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Defending Shirin Ebadi: Being Careful and Skilled is Vital

By: Moji Agha, Tucson, Arizona (

In my herein personal reflections, I agree with Mr. Naghizadeh ( that true lovers of humanity and Iran should defend Mrs. Ebadi these days, and vigorously.

However, to do so, and to be beneficial to her (our) noble cause, we really need to be skilled and very careful, because she has lots of enemies, as he has pointed out accurately. In this direction, our analyses (and possible advice) should be accurate and very solid.

Mr. Naghizadeh states: "Any criticism of Ms. Ebadi by the US Establishment would be welcomed by the Islamic Regime of Iran who is desperate to damage Ms. Ebadi's image and credibility."

To my eyes, there appears a structural inconsistency in the above assessment.

We need to note that the "Islamic Regime" is not ONE "regime." There is the elected reformist government, and there is the right wing. Similarly, there is a deep divide within the "U.S. Establishment."

The Iranian right wingers do not like the fact that their counterparts in the U.S. and Israel similarly do not like Mrs. Ebadi. The same applies to the other two. None of them like their hypocrisy exposed, when their supposed political "enemies" take a stance identical to theirs.

In fact, all three right wings have common interests against Iran's true independence and democracy (at least from 1953, if not all the way going back to the time of the constitutional revolution and even to the era of the Late Amir Kabir), because they like the status quo for selfish reasons, despite their loud propaganda. Hence they opposed vehemently the reform movement in Iran right from Khatami's election in 1997. [For real news, as opposed to vomit-causing corporate propaganda (especially in the U.S.) see or hear Amy Goodman and her fearless news team at and for more great political information see]

For evidence, let us look at the following excerpts from the October 15, 2003 briefing of the International Crisis Group (one of the many Washington-based think thanks that make the CIA's job easier), called, Iran: Discontent and Disarray (

"...The long-entrenched contradictions between theocratic and democratic rule, between regime policies and citizen demands, can [not] be rapidly resolved through political upheaval...Change almost certainly will come to Iran [but slowly], from a prolonged internal process; the first stage [will] see the rise of conservative pragmatists, eager to maintain the fundamentals of the regime while opening up to the West in order to improve the economic situation...[therefore] a judicious approach by the international community [is] more imperative."

Translation: Now that we have almost destroyed the leadership of the reform movement, we should now work with the right-wingers, because they are willing to sell their country out for money.

"In dealing with some of the most pressing security issues of the day - notably Iran's nuclear program, but also the future of Iraq and Afghanistan - neither the United States nor its European partners have the luxury of waiting for a more open and reform-minded regime. In the short term, their twin goals - regional security [U.S./Israel goal] and domestic Iranian reform [EU goal]- might well be at loggerheads..."

Translation: We want a kind of "democracy" in Iran that serves our interests (regional security). Real reform (real democracy) in Iran is not good for us.

"The loss of faith by Iranians in the reformers...[means] there is much less concern now...that strong external criticism would undermine the reform process by forcing its sympathizers to close ranks with the conservatives."

Translation: We used to be scared that if we kill the reform movement, the reformists might turn the conservatives against us-unity of the people.

"Many Iranians now place significant hope in vigorous external endeavors to press Iran on human rights and political reform, and the Nobel Peace Prize for Shirin Ebadi should give such efforts - both in Iran and abroad - a more prominent and effective platform."

Translation: Now that the right-wingers (pragmatic conservatives) have agreed to obey us (divide and conquer has worked again), we will distract the Iranian people (especially the young) by re-directing their hope toward Shirin Ebadi-i.e., we will use her for propaganda purposes.

Please note the date of this report (Oct. 15). At that time, they still did not know that she is not going to allow them to use her. It is in this context that we can see the wisdom of Mrs. Ebadi's stance so far (by not allowing herself to be used by any right wing entity, as in her December speech in the acceptance ceremony of the Nobel Peace Prize)-I am really really proud of her.

In my opinion, the European Union (led by Germany and France) is increasingly recognizing that the unchallenged hegemony of the U.S./Israel axis is all-around dangerous. They have realized that an independent (of this hegemony) Iran is to their benefit.

Hence, I believe that they are backing the reform movement-perhaps a chance for real democracy in Iran to be allowed to take root, unlike in 1953. It is in this connection that Mrs. Ebadi's meeting with the French President a few days ago is significant. I think that so far she is acting in Iran's long-term interests.

By far Iran's (and her) biggest enemies are the neo-conservatives (i.e., Israeli right wing running the U.S. foreign policy-hence the Orwellian "preventive war" or "preemption" doctrine) and their right wing allies in Iran, namely the servile "pragmatic conservatives." These three forces are the main source of attack against her, because she is not letting any of them use her for political or propaganda purposes.

Reza Pahlavi, Rob Sobhani, and other similarly treasonous minor-player enemies of Iran and true peace and human rights, need to learn from what happened to the MKO, namely that after they have served their masters (Reza Pahlavi's picture with Ariel Sharon and other neo-conservatives is a sickening example), they will be discarded as thouroughly used political garbage.

Why? Because even war criminals do not trust slaves that have no principle. You see, even vicious monsters see the historical truth that once a puppet is willing to betray his own country thoroughly to serve his ego, he will not remain trustingly-loyal to any enemy-of-life puppeteer either. I hope that especially now (after the humiliating capture of Saddam), the "pragmatic conservatives"  in Iran too learn deep lessons from such historical unfoldings.    

We, the aspiring defenders of Mrs. Ebadi, need to be really careful these days. I, for one, pray for her often and urge her also to be very very careful, especially in choosing any "team of advisors to consult with on political issues" (per the suggestion of Mr. Naghizadeh), because in these dark selfish days, bad advice can be very harmful instead of "useful" to Iran's future, which is very much intertwined with that of our fragile planet. So far though, Mrs. Ebadi seems to be doing just fine on her own. Blessings of peace upon her.

About the author:
A university faculty in cross-cultural psychology and conflict resolution, Mojtaba Aghamohammadi (Moji Agha), is a peace and human rights activist, and a bilingual poet and writer.

... Payvand News - 12/24/03 ... --

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