The Iranian


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Sehaty Foreign Exchange


December 26, 2000

Where have you been?

It is understandable that Mr. Amirahmadi as President of the American Iranian council is eager for better U.S-Iran relations ["The time is now"]. After all most of us who live here would like to see that happen. Most of us were delighted to see Khatami get elected and the parliament turn over to the reformers in what must have been the first true elections held in our country.

But I am shocked to see Mr. Amirahmadi's total blindness to the set backs that have taken place since the parliamentary elections in Iran. 'Dialogue of Civilizations' seems in the face of the shutting of publications and the imprisoning of free thinkers and students to be more an empty promise than ever.

The article that Mr.Amirahmadi has written could have been written a year ago when all these things had not happened (i.e clampdown and jailing and killing of reform seeking students, shutting down of numerous publications, Khatami's own confession of impotence, and the jailing of intellectuals and reformers and finally the resignation of the culture minister).

Where have you been Mr. Amirahmadi? Or did you think you were writing for uninformed expatriates? Those of us who read the contents of this site and who follow the developments in our country need a bit more nuanced and uptodate analysis.

Tell us if you will what now that all his little steps are being pushed back by an all powerful conservative religious leadership? Tell those of us who wish for more than being able to sell pistachios to the Americans what is to be hoped for next? Tell us Mr. Amirahmadi what is to be done to stop the censorship and the illegal trials? Tell us what you as the president of the AIC have done about the recent events? Did you write a letter of protest over any of these events to anybody?

I sincerely hope that you have. Because there are times in any given people's history that blind optimism leads to, at best, nothing and at worst to continued tyranny. A council like yours should surely aspire to something more that the exchange of carpets and pistachios. It is your duty to be the eyes of our community and not leave unmentioned the obstacles that come in the way of truth and justice and freedom in the old country. Anything less at this juncture smacks of appeasement. Amirahmadi's response

Setareh Sabety-Javid


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