Iran News ...


Mr. President: I listened

By: Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich


And so I am prompted to respond, for in the words of Martin Luther King: "there comes a time when silence is betrayal".  I do not wish to betray the United States.  Further, as the late Iranian Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadeq said: "If I remain silent, I have sinned"; I am not a sinner.   Sir, since you claim to be a man of God, I must assume that your statements stem from unawareness. 


You claim to respect us; that we deserve to have the opportunity to determine our own future.  An economy that rewards our intelligence and talents; and yet it is our rulers that have denied us our liberty.  You stated to the world at the United Nations that you were seeking diplomatic means for Iran to pursue a nuclear energy program.  Sir,  you should be aware that your presidency has put Iran in a perpetual state of fear and captivity - we are hostages not because of the government in Iran, but because of your policies.  Your constant threat of military action, the use of nuclear bunker busters, has rendered Iranians within and without Iran emotionally cripple; with the exception of a few who beg favors from you to lead the invading army, to be champion traitors. 


The financial rewards you rightfully stated we deserve as a bright and talented nation have been denied us by the sanctions the United States continues to impose on Iran.  But more over, your threats of war, are not only making any foreign investment unfeasible, but have brought all major domestic transactions to a grinding halt. 


While you spoke about diplomatic means for Iran to pursue its inalienable right to pursue energy, your battleships were preparing for war, Mr. President.  Indeed, war planning has been going on for some time now.  Are you not in charge of the United States armed forces or were you digressing from the truth, as with the Iraq case.


In your White House, terrorism has assumed an inaccurate definition and it lends itself to perception; in reality, your definition of terrorism is a self-serving one.  Your perspective is shaped by the biased advice given to you by those closest to you which are filled with their own agendas and ambitions.  Sir, you would serve this nation far better if you dismissed these enemies of the nation and  pondered not only on what has plagued your presidency, but on the history of this great nation.


I am well aware that America has a short memory; which is perhaps why you ignore America's role in the abortion of Iran's democracy in 1953; why you choose to impose your will on Iran today, and why you demand that Iran abandon its right to appease you or face sanctions and military confrontation.


Sir, I also don't understand why you refer to Iraq as a democracy vis--vis an occupied nation.  Is this the liberation you have in mind for Iran?  Given your fondness of democracies and liberty, why were you not prepared to defend the young democracy in Lebanon instead of encouraging Israel?


Mr. President,  you speak of Iran and Syria aborting young democracies by supplying arms to Hezbollah[i].  Mr. President, the United States shares the burden of war crimes with Israel in her latest assault on Lebanon.  In her invasion of Lebanon, Israel clearly violated the  Geneva Convention IV of August 12, 1949,  which is intended for the protection of civilian persons in time of war, (Part I, Article 3.1 (a), Part 1, Article 10, Part II, Article 18, and Part II, Article 24).  The United States not only accepted these violations by Israel but also facilitated the effectuation of these terrible violations by supplying Israel with the necessary means to break these conventions.


Even today, Mr. President, the Pentagon's Missile Defense Agency  is currently working with Israel on ways to make missiles using a chemical laser[ii], and as always, the American taxpayers will foot the bill.  Mr. President, how can the United States and its citizens claim to respect the flourishing democracy of Lebanon when we arm Israel to the teeth in order to demolish Lebanon as a country in order to assist the invaders? 


Although Hezbollah has committed acts of terrorism in the past, as indeed the Nobel Peace Prize winner, Nelson Mandela was obliged to in order to show his opposition to the Apartheid South African regime,  it is now a legitimate part of the Lebanese government and defender of Lebanon's territorial integrity, staffed by Lebanese people, not foreign fighters, .  Indeed, its nascent stages have been deliberately dismissed and as such, it lends itself to infamy as opposed to legitimacy. 


In May, 1982, during the Iran-Iraq war, Iran had recaptured nearly all its territory and Iraq wanted to end the war while saving face.  The Islamic Conference Organization and the Gulf Cooperation Council tried to mediate a settlement. On June 3, three men led by an Iraqi intelligence officer attempted to assassinate the Israeli ambassador to Britain, in the hope of provoking an Israeli invasion of Lebanon in the hope of diverting the fight to their common enemy, Israel[iii] .   Mr. President, you must know that Israel has never needed much encouragement to march into Lebanon, the water-rich soil has always been a temptation, and it knew well that it has always had the backing of the US; as indeed it knew too that the provocation had nothing to do with the PLO or Lebanon, but invaded anyway. 


Hezbollah rose in reaction to the invasion of the Israelis - Sir, is defense of one's homeland an act of terrorism?  Admitted that Americans were killed, but Israel has killed United Nations peacekeepers and you continue to support them.  Worse still, Israel has also killed 34  young American servicemen and wounded 171 on board the USS Liberty[iv].  The families have not been satisfied with Israel's explanation.  At what point is 'collateral damage' acceptable? 


Mr. President, Iran is an ancient civilization, rich, and laden with pride and talent.  Its memory is as long as America's is short.  The people know full well that when you offer them liberty, it means that Iran would have to surrender her sovereignty.  What a high price to pay for a proud civilization - One that was rejected before and will never be accepted today.


[iii] Dilip Hiro, _Iran Under the Ayatollahs_, London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1985, p. 211; Noam Chomsky, _The Fateful Triangle_, Boston: South End Press, 1983, 197n.


... Payvand News - 9/21/06 ... --

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