Group warns of WMD attack on Israel, calls for 'new Iran'
Wednesday, July 19, 2006
A Washington-based group said Hizbullah's ongoing rocket and missile attack is intended to "swamp regional defenses" so that Iran's strategic missiles can "deliver WMD against Israel."
In a full-page advertisement in today's Washington Times, the Azadegan Foundation, an exile group headed by former Iranian diplomat Assad Homayoun, urged "an end to clerical rule, and the introduction of representative government for all of Iran."
The current war between Israel and Hizbullah comes as no surprise, the statement said.
"We have know for some four years that Iran's clerical leadership has, mostly through Syrian and with active participation from Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, been pouring thousands of Zalzal-2 and Fajr rockets and missiles into HizbAllah and Iranian Revolutionary Guard (Pasdaran) units in Lebanon's Beqa'a Valley, for use against Israel. Now they are being used. And, clearly, this is only the beginning. They are the mass barrages meant to swamp regional defenses so that Iran's strategic Shahab-3 ballistic missiles and other weapons can deliver WMD against Israel and other targets in the region."
The statement, titled "War in the Middle East will continue to escalate . . .", emphasized that "the small number of clerics who dominate Iran do not represent the Iranian population, or even Persian or Muslim traditions."
The advertisement charged that war is the key to the mullahs' ability to maintain their power (such as in the 1982 Iran-Iraq War), but offered "options." There is, it continued, "a viable, experienced team of leaders capable of re-shaping Iran." The only name mentioned in the statement was that of Dr. Assad Homayoun.
The statement emphasized what was not needed from the United States:
"No need for covert action";
"No need for U.S. funding or direct U.S. military action";
What is needed "from the international community is its enthusiastic, open and direct support of the Iranian people to establish democracy."
A separate vision statement released by Homayoun said the Azadegan Foundation "believes that the clerical rulers of Iran have lost the last vestiges of political, moral, and religious legitimacy."
Homayoun outlined a strategy for the "liberation of Iran" which included influencing world public opinion, forming a government-in-exile, cultivating sympathetic segments of the military and security forces, and culminating in a general uprising.
Among the bedrock principles for a new system of government in Iran, Homayoun's statement included the following:
- "Separation of religion and state must be enshrined in the laws of the land so that the possibility of a recurrence of another episode of theocracy will be prevented forever."
- "It is in the national interest of Iran for the transition of power to take effect in a peaceful manner. Bloodshed and vengeance must be prevented."
"Women must have their natural rights of full and equal participation in the political process and economic progress."
- "Azadegan supports a free market economy compatible with he needs and realities of Iranian society, dedicated to the expeditious economic reform and rebuilding of the shattered economic infrastructure as well as the industrial and agrarian sectors."
- "The foreign policy based on ideology promoting revolutionary Islam is against the national interest of Iran and its regional stability and world peace. Iran must pursue and independent foreign policy based on its national interests."
- "Iran must denounce, repudiate and sever all relations with terrorist organizations and groups."
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