Monday, August 31, 2015

Is Regime Change Possible in Iran? - Joseph Puder

by Joseph Puder

The Iranian opposition is the only guarantee that the Islamic Republic won’t become a nuclear menace.

In the debate over the P5+1 nuclear deal with Iran, the prospect of regime change in Iran has been dodged. Nothing but a regime change will ensure that Iran does not become a nuclear power. Arguably, the Islamic Republic of Iran, led by a fanatical ayatollah who believes that he knows the will of God, and his praetorian guard, the IRGC (Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps), can only survive by their guns and violence, and not through the ballot box. The regime’s IRGC spreads terror worldwide, while the Basij-e (a paramilitary volunteer militia) terrorizes and intimidates ordinary Iranians who seek a measure of freedom. This is not a regime one can trust, nor is it a regime that the world can live with. It is a regime that a large portion of the Iranian people can no longer tolerate.
Millions of Iranians demonstrated in the major cities of Iran in June 2009, carrying signs asking “Obama, Are You with Us or with Them? The Iranian people protested against the rigged elections that gave a second term to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. It was, however, more than a protest against the falsified election results. It was a call for freedom. Among the slogans carried by the demonstrators were “Death to the Dictator,” “Freedom Now,” and “Iranian Republic, Not Islamic Republic.” As the Wall Street Journal reported (December 10, 2009) “to judge by their most popular slogans, demonstrators across Iran are bent on regime change.” It is noteworthy that a specific message was personally directed to President Barack Obama. The Iranian people sought a regime change, and needed America’s moral support, if not military action. They received none.

The nuclear deal with Iran, signed on July 14, 2015, empowers the regime of Ayatollah Khamenei. It will bring about greater oppression of the Iranian people, particularly the Sunni Muslim minorities, and provide the regime with a financial windfall that stands to quadruple the budget of the IRGC. This undoubtedly means more terrorist action globally directed by Tehran, including the expansion of its lethal arsenal of missiles and missile launchers with the capacity to reach Europe and eventually the USA. It also means that Hezbollah, once freed from the Syrian quagmire, will most likely launch a war against Israel.

The Obama administration has mistakenly calculated that by reaching an accord with the radical Iranian regime, it will end Iran’s endemic hostility toward America. Yet, the daily marches of throngs of people shouting “death to America and Israel” continue, encouraged, if not sponsored by the Tehran regime.  

Vali Nasr, a native Iranian, and author of The Shia Revival, (page 134) wrote, “The state that Ayatollah Khomeini built would be an intolerant theocracy in which Islamic law was narrowly interpreted and implemented to limit individual and minority rights, and erase all western influences on society and culture.” One might also add that the Islamic Republic Khomeini created seeks to become the hegemon in the region and beyond. Expelling US influence and interests in the Middle East is its foremost priority.

The Obama administration has pulled out all the stops to ensure that the nuclear deal with Iran is approved by the US Congress. The administration has unleashed to intimidate members of Congress who have not decided on how they will vote, and those who oppose the deal. MoveOn.Org has staged demonstrations outside the offices of Senate and House members with such slogans as “Stop the War with Iran.” President Obama himself, in arguing for the deal’s approval, has accused those who oppose the deal of seeking a war with Iran, as if that was the only alternative. Many, if not all Members of Congress who oppose the deal with Iran, proposed a “better deal.” They maintain that a properly negotiated deal would give Iran less concessions and more scrutiny through tougher inspections of “anytime, anyplace.” Leading American figures have realized that another alternative exists, namely, regime change. They support the democratic and secular forces within Iran, while the Obama administration continues to support the oppressive mullah regime, and refrains from supporting the opposition. 

In Villepinte, France, on June 13, 2015, over 100,000 people attended a rally led by Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, the head of the Iranian opposition. The rally was convened under the banner of Regime Change in Iran. Madam Rajavi, President of the National Council of Resistance in Iran (NCRI) and the People’s Mujahedeen Organization of Iran (PMOI), gave an impassioned speech in which she concluded that a democratic opposition exists in Iran. She also declared that Supreme Leader “Khamenei has failed to unify ranks among the ruling clique. His acquiescence to Rouhani’s presidency is a reflection of that failure. At the root of such political impotence, however, were neither international sanctions nor the economic crisis. The most important reason for it was the uprisings and the resistance waged by the Iranian people.”

Among the many international delegations at the rally was a distinguished bi-partisan American delegation that included the likes of Gov. Bill Richardson (D-MN), Gov. Ed Rendell (D-PA), Gov. Howard Dean (D-VT), Gov. Tom Ridge (R-PA), Mayor Rudi Giuliani (R-NYC), Professor Alan Dershowitz, UN Ambassador John Bolton, former Attorney General Michael Mukasey, former CIA Director James Woolsey, and Army and Marine Generals Conway, Casey, and Sheldon, to name a few. As one of the main speakers, Mayor Giuliani declared, “I will not support a presidential candidate who will not support a regime change in Iran.” He slammed the Obama administration for pursuing a nuclear deal with Iran while ignoring the calls for regime change. Giuliani added, “We’re told there is no alternative. Wake up. How many people are here today — 100,000, 110,000?” Former Governor Richardson said, “The Ayatollahs must go.” Howard Dean, former Democratic Party National Committee Chairman, assailed the Obama administration regarding the Iranian dissidents at Camp Liberty in Iraq. He said, “I feel that when the US makes a commitment they have to keep it. And the US has not kept our commitment to the 2,400 people that are still in Ashraf and Camp Liberty. In fact, we have barely lifted a finger.” US Senator John McCain (R-AZ), chairman of the Armed Services Committee, prerecorded a message that said, “The Iranian regime is the true epicenter of Islamic extremism in the world.” Former FBI director Louis Freeh opined, “I don’t propose or pretend to forecast what government will be in Iran after the current regime is replaced, and they will be replaced either by popular uprising or external factors, or collapsing on the weight of their own activities.”

There is little doubt about the evil nature of the mullahs’ regime. During the short term of the “moderate” presidency of Hassan Rouhani (2013-till now) 1,800 executions were carried out. Educated Iranians have nothing but contempt for the regime. The Iranian people want a regime change, and they are crying out for freedom, democracy and human rights. The impoverished Iranian street vendors are rumbling, and the bazaars are in a state of discontent. In the meantime, the Sunni-Muslim minorities are in a state of rebellion. Kurds, Baluch, and Ahwazi-Arabs, are fighting for equal rights, autonomy and even independence from Tehran. An alternative to the dangerous theocracy does exist within Iran and among Iranians abroad. The Iranian opposition, not the current regime with whom the P5+1 made the nuclear deal, is the only guarantee that Iran won’t become a nuclear menace.    

Joseph Puder


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