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Stay away from this show
A plea from a victim of the Islamic Republic's election deception


May 23, 2005

I feel invaded, betrayed and deceived. I feel taken advantage of and thrown away like a dirty baby nappy. I feel so ashamed of myself for being falling for a charlatan and I am embarrassed of those innocent people I misguided. I am not alone in this feeling and God knows millions of people feel the same way. Maybe all those 22 million people who voted for Khatami, the biggest liar, share this feeling with me.

The feeling is not easy to describe and you may never get it unless you are the victim of the same experience. It is something like being totally confused and disillusioned. And there is this stifling sense of deception and abuse deep in your soul. Like being gang-raped by guys you trusted. I feel like crying out to the whole world by boycotting the theatrical elections of the Islamic Republic.

I remember eight years ago when I went out of my way to encourage everybody to take part in the elections and vote for Khatami. I had heated discussions with my dad, who never trusted the IRI, and persuaded him to vote. I remember how I gave him hope and told him not to wait for any super power to interfere in our national affairs. I asked him to take the power of his vote in his own hand and try to change things with the limited means still available.

A few days before the election I took part in many student gatherings in Tehran University, going from campus to campus, talking to people and organizing affairs. I was threatened, scorned and beaten on a few occasions but Khatami's promise of a a rosy tomorrow gave me an energy I had never experienced in my life. After each violent encounter I licked my wounds and got on my feet for the completion of my unknown struggle, to make Khatami the president of Iran, and to change the horrible living conditions for myself and my compatriots.

My activism went beyond religious and ethnic boundaries. There were a few Armenian friends in the neighborhood and I talked them into voting too. I also had arguments with some Kurdish students and Sunnis to make them vote for Khatami. I don't really know what had gotten into my head but this strong sense of a bright future took me somewhere beyond the limits of my understanding.

Then the big election happened and with a world of hope and fear we went to the polls. I drove all my own family members as well as many relatives and friends to the voting stations. In the afternoon we rang the bells of all the people in our neighborhood to make sure everybody voted.

The next day we experienced the great moments of victory and took part in the celebration of the ordinary people in the streets. I was among the ones who distributed sweets and candy around the city and in fact spent a large sum of my saving for it. At night we got on the phone and talked about it for hours and shared our jubilance with each other.

The first feeling of betrayal came when Khatami went to Khomeini's grave the next day and shed crocodile tears. My dad told me "didn't I tell you this is just another mullah?" I didn't want to believe it so I challenged him with explanations like " he cannot make radical changes in the beginning of his presidency, we have to be patient and wait". My dad was not satisfied but he was pleased with the novelty of many newspapers ridiculing Khamenei and Rafsanjani and making disclosures on political murders of the previous decade.

Then the serial murder of political dissidents happened and the lack of reaction from Khatami. When Assadollah Lajevardi, the great blood sucker of the Islamic Republic was killed, Khatami sent an emotional message, praising him for his great perseverance (in mass killings of Iran's children) and services to the Islamic Republic. There were savage attacks on student campuses and demonstrations, mass closure of reformist newspapers and imprisoning those who dared write in them. Students were sent to torture chambers and many had no choice but to flee their beloved country.

What has remained of those glorious days is a number of foreign-based TV stations which try to incite heartbroken people to rise up in the streets. Some commentators such as Ahura "Hakha" Yazdi claim supernatural powers and some like Mr. Fooladvand busy themselves with desecrating the Koran. And there are those in funny commando outfits who call for armed attacks against the regime.

Now after eight years of deception, the stage is set for another show. This time Mr. Rafsanjani, the regime's notorious thief, is going to take the stage, promising to mend ties with the U.S. and fix the country's disastrous economy. Rafsanjani is just another scarecrow that the regime is trying to plant before the U.S. eagle invades our land.

People's hopes have vanished. The bitter taste of reality has sunken in. I had been the victim of a great hoax and used all my powers to help others fall into the IRI's trap. This time, the only thing that has remained for us is the power of our absence from the theatre. We can gather our forces again and encourage everybody to ignore this show.

My dad never saw the changes he had hoped to see. He left this world two years ago. I wish I had never taken him to the polling station to vote Khatami and see him disillusioned afterwards. I know he is with me and witnessing what I will do this time.

Dear Iranians around the globe, this is a plea from a victim of the Islamic Republic's deception. If you want your country to see real democracy, if you want to see your compatriots experience liberty and prosperity and if you want the children of Iran to be born and raised in freedom, then boycott the theatrical presidential elections. And persuade your friends and loved ones to do the same.

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