By Shaheen Fatemi*
PARIS, 24 Sept. (Iran va Jahan) The irresponsible policy of the Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI) in respect to the nuclear issue has created a present and real threat to the territorial integrity and national interest of the Iranian people. Subsequent to the fraudulent election of last summer, Mahmoud Ahmadi-Nezhad’s appearance at the UN was another catastrophic performance. Of course some people believe he did a great job representing the true nature of the anachronistic and archaic regime that has ruled Iran for the past quarter of the century.
But the fact remains that never in the history of the United Nations any so-called national leader has caused so much shame and embarrassment for his country. His total lack of understanding of the significance of the occasion was apparent from the instant that he began speaking. His entire speech was void of any significant policy statement. Instead, for the most part, it represented a second rate composition authored by a mediocre high school student.
What his speech lacked in elegance and wisdom was compensated for with vituperate denunciation of the United States, Israel and other Western countries.
What his speech lacked in elegance and wisdom was compensated for with vituperate denunciation of the United States, Israel and other Western countries. The most embarrassing moment came at the end when he pleaded and prayed for the “speedy appearance” of the 12th Imam who disappeared in 873 AD but is supposed to return as the Mahdi (messiah) and according to Ahmadi-Nezhad, “Only when he returns the world shall see real peace and justice.” Never before has anyone expounded such sectarian religious superstition from the podium of the General Assembly of the United Nations.
Since the Islamic regime has manifestly failed in every basic responsibility associated with modern states, it strives to divert internal and external attention from this issue. The calculated strategy of IRI revolves around three main themes:
-- Creation of mass hysteria within the country by spreading the fear of imminent military attack by the United States is to create national chauvinism and xenophobia aimed at Americans, the Europeans and westerners in general.
-- Religious superstition and mass indoctrination among the less educated mass of the urban poor in order to mobilize them against the middle class and the more educated elements of the population while exploiting mass hysteria for recruitment of suicidal volunteers.
-- Internationally by refusing reasonable proposal of the EU-3 and assuming an aggressive international posture, doing everything in its power to provoke diplomatic and military confrontation.
No democratically elected government bound by accountability to its constituents would dare assume such irresponsible postures jeopardizing national interest of the nation. Since the Iranian people within the country for decades have been denied all the basic and rudimentary safeguards of human rights, there is no way that the unsatisfied citizens of Iran can express their dissent.
Under such circumstances it is more than ever incumbent upon the Iranian democratic opposition living in the free world to set aside their possible ideological differences and express their profound opposition to the dangerous policies of the clerical regime in Tehran. It is in this connection that Dr. Hossein Bagherzadeh, a leading proponent and defender of human rights who lives in UK has taken a timely and courageous initiative by proposing the following text:
The concerns of the international community about the nuclear programs of the IRI and the response by the Iranian regime to these concerns have resulted in a dangerous situation detrimental to the stability and peace in the Middle East and far beyond.
The concerns of the international community about the nuclear programs of the Islamic Republic of Iran, and the response by the Iranian regime to these concerns, have resulted in a tense and dangerous situation detrimental to the stability and peace in the Middle East and far beyond.
We as concerned Iranians of diverse political outlooks and tendencies wish to express our common positions on this vital international issue and plead for international understanding and backing of these positions.
1. We firmly believe in the inalienable right of the Iranian people to acquire and exploit nuclear technology and know-how for peaceful purposes.
2. We regard proliferation of nuclear weapons as a major threat to the world peace, and support the international Non-Proliferation Treaty and other peaceful international initiatives for controlling the spread of nuclear weapons.
3. We regard the nuclear weapons as weapons of mass destruction whose use are morally deplorable and legally indefensible, and support all international efforts for nuclear disarmament and the elimination of all nuclear weapons.
4. We condemn the clandestine nuclear activities of the Islamic Republic of Iran in the past, and call for and support full transparency of Iran’s nuclear programs.
5. We are suspicious of the true aims of the Iranian regime in its nuclear program, and share the concerns of the international community in this regard. We are of the opinion that in the absence of a democratic system in Iran, and with the stated aims and intentions of the Islamic Republic, it is incapable of securing the trust of the international community in its nuclear program.
6. We are of the opinion that a halt in the enrichment program in Iran would not harm Iran’s capability in the nuclear industry. Iran has a great pool of expertise and know-how in the nuclear industry both inside and outside Iran, and in a democratic Iran these can be called upon to work on a transparent nuclear program for peaceful purposes.
7. In the circumstances and in order to alleviate the international concerns about Iran’s nuclear program, we support the call by the European Union led by Britain, France and Germany for a complete halt to the enrichment program in Iran in exchange for the supply of all necessary materials and technology for Iran’s nuclear power program.
8. We strongly oppose any military intervention in Iran and regard such action as detrimental to democracy in Iran and peace and security in the region, and plead to the world community to channel all its resources through the Iranian democratic opposition for change in Iran rather than through the military means.
9. We firmly believe that democratic change in Iran is the best guarantor for solving the international impasse over Iran’s nuclear program. We call on the international community to support the Iranian people’s campaign for democracy and human rights as a means of solving the nuclear program issue. ENDS IRAN OPPOSITION 24905
Editor’s note: Dr Fatemi is a professor of Economics at the American University of Paris and one of the initiators of the project of Referendum.
Some editing and highlights are by IPS
This article was published on Saturday 24 September in the internet news gathering site Iran va Jahan (Iran and the World), edited from Paris by Dr. Fatemi and does not necessarily reflects the view of IPS.