly of
improved land- our main occupation being initially farming and subsequently
land development on a large scale about the suburbs of Esfahan -- confiscated
and turned over to the Bonyad Mostazafan.
Being a family of good repute, the people of Esfahan refused to purchase
our properties from the Bonyad, until a lie was circulated by the authorities
claiming that people should purchase our assets as we had been compensated
via the Claims Tribunal at the Hague. In total, perhaps in excess of $2
billion was swallowed whole and disposed of in one manner or another,
with much of it, I am virtually certain, enriching various thieves tied
into the Bonyad and various other organizations.
Repeated attempts to have the court ruling reversed on grounds that
the Revolutionary Court ruling had no basis and that the judge responsible
was a criminal have had no bearing. In fact, I have publicly challenged
Mr. Khatami to undertake a public investigation into fraud and theft as
they relate to this matter, and nothing has been done (with all his talk
about transparancy, I wonder why not?). I am therefore left to believe
that this entire "legal" proceeding was nothing more than a sham
act by a bunch of criminals and thieves intent on stealing something that
did not belong to them.
As the Iranian judicial system seems intent on perpetuating this injustice,
I feel that it is well within my rights to seek redress against the Iranian
government and nation in a venue where my rights will be respected and
some form of justice exists. If that venue is the United States, and
if Iran's frozen assets are available to compensate me and my family for
those damages, then I and my family should be given access to that venue
and to those assets.
Very simply put, if Iran and Iranians ever want to flourish as a society,
they must respect the sanctity of private property, among other things.
One of the ways to guarantee that sanctity is to inflict a severe penalty
on those who choose to violate that sanctity. By insisting on justice
and compensation wherever I might get it (including the United States),
not only do I think I am not doing a dis-service to Iran, but I am in
a manner doing a great service to Iran by forcing it to assume some sort
of accountablity for its behavior (or in this case, misbehavior.) To
deny this right to myself and others in a similar situation is quite simply
If you want to go on a moral crusade, Guive, why don't you join me in
trying to pry open the secrecy surrounding this particular confiscation.
What are the authorities in Iran trying to hide, and whom are they trying
to protect against charges of theft and fraud?