An SOS from the people of Iran to the people of Israel: Two former top diplomats take a stand against war
The following is based on recent statements by Amb. Ardeshir Zahedi, former foreign minister and and the last ambassador of the Shah in Washington, and Dr. Assad Homayoun, former minister at the Iranian Embassy in Washington.
“I have come to believe that Israel will indeed strike Iran in 2012.”
This is the profound conclusion of a well-documented article by political analyst Ronen Bergman published recently in The New York Times.
The hype over Iran and its future is creeping ever so closely to “a point of no return.” The news media have been obsessing over the Islamic Republic regime for months. No sooner have Americans ended their involvement in Iraq and looked for solutions in Afghanistan while at home facing dire domestic economic woes than they are bombarded with a not-so subliminal message of another military campaign which could be the Big One!
American policymakers made a huge mistake 33 years ago in 1979 in their moral support of the idea that an Islamic regime in Iran would block former Soviet communist expansionism and keep the Free World safe.
After 33 years, both Americans and Iranians have learned that an Islamic regime following Sharia laws is no friend to a modern, civilized world as it is not based on equality, equity and Free Will. Let’s not even discuss its retardation of scientific advancement, the basis for a civilization.
Since the fall of a secular, nationalist Iran to an unknown, radical clergy Ruhollah Khomeini and his successors, the world has changed drastically and for the worst. Iranians became entangled in an unnecessary and unwanted 8-year-old bloody war with
Saddam Hussein, witnessed tens of thousands of intellectuals and nationalists being slaughtered both in Iran and abroad, watched their national history and identity get trampled and trashed, saw unjust and prejudicial inhumane actions against women and minorities, and shed blood through countless “Nedas” in attempts to regain their liberty and freedom.
As for Americans, the events of 9/11 is now part of their modern history since with the rise of Islamism in a rich country such as Iran, its radical tentacles spread globally as it gave birth to or fed similar “brotherhoods.”
It is understandable that when the Iranian people are placed under severe duress socially, politically and financially whether because of restrictive and meddling domestic policies like Sharia laws and/or foreign affairs such as extreme international sanctions that they are willing to accept any fate in the hopes to have some “light at the end of the tunnel.” But that is not a good enough reason to accept fatalism – that is, a military strike against their nation and its innocent people as inevitable.
Politics make history and history makes politics! Political acts committed by imperfect humans affect and shape world events. As the Bergman article quoted the former head of the Mossad, Meir Dagan, “The fact that someone has been elected doesn’t mean that he is smart.” Democracy is not perfect, because regardless of its election style, it leaves people in charge. People have to make decisions and they are driven by many forces including personal fears and perceptions.
Needless to say, the elected officials of two democratic nations on the forefront of this global danger, the U.S. and Israel, are split regarding future acts towards Iran. In this regard, even former Iranian diplomats have risen to stand for a free Iran from an Islamist problem-child regime in Tehran and against any foreign military attacks directed at Iran.
In an interview earlier this month, former Iranian Ambassador to the U.S. and former Iranian Foreign Minister, Ardeshir Zahedi, vehemently opposed any military strikes against Iran [an English translation of Zahedi’s interview was published by:“Defense & Foreign Affairs” (Vol. XXX, no. 4) dated Jan. 25, 2012].
Zahedi made it clear he does “not want the 75 million Iranians all of whom [he] considers as [his] brothers and sisters to be in danger or be killed.” Zahedi noted that in its 3000 years of written history, Iran has been under attack from many different directions on countless occasions, but the nature of his fellow countrymen and women has not changed. That is, Iran is historically a country that promotes peace and cooperation. Despite having been wronged on numerous occasions by “friends” in the international community, Iranians are also not a vengeful people.
Zahedi addressed Iran’s nuclear energy dilemma. He acknowledged a unique country such as Iran given its strategic geopolitical situation has the right to have potential nuclear technology even nuclear weapons, but with a responsible regime in place. Zahedi believes that on this matter, “the prime objective is to either have the countries that possess nuclear weapons sign the Nuclear Non-proliferation treaty or to declare the Middle East a nuclear free zone.”
According to Zahedi, “The world these days is quite interdependent. It is like when you throw a stone into a swimming pool, the wave reverberates in all directions.” In that regard, wars in general have no winners. The religious tension which did not exist prior to the fall of Iran in 1979 is being fed by foreign powers to maintain control of an important region such as the Middle East. Zahedi believes that this is an extension of former Western colonization policies which places innocent lives in danger. There is no doubt that the Islamic Republic is problematic for Iranians and the world, but the regime has a limited lifeline while Iran is eternal. Iranians must remain patriotic and work together to solve their present demise without foreign interference, Zahedi said.
In an interview earlier this week, former Minister of the Iranian embassy in Washington and the current president of the Azadegan Foundation, Assad Homayoun, stated the Islamic Republic places Islam first and Iran last. Seasoned past policymakers should not be silent at such a critical time in world history, he said. Iranians must unite and remove the regime in Tehran which is the source of this global crisis, but remain vigilant against any attacks on Iran.
Homayoun reminded Israeli politicians that the Persian king Cyrus the Great is one of the main players in the Jewish people’s historiography. As such, Israelis should not attack the land of Cyrus which is now held hostage by a common enemy. Instead Israelis should stand with Iranians to remove the regime with minimal danger to its peoples.
Homayoun warned that today’s global leaders should not let the situation reach a point of no return. Five million successful and wealthy Iranians in exile should not remain silent against the crisis in which they find their homeland. They too share a responsibility to resolve the situation. Iranians in exile have power, money and resources, and as such, they have a duty to the well-being of their homeland Iran as well as adoptive nations, he said.
Homayoun is in agreement with Zahedi that Iran as a country has the right to defend itself. It is in need of some nuclear deterrent given that it is surrounded by nuclear nations such as Pakistan, India, China in the east, Russia in the north, and Israel in the West. But he is not in support of a nuclear domestic Islamic regime. “The regime in Tehran is dangerous and ignorant, but that is not a good enough reason to destroy Iran and its people by setting off a regional or perhaps world war,” he said.
Homayoun also confirmed that the Islamic Republic will be gone but Iran will remain and there is an ancient friendship between Iran and Israel that history-revisionists cannot delete. The small group dominating Iran’s affairs do not have the interest of Iran at heart. “They have usurped a big, beautiful castle and its inhabitants, but it is not necessary to destroy the castle and the people to get to the evil source,” he said.
Iranians must unite against these pressures now and take the matter into their own hands with moral support from international community, because neither war nor negotiations with the Islamic Republic will be successful.
According to the most seasoned Mossad operatives, Rafi Eitan in a recent interview, “The way to fight [Islamic Republic regime in Iran] is by changing the regime there. This is where we have really failed. We should encourage the opposition groups who turn to us over and over to ask for our help, and instead, we send them away empty-handed.”
In 539 BC, Persian king Cyrus the Great freed the Jewish captives from Babylon and declared they may return to their homeland. He promised to rebuild their destroyed temple. Subsequently, the Persian king Darius the Great was notified by the Jewish authorities that the funding promised by Cyrus had not been sent and the temple was still unfinished. After reviewing the records, Darius confirmed “In the first year of Cyrus the King, King Cyrus decreed: Temple of God in Jerusalem … will be rebuilt” and the expense is to be provided by the royal household. The Persians eventually completed the funding of the Jewish temple, because in their culture a promise is a promise!
Now in 2012, some 2500 years later, the children of Iran are sending an S.O.S. to the children of Israel. Israel should help the secularist, nationalist Iranian opposition group that is willing, ready and able to overthrow the Islamist regime in Tehran.
Iran’s foundation was based on tolerance and peace. This Iranian grand strategy has endured throughout the centuries. Israel, more than the U.S., has a close and binding “blood-oath” with Iran. It had an ally in a pre-1979 secular Iran, and it will have one in a post-Islamic Republic Iran. This is what the Israelis should nurture. Answer the Iranian people’s S.O.S. and stand with them with all you have for the sake of both peoples, and not the irrational and primitive sense of fear.
Sheda Vasseghi is on the Board of Azadegan Foundation, and is a regular contributor to Freepressers.com and WorldTribune.com on Iran’s affairs. Join The Official Site of Sheda Vasseghi on Facebook.