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Open letter to President Bush by an Iranian academic

By Pirouz Mojtahed-Zadeh


His Excellency President George W. Bush            

The White House

Washington DC.

United States of America             


16 April 2006  


Mr. President


I am writing to you in the name of peace and in the name of human dignity. And in the absence of a balanced debate in Western political, academic and media circles on the issue of Iran’s nuclear energy program, I would humbly invite Your Excellency to spend a few minutes of your most valuable time to read an alternative argument about the said issue for the sake of peace and preservation of human dignity.


I wrote to you once before (5/2/2002) to say that as an academic of Iranian origin in Great Britain, I was seriously offended by your remarks in your state of the union address of that year about our nation being a member of the so-called axis of evil. In that letter I stated that Iran was not Afghanistan or Iraq to have been created by the former British Empire for their geo-strategic needs of the time and/thus it is not be meddled with by new powers when desired. It is a nation of about 70 million with a long history of civilization; a major contribution to the progress of mankind and a substantial cultural influence in the region. It is equipped with a strong sense of national identity and patriotism. Perhaps Iran’s eight years of relentless defense in the face of Saddam Hussein’s war that was encouraged by Washington and supported by the Soviet Union and almost all who profess to be US ally, including Britain, France, Germany, Israel etc. who directly or otherwise breached the UN imposed ban on supply of arms to the belligerent states and armed Saddam Hussein with all kinds of military hardware and intelligence, as well as soldiers and countless of billions of dollars from Arab states of the Persian Gulf. The world witnessed that against all these and in spite of its defense ability having been seriously undermined in the process of revolution that preceded the war, the Iranians staged a resistance of the kind that had no precedence in the history of mankind. With their bare foot they marched on Iraq of Baath Party and with their hands deprived of any advanced weaponry they effectively defeated Saddam Hussein and all those who backed him, chasing them back to where they had come from. I think that unmatched display of national unity and pride made it clear to all that Iran is not Afghanistan or Iraq of former description.


I also pointed out that as a nation-state of today; Iran has come a long way. Exactly a century ago, when all of Asia was still living in dark ages this nation began its eventful journey to the modern world of human dignity, social equality, political integrity and economic prosperity. In this long journey, Iran has experienced many ups and downs, but never succumbed to the indignity of accepting outside interests deciding for its destiny. The task of democratization of Iran might not have, as yet, been completely successful, but Sir, when you talk about wanting to spread your brand of democracy to the so-called Greater Middle East or creating democracy in Iraq in order to influence Iran, you could have taken into consideration the fact that first; democracy is real and sustainable when it is home-grown. Second; the US version of democracy, in which the lobbies are gradually replacing the demo, leaves much to be desired, as your Excellency has appointed two of former US presidents to study ways of improving on its election system. Third, there is not any symbol of democracy in the Middle East to be modeled on by the others; in reality, there is no democracy in the Middle East; Israel is a state that deprives a large segment of its population of the basic human rights; sends tanks and helicopters to fight women and children; invades its neighbours to grab their lands; pays no attention to repeated UN resolutions to behave responsibly etc. Turkey, though has managed to construct a façade of democracy as a result of pressure from the US and EU, its military junta decides how the Turks and non-Turks are to live there. The mockery of the concept of democracy US friends have created in places like Jordan and Egypt, cannot be acceptable even by Washington.


It seems Sir, your advisers either do not have the necessary knowledge or do not find it discernable to explain that apart from Bahrain, Iran is the only country in the Middle East that has made some progress towards a real democracy; it still has many problems, but the society is debating a democracy that cannot be sustainable unless it is home-grown. Moreover, given Iran’s millennial civilizational and cultural influence in West Asia, it is more likely that Iran’s progress in democracy influenced Iraq and others in that part of the world to develop their own homogenous democracy, if only the West stops meddling in the internal affairs of Iran and others in Muslim Middle East. Having said all that, it is no denying however, that we Iranians still have a long way to go to achieve our final national goals in this respect, but that has very little to do with outside powers, and for that matter, I would not even bore you explaining what these problems are. In fact, US interference in support for those involved in democratic debates will inevitably brand our hard work as being inspired or instructed by a power that unfortunately leaves no stone unturned in proving to be our national enemy.


Sir, evidently you have heeded these parts of my said letter and on some occasions you indeed repeated the fact that Iran is not Iraq or Afghanistan, and/thus promised to treat Iran differently. You even went as far as stating in your ‘state of the union’ address of 31 January 2006 that: Tonight, let me speak directly to the citizens of Iran: America respects you, and we respect your country. We respect your right to choose your own future and win your own freedom. And our nation hopes one day to be the closest of friends with a free and democratic Iran. But Sir; did you really mean that America respects our nation and that you respect our country? Or your government’s frantic endeavor to construct an internationally acceptable case to justify destruction of our country by war or worldwide economic sanction is their way of respect for Iran as a nation? Are we to believe that your efforts and those of your Secretary of State for instance to get India to retreat from Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline deal which is vitally important to the economy of all three, is your way of showing respect for the Iranians; a project that has nothing to do with Iran’s strategic policies and nuclear program? Surly you know that each time Washington threatens Iran of military options, the business world in Iran looses large portions of its hard earned business, which has nothing to do with the ruling clergy. Is this your government’s way of expressing respect for Iran as a nation?


Sir, in their shortsighted views, your neo-con aids and advisers may think of Iran as a terrorist nation who cannot be trusted to have nuclear weapon while India, Pakistan and Israel who are constantly at war can have it. But it is sad that the President of the United States is not advised by wise people that America has never been short of, that under any kind of regime, Iran has not even threatened any nation in the past 200 years, and/or there has not been even one single Iranian involved in so many terrorist activities of the recent years. Iran is a civilized nation that is fully aware that nuclear weapon is not to be used; that it is for regional and global deterrence and balance of power for peace. Iran is fully aware that even international villains like Stalin, Hitler did not use their nuclear weapons. Even Ariel Sharon did not threaten to use nuclear weapon against those he considered as enemies of his country; but the United States of America did use it at the end of World War II. Not only America has failed to justify use of this evil tool to the satisfaction of human conscience, but also is using the bunker buster variety of it in its military adventure in Iraq and is threatening to use it against our country. Iran believes that even as deterrence, nuclear weapon cannot guarantee lasting peace and security in the world and/thus what is needed for the Middle East at least, is a nuclear disarmament that would make her age-old desire of a nuclear free zone in that volatile region a reality.   


Sir, may I respectfully assure you that very few Iranians have been influenced by your promise of respect for our country and our right to choose our own future. This was more like asking us to ignore what we see in your government’s fierce global endeavour to get our nation condemned internationally, not because it is really developing nuclear weapon, but because of the Islam-o-phobic fear of a few in Israel that Iran might decide sometime in future to develop nuclear weapon and might decide to use it against Israel. Your UN Ambassador, John Bolton, promised the AIPAC meeting of Zionist Lobby on 7 March 2006 to inflict pain on Iran in that international forum. When making that promise, he twisted his fist in gesture to display his hatred of Iran and the sadistic desire to inflicting pain on a nation that his boss had claimed to have respect for.


Moreover, you have made the best of President Ahmadinejad’s ideological remarks about the state of Israel ought to be wiped off the world map; a non-practical proposition; an expression of ideological wish which was not supported by proposing any practical plan or policy for carrying it out; an ideological rhetoric that had been repeated many times before him in the world of Islam without having caused such a fuss. But you Sir, made the best of this ideological expression by presenting it as launching plans to eradicate the state of Israel and mixed it, may I say respectfully, disingenuously with the lie about Iran having built or is about to build nuclear weapons to use against Israel… in order to justify an international ganging up of the strong against the weak so that the way is paved at the United Nations to sanction wiping the state of Iran off the map of the world. The problem of Islam-o-phobia in the West seems to have reached the point that even comparing Israel to a rotten tree triggers angry promises by the State Department that the US will make the G8 summit to declare sanctions to starve the people of Iran because their president does not like Israel. He certainly seems to have touched a raw nerve in Washington. On the other hand, let us assume for the argument’s sake that Iran has a nuclear bomb and wants to use it against Israel. How could anyone think that an Islamic state would dare to drop atomic bomb on Israel without causing catastrophe to Muslim nations of the Lebanon, Jordan, and Palestine, the densely populated areas of which are situated in such a close proximity of Israel’s population centres. The Israeli extremists have for obvious reasons suffered historically from the over-exaggerated fear of their safety and security. Even expression of doubt about the holocaust leads to imprisonment of a British historian for three years in a Western democracy, and telling a pestering Jewish reporter off will result in suspending for a month the office of the elected Maier of London. But publishing the optimum of insult against the prophet of Islam is covered by the freedom of speech???   


On the other hand, by concocting fanciful statistics about the ethnic variations forming the nation of Iran, the naïve but over-zealous Michael Ladeen for instance, gathered together after your state of the union address of this year, all the wondering gangs of terrorists and separatists amongst Iranian Americans; elements who are openly on the pay of either the CIA (like MKO/MEK), or some Pan-Turkish and/or Pan-Arab sources, (like the Gray Wolf and Al-Ahvaz) encouraging them to fight for the disintegration of Iran. Meanwhile, your Secretary of State asks the Congress to allocate a budget of several million dollars to pay for the expenses of the activities of the gangs that are being used by all the president’s men and woman in order to wipe the state of Iran off the map. Your overzealous neo-con colleagues like Michael Ladeen are too naive to realize that these elements are consumed by their racially inclined ideas, and that playing with the fire of racism of their kind can be as dangerous to world peace and stability as playing with the fire of religious extremism in Pakistan and Afghanistan proved to be. They seem not to have drawn any lesson from US experience of trying to use Islamic extremism in 1980s against Soviet Union in Afghanistan which has been the cause of all anti-West terrorism of our world of today.


Similarly, your allies in Britain and Canada have not learnt any lesson about the danger of playing with the fire of religious or racial extremism. Their leaders have met the leader of terrorist gang al-Ahvaz and promised support for him. The British have in fact went as far as granting this terrorist gang permission to place their head-office in London where it had attacked and occupied Iranian Embassy in 1980 when they were invented by Saddam Hussein at the start of his war against Iran. The siege of the Embassy was crashed in the famous SIS operation and the gang was officially branded as ‘terrorist’ by the British authorities. Now that this gang is revived and is actively engaged in bombing campaign in Iran which has caused great harm to our brother Iranian Arabs of Khuzestan, your government described their terrorism as action in the defense of the rights of the Arab nation (in Iran), and asked Iran not to try and eradicate their terror against Iranian Arabs who were first to make so much sacrifice in the defence of their Iranian homeland in Saddam Hussein’s war. Similar request was made by the British who are supporting them in the hope that they will contribute to the US-Israeli-Canadian-British sponsored plot to wipe Iran off the map of the world. In other word: while President Ahmadinejad only expresses an ideological wish about the state of Israel, US, Israel, UK, and Canada actively endeavour to support those who are poised to wipe Iran off the map of the map.


But in the final analysis, may I ask if it is true that the costly and dangerous US efforts in making the idea of clash of Christian West with Muslim East a reality, is about America being committed to the defense of the state of Israel, or it is about defending the excesses of the regime in Israel and its desire to keep the lands they have stolen from their Arab neighbours? Is it really because Dr. Ahamdinejad wants to single-handedly wipe out the state of Israel, or the reality is that your government has been made to commit itself to grant the extremists like Ariel Sharon, his successor, and others like Netanyahu their atrocious wish of devastating any nation in the world of Islam who dares to support the Palestinian struggle to regain their homes, their dignity and their basic human rights in their own homeland?. When the majority of the Israelis sensibly enforced the policy of ‘land for peace’, the United States failed to adequately support that humane proposition by trying to prevent Zionist extremists from conspiring to overthrow that policy. Instead, your government supported Sharon’s overbearing policies even to the detriment of your own road map; your government failed to give proper support to the wise initiative of H. M. King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, and failed measurably to remember your own admission in the wake of September 11 that all these problems come from your blind support of people like Ariel Sharon in Israel and that you were going to modify your one-sided policies towards Arab-Israeli conflicts. Instead of remembering to do that, your government invaded and occupied Afghanistan; invaded and occupied Iraq, and now is threatening to invade Iran while completely complacent about the impracticality of the task and its terrifying consequence in the form of realization of the clash of civilizations (clash of Christian West with Muslim East) etc.


As far as Iran is concerned, the United States started, from the time of the emergence of the Islamic Republic, to use any kind of excuses to enforce a regime change even at the price of devastating Iran and its neighbouring nations. The first excuse was that Iran was exporting its revolution to the neighbouring states and US friends and allies in the West and in the region bought that hilarious claim without asking themselves how could any revolution be exported. A war with more than one million dead and well over a thousand billion dollars of devastation was encouraged and supported by the West against Iran with no result for anyone except that it united the people of Iran with the revolutionary Islamic Republic, which in turn guaranteed its survival in its shaky start.


Now, by wanting to repeat the same adventure, this time not using the Saddams of the region, but directly, your government is repeating the same mistake by making an excuse of Iran’s nuclear energy program to justify your incomprehensible threats of new wars and devastation in the Muslim Middle East. For this, of course you have the support of a handful of right-wing extremists like John Howard of Australia and Silvio Berlusconi of Italy with their psychopathic views of Islam and other races. But as far as world opinion is concerned, please do not let your naïve Secretary of State and her British counterpart prevent you from knowing the fact that the world considers the United States of America under the neo-cons as a new Empire that has become the main source of threat against global security, and its president, may I respectfully say, as a war-monger who would do only the pleasure of those in Israel and USA suffering from their Islam-o-phobia.


On the other hand, in order to paint a legal colour to disguise these war-mongering and to achieve an international justification for your said plan against Iran and its people, your ally in Britain, H. E. Premier Blair argued (on 9th March 2006) that: Obligations that are entered into in the international community should be kept, and if they aren't that's a serious situation and that's the reason for reporting Iran to UNSC. But he failed to make it clear as to how Iran's voluntary undertaking in the temporary Paris agreement of 2004 for the interim period of Iran-EU3 negotiations, has in his judgment amounted to Iran's international obligations of permanent nature? In the face of such ambiguity in reference one can only assume that Mr. Blair refers to Iran's withdrawal of voluntary undertakings, when she was enticed to voluntarily suspend its uranium enrichment process for as long as negotiations with EU3 went on. I hope I will not be considered as too presumptuous to propose that before accusing Iran of not honouring its so-called international obligations, Mr. Blair needed to make it clear firstly; weather or not Iran's agreement to suspend all activities regarding uranium enrichment was a voluntary or an obligatory undertaking. Certainly the undertaking could not have been obligatory and imposed upon her under duress as it would be totally against NPT and other international laws and regulations. But on the other hand, if the undertaking was voluntary, then we seem to have differences of opinion as to what a voluntary undertaking would mean. English dictionary tell us that a voluntary undertaking is a state of affairs that could be: Arising, acting, or resulting from somebody's own choice or decision rather than because of external pressure or force. Should this definition be acceptable then surely a voluntary undertaking and an international obligation are mutually exclusive and present contradiction in terms.


Secondly, it is of consequence that Misers Blair & Chirac and Ms. Merkel made it clear if there was a time-limit in the Paris agreement for Iran's suspension of uranium enrichment activities, for if no time-limit was provisioned then it could not have been considered as a finally concluded legal instrument that required no further negotiations. But as talks went on after the signing of that agreement, then it could not have been but an interim legal instrument only designed to better shape the negotiations which were hoped to arriving at a treaty according to which both the West would build confidence with Iran’s nuclear program and Iran would be allowed to enjoy its established rights under the terms of NPT (Article IV) to develop research, production and use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes. And that the nuclear states of the West would be obligated to assist the non-nuclear Iran with the development of nuclear energy, while they could legally observe her to make sure that Tehran did not deviate from peaceful use of nuclear energy.


On the other hand, in spite of confirmation by all international onlookers that US-Indian nuclear deal of March 2006 has seriously weakened the proliferation regime by making a mockery of the NPT regulations, Mr. El-Baradei, the obliging Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) praised that unjustifiable deal on March 2, 2006 as "would boost non-proliferation efforts". By so serving the pleasure of the United States, he ignored the plane fact that that deal allows India, which has already developed nuclear weapons, to keep its secret strategic nuclear sites away from any inspection by IAEA. This is the UN official who, under the US and EU3 pressure reported Iran to the UN Security Council on the basis of innuendos such as: Iran was not completely honest in its disclosure of everything some time in the past: yet he declined to state the truth that IAEA investigations eventually found out everything about Isfahan and Natanz, which proved those sites to be problem-free and formed the integral parts of Iran's rights to peaceful nuclear energy, and that failure of their disclosure was because of administrative mismanagement than anything else. Or; in her cooperation with the IAEA investigation Iran showed some reluctance in allowing agents to inspect some of its military bases: But, he fails to remember that in his reports of investigations he repeatedly praised Iran for cooperating with the task of investigation. He also fails to mention that this reluctance is normal as no other state welcomes any prospect of its sensitive military sites being intrusively looked at by foreign agents who would not give any real guarantee for the confidentiality of information that are deemed to be vital for national security of the state being investigated. These are, at best, debatable issues for IAEA Board of Governors. UN Security Council is not the forum to debate them, but why you Sir, and your obliging friends in London, Paris and Bonn insist it to be referred to the United Nations? Can the answer be anything but what Ambassador Bolton has promised his AIPAC friends?


Mr. El-Baradei reported the case of Iran’s nuclear energy program to the UN Security Council solely to make it possible for John Bolton to inflict his promised pain on Iran, in spite of the fact that the UN Security Council’s job is to find solutions to real threats to world peace from rebel states like Israel, not to condemn a member nation like Iran to war and devastation on the basis of a decided crisis over her future nuclear energy plans; a nation that has not even threatened another country for the past two centuries. This gentleman has bravely discarded the embarrassment that the file he reported to the UN Security Council not only contained no evidence of wrong doing on the part of Iran, but also puts on full display before the world opinion his own repeated official reports of investigation of all sites in Iran and verification that no evidence had been found to incriminate Iran of any plan for developing nuclear weapons. Yet, he unashamedly asked the Security Council to deal with Iran’s case for the purpose of ‘inflicting pain’ on its people on the basis of the said innuendos. In returning El-Baradei’s report to him the UN Security Council returned to him for implementation of the idea of giving Iran 30 days to deprive itself of an independent nuclear energy research for all eternity; a demand that cannot be acceptable even to the weakest of nations. No government in the world can decide to deprive all future generations of its nation from their established rights. But when it comes to a point as incomprehensible as this, UN Security Council is to be asked to verify that asking Iran to indefinitely deprive itself of nuclear research activities would not effectively mean to paralyse the NPT protection of Iran, and that its membership of the treaty is lost, and her continued membership is just as good as withdrawn.  


Sir in the final assessment of what the governments of the neo-cons have done so far, I have to regretfully say, that it amounts to no less than total destruction of America’s post-World War II credibility as a power that supports peace, democracy and human rights in the world. To destroy this highly praised position, the neo-cons had to ignore the facts of history and principles of civility; In order to make their imperialistic desire of New World Order in the wake of the collapse of the by-polar world order, they ignored the advice of those wiser amongst the Americans like Professor Russell Kirk who observed: Our prospects in the world of the twenty-first century are bright – supposing we Americans do not swagger about the globe, proclaiming our omniscience and our omnipotence…. Any American New World Order will likely cause the United States to be more detested – beginning with the Arab peoples (Muslims) – than the Soviet Union ever was.


From the point of view of the Iranians, all your Excellency’s government has done by ganging up US and EU3 against the established rights of the people of Iran, was to unite this people behind the Islamic Republic once again, but this time in a way that has no precedence in Iran’s history. Apart from those involved in terrorism, all those in the camp opposed to the IRI have united to defend Iran’s legitimate rights; the national right that you and your European colleagues are pressing the IRI to suspend indefinitely without even thinking how could it be possible for any government to sign a document that deprives even the unborn generations of its nation of nuclear energy. No state can make such a pledge, but the atrocious demand has motivated an all out national unity, which at this particular junction of our national debate for democracy, can only slow done this debate that is vitally important for the future of peace and stability of Iran and the neighbouring nations.  


Yours sincerely


Pirouz Mojtahed-Zadeh Ph.D.

Professor of Political geography and Geopolitics – Tehran

Chairman of Urosevic Research Foundation - London

590 Field End Road, Middlesex HA4 0QZ, UK

Tel/Fax: +44-20 8422 7992



Copies to:

Her Majesty the Queen of the United KingdomLondon

His Excellency President Hu Jintao of the People’s Republic of ChinaBeijing

His Excellency President Vladimir Putin of Russian FederationMoscow

His Eminent Pope Benedict XVI – VaticanItaly

His Excellency President Nelson Mandela – Republic of South AfricaPretoria

His Excellency Mr. Kofi Anan, Secretary General of the United Nations – New York

His Excellency Mr. Amr Musa, Secretary General of the Arab League – Cairo


International media: IRNA, ISNA, CNN, BBC, ITV, International Herald Tribune, IRIB Asia Times, Asia Tribune, Cox Newspapers, Washington Post, Los Angeles Time, Radio France International, The Sunday Tribune, Ettelaat, Al-Ahram, Sharq al-Awsat, and……    



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