Introduction: Since the fraudulent June 12th Presidential elections in the Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI), an increasingly emboldened opposition, the green movement, has arisen to demand the overthrow of the IRI. The green movement refuses to desist from launching massive street protests in Tehran, Qum, Isfahan and other major Iranian cities. All this is occurring despite violence wreaked upon thousands of valiant regime opponents by the ruling Mullahs and President Ahmadinejad. As of this writing more than 15 have been killed in clashes with Iranian security services including the nephew of reformist Presidential candidate Mir Mouhammed Mousavi, former IRI Prime Minister. Moreover several dissident leaders have been jailed. Something major is brewing in Iran - possibly revolution.
 
As the year was closing, first a crescendo of massive protests occurred at Students Day events. Then tens of thousands used the occasion of the funeral of Grand Ayatollah Montazeri to demonstrate their determination to end the rule of the Supreme Ruling Council head, Ayatollah Khamanei, and his puppet President Ahmadinejad. The final bloody weekend of 2009 witnessed the faltering IRI regime undertaking unprecedented security measures to pre-empt public mourning and observances of the Shia Ashura holy day. Police, revolutionary guard and the Basiji para-military forces blanketed Tehran in a vain attempt to stifle public gatherings. They failed. Massive throngs of people from all classes in Tehran and other major cities defied bans in spite of warnings that violators would be dealt with mercilessly.  As a Der Spiegel articlereported these protesters were shouting: "We will fight, we will die, we will reconquer our country." There were graphic video images sent via the internet of protesters engaged in street battles with Basiji forces.  

 
Now there are reports that elements of the Iranian Military may have sided with the opposition in support of a secular republic. Jane Jamison in the American Thinker noted in a report,“Iranian Military moves in support the people’s revolution”:
 
It is difficult to verify, but factions in the Iranian military may be breaking rank to join the people’s cause. A group calling itself the National Iranian Armed Resistance Forces(NIRU) posted a news release on an Iranian protest website at the end of the day’s violence.
 
We, a number of Officers, Soldiers and personnel of the Armed Forces of the Islamic Republic of Iran, hereby declare our readiness for rise to the armed defense of our nation against the forces of the criminal, illegitimate transgressing and occupying current Government of Iran, and hereby inform our brothers and sisters serving with the armed security forces of Iran, invite them to join us, request their support and ask them to provide cover for us in this moral & national act. A special request for support & cooperation goes to our brothers of the Military Police.

The NIRU says it intends to secure Iranian radio and television stations, the Parliament, and the courts, will hold local elections and referendums within 3 months and new presidential elections within 9 months and will dissolve the murderous “Basij” plainclothes police and establish a new national police force.

Protection and firepower from even a few factions of the military could signal a critical momentum change for the Iranian people, who by law cannot own weapons.

All this occurred despite the visible tyranny imposed by Basij para-military, Revolutionary Guards, and regime secret police arresting, beating and torturing opposition student and opposition political leaders. All this amidst vain attempts to prevent the news of this emerging Iranian revolution reaching the world by cell phone and the internet.
 

Some observers have even suggested that the apocalyptic version of Shia Islam espoused by the ruling Mullahs, might ultimately be consigned to the dustbin of history if such a revolution occurred. 


Amir Taheri, expatriate Iranian journalist, in a Wall Street Journal column, “Iran’s Democracy Moment,”  has pronounced the democracy movement a possible “hinge moment” in Iranian history reflecting the increasing demand by opposition protesters for replacement of the oppressive theocracy with a democratic secular republic. This development comes at a time when the ruling Mullahs are desperate to retain control in a truculent nation where many clearly despise Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamanei and President Ahmadinejad.  
 
These unexpected developments throw into confusion the responses of the Obama Administration in Washington and that of other international players regarding how to deter the Mullahs from their inexorable quest for the ultimate apocalyptic weapon of choice- a nuclear bomb and the missiles for delivering it. In the face of evident rebellion by Iranians against the Mullahs, the Wall Street Journal reported that the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman, Sen. John Kerry, was seeking clearance from the White House to travel as an emissary to Tehran to confer with the IRI regime that could be in the throes of dissolution. This was an incredible affront to the opposition movement leaders in Iran and supporters of Iranian regime change in America, Europe and Israel.
 
Ehud Barak, Israel’s Minister of Defense in Prime Minister Netanyahu’s government announced daunting prospects of a possible unilateral military option against the IRI’s nuclear facilities. In a Jerusalem Post report when he said:

. . . that the recently revealed nuclear facility at Qom was "built over a number of years, located in a reinforced underground bunker and immune to standard bombs."

Barak further noted the indifference of the West in assisting Iran’s beleaguered people, when he went on to say:

"It is not pleasant to see the response of the free world to the activities there, to the trampling of citizens by the regime."

Controversial Harvard Kennedy School academic dean Stephen M. Walt’s opinion was that nothing should be done to assist possible regime change in Iran. He referred to the example of the ‘velvet revolutions’ in eastern Europe. He noted in a Foreign Policy.com blog post, "On the unrest in Iran: Don't just do something, stand there!":

In fact, the velvet revolutions were a triumph of slow and patient engagement from a position of strength. The upheavals in Eastern Europe were an indigenous phenomenon and the product of containment, diplomatic engagement, and the slow-but-steady spread of democratic ideals through the Helsinki process and other mechanisms. And the first Bush administration was smart enough to keep its hands off until the demise of communism was irreversible, which is precisely the approach we ought to take toward Iran today.
 

On the matter of the Iranian nuclear program vexing Israel, America and the other members of the “5+1,” Walt noted:

As I mentioned a few days ago, we should not assume that a Green triumph in Iran would eliminate all sources of friction between Iran and the West. A new government would probably seek to continue Iran’s nuclear enrichment program and will certainly want a secure (read: superior) position in its own neighborhood. …..So I hope somebody in the Obama administration is starting to think about a) what we do if the Green Movement succeeds, b) what we do if it fails, and c) how to keep hawks in the United States and Israel from making things worse.

Veteran Iran observer, Kenneth Timmerman in a private email rebuttal to Walt noted active American support for ‘velvet revolutions’ in Eastern Europe:

Bush 41 did not just sit back and watch the velvet revolutions unfold. The U.S., under President Reagan, sent tremendous amounts of aid to Solidarity in Poland and to Czech dissidents. The actual assistance was covert, but the policy was public: the U.S. supported the pro-freedom movements behind the Iron Curtain, and everyone knew that, starting with the KGB.

On the question of Iran’s nuclear program presuming the fall of the IRI, Timmerman criticized Walt:

It is a fallacy that a secular republican government in Iran will continue to pursue clandestine nuclear weapons programs. They may or may not decide to pursue nuclear energy, but even if they do, they have no reason to pursue clandestine programs, which have made the current regime a pariah state.
 
To explore these emerging revolutionary prospects in Iran, we turned to Amil Imani, Iranian American writer, a pro-democracy activist and co-founder of Former Muslims United. Imani has been in the forefront of communicating the important views of the Iranian opposition via his brilliant writing and commentary, as well as facilitating communications from within Iran to the world media.

Gordon: Where and in what circumstances did you grow up in Iran?
 

Imani: I was born in Tehran, Iran into a wonderful, loving and intellectual family. Growing up in a Muslim family, I was fortunate to have parents that never forced me to follow Islam and its rituals or for that matter, any other religion or ideology. They believed that religion was a personal choice and in time I would decide for myself. Yet, I did grow up in a Muslim society and have witnessed first-hand the horrors and indignity that Islamic dogma visits on people it subjugates, and for that matter, I have taken it upon myself to do my part in defeating this ideology of oppression, hate and violence.

 
Gordon: Why did you decide to leave both Iran and Islam?
 
Imani: For as long as I can remember, I had a very difficult time following a religion whose founder(s) had butchered my ancestors. Islam was forced on Iranians with the sword of Allah. In my heart, I never considered myself a Muslim, though I did not reveal this until later in life for fear of retribution. I believe you cannot possibly be a Persian and a Muslim at the same time in the same fashion that one cannot be an American and a true Muslim at the same time. They are totally incompatible. A large number of Iranians are completely fed up with Islam and they also want to leave this dogma of hate and violence. In fact, many already have left, but they simply aren’t able to come forward and announce it, for the obvious reason.
 
I left Iran to continue my education abroad, but never envisioned that radical Islam would take over our very modern and prosperous country, Iran. Most likely, I would not be alive today if I had stayed in Iran.
 
Gordon:   When did you start your blog as an opponent of the Islamic Republic and what has been the reaction both in the West and Iran?

 

Imani: I started my battle with the forces of darkness when the evil (Ayatollah Khomeini) landed in Iran and unleashed his wrath on many Iranians who   in the beginning, believed this man was their savior. But, he turned out to be the evil that our ancient Prophet Zoroaster had warned us about some 4000 years ago. With the advent of the Internet, I was able to send my messages to the world much faster and created my own webpage nearly 4 years ago.

 

Ayatollah Khomeini, with his cultural revolution, intended to de-civilize a very rich and civilized nation. This radical Islamist believed non-Muslims and westerners were infidels and began to refer to the U.S. as “the Great Satan.”

 

I believe that people in the West and in America are beginning to see the real face of Islam and the danger it poses to the secular democratic societies. In the past, Islam succeeded in largely displacing the magnificent Persian civilization with a primitive myopic discriminatory system of belief. Presently, once again with renewed vigor, Islam is aiming to destroy another civilization—the Judeo-Christian civilization, a civilization that constitutes a living falsification of the Islamic primitive and backward creed. Islamofascisim presents a clear and present danger, not only to Western civilization, but to the entire civilized world as is evidenced by the ruling Islamists in places such as Iran, the Sudan, Somalia, and Saudi Arabia.

 

Gordon: You frequently talk about the ancient admiration between Persians and Jews. What are those historical connections?
 
Imani: Iranians are proud of their historical friendship with the Jewish people. The bond of friendship goes back to the landmark action of King Cyrus the Great of Persia. In 537 B.C., having conquered Babylon, the benevolent King Cyrus freed the Jews from captivity and empowered them to return to the Promised Land and build their temple.
 
Throughout history, Iranians have been known for their tolerance of other creeds and religions. This was particularly notable in their associations and contacts with the Jews. Having been oppressed by the Seleucids and the Romans, the Jews had come to believe that Iran was the only superpower capable of saving them from a fanatical foreign yoke, as it had done once before in the Achaemenid period.
 
Imani: Young Iranians, particularly the urban educated Iranians, are among the most ardent believers in democracy in the world. Many view America as the country that holds the best hope for spreading and protecting the high ideals of democracy. In a sense, many Iranians feel closer affinity with a democratic Israel than all the neighboring Arab Muslim dictatorships. Although Islam was imposed on Iran some 1400 years ago, Iranians deeply value their own ancient non-Arab identity and have never fully surrendered to the Arab culture. During the bloodletting past war, initiated by the late Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein against Iran, all Arab states sided with the Butcher of Baghdad against Iran. Yet, Israel was the only Middle Eastern country that remained neutral and in fact helped Iran in the struggle. We Iranians don’t forget our friends and we also remember our enemies.
Imani: A major reason for the Iranian assimilation and success in the U.S. is the U.S. itself which provides an ambience conducive to self advancement, be it in science, business or any other field of endeavor. Another reason is that Iranians inherently share and cherish the same values that America’s founding fathers enshrined in this nation’s charter of life. A great majority of Iranians in the U.S. are staunch believers in the separation of religion and state. They do not see themselves as part of the Islamic Ummah. Many Iranians are only cultural Muslims and they don’t see themselves as foot-soldiers of Allah. They are Iranian above all. And they also have an abiding love for America for its generosity and for opening its arms to them when their own country, under the rule of the Mullahs, denies them the basic human rights of liberty and the pursuit of happiness within the framework of the law and respect for the rights of others.
Another telling indication is the events in Qum during the funeral of the popular dissident Grand Ayatollah Montazeri. In spite of a huge effort by the various security forces to block access to the city, thousands converged from all parts of Iran to the city for honoring him and untold numbers still made it to the proceeding. During this ceremony, tens of thousands chanted slogans such as “death to the dictator, “Montazeri lives, Khamenei is dead.” Most telling was the throngs of people sporting the green color and using the occasion to express their aversion to the Islamic rule within the precincts of the holy mosque, something unheard of before. It is a clear signal that the opposition movement is massive and it is able to exploit any opportunity to disempower the regime. These unrelenting demonstrations against the regime are not limited to universities—the traditional bastions of political activism. They are spreading to every segment of the society and bode ill for the regime.
Imani: One word answer: Money. The NIAC is a lobbying arm of the IRI and Iranians know it. Yet, the sad fact is that one can purchase some peoples’ services in any nation. These people at the NIAC are purchased mercenaries and are well financed by the Mullahs and their supporters. The Iranian patriots in America, on the other hand, have lacked sources of support to lobby effectively in Washington, and money talks. They have the money. The NIAC contributes funds to politicians’ campaigns and gets entry into the centers of power. Of course the NIAC wants the U.S. to have a dialogue with the Mullahs, or better yet,  to capitulate to the Mullahs. Why not? They are paid to do their job and they are succeeding with the Obama Administration and some members of Congress. It is a shame. It is a shame indeed for America to end up on the wrong side of history by either doing nothing to help the freedom-seeking Iranians or even making deals with the Mullahs.
Gordon: Thank you Amil Imani for this timely and important interview on prospects for regime change in Iran.Introduction: Since the fraudulent June 12th Presidential elections in the Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI), an increasingly emboldened opposition, the green movement, has arisen to demand the overthrow of the IRI. The green movement refuses to desist from launching massive street protests in Tehran, Qum, Isfahan and other major Iranian cities. All this is occurring despite violence wreaked upon thousands of valiant regime opponents by the ruling Mullahs and President Ahmadinejad. As of this writing more than 15 have been killed in clashes with Iranian security services including the nephew of reformist Presidential candidate Mir Mouhammed Mousavi, former IRI Prime Minister. Moreover several dissident leaders have been jailed. Something major is brewing in Iran - possibly revolution.
As the year was closing, first a crescendo of massive protests occurred at Students Day events. Then tens of thousands used the occasion of the funeral of Grand Ayatollah Montazeri to demonstrate their determination to end the rule of the Supreme Ruling Council head, Ayatollah Khamanei, and his puppet President Ahmadinejad. The final bloody weekend of 2009 witnessed the faltering IRI regime undertaking unprecedented security measures to pre-empt public mourning and observances of the Shia Ashura holy day. Police, revolutionary guard and the Basiji para-military forces blanketed Tehran in a vain attempt to stifle public gatherings. They failed. Massive throngs of people from all classes in Tehran and other major cities defied bans in spite of warnings that violators would be dealt with mercilessly.  As a Der Spiegel articlereported these protesters were shouting: "We will fight, we will die, we will reconquer our country." There were graphic video images sent via the internet of protesters engaged in street battles with Basiji forces.  

 
Now there are reports that elements of the Iranian Military may have sided with the opposition in support of a secular republic. Jane Jamison in the American Thinker noted in a report,“Iranian Military moves in support the people’s revolution”:
 
It is difficult to verify, but factions in the Iranian military may be breaking rank to join the people’s cause. A group calling itself the National Iranian Armed Resistance Forces(NIRU) posted a news release on an Iranian protest website at the end of the day’s violence.
 
We, a number of Officers, Soldiers and personnel of the Armed Forces of the Islamic Republic of Iran, hereby declare our readiness for rise to the armed defense of our nation against the forces of the criminal, illegitimate transgressing and occupying current Government of Iran, and hereby inform our brothers and sisters serving with the armed security forces of Iran, invite them to join us, request their support and ask them to provide cover for us in this moral & national act. A special request for support & cooperation goes to our brothers of the Military Police.

The NIRU says it intends to secure Iranian radio and television stations, the Parliament, and the courts, will hold local elections and referendums within 3 months and new presidential elections within 9 months and will dissolve the murderous “Basij” plainclothes police and establish a new national police force.

Protection and firepower from even a few factions of the military could signal a critical momentum change for the Iranian people, who by law cannot own weapons.

All this occurred despite the visible tyranny imposed by Basij para-military, Revolutionary Guards, and regime secret police arresting, beating and torturing opposition student and opposition political leaders. All this amidst vain attempts to prevent the news of this emerging Iranian revolution reaching the world by cell phone and the internet.
 

Some observers have even suggested that the apocalyptic version of Shia Islam espoused by the ruling Mullahs, might ultimately be consigned to the dustbin of history if such a revolution occurred. 


Amir Taheri, expatriate Iranian journalist, in a Wall Street Journal column, “Iran’s Democracy Moment,”  has pronounced the democracy movement a possible “hinge moment” in Iranian history reflecting the increasing demand by opposition protesters for replacement of the oppressive theocracy with a democratic secular republic. This development comes at a time when the ruling Mullahs are desperate to retain control in a truculent nation where many clearly despise Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamanei and President Ahmadinejad.  
 
These unexpected developments throw into confusion the responses of the Obama Administration in Washington and that of other international players regarding how to deter the Mullahs from their inexorable quest for the ultimate apocalyptic weapon of choice- a nuclear bomb and the missiles for delivering it. In the face of evident rebellion by Iranians against the Mullahs, the Wall Street Journal reported that the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman, Sen. John Kerry, was seeking clearance from the White House to travel as an emissary to Tehran to confer with the IRI regime that could be in the throes of dissolution. This was an incredible affront to the opposition movement leaders in Iran and supporters of Iranian regime change in America, Europe and Israel.
 
Ehud Barak, Israel’s Minister of Defense in Prime Minister Netanyahu’s government announced daunting prospects of a possible unilateral military option against the IRI’s nuclear facilities. In a Jerusalem Post report when he said:

. . . that the recently revealed nuclear facility at Qom was "built over a number of years, located in a reinforced underground bunker and immune to standard bombs."

Barak further noted the indifference of the West in assisting Iran’s beleaguered people, when he went on to say:

"It is not pleasant to see the response of the free world to the activities there, to the trampling of citizens by the regime."

Controversial Harvard Kennedy School academic dean Stephen M. Walt’s opinion was that nothing should be done to assist possible regime change in Iran. He referred to the example of the ‘velvet revolutions’ in eastern Europe. He noted in a Foreign Policy.com blog post, "On the unrest in Iran: Don't just do something, stand there!":

In fact, the velvet revolutions were a triumph of slow and patient engagement from a position of strength. The upheavals in Eastern Europe were an indigenous phenomenon and the product of containment, diplomatic engagement, and the slow-but-steady spread of democratic ideals through the Helsinki process and other mechanisms. And the first Bush administration was smart enough to keep its hands off until the demise of communism was irreversible, which is precisely the approach we ought to take toward Iran today.
 

On the matter of the Iranian nuclear program vexing Israel, America and the other members of the “5+1,” Walt noted:

As I mentioned a few days ago, we should not assume that a Green triumph in Iran would eliminate all sources of friction between Iran and the West. A new government would probably seek to continue Iran’s nuclear enrichment program and will certainly want a secure (read: superior) position in its own neighborhood. …..So I hope somebody in the Obama administration is starting to think about a) what we do if the Green Movement succeeds, b) what we do if it fails, and c) how to keep hawks in the United States and Israel from making things worse.

Veteran Iran observer, Kenneth Timmerman in a private email rebuttal to Walt noted active American support for ‘velvet revolutions’ in Eastern Europe:

Bush 41 did not just sit back and watch the velvet revolutions unfold. The U.S., under President Reagan, sent tremendous amounts of aid to Solidarity in Poland and to Czech dissidents. The actual assistance was covert, but the policy was public: the U.S. supported the pro-freedom movements behind the Iron Curtain, and everyone knew that, starting with the KGB.

On the question of Iran’s nuclear program presuming the fall of the IRI, Timmerman criticized Walt:

It is a fallacy that a secular republican government in Iran will continue to pursue clandestine nuclear weapons programs. They may or may not decide to pursue nuclear energy, but even if they do, they have no reason to pursue clandestine programs, which have made the current regime a pariah state.
 
To explore these emerging revolutionary prospects in Iran, we turned to Amil Imani, Iranian American writer, a pro-democracy activist and co-founder of Former Muslims United. Imani has been in the forefront of communicating the important views of the Iranian opposition via his brilliant writing and commentary, as well as facilitating communications from within Iran to the world media.

Gordon: Where and in what circumstances did you grow up in Iran?
 

Imani: I was born in Tehran, Iran into a wonderful, loving and intellectual family. Growing up in a Muslim family, I was fortunate to have parents that never forced me to follow Islam and its rituals or for that matter, any other religion or ideology. They believed that religion was a personal choice and in time I would decide for myself. Yet, I did grow up in a Muslim society and have witnessed first-hand the horrors and indignity that Islamic dogma visits on people it subjugates, and for that matter, I have taken it upon myself to do my part in defeating this ideology of oppression, hate and violence.

 
Gordon: Why did you decide to leave both Iran and Islam?
 
Imani: For as long as I can remember, I had a very difficult time following a religion whose founder(s) had butchered my ancestors. Islam was forced on Iranians with the sword of Allah. In my heart, I never considered myself a Muslim, though I did not reveal this until later in life for fear of retribution. I believe you cannot possibly be a Persian and a Muslim at the same time in the same fashion that one cannot be an American and a true Muslim at the same time. They are totally incompatible. A large number of Iranians are completely fed up with Islam and they also want to leave this dogma of hate and violence. In fact, many already have left, but they simply aren’t able to come forward and announce it, for the obvious reason.
 
I left Iran to continue my education abroad, but never envisioned that radical Islam would take over our very modern and prosperous country, Iran. Most likely, I would not be alive today if I had stayed in Iran.
 
Gordon:   When did you start your blog as an opponent of the Islamic Republic and what has been the reaction both in the West and Iran?

 

Imani: I started my battle with the forces of darkness when the evil (Ayatollah Khomeini) landed in Iran and unleashed his wrath on many Iranians who   in the beginning, believed this man was their savior. But, he turned out to be the evil that our ancient Prophet Zoroaster had warned us about some 4000 years ago. With the advent of the Internet, I was able to send my messages to the world much faster and created my own webpage nearly 4 years ago.

 

Ayatollah Khomeini, with his cultural revolution, intended to de-civilize a very rich and civilized nation. This radical Islamist believed non-Muslims and westerners were infidels and began to refer to the U.S. as “the Great Satan.”

 

I believe that people in the West and in America are beginning to see the real face of Islam and the danger it poses to the secular democratic societies. In the past, Islam succeeded in largely displacing the magnificent Persian civilization with a primitive myopic discriminatory system of belief. Presently, once again with renewed vigor, Islam is aiming to destroy another civilization—the Judeo-Christian civilization, a civilization that constitutes a living falsification of the Islamic primitive and backward creed. Islamofascisim presents a clear and present danger, not only to Western civilization, but to the entire civilized world as is evidenced by the ruling Islamists in places such as Iran, the Sudan, Somalia, and Saudi Arabia.

 

Gordon: You frequently talk about the ancient admiration between Persians and Jews. What are those historical connections?
 
Imani: Iranians are proud of their historical friendship with the Jewish people. The bond of friendship goes back to the landmark action of King Cyrus the Great of Persia. In 537 B.C., having conquered Babylon, the benevolent King Cyrus freed the Jews from captivity and empowered them to return to the Promised Land and build their temple.
 
Throughout history, Iranians have been known for their tolerance of other creeds and religions. This was particularly notable in their associations and contacts with the Jews. Having been oppressed by the Seleucids and the Romans, the Jews had come to believe that Iran was the only superpower capable of saving them from a fanatical foreign yoke, as it had done once before in the Achaemenid period.
 
Imani: Young Iranians, particularly the urban educated Iranians, are among the most ardent believers in democracy in the world. Many view America as the country that holds the best hope for spreading and protecting the high ideals of democracy. In a sense, many Iranians feel closer affinity with a democratic Israel than all the neighboring Arab Muslim dictatorships. Although Islam was imposed on Iran some 1400 years ago, Iranians deeply value their own ancient non-Arab identity and have never fully surrendered to the Arab culture. During the bloodletting past war, initiated by the late Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein against Iran, all Arab states sided with the Butcher of Baghdad against Iran. Yet, Israel was the only Middle Eastern country that remained neutral and in fact helped Iran in the struggle. We Iranians don’t forget our friends and we also remember our enemies.
Imani: A major reason for the Iranian assimilation and success in the U.S. is the U.S. itself which provides an ambience conducive to self advancement, be it in science, business or any other field of endeavor. Another reason is that Iranians inherently share and cherish the same values that America’s founding fathers enshrined in this nation’s charter of life. A great majority of Iranians in the U.S. are staunch believers in the separation of religion and state. They do not see themselves as part of the Islamic Ummah. Many Iranians are only cultural Muslims and they don’t see themselves as foot-soldiers of Allah. They are Iranian above all. And they also have an abiding love for America for its generosity and for opening its arms to them when their own country, under the rule of the Mullahs, denies them the basic human rights of liberty and the pursuit of happiness within the framework of the law and respect for the rights of others.
Another telling indication is the events in Qum during the funeral of the popular dissident Grand Ayatollah Montazeri. In spite of a huge effort by the various security forces to block access to the city, thousands converged from all parts of Iran to the city for honoring him and untold numbers still made it to the proceeding. During this ceremony, tens of thousands chanted slogans such as “death to the dictator, “Montazeri lives, Khamenei is dead.” Most telling was the throngs of people sporting the green color and using the occasion to express their aversion to the Islamic rule within the precincts of the holy mosque, something unheard of before. It is a clear signal that the opposition movement is massive and it is able to exploit any opportunity to disempower the regime. These unrelenting demonstrations against the regime are not limited to universities—the traditional bastions of political activism. They are spreading to every segment of the society and bode ill for the regime.
Imani: One word answer: Money. The NIAC is a lobbying arm of the IRI and Iranians know it. Yet, the sad fact is that one can purchase some peoples’ services in any nation. These people at the NIAC are purchased mercenaries and are well financed by the Mullahs and their supporters. The Iranian patriots in America, on the other hand, have lacked sources of support to lobby effectively in Washington, and money talks. They have the money. The NIAC contributes funds to politicians’ campaigns and gets entry into the centers of power. Of course the NIAC wants the U.S. to have a dialogue with the Mullahs, or better yet,  to capitulate to the Mullahs. Why not? They are paid to do their job and they are succeeding with the Obama Administration and some members of Congress. It is a shame. It is a shame indeed for America to end up on the wrong side of history by either doing nothing to help the freedom-seeking Iranians or even making deals with the Mullahs.

 

2009-12-29 17:10:34
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What to do about Iran, especially now that the international community can no longer deny the nuclear ambitions of the theocratic state that has implicitly promised to destroy Israel? It appears that hopes for a self-generated revolution from below against the Islamic Republic have been dashed for now: the regime succeeded in containing massive protests planned for February 11, the anniversary of the 1979 revolution that brought it to power, and is proud of its methods, which included arresting student leaders and family members of prominent activists, “texting” warnings to the cell phones of Iranian activists, and blocking e-mail and multimedia messaging in order to prevent opposition coordination or handheld video of paramilitary abuse leaking to Western media.

[www.commentarymagazine.com]