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Amir Abbas Fakhravar will liberate no one


Pedram Moallemian
July 7, 2006

So, let’s see if I have it correct; Amir Abbas Fakhravar (Siavash) is a “student” leader who has caused all sorts of devastation on the carcass of the failing regime in Iran and as such has been jailed a few times. Okay, I’ll buy that. This year, in the midst of serving his latest sentence (he received 8 years in November of 2002), he unexpectedly appears in Dubai, apparently after being on the run for 10 months and finally escaping the country in fear of an imminent assassination.

Hmmm. Twenty four short hours after his arrival, he is greeted in UAE by Prince of Darkness, Richard “Ahmed Chalabi is the natural successor to Saddam Hussein” Perle himself. Amir Abbas is then whisked away to DC, where he suddenly has an office at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies (FDD) to “plead to US to ‘liberate’ Iran” and is the guest of honor at an American Enterprise Institute (AEI) luncheon.

Alrighty then. His primary promoters and supporters so far are “Iran expert” Michael Ledeen, “Mid-East historian” and Neo-Con ideologue Bernard Lewis and finally James Woolsey, a former CIA director. Speculations persist that he is also scheduled to meet with Dick Cheney. Enough said? No? Here’s more:

A peak at some of his recent observations:

“The world has to do something - whatever it takes - so that [President] Mahmoud Ahmadinejad does not become another Hitler”. Also, ordinary Iranians had become increasingly pro-American and even pro-Israeli because of Mr. Ahmadinejad’s bloodthirsty rhetoric about both countries. “They are growing to like Israel now. It’s natural to feel the opposite of what he says.”

“The regime wants to have a nuclear bomb so it can wipe out a country it doesn’t like ... We don’t understand why the rest of the world doesn’t understand this.”

“It was Saturday [February 4] that the people here found out that Iran was going before the [U.N.] Security Council, and there was celebration all over Tehran. I heard from my own family, the families of my friends, that it was one of the busiest days of the year for the pastry shops -- that people were buying pastries and cookies and candies in the streets of Tehran and going to each other to celebrate.”

“If you [supposedly U.S. -- added by writer] overthrow the regime, we will welcome you with open arms and open hearts.”

“When I go to underground meetings of fellow students and friends of mine, I see that my statements, my books, all the things I and other dissidents have been saying are on the walls of their bedrooms.”

“The people of Iran, especially the youth, are so admiring of Bush and his administration for siding with the people of Iran rather than the government of Iran. No other leader of any government, even the Europeans, took this stand. All the youngsters support him and love him, and we want to express our deepest gratitude for him and his administration and what they are doing to liberate us.”

In Iran, Bush is regarded as a liberator, Fakhravar said. “People are afraid to express what is in their hearts, but in small, private gatherings, they see him as a saviour.”

Perhaps he missed the last few years while serving in Qasr (not Evin) prison, or being on the run, or whatever else he was doing. Maybe he should start re-connecting to how the current administration is viewed in Iran by reading Azadeh Moaveni’s latest report from Tehran. Then again, he couldn’t have been that out of touch during those years. Even in prison he was apparently allowed to make contentious phone calls to Canadian journalist Jane Kokan, pose for artistic pictures in his prison uniform and even take a few days off to attend his university exams and go hiking with friends from the Netherlands.

My advice to Perle and Ledeen? Keep looking. This one is a few truck loads of credibility short of convincing even the most recreational observers. Comment

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