Advice for President Obama on “the Aspirations of the Iranian People”
by Professor Rabbi Daniel M. Zucker
American Chronicle, January 13, 2009
International Analyst Network, January 18, 2009
On Sunday, January 11, 2009, President-elect Barack H. Obama stated in an interview on ABC’s “This Week with George Stephanopoulos”, that his administration would move quickly to change the U.S. approach towards Iran, moving to engagement and increased diplomacy, “sending a signal that we respect the aspirations of the Iranian people,…” Such a statement sounds admirable and it would be a very fine policy—if it was truly the aspirations of the Iranian people that were being addressed.
Unfortunately, Obama is falling into the same trap as the prior two administrations, and failing to realize that the Iranian people have no aspirations to be a nuclear power—it is only the Islamic theocracy that desires nuclear weaponry. The Iranian people—the 90+% of the population that despise the current fascist regime—desires a regime change from the present oppressive religious kakistocracy to one that is a secular democracy. The people of Iran do not want Obama to respect their government; they want the United States to help them get rid of the mullahs that have made their lives miserable for the past thirty years. The government of the Islamic Republic of Iran, despite its billions and billions of dollars of income from oil and gas sales, has presided over a per capita wage reduction of over 50% since the downfall of the Shah three decades ago. 25% of Iranians are unemployed; over 50 % of Iranians today are 30 years of age or younger, and half of those that are of age to be part of the work force are unemployed. The inflation rate in Iran today tops 25% annually. Iranian capital is being pulled out of the Iranian market and sent abroad as Iranians continue to loose faith in their economy and their government.
Actually, the Iranian people don’t want the United States or any other country to interfere in its affairs; it wants to solve its own problems. One might think that such a policy is in congruence with our new administration. However, such a supposition overlooks the fact that the two prior administrations interfered in the Iranian people’s affairs by agreeing to a request from the oppressive regime of the ayatollahs—at the time led by President Mohammed Khatami—the smiling public face of the dictator Supreme Leader Ali Khamanei—to place the leading Iranian opposition groups—the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI, in Farsi: Mojahedin-e Khalq or MeK) and the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI)—on the State Department’s Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTO) list. For the past twelve years, the United States has been helping the mullahs to oppress the Iranian people with the aid of their thuggish Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (Sepah-e Pasdaran)—a group that the State Department finally placed on the terrorist list after nearly four years of mounting evidence of its involvement in killing American soldiers in Iraq—by keeping the legitimate Iranian resistance movement handcuffed. A parallel from World War II would have been for the U.S. to place General Charles De Gaulle’s Free French Movement on the terrorist list at the request of Adolph Hitler.
The disinformation, distortions, and outright lies that the Islamic Republic of Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS, in Farsi: VEVAK) put out about the Iranian opposition have all been debunked in exhaustive studies by the legal systems of the United Kingdom and the European Unions, whose respective high courts have declared in the past several months that neither the PMOI nor the NCRI belong on such terrorist lists. It has been a long battle for the Iranian resistance to clear its name, but indeed it has proven its case.
Now it is time for the new administration of Barack Obama to demonstrate that the president means what he says—that he does respect the aspirations of the Iranian people—and that he levels the Iranian playing field by taking the PMOI and NCRI off of the FTO , allowing the people of Iran to take back their country from the Islamic fascists that hijacked their revolution three decades ago. If Obama has the strength of character to do this single action, he will show the Iranian people that he believes in them and not their corrupt leaders. He will allow the Iranian people the chance to change their regime by themselves, without intervention by outsiders. He will demonstrate to the world that he is capable of delivering “change that we can believe in”. He also will have cut off the hand that feeds Hamas and Hezbollah, and it will be more than just the Iranian people that line up to thank him.
Professor Rabbi Daniel M. Zucker is founder and Chairman of the Board of Americans for Democracy in the Middle-East, a grassroots organization dedicated to teaching government officials and the public of the dangers posed by Islamic fundamentalism and the need to establish genuine democratic institutions in the Middle-East as an antidote to the venom of such fundamentalism.
1. Reuters, “Obama says will move quickly on new Iran approach”, January 11, 2009, http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20090111/pl_nm/us_usa_obama_iran_1.
2. Nicole Sadighi, “Iran’s Restive Populace”, American Thinker, August 12, 2007, http://www.americanthinker.com/2007/08/irans_restive_populace.html.
3. AFP, “Iran’s inflation tops 27%”, September 7, 2008, http://www.imra.org.il/story.php3?id=40628.
4. For details of designation, see: HP-644: “US Designates Iranian Entities and Individuals for Proliferation Activities and Support for Terrorism”, IntelliBriefs, October 26, 2007, http://intellibriefs.blogspot.com/2007/10/us-designates-iranian-entities-and.html, and Ali Safavi, “In Major Policy Shift, US Designates IRGC, Qods Force, dealing a serious blow to Tehran”, Near East Policy Research, November 6, 2007, http://www.neareastpolicy.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=60&Itemid=30.
5. See: Middle East Times: “PMOI Off UK Terror List, EU Told: Now Do the Same”, June 24, 2008, http://www.metimes.com/Editorial/2008/06/24/pmoi_off_uk_terror_list_eu_told_now_do_the_same/3965/, and also for the EU case: “Press Release No. 84/08, Judgment of the Court of First Instance in Case T-284/08, People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran v Council”, December 4, 2008, http://curia.europa.eu/en/actu/communiques/cp08/aff/cp080084en.pdf.