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Just another show
Allow President Bush to do his job

By Bageh Torsh
February 15, 2002
The Iranian

I also watched President Bush State of the Union Address. With regards to Iran, he said: "Iran aggressively pursues these weapons and exports terror, while an unelected few repress the Iranian people's hope for freedom." He never said anything derogatory about the Iranian people, never called them "enemies of the U.S." as you suggest in your letter to him ["Please reconsider"].

In fact, over and over, U.S. officials have reiterated that the U.S. has nothing against the "Iranian people who deserve a better regime." Since the establishment of the Islamic Republic of Iran in 1979, Iran has been the leading exporter of hate and terror and no one has experienced this more profoundly than the Iranian people.

I am happy that Alan Hale's experiences in Iran have been positive. But do not make the mistake of confusing the people with those "unelected few" who continuously repress our people. Behind a facade of electoral process and bogus claims of an Islamic Republic remains one of the world's most oppressive regimes and the number one enemy of democracy.

Candidates for elected office, especially the presidency are carefully screened. They are only allowed to run on proof of indisputable allegiance to the established theocracy and its leadership. Even after they are elected, their decisions on subjects that matter most are systematically reversed by non-elected bodies such as the Council of Guardians.

An array of policy makers like Bill Clinton, Richard Haas and Senator Specter, buy into President Khatami's reformist label. In more than four years as president, he has not even tried to make significant changes to a system in which he has vested interest. His western supporters say he wants to make changes, but is prevented by the "radical" faction and the "supreme" leader.

But as time goes by, it becomes clear that President Khatami and Ayatollah Khamenei's relationship isn't a struggle at all. It is just a another show to fool the people into thinking that they have a chance at reform. William Saffire explains it beautifully: " is more like a well-choreographed political dance designed to stymie genuine reform."

Over the past 18 months, Khatami's government has closed more than 50 newspapers. Last December, police seized thousands of satellite dishes, which remain illegal despite Khatami's promise four years ago to legalize them when his supporters won a parliamentary majority, something that happened 22 months ago. The judiciary has recently declared all privately-owned Internet Service providers illegal.

A trial last month for 60 members of the Iran Freedom Movement remained closed to the public despite it being potentially the most important political trial since the Islamic Republic's founding. The elderly defendents face a possible death sentence. Many reformists are already languishing in prisons. Former Khatami advisor Abdullah Nuri and leading reform journalist Akbar Ganji, for example. Yet Khatami is silent.

Ali Akbar Mohtashemi is among Khatami's most loyal supporters in parliament. He is also a founder of Lebanese Hizbullah. He played a leading role in the 1983 bombing of the U.S. marine compound in Beirut. When questioned, those who carried out the explosion in the Khobar Complex, clearly mentioned training and finance by Iran.

Imad Mughniya, who is responsible for a string of hijackings and embassy bombings, including the attacks in Buenos Aires in 1994, is a key figure in the Islamic Jihad. He has enjoyed asylum in Iran.

Most recently, there is the "fabricated" 10 million dollar shipment of arms from Iran to Yasser Arafat that no one seems to know anything about, as well as the arms and money supplied to an Afghan militia commander in Western Afghanistan in order to help opposition to the interim government in Kabul.

And just today, the so-called arrest of suspected Al-Qaeda members in Iran, which is nothing but another ploy to conceal the true nature of the government. The prisoners are probably a bunch of Afghani refugees and nothing else.

"Negotiations" as you call it, Mr. Hale, do not work with the most active state sponsor of terrorism. I, the writer of this letter, cannot put my real name on it for fear of persecution. How do you propose I negotiate this?

The Iranian government, before the revolution, although far from perfect, was a government at peace with its neighbors and respected within the international community. The Iranian people want secularism, freedom and economic opportunity. It is time, civility, dignity, tolerance and sovereignty for which the land of Persians was known for so many centuries, be restored.

With all due respect, Mr. Hale, it is the naivete and overly-liberal mindset of policy makers as well as people like yourself, that the rogue and criminal regime of Iran has survived for over twenty years. Allow President Bush to do his job.

Comment for The Iranian letters section
Comment for the writer Bagh Torsh


Leave me out of it
The most potent weapon in our arsenal is our belief in democracy
By Brad Hernlem

Please reconsider
U.S. mindset bears almost no resemblance to the Iran of today
By Alan Hale

Yes. "Axis of Evil"
Let's call it what it is
By Ali Sarshar

I just felt the urge
I can't say if many Americans agree with me, but
By Dave Marshall

Not our friend
Iran's oppressive autocracy cannot be America's ally
By Ramin Ahmadi

Give me a break
When countries act like schoolyard bullies
By Sepehr Haddad

Iran next?
U.S. military attack would prolong the reign of Iran's despotic rulers
By Shahriar Zangeneh

... following the
September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks


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