"After having crushed the reforms, took control of the parliament with dubious methods and now preparing to grab the presidency, one can be sure that the Iranians would not raise in support of the regime they hate more than ever"
LONDON 10 Feb (IPS) "Iranians would not rise in support of the present clerical regime in case it is attacked by a foreign power", travellers coming to Europe from different parts of Iran assured.
Western and Iranian experts, diplomats, political analysts and intelligence sources are in general on the view that a military intervention, like what the Americans did in Afghanistan and Iraq, would drew the population closer to the ruling ayatollahs, as it happened after former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein attacked Iran in 1980.
But the travellers, among them important dissident personalities and political observers not only refuted this argument, but say that "grounds for a regime change would be prepared within one year.
"After having crushed and killed the reforms, the Iranians had put all their hopes for a smooth change. After taking the control of the Majles (parliament) with dubious methods and now preparing to grab also the presidency, one can be sure that the Iranians would not raise in support of the regime they hate more than ever", the sources told Iran Press Service, speaking on condition of anonymity.
Reacting to recent declarations from American officials, including President George W. Bush, who, in his State of the Union Address, assured that America "stands by the Iranian people", the sources said the statements had had an important impact on the Iranians, seeking support for their "peaceful struggle".
In a speech pronounced on the occasion of the victory of the Islamic revolution, the embattled Iranian President Mohammad Khatami said, "the whole Iranian nation is united against any threat or attack. If the invaders reach Iran, the country will turn into a burning hell for them".
"This nation does not seek war, does not seek violence and dispute. But the world must know that this nation will not tolerate any invasion", the powerless President added in reaction to mounting international pressures over the ayatollahs plans for nuclear power.
Apparently, Mr. Khatami, who is serving his last months as president, has forgot that many Iranians did came out into the streets after a foul named Hakha, from his desk on a television station in Los Angeles, had promised to fly to Tehran with 50 planes to boot out the clerics from power.
"Even though they were laughing at the man and his pledges, yet many Iranians came out on the Hakha’s D-day, in a demonstration of their hate of the regime and the mullahs", one analyst observed.
During her first visit to European and Middle Eastern capitals, Ms. Condoleezza Rice, the new US State Secretary urged them, particularly the European Troika that is engaged with Tehran over its nuclear program to apply more pressures on the Islamic Republic to abandon its efforts for getting atomic power.
"Visibly, not only the ayatollahs are more and more aware of the dangers of a military action by the United States, but also fears the consequences of a rapprochement between Europe and the United States", the sources said.
In his last Friday sermon, Ayatollah Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, the former president, warned the United States against "any military adventurism" in Iran.
"The Persian Gulf is not a region where they can have fireworks and Iran is not a country where they can come for an adventure", Mr. Hashemi Rafsanjani, who heads the powerful Expediency Council, told worshippers in Tehran.
The cleric, who might run for the presidency, also argued why advanced industrial countries should have the right to generate "more than 70 per cent" of the needs in electricity from nuclear energy and at the same time use all their efforts to prevent Iran the same right?
"It is not acceptable that developed countries generate 70 or 80 percent of their electricity from nuclear energy and tell Iran, a great and powerful nation, that it cannot have nuclear electricity. Iran does not accept this", he said, not telling however where he got the figures.
Against France that produces close to 80 percent of its electricity from nuclear power, most major industrialized nations derive under 30 percent and some, like Germany, are closing down their present nuclear stations, U.S. Energy Information Administration data shows.
Asked about the sincerity of the mullahs about the nature of the Iranian nuclear program, one that they assure it is only for civilian purposes, all the sources questioned by IPS said they have a "clear sentiment that the ayatollahs are after the atomic bomb".
"After having crushed the reform movement, the clerics wants the nuclear power not only to assert their grip on the nation, but also their hegemony over the oil-rich region and at the same time to prevent any attack from Washington", Mr. Qasem Sho’leh Sa’di, a leading political dissident said in interviews with the Persian services of foreign-based radio stations. ENDS IRAN NUCLEAR 11205