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Friday, June 26, 2009

Whom we should support in Iran

In case any of you are still thinking that Mousavi and Ahmadinejad are the same, here are some reasons to think otherwise. This is from Natan Sharansky (who was named the Chairman of the Jewish Agency this week, four years after being denied the position because he opposed the expulsion of Gaza's Jews from their homes):
With all their sympathy for peoples striving for freedom, Western governments are fearful of imperiling actual or hoped-for relations with the world's ayatollahs, generals, general secretaries and other types of dictators -- partners, so it is thought, in maintaining political stability. But this is a fallacy. Democracy's allies in the struggle for peace and security are the demonstrators in the streets of Tehran who, with consummate bravery, have crossed the line between the world of double-think and the world of free men and women.

Listen to them, and you will hear nothing more, and nothing less, than what you your- self know to be the true hope of every human being on Earth. Listen to them and you may be amazed, but you will never again be surprised.
This is from Raymond Tanter, Chairman of the Iran Policy Committee (Hat Tip: Andrew Sullivan):
BECAUSE THE regime of Khamenei and Ahmadinejad was so hostile toward Israel, the movement for democracy opens the door to the possibility that a democratic Iran would be less of a threat to the neighborhood, including Israel. Just as there was consensus among Khamenei, Ahmadinejad and Mousavi regarding Israel, they were in accord on perceptions of the main Iranian opposition group, the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) and its largest unit, the Mujahedeen-e Khalq (MeK). Indeed, during the election campaign, the two major candidates competed as to whether they would be tougher on the MeK. And Khamenei made elimination of the MeK based in neighboring Iraq with an extensive network within Iran, a top priority for Teheran in its relations with Baghdad.

Street politics in Iran include many Iranians with ties to the MeK. Many of its supporters met on June 20, 2009 outside Paris; the event included tens of thousands of Europeans and Iranian expatriates. The rally occurred on the eighth day of the national uprising of Iranians. Because these two largest opposition organizations are involved in the unrest, they are in a position to place internal regime change on the table. [You may also recall that the United States considers the MeK a terrorist organization. CiJ]

Regime change from within requires an organized opposition not simply a movement based on the whims of the crowd. With the organizational skills of the MeK, as indicated by the massive turnout of a worldwide gathering of supporters, this dissident organization provides heft to the pro-democracy movement. And because the Iranian system lacks the kind of political parties present in democratic countries, the movement in Iran needs the MeK.

The Iranian regime's antipathy toward the MeK is not only because this organization has potential for threatening the regime; the MeK as a member of the NCRI - a coalition of religious and secular groups - is also an ideological challenge to the regime in the same manner that Israel is threat. Iranian clerics saw themselves locked in an ideological battle against encroaching forces of modernization, secularization and democratization. Because Israel also personified these factors, it was bound to come in conflict with an Islamist Iran.

Research of the IPC finds that the NCRI positions itself as a modern, secular, democratic force that allows for religious diversity among its adherents, which Israel also represents; thus, the NCRI is an ideological threat to the regime of Khamenei. His "rule of the jurisprudent," permitting him to reign, has no place in the NCRI; hence, the Iranian regime has no place for the NCRI. As a proponent of modernization, secularization and democratization, the opposition movement should be less of a threat to Israel than the current regime. Now is the time for Israel and its supporters to focus on the Iranian opposition to complement economic sanctions and as an alternative to the regime that has been a growing threat to Israel.
Whom to support? The answer seems obvious.


At 9:23 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

Not Mousavi is who simply Ahmedinejad Lite and who was the original father of Hezbollah and who oversaw saw the export of terrorism and Islamic revolution abroad back in the 1980s. He may be now an enemy of the regime but has has changed his stripes? That's a good question.


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