"It is time for the Iranian leaders to get the lessons the events in Baghdad are teaching"
Mr. Bush's proposed referendum on the future of the Iranian regime has received strong support from the Iranians
TEHRAN, 4 Feb. (IPS)
A visibly worried Islamic Republic reacted angrily on Thursday at the US President's open support for the Iranian people's struggle for democracy and freedom.
"To the Iranian people, I say tonight: As you stand for your own liberty, America stands with you", President George W. Bush said in his State of the Union Address Wednesday night, naming also the Islamic Republic as the world’s major sponsor of international terrorism.
"Today, Iran remains the world's primary state sponsor of terror, pursuing nuclear weapons while depriving its people of the freedom they seek and deserve", Mr. Bush said, warning also Syria on the same charges.
"There are repetition of former baseless accusations and allegations, lacking any basis and foundation", an unconvincing Hamid-Reza Asefi, the official spokesman and deputy Foreign Affairs Minister told journalists.
"Mr. Bush has forgotten that the great Iranian nation had by its Islamic Revolution 26 years ago put an end to the US hegemonic influence and presence in Iran, and he has turned a blind eye to realities in the Islamic Republic and institutionalization of freedom and democracy in the country, speaking of a number of things which have nothing to do with the dynamic society of Iran today and more than everything bring more disgrace for the US administration", the Iraqi-born Asefi said before criticising strongly the performance of the US government in Iraq.
Mr. Bushs backing for the Iranian people comes as a proposed project to organise referendum on the future of the Iranian regime. It has has received strong support from the Iranians, both inside and outside as well as from large segments among republicans and monarchists.
At the same time, green lights have been open to Iranian dissidents in the United States as well as in Europe.
According to well-informed French sources, some moderate neo-conservatives are sending discreetly signals to some of the ruling Iranian ayatollahs, including Mr. Ali Khamenehi or President Mohammad Khatami, offering them to leave the place for a safe heaven of their preference, or face "people’s vengeance".
According to this source, Mr. Reza Pahlavi, the 45 years-old son of the late Mohammad Reza Pahlavi who was toppled by the Islamic revolution of 1979 is being "worked out" as a possible leader for coalition of Iranian forces, considered as "much more credible than the Iraqi dissidents under Saddam Hussein" to replace the present Islamic system with a transitory government.
In an article published in his personal weblog, Mr. Masoud Behnoud, a veteran Iranian journalist based in London sent similar message to the Iranian clerics, calling on them to head the message of the international community led by Washington. "Open the doors to democracy and place the key under the carpet for new generation of rulers", he suggested.
"Now that contrary to the expectations and hopes of all the fools in the Islamic Republic banking on the defeat of the United States in Iraq, the wind of democracy is starting of blowing as a result of the last elections, it is time for the Iranian leaders to get the lessons the events in Baghdad are teaching", he wrote.
In his speech, the American leader made it clear that his Administration would not tolerate the Iranian ruling ayatollahs possessing nuclear technology for military purposes and observed that he was looking to closer cooperation with European partners to stop Tehran acquiring the atomic bomb.
"We are working with European allies to make clear to the Iranian regime that it must give up its uranium enrichment program and any plutonium reprocessing, and end its support for terror", Mr. Bush said while back in Iran, officials in charge with the nuclear issue have hardened attitude, hinting that Iran would "never" accept abandoning its nuclear programs.
To promote peace in the broader Middle East, we must confront regimes that continue to harbour terrorists and pursue weapons of mass murder. Syria still allows its territory, and parts of Lebanon, to be used by terrorists who seek to destroy every chance of peace in the region. You have passed, and we are applying, the Syrian Accountability Act -- and we expect the Syrian government to end all support for terror and open the door to freedom.
Diplomatic sources in Paris and Brussels said during her talks with European leaders, mostly Frances Jacques Chirac, Britains Tony Blair and Germanys Gerhard Schroeder, Ms. Condoleeza Rice, the new boss of the US diplomacy would examine closely with them the case of Iranian nuclear issue. ENDS US IRAN 4205