Let's Rethink What We Wish For...
By Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich
More than a quarter of a century
ago, people of all social classes took to the streets and wanted the Shah
gone. The sentiment of the Iranian
people was: ‘ better a monkey than the Shah’ or as they literally said: “a dog
would be better than the Shah.”.
The 1979 revolution saw their wish fulfilled as it chased many Iranians
into exile along with the Shah. Before long, countless Iranians began a
futile effort to reverse time, uncompromising in their effort, and failing to
learn from history.
When the Shah allied himself with
the United States
at the expense of his country, his cronies who left with him never lost sight of
Iran, nor of
their possessions and the hope of one day returning to the days of past glory
and wealth. They set up ‘shop’ in
Beverly Hills and other areas of
affluence and set to work to influence American policy makers who were all too
eager to accommodate them. They
listen and given them back
Iran, the young
Shah, and they would have their old lifestyle back. They were not the only ones flirting
with the U.S.
The Mojahedin-e Khalg who had
long been opposed to the Shah and conducted several attacks against U.S.
military personnel and civilians working with the Shah in the 1970’s, as well as
attacks against the Iranian government at the time, and who had also
participated in the capture of the U.S. Embassy during the revolution, has been
actively lobbying on Capital Hill.
Declared a terrorist organization in 1997 by the State Department, a
majority of the U.S. House of Representatives signed a letter challenging their
status as a terrorist organization in 1998. Further, some House Members have
suggested that the United
States should support the group as an
alternative to the Islamic regime in
Their success of lobbying is
alarming – On April 6, 2005, a think tank called Iran Policy
Committee (IPC) convened on Capitol Hill to discuss the removal of the MEK from
the terrorist organization list.
The meeting was organized at the invitation of the Iran Human Rights and
Democracy Caucus of the U.S. House of Representatives. Congressman Tom Tandredo
(R-CO) and Congressman Bob Filner (D-CA.) chaired the meeting.
Tancredo said of the MEK, and it
was concurred by IPC “[T]he need to
remove it from the U.S. Foreign Terrorist Organization List”. The IPC panel continued to
say that “Rather than depending on diplomatic or military options, a third
alternative – relying on the Iranian people to play a major role in determining their own future. In doing so, the panelists suggested
that the U.S.
government support European Union diplomatic negotiations with
military options on the table, and provide a central role for the Iranian
opposition to facilitate regime change.”.
There are several issues
has long maintained a policy of not negotiating with terrorists. Yet, the Congress of the Unites States
is lobbied by terrorist organizations and the
U.S. is showing
willingness to co-opt a known terrorist organization.
It is also interesting to note
that the U.S.
Iran is the
foremost state-sponsor of terror.
Yet members of the United States House Representatives have no qualms
about replacing the Islamic regime with the MEK who has carried out direct
terrorist acts against Americans.
The U.S. accuses Iran of supporting Hezbollah, a militant organization,
and hence calls Iran a state sponsor of terrorism, yet not only does a foreign
terrorist organization openly lobby on Capitol Hill, it is so successful at it
that numerous House Representatives put their signatures to paper to support
this group – Is sponsoring of terrorism justifiable by a superpower?
If past sins are so forgivable,
that is, if terrorism against Americans (and indeed against any nation) can be
erased from a nation’s history, why is it that American men and women are sent
to Iraq only to
return in body-bags?
For those who think that
Iran cannot be
had from within, think again. As
Rumsfeld rightly noted, democracy is a painful birth.
Iran has a long
way to go, and the practice of statecraft and religion impedes the process. However, in its 25 years of inception,
the Islamic Republic has not betrayed
Iran. The MEK
have fought alongside Iraqis and killed fellow Iranians. The Shah sold out
Iran to hold on
to his Peacock Throne.
could have started its democratic birth in the early 1950’s. If we are to have a democracy, it must
be molded from within. Those who
betrayed us and continue to do so with the help of ill-advised politicians whose ambitious
are not only-serving but whose views are warped through years of breeding
contempt and bias, will only destroy Iran further and exploit a country that
only true Iranians love, appreciate, and deserve. We can counter their lobbying, if
lobbying is what it takes.