Thursday, February 02, 2006

Manoke Khodabakhshian may sing the praises of Afshin Molavi as a young "Iranian" working for the benefit of Iran, as he does with the Reza Aslan, of the "Islamic Republic is a democracy" fame, but then again Manoke is, according to himself at least, an informed commentator.

I wish to thank Sheda Vasseghi for her vigilance, her commitment to independence and freedom for our occupied motherland, and for sending me the following. Thank you dear Sheda.


A response to Afshin Molavi, the author of “Our Allies in Iran,” The New York Times, Final, Section A, p. 27, col. 1, Nov. 3, 2005

By: Sheda Vasseghi

I am a little late for this response, but better late than never. I cannot comprehend why individuals from whom we have higher expectations continue to write such misleading articles depicting members of the Islamic Republic as “democrats” and “reformists.”

The only allies the free world has in Iran are its people. However, 27 years of oppression, torture, and injustice has left the people inept to cope with such a bloodthirsty, backwards, and inhumane regime which rules by the Shari’a laws and has no tolerance for anything democratic or secular. The jails are filled with political prisoners and thousands have been assassinated by the Islamic Republic agents both in Iran and abroad. So how can sanctions by the western countries isolate a “democratic power” that does not exist?

Ahmadinejad was not “elected” by the people. His appearance on the scene is a direct sign that within that regime there is a fight for power – the traditional mullahs versus the Islamic militia. Mr. Molavi is quite aware of the election process in Iran and should know that its core and basis is not democratic, let alone the final results. Candidates must first obtain approval from a non-elected body called the Negahban Committee and only Shi’a muslim men can run for presidency. From the 1000 candidates during the 2005 elections, only seven were allowed to run one of which was Ahmadinejad. What is Mr. Molavi talking about?

Ex-president Khatami was not a reformist. He is a corrupt, smooth-talking mullah like the rest of the regime’s men – Khamanei, Rafsanjani, Mesbah Yazdi, and Moin – who bought time for the Islamic Republic by fooling liberal westerners and hopeful Iranians. Fool us once, shame on you; fool us twice, shame on us!

There should be no dealings with this regime. There can be no real change or reform in Iran until the dictatorship theocracy is gone. There can be no human rights, economic growth, social freedom, and future for Iranians until this terrorist-breeding regime is destroyed. It is reassuring to see that much has changed in the past two months and the Islamic Republic has been condemned by public opinion worldwide.

The revolution of 1979 occurred because Iranians were influenced by a group of bitter and irresponsible political activists endorsing Khomeini. Mr. Molavi claims that “the authoritarian theocracy that followed was not the aspiration of middle-class Iranian revolutionaries, who lost the post-revolution power struggle to supporters of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.” As a child who witnessed the revolution, I remember the popular slogan by the demonstrators – “independence, freedom, and Islamic republic.” Around September 1978, we began to hear Khomeini’s name as the leader of the movement and soon thereafter the revolution was carried out in his name. The main secular opposition group at the time representing the “middle-class” Iranians – Jebheyeh Meli -- was led by individuals such as Dr. Kareem Sanjabi, who in 1979 during an interview with the BBC stated that “…Khomeini is the type of personality that may take hundreds of years for a man of his status and caliber to appear in a society and I, as a representative of Jebheyeh Meli, ask the people of Iran to honor such a great person…” and he was certain if free elections were held, Iranians who are 98% Muslim would vote for a government based on Islam. In another interview, Dr. Sanjabi claimed that the mullahs do not want to be direct rulers but rather the monitoring body. These are only a couple of examples as to what the representatives of the middle-class Iranians were saying to their followers during the most pathetic time in Iranian history. It is even more important to note that statements such as these were made while the late Shah was still in Iran and in power.

No one disputes that the Pahlavi regime made mistakes, but if Mr. Molavi calls the late Shah a dictator, it is beyond me to understand how he can call Khatami a reformist. The torture and crimes the Iranians have faced by the agents of the Islamic Republic are in no form comparable with the Pahlavi regime. These acts against humanity were committed by the Islamic Republic under Khatami’s watch and will continue as long as the mullahs are in charge. He is not a reformist, mullahs are not reformists, religious fanatics are not reformists, and the Islamic Republic representatives are not reformists. It is indeed an irony that a handpicked revolutionary guard like Ahmadinejad was exactly what Iranians needed at this crucial time in history, because people like Mr. Molavi can no longer present these barbaric and backward agents as “reformists.”

Mr. Molavi will probably argue that he is a journalist and not an activist. Well, journalists are bound by duty to research all aspects of a subject and report it in its entirety without personal thoughts. If they give opinions, then their work is not a product of neutral journalists. Mr. Molavi clearly gives political advice regarding policies towards the Islamic Republic and cannot hide under the journalist umbrella. As such, his article is inaccurate and biased to the benefit of the current regime.

The only way Iran has a chance at becoming a secular, democratic, thriving nation is to bring down the current regime. There is no room for reforms, negotiations, or business dealings as long as the clerics and the basijis are in charge of that country. The people of Iran learned their lesson at a heavy cost and wish for the clerics to return to their mosques where they belong. Since 9/11, the West also learned painful and unforgettable lessons from tolerating and ignoring Islamic militants. The Islamic Republic must and will collapse.

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