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Iranians and the Nuclear Issue

By: Mehdi Amini


Ever since the escalation of tension between Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI) and the west over Iran’s nuclear program I have tried to follow this issue among the Iranian community abroad. Since the revolution of 1979 not one topic has become as controversial among the Iranian Diaspora as the subject of Iran’s nuclear activities. This paper tries to look at both sides of this issue and propose a third option that can help us to come up with a viable solution out of it.


On this issue I have come up with two different views.  On one side, are the Iranians of different political ideology who are against the IRI and the other side are those who see this purely from a nationalistic point of view.


The anti IRI Camp

This camp includes the supporters of the Mujahedeen Khalgh (MEK), pro-monarchists, and independent organizations. unfortunately due to their one sided view of opposition to the Islamic Republic,  they in essence have fallen into the trap of the neo-cons in America in that Iran-due to it’s view of the world  and how it has behaved must never achieve the N-Weapon and that Iran can not be trusted, no matter what it says.  They in reality, knowingly or unknowingly, are advocating regime change by others, since they can not do it on their own.

Nationalistic Camp


This camp includes some elements of those that are against IRI as well as those who are pure nationalists.  Their argument is that it is irrelevant of how Iran behaves internally (IRI human rights and lack of democracy) but rather the number one issue is the threat of the US on Iran.  According to them west can not dictate to Iran what it can and can not possess.  This camp has in essence become the mouthpiece of the various groups that are anti-imperialist, anti-Zionist and pro-IR.  When it comes to the topic of nuclear technology and potential attack by the US, they ignore the abhorring conditions within Iran and stick to the latter.



Third Camp


I think there is a middle ground to all these debates.  While absolutely being against the IRI you can also be against the Western country policy on this topic and you don’t have to fall into either of the above camps.


As far as I am concerned I have as much trust in President Ahmadinejad as I have of President Bush; which is zero. I think what we are facing are two extreme right wings elements within each country. 


For President Ahmadinejad, an attack by the US will gather the population around it, since they all are against an attack on their soil by any foreign country; and for Bush, since it is getting too close to the elections and since his numbers are down he needs the people to support the government during a time of war. 


What I propose is to oppose the Islamic Republic against its handling of internal issues, while at the same time, be against any attacks on Iran.  Unfortunately it appears that both sides feed on tension and we should help alleviate it. We should push for a direct and transparent talk between Iran and the United States and welcome a potential normalization of the ties.  We should let the US and the rest of the world know that any regime change in Iran, must be done by the Iranians and the only support we need is moral support not financial or military. 


Unfortunately since the issue of the nuclear activities has come into forefront, the condition of human rights has been put on the backburner.


One good example is the arrest of Dr. Ramin Jahanbegloo.  He has been in prison for two weeks now and I do not see the same level of anxiety and activism that I saw when we were demanding the release of Akbar Ganji.


I just hope that one day we don’t hear that he like Zahra Kazemi, another Iranian-Canadian, die in prison and we didn’t do anything about it.


... Payvand News - 5/12/06 ... --

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