Skip to comments.Statement of Reza Pahlavi (son of Shah of Iran) at the Nat'l Press Club, Washington, DC - 3/1/06
Posted on 03/05/2006 10:08:57 AM PST by nuconvert
Ladies and gentlemen,
It saddens me to reappear before you here today at a time when under the yoke of the clerical regime, my homeland is labeled as the greatest threat to international peace and security, and more importantly, from my vantage point, this threat comes at the cost of great pain and suffering for my fellow compatriots in Iran.
Fear of the first state-sponsor of terrorism acquiring nuclear weapons, with all of its implications for nuclear blackmail and terror, even unconventional delivery of a nuclear device to Europe or to these shores, has been widely discussed. But let me address how the strategic landscape is viewed by those in power in Iran:
Like all totalitarian systems, the Islamist regime in Tehran needs to expand in order to survive. Mr. Ahmadinejad has worked to become more popular on the Arab street than he is in Iranian homes. His instruments of oppression special units of the Revolutionary Guards and the Basijis feel intensely disliked and find their morale eroded while on patrol in major Iranian cities, but they walk ten feet tall in the souks from Mindanawa to Damascus; this is because they present themselves as champions of radical Islamism in front of the West.
As long as the Islamic Republic is in power, the project for democracy in the greater Middle East may actually pave the way for Irans expansionism. Witness the Islamic Republics ally Hamas victory in Palestinian elections. The coalition forces have removed Saddam and placed power in Iraqs elected parliament. But who is the king maker in that parliament today? It is the leader of the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq who for twenty years was nurtured and prepared for his present role by the leaders of the Islamic Republic. Nor is Iran limiting its bet to one option. Three weeks ago, the leader of the most radical Shiite faction in Iraq, went to Tehran to receive financial, intelligence and organizational support.
When Irans protégés have the money, information, and support from those who are masters of manipulation, intimidation and violence against their political opponents, they have a strong upper-hand against their rivals in a nascent democracy such as Iraq. In Lebanon, if Hezbollah can spend more money than the government building schools, mosques and hospitals thanks to generous Iranian contributions dont be surprised if they win elections.
A Bermuda Triangle from Iraq to Lebanon to Palestine is being taken over by Irans allies through the ballot box. It could pull in the Moslem Brotherhood in Egypt, and when it does the same to the Shiites of the oil-rich Eastern province of Saudi Arabia, the encirclement of the Persian Gulf will be complete. Islamists will have achieved what the Soviets could not, namely complete control of the Persian Gulf oil and the jugular of Western economies. They would then have a latter day Caliphate to lead all the forces that are against the post Cold War vision of the free world.
All the Islamic Republic needs in order to achieve this goal is to be able to use low intensity violence to supplement its financial, intelligence and organizational support for its allies. That, ladies and gentlemen, is why Iran needs the bomb: to neutralize the conventional military superiority of the West, and continue to use terrorism and low intensity violence without the fear of escalation to high intensity conventional warfare. For the free world, these are unacceptable outcomes. And yet, there isnt much time to find a solution. The resumption of enrichment by the Islamic Republic has drastically reduced the window of decision. The vast number of commentaries and reports on the subject seem to come down to this: comparing diplomatic options with punitive ones, including military strikes.
I am here to tell you that neither is an option:
The fruitless Euro-three diplomatic efforts have already given the theocrats three years. Another three years of cat-and-mouse games with the Russians under the IAEA buys enough time to make a bomb: that is the Islamic Republics plan and hope.
The problem with these negotiations all along was the false assumption that the other side wants a solution to avert a crisis. Quite the contrary: Increasingly unpopular, the Islamic Republic needs an atmosphere of crisis to justify its increased militarization and harsh security measures at home, and divert attention from increasing poverty and the misery index so long as this crisis does not result in a shooting war which they will lose. The fundamentalists assumption is that continuing on their present course will lead to a collision with the free world. Therefore, they believe they need a nuclear umbrella to force the other side off the road before the collision.
As for a military strike, it will rally nationalistic sentiments which will work to the regimes advantage, and consequently, give the theocracy a much longer lease on life. Make no mistake about it; the question is what comes first in Iran: Democracy or nuclear weapons? The race is on!
Let me repeat: a military strike may delay the bomb by two or three years, but it will delay democracy several times over. It is not a smart choice, and no way to win the race! If neither negotiations nor punitive measures are the answer, the inevitable question becomes: how is democracy achievable in Iran?
Let us recall that a hundred years ago, Irans Constitutional Revolution introduced the first genuine democracy into the East, with more than half the population of the world. Let me assure you that today, there are more than a thousand circles of dissent and opposition in Iran against the regime. Their cumulative weight is far greater than that of the clerical regime. However, the problem is that they are kept isolated from each other; and this is the regimes highest priority.
Local networks facilitating communications within these circles are beyond the regimes control. When it comes to connecting all of these circles at the national level, however, the regime comes down with an iron fist. The Reform Movement, the Student Movement, the printed press, web loggers, provide examples of attempts to create national networks.
The regimes response to the Reform Movement was to corrupt it from above by installing subservient leaders who later confessed their vow to defend the regime, not the people who elected them.
They fragmented the student movement through a combination of torture, imprisonment, building a fifth column, and even a vast drug ring. Can you imagine, a year prior to the vast student protests of 1999, you could seldom find drugs in dorms; a year later heroin was cheaper than tobacco! This does not happen in authoritarian states, unless underwritten by the state itself.
Living in the free world, you would expect that the natural means of communication with these circles would be a free press. Well, there are more journalists and web loggers in Iranian jails today than in any other country in the world.
While the roots of a national communications network has to be inside Iran, the conclusion from the observations above is that the hub of this network cannot be inside the country.
This is where the free world can help. I know of hundreds of young dissidents who have done organizational activity inside Iran, in effect connecting the aforementioned small local networks. Today they are sitting scared in places from Jordan to Turkey, or in refugee camps in European cities. With a little help from the free world, they can become the building blocks of a two-way communication network that aggregates the demands of the thousand circles of opposition into a national demand for democracy and against this theocracy.
I stand here before you, appealing on behalf of the many dissidents who simply ask for the support of the free world. And I hope that I am right to being optimistic that the free world is indeed committed to invest in democracy as the solution for Iran, rather than endless negotiations or military strikes.
"All the Islamic Republic needs in order to achieve this goal is to be able to use low intensity violence to supplement its financial, intelligence and organizational support for its allies. That, ladies and gentlemen, is why Iran needs the bomb: to neutralize the conventional military superiority of the West, and continue to use terrorism and low intensity violence without the fear of escalation to high intensity conventional warfare."
"They (the regime) fragmented the student movement through a combination of torture, imprisonment, building a fifth column, and even a vast drug ring. Can you imagine, a year prior to the vast student protests of 1999, you could seldom find drugs in dorms; a year later heroin was cheaper than tobacco! This does not happen in authoritarian states, unless underwritten by the state itself. "
I dated his sister once. True story, though she did have SCS.
We have been waiting for years for democracy to spring up. I think the targeted military strikes could be part of the campaign as long as we only take out nuke sites.
Farahnaz or (the late) Leila?
perhaps it was the daughter? She had blonde hair, not the brunette and lived around tyson's corner.
He missed two crucial points:
1. NO Progress has been made by the people of Iran to free themselves. There is no reason to believe they ever will.
We have hoped and waited for the Iranian people themselves to solve their own problem, but the time for waiting is over. We cannot wait more than a few more weeks.
2. The current government of Iran believes the Mahdi is coming soon, probably to be revealed sometime THIS YEAR.
Any analysis that fails to consider this has missed the most important motivator behind current Iranian behavior. A particularly pernicious part of the Mahdi "prophecy" is that the Mahdi is more likely to decide to return at a time of intense turmoil. Hence, Iranian leaders actually think that CREATING that turmoil is a GOOD thing, even if they are initially on the losing end.
We are faced with a fanatic regime bent on our total destruction, and convinced that divine help is on the way. We could defeat this insane regime easily at any time if our own nation were united. Thanks to the leaders of the Democrat party, we are not. The situation is thus quite dire.
"We have hoped and waited for the Iranian people themselves to solve their own problem, but the time for waiting is over. We cannot wait more than a few more weeks."
Apparently the President and State Dept don't agree with you.
"The current government of Iran believes the Mahdi is coming soon, probably to be revealed sometime THIS YEAR"
Reza Pahlavi has said there is a need for urgency.
Apparently the President and State Dept don't agree with you.
1. If we were planning an attack "soon", it would be throwing away the element of surprise to announce it in advance. To announce we plan to launch a strike intended to knock out Iran's emerging nuclear weapons capability would be militarily counter productive.
That does not mean we would not choose to do so for political reasons. After all, we have the Democrats and their media allies to contend with.
2. To continue to "negotiate" is to do nothing. That decision leads to the terrible consequences eloquently described in the article, AT BEST.
But the fanatical belief in the return of the Mahdi, soon, most likely AFTER major trouble has already started, means Iran is quite likely to initiate much more trouble than described in the article above.
3. Which is why we have so little time left. If WE do nothing, then Israel will find itself threatened by an Iranian regime that has already put itself on record as favoring the nuclear extinction of Israel, even if the surviving Israeli submarines are able to launch attacks killing 50 times as many Muslims in retaliation.
We may still choose to do NOTHING. There are many in the world who would not mourn the destruction of Israel, particularly in Europe and much of the Muslim world. But Europe is impotent, and could not take action against Iran even if they could find the moral clarity and courage to do so.
Here in the U.S., our own Democrat party is certain to attack anything George Bush decides to do, and the media is certain to join in the attack. Given the overall political situation, doing nothing may actually be the choice we are forced to make.
But the United States is not the only nation that must make a decision. If we do nothing, we will have forced the same decision upon the Israelis. And they have their entire nation at stake.
If YOU were responsible for the preservation of Israel, and the United States refused to act, what would YOU do? How much longer would YOU wait?
Since Israel cannot wait until AFTER Iran has the nuclear capability to obliterate Israel, the only remaining question is when that will be. A number of published reports have said Iran may have their first nukes by the end of March, 2006.
I have no inside information and certainly cannot confirm that timetable is true. But I know for certain that waiting until Iran is armed with nuclear weapons is to risk the total destruction of Israel. I also know that a miscalculation/intelligence failure that allows Iran to develop nukes before we expect this to happen would be the same as deciding to do nothing.
So... We seem to be between a rock and a hard place, and time has just about run out.
BTW: The graphic you put on your FR home page was clearly a lot of work to create, and well done. It includes the Iranian flag, the lion that used to be in the Iranian flag, and the sun. All of these are symbols of the old Iranian regime.
You also included a representation of the U.S. flag, and an eagle. I assume this was to show solidarity between Iran and the U.S. If so, thank you.
However, the U.S. flag is shown upside down. Although it was probably an oversight, showing the American flag upside down is not something most Americans would do.
Yes, it's the flag of a free Iran with American flag and eagle w/arrow to show solidarity and how we were once strong allies. I hope we are again soon.
I wish I could take credit for designing it, but I got it off the internet. The fact that the flags are tied together, makes it difficult to have either flag properly displayed without looking "unnatural". (if you know what I mean)
I'm sure it was an artistic decision and wasn't meant to offend anyone.
Anyway, thanks. I like it and what it symbolizes very much.
If one reads what all the "experts" have to say, they seem to agree that there's a bit more time than a few weeks. Things aren't that imminent.
As for Israel, there has been mention that they are helping Reza Pahlavi in his support and efforts to unify the opposition in Iran.
I wish everyone had gotten this together yrs ago.
The "experts" should not say publicly how much time they think there really is. To do so would be to let the Iranian leadership know how much we know, and to throw away the potential for strategic surprise. It is far better to keep the enemy guessing.
(Sadly, even though it is unwise, we might be forced to show our hand in advance for political reasons.)
The Iranians have publicly stated they will be ready to "join the club" by April 8, 2006. They did not specify what they meant by that, but it is possible to guess. It is also possible that this claim is mere bluster.
I fervently hope we have accurate intel, and that we do indeed have a substantial amount of time left. A miscalculation in this area would be catastrosphic.
Although they may be ignorant in many ways, I doubt the Iranian leadership is stupid. They are not bluffing in this game of high stakes poker. They hold a number of high cards, and undoubtedly have a plan to use them.
It is easy to see how civil war in Iraq, coupled with disruption in the world's oil supply, could work to Iran's advantage when they are ready to make their next move.
Could the bombing of a top Sunni Mosque (clearly designed to spark civil war in Iraq), coupled with a major attempt on a key oil facility in Saudi Arabia, have been part of a planned prelude to Iran's next move?
If so, then the time is short indeed.
The Iranian government believes that any possible military strike against them will come prior to 30 April 2006 before the weather starts to change in May. The Iranians are prepared though and are confident that any military strike against them will fail with it's objectives.
I'm ex air force. Lot's of low level flying, including over deserts in the summer. Thermals can bring down a low flying aircraft, including cruise missiles. The above statement rings true.
If we are going to do anything before fall, I can easily see how it would need to be before the weather turns against us.
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