Iran: Urgent Need For a Tough, New Policy
Rabbi Daniel M. Zucker’s Address
ADME’s First National Meeting
14 July 2005
Iran’s new president-elect, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, declared fifteen days ago that under his government Iran will once again export its revolution, saying: “The wave of the Islamic revolution will soon reach the entire world.”[AFP in www.IranFocus, “Iran’s Ahmadinejad hopes to spread ‘new Islamic revolution’”, Wed., 29 June 2005]
Today we find a situation in which Ahmadinejad and all the Iranian “Islamists” that share his world view have claimed, and the world press and a befuddled West have accepted their claim, that Ruhollah Khomeini and his successor Ali Khámenei have created an “Islamic revolution” in the Islamic Republic of Iran. Truth be told, Khomeini’s “revolution” was neither Islamic nor a revolution; instead it was the imposition of an extreme theocratic form of fascism on Islam and a reactionary move back to the mentality and worldview of the 7th century CE.
The ayatollahs have claimed to be what they are not; were the early founders of Islam, including the Prophet, Mohammed himself, to return, all would regard Khomeini and Khámenei’s form of Islam to be a gross distortion of their teachings. Not a few liberal Moslems, themselves unfortunately a small minority, have suggested that the ayatollahs’ Islam isn’t Islam at all; it’s fascism dressed up in a galabia and a turban and marketed as authentic Islam, which it isn’t.
The “election”, or I should say, the selection of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as Iran’s next president last fortnight means that Supreme Ayatollah Ali Khámenei has completed his sixteen year quest to consolidate all power in his own hands. Last year’s Majlis elections and this year’s presidential
“selection” means that the Fagih now has total governmental support for his ultra fundamentalist policies and his intention to strengthen his control of Iran by exporting then “revolution” to neighboring countries in the Middle East, and then to slowly engulf the West in a fundamentalist Islamist tide. However, it is Khámenei’s relentless drive to acquire nuclear weaponry that should create in us the gravest concern for the safety of the Middle East as well as his attempt at production of 2000 km range ballistic missiles which would endanger all from London through Moscow to Bangkok. A rogue regime that projects world-wide revolution and promotes the use of asymmetrical warfare in the form of global terrorism through its own terror apparatus, its support of foreign terrorist organizations, and its alliance with an international network of terrorists must be recognized for what it is: a serious menace to all humanity and a pariah among the community of nations.
Truth be told, Mahnoud Ahmadinejad is not the problem; the problem is Ayatollah Ali Khámenei. For those who look at historic parallels, realize that Hermann Gohring was not the problem; it was Adolph Hitler who gave us World War II and the Holocaust.
Now, given the point that Iran has been pursuing nuclear weaponry for almost twenty years, a fact revealed to the world two years ago by the Iranian resistance movement when it unmasked the regime’s clandestine program, lifting the veil, as it were, from off of Iran’s secret atomic project, we must comprehend the urgency of the situation.
On the nuclear proliferation clock we are sitting somewhere between 11:30 and 11:45 PM. If we reach Midnight, we have a new day in which extreme Islamic fundamentalists possess nuclear weaponry to use or share with fellow terrorists like Osama bin Laden. Is there anyone here who still doesn’t comprehend the gravity of our situation?
Regime change therefore has assumed a position of paramount importance. The flawed policy of appeasement has proven to be the gravest of miscalculations as it has given us the new Ahmadinejad government in Tehran. Only a fool would continue to pursue such folly; even an ostrich found in the Dasht-e Kavir would know better than to continue to bury its head in the kavir quicksands. Military intervention by the United States or any of her allies likewise should be understood to be a non-viable option. We simply do not have accurate enough intelligence to pull off an Osirak-like strike ála 1981.
We thus find ourselves seeking a different option to the two choices of continued appeasement or war. That third option lies before us in the form of an internal uprising by the long-suffering Iranian people, assisted by the Iranian resistance movement. That uprising—that revolution—could be imminent; we certainly have seen an increase in violent confrontations in the streets over the last several weeks since the elections. But that nascent revolt will once again be stillborn as it was in 1999 and last year if the resistance movement is prevented from doing its job due to a continuation of the mistaken policy of 1997. At this point, keeping the Mojahadeen e-Khalq and the National Council of Resistance of Iran—both moderate, egalitarian, Moslem-led organizations that promote the establishment of a secular, democratic government for Iran—keeping them on the United States Department of State’s list of “foreign terrorist organization”, given the reams of evidence that neither organization has engaged in terror activities in over twenty-five years, and has not posed any threat to American citizens or American interests in all that time—given this huge body of evidence demonstrating their innocence on the charge of being terrorists--to keep them on the list amounts to an act of criminal negligence to the welfare of this country! The resistance, released from its fetters, can topple the regime in Tehran. To fail to allow it to do so is to give the mullah regime the opportunity to complete its acquisition of nuclear arms. For the sake of my unborn grandchildren and yours, I hope and pray that we quickly erase the mistake of 1997 before it affords Ali Khamenei and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad the time to build the bomb.
The choice is ours; how long do we want to pretend that the threat doesn’t exist? Ahmadinejad’s selection should have all our alarm bells ringing off the wall. As our panel of experts have indicated, it is way past time to correct our past mistakes. Paris, Berlin, and London: wake up! Washington, DC: wake up! The next tick will not be that of a clock. The time to act is now! Several weeks ago it was reported that a huge graffiti was displayed on the wall of a high school near Ázadi Square in central Tehran. It read: “Na Rahbar, na Akbar, va na Antar!” Rahbar means “leader”, and refers to Khámenei, Akbar refers to Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani who lost the presidential runoff election, and Antar, which means “monkey” in Farsi, is the nickname for Ahmadinejad given him by the people of Tehran. This graffiti demonstrates a simple fact: Iranians overwhelmingly reject all these fundamentalists. President-elect Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is therefore Supreme Ayatollah Ali Khámenei’s monkey, and as long as Khámenei and his henchmen rule Iran, the animals in the zoo will most likely live a better life than many Iranians. Iranians and the world are tired of this wicked cabal.We are gathered here today to do our part to bring an end to the misrule of the ayatollahs and to give all Iranians and Iran a chance to finally know the benefits of ázadi—freedom. May it happen speedily and in our days.
Ázadi emrooz! Freedom now! Thank you.
Q & A Session
Thank you all for coming today. Our special thanks to Clare Lopez and Nir Boms for their excellent analytical presentations.
Now before we end this session, let me sound the Shofar, the ancient Near Eastern symbol of the call to freedom: Teki’ah Gedolah; and we say in the ancient tongue of the Bible:
L’shanah HaBaáh B’Tehran HaM’shuhreret!—Next year in a free Tehran!
Ázadi emruz! Ázadi emruz! Ázadi emruz! Freedom now! Freedom now! Freedom now!