By M. Parvin
FrontPageMagazine.com | January 3, 2005
The Committee on the Present Danger (CPD), led by Senator Jon Kyl (R), Senator Joseph Leiberman (D), George Shultz, and James Woolsey has issued a policy paper titled, “ Iran – A New Approach”, and have targeted Ali Khamenei as the sole cause of all the oppression and the only obstacle to peace and democracy in Iran. The policy paper states that:
“Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei of
What is notable in this policy paper is that while there are twenty-nine references to Khamenei and Khamenei’s regime, there is not one single reference to “Islamic Republic” or “Islamic Regime.”
The “Islamic” term has been used twice in reference to
The policy paper considers leading religious and reformist figures who have spoken against Khamenei’s rule and his unwillingness to establish normal relations with the
The paper emphasizes the need of a fresh approach as a new American policy that includes:
- Reopening the
- Designating the highest-ranking officials as the key person in the
- Making Khamenei understand that if he does not comply with legitimate international requirements to keep his nuclear weapons development program suspended, the
- Conducting dialogue with Khamenei about his return to the mosque through Shi'a clerics with high religious standing. They should approach Khamenei--initially in private, to urge that he abdicate his power, and to make clear that they will go public with this demand if he resists.
- Supporting Iranian Democrats and dissidents to make the breakthrough to democracy and remove Khamenei from power.
- Making clear that although the
- Making cultural, academic, and professional exchanges and programs an integral part of the
- Developing the
- Imposing smart sanctions that target the Supreme Leader and his close circle of support, so that the people do not see the sanctions as harmful to them.
- Creating a good leverage for the
- Funding Farsi-language Radio Farda and VOA television, and other Persian Radio and TV stations through a $10 million annual budget.
- Conducting dialogue with the Iranian officials to discuss issues such as human rights, terrorism, nuclear weapons, and regional stability.
The committee concludes by recommending a peaceful but forceful strategy to engage with the Iranian people to remove the threat Khamenei presents.
The proposed policy by the committee is not anything close to what the freedom-loving Iranians are struggling for. Nothing short of a secular democracy is acceptable in
Does this policy have a chance to be adopted as the formal policy of the
As reported by Financial Times (
"We don't have much leverage with the Iranians right now," President Bush said at a press conference last week, arguing that the
"We're relying upon others, because we've sanctioned ourselves out of influence with
The policy paper is doing just that. It first creates an illusional regime called “Khameine Regime” and then proposes to open the embassy and complete normalization with the Islamic Regime.
To prove it otherwise, they should adopt the following policy to allow the Iranian struggle for a secular democracy (and not water down Islamic Regime without Khamenei) to prevail. This policy should include the followings:
· Acknowledging the fact that the freedom-loving Iranians want a secular democratic regime and are against the entirety of the Islamic Regime, its constitution, and any form or shape of the interference of religion in state.
· Imposing a smart sanction against the Islamic Regime of Iran and not only “Khamenei Regime.” This sanction should be a real one and not of the type that would exclude 200 American companies including Halliburton and General Electric.
· Reducing the diplomatic relations with the Islamic Regime to the lowest possible level.
The task of changing the regime of terror in
M. Parvin is an adjunct professor at the California State University and director of the Mission for Establishment of Human Rights in Iran (MEHR) - http://mehr.org