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Sovereignty for Sale!

By Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich


In direct violation of the bilateral 1981 Algiers Accord, on April 13, 2005,  H.R. 282 was passed with overwhelming  support in a session of the House Committee on  International Relations.  This bill was first introduced by Ileana Ros-Lentinen (R-Fl) on January 6, 2005.  Not foregoing Iran’s sovereign right to develop nuclear energy under Article IV of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), perhaps the most conflicting provisions of the legislation which are in direct violation of the Algiers Accord  are  subtitles: ‘supporting democracy’ &  ‘regime change’.  Stipulated clearly in Point I.1 of the Algiers Accords is Non-Intervention in Iranian Affairs: “The United States pledge that it is and from now will be the policy of the United States not to intervene, directly or indirectly, politically or militarily, in Iran’s internal affairs.”   

The irony of this legislation is two-fold.  Not only is the U.S. violating its agreement, but the legislation was introduced by a senator who supports a terrorist organization.  This Republican senator is a staunch defender of the terrorist organization Mojahedin-e Khalq (MEK).   In a March 2003 interview with The Hill newspaper, she has defended her ongoing support for a group the State Department says is a terrorist organization fighting against coalition troops in Iraq by stating: “This group loves the United States. They’re assisting us in the war on terrorism; they’re pro-U.S.”[1].

Her convincing arguments, the backing of American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC[2]), and the lobbying of the MEK has no doubt attributed to passing of the legislation.  Perhaps when allocating funds to interfere with internal Iranian affairs, the House Committee led by Ros-Lehtinen realized that the MEK would be the likely takers.  After all, they had proved themselves in Iraq.  Who else would give up Iran’s autonomy?  Is Iran’s sovereignty worth so little?  The Iranians have demonstrated that they are willing and capable of electing a democratic government; Mossadeq was an example of this.   

The legislation is shameful as it deceives the world.  As Dr. Rice was pirouetting around Europe on her debut as National Security Advisor, she assured the European allies-- and later reiterated by President Bush himself-- that when it came to Iran’s nuclear program, the U.S. would give diplomacy a chance.  Meanwhile, legislation was being introduced (now passed) to violate an agreement that would give funds to dissidents to ‘support democracy’ and ‘regime change’.  Not only does this make a mockery out of the honorable American people, but it jeopardizes the EU talks with Iran.  Further, given that the U.S. does not respect its agreements, what incentive does N. Korea have for coming to the negotiation tables to give up its nukes?

If the United States would like to make use of its hegemonic status by doling out money to spread democracy, at this point in time it ought to be directing its resources towards Darfur and ending what the Bush administration has labeled genocide.  Its military strength and 3 million dollars would go a long way to help the war and the survivors.  It would serve the U.S. interest to diversify its ‘compassion’.

[1] Deleay, Sam. “Rep. Ros.Lentinen Defends Iranian Group Labeled Terrorist Front for Saddam Hossein”. The Hill.  8 April,  2003

... Payvand News - 4/22/05 ... --

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