Continuing Dialogue or Adopting a Firm Policy against Tehran's Mullahs?

Posted in Iran , Democracy , Peace and Conflict , Religion and Politics , Tolerance | 10-Oct-10 | Author: Shahriar Kiamanesh

Shahriar Kiamanesh is a political analyst and a member of the Iranian main opposition to the mullahs in Iran.

Should we accept the Iranian regime's President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, at the United Nations and continue dialogue with the mullahs? Or should we eliminate the obstacles in the path of the Iranian Resistance? Which of these two policies is correct and principled? The answer can be found in the massive demonstration held by 20,000 Iranians living in the U.S. on Thursday September 23rd, protesting Ahmadinejad's planned visit to New York and supporting the organized opposition PMOI (People's Mujahideen Organization in Iran). They called for barriers to be lifted from the path of the Iranian Resistance to bringing about freedom and democracy in Iran.

Twenty thousand Iranians and supporters of the National Council of Resistance of Iran held a major protest outside the United Nations in New York, saying that Ahamadinejad is the enemy of Iranian people. Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, in a video message to the rally, said those who allowed Ahmadinejad to address the General Assembly had made an "unjustifiable decision" and described it as "an undeniable testament" to their "disregard for the violations of human rights in Iran."

A number of distinguished American and international personalities including Rudolph Giuliani, U.S. presidential candidate and former Mayor of New York City, and John Bolton, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations and Assistant Secretary of State, addressed the rally.

The demonstrators demanded guarantees for the rights and protection of Ashraf residents. They strongly condemned the twenty-month,siege on Ashraf as unlawful and inhumane, along with the eight months of psychological torture of the residents by agents of the Iranian regime in Iraq, and called on the UN to intervene immediately to end these criminal acts.

Protesters said there remained no justification to maintain the terror designation for the PMOI. They reminded the U.S. Secretary of State of the Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C. ruling that stated refusing to remove the PMOI from the list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTO) violated due process and seriously challenged the sources for the information used by the State Department.

Iranians emphasized that the designation had never had any realistic basis and was done solely at the behest of the Iranian regime and its lobbies, forming part of the shameful policy of appeasement of the mullahs. The regime has been taking advantage of this unlawful designation to target supporters of PMOI inside Iran and the residents of Ashraf. Further, at a press conference held by the Iranian Resistance in Washington, D.C. they revealed the details of a top secret nuclear site belonging to the mullahs' General Staff Armed Forces, near the city of Qazvin.

Coinciding with the International Atomic Energy Agency's recent critical report on the Iranian regime's obstruction and prohibition of the inspection of various sites, this revelation by the Iranian Resistance delivered a serious setback to the mullahs' secret campaign to obtain a nuclear weapon.

It is obvious that the Iranian regime has decided to confront the international community and defy ratified UN Security Council resolutions. What has led here? Lack of a firm policy for regime change, and continuing the strategy of appeasement and pleasing the mullahs. Despite ongoing revelations made by the Iranian Resistance, Tehran has been able to continue its nuclear bomb production ambitions because the ongoing policy of negotiation with the mullahs has effectively neutralized international pressure on Tehran. Also, the policy of dialogue has allowed Tehran to buy precious time to continue its efforts and deception regarding the depth, nature and actual threats of the Iranian regime's nuclear military program.

Only a principled and upright policy can avert the crisis of the Iranian regime obtaining nuclear weapons. International organizations responsible for world peace and security, along with governments from around the globe, must unite in executing a firm policy against Tehran's mullahs.

A dual-track policy towards the Iranian regime is necessary. Although essential, multilateral sanctions against Tehran are not enough. Sanctions alone will not impede the Iranian regime from obtaining nuclear weapons. Just as we have witnessed after four rounds of UN sanctions, Tehran not only continues to enrich uranium to weapons-grade for bomb material, it has actually increased the pace of these activities.

The Iranian regime considers obtaining a nuclear bomb a prerequisite for its very survival and will never surrender this project. Therefore the way to rid the region and the world of this potential nightmare of Islamic fundamentalists equipped with nuclear weapons lies in democratic change, within Iran, by the Iranian people and the Resistance.

Lifting sanctions imposed on the largest, most organized and legitimate opposition, along with supporting the Iranian people's uprising against the mullahs' dictatorship, should be complementary to the international sanctions against Tehran.

Recently, the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C. issued a ruling describing the terror tag on the PMOI as legally and judicially baseless. This blacklisting had no other intention rather than to please the mullahs ruling Iran. As a result, the D.C. Court of Appeals called on the U.S. Secretary of State to reconsider this terror labelling, providing a historical opportunity to correct this erroneous policy pursued now by the fourth consecutive U.S. administration.