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IRANIAN DILEMMA DEFECTION, RIOTS & SANCTIONS

They say the lion and the lizard keep The courts where Jamshid gloried and drank deep
And Bahram, that Great hunter -- the wild ass Stamps o'er his head, and he lies fast asleep


OMAR KHAYYAM


Three very important events have occurred recently that confirm AZADEGAN'S outlook and analysis of Iranian affairs. First, Focus on Iran has received confidential information regarding a defection from the innermost circles of the clerical leadership in Iran, indicating loss of confidence at the highest levels. Secondly, the recent riots (and their bloody suppression) in one of the poorest slums of Tehran indicate that the regime has lost its last bastion of support. Thirdly, the movement to tighten U.S. sanctions against Iran, further isolates the pariah government, but also increases the hardship and misery the Iranian people must endure.

INTELLIGENCE MINISTER DEFECTS

It is reported that Hojatol-Islam Ali Fallahian Khouzestani the Minister of Intelligence of the
clerical regime has defected. It is a fact that he has not been seen for months, and the clerical government has chosen to ignore the issue by refusing to confirm or deny the rumors of his defection. The controlled Iranian Press has also remained silent regarding this matter. We have reliable but unconfined reports that he had been contemplating such a move for some time, and managed to first escape to a country neighboring Iran, where he was given safe passage to a South American country. He stayed there several weeks until he was granted political asylum by a European country.

This information is very significant. Indeed if confirmed, it would prove, once and for all, that dissension has reached the highest echelons of the clerical hierarchy. It would also raise a number of questions:
Why did Fallahian defect?

What are the implications for the future of Iran?

Will this defection be the harbinger of more such actions?

Will foreign intelligence organizations be the real beneficiaries of such defections?

Our preliminary analysis based on reports from our sources indicate that Fallahian Khouzestani had wanted to separate himself from the more criminal activities of the regime. It is also apparent that the sense of insecurity within the regime is at an all time high, and Fallahian is said to have predicted its downfall in the near future. We believe that the implications of this defection, internally, will be

far reaching. It represents the precipitous deterioration of authority and leadership of the clerics. It also magnifies the great chasms existing between the various cliques in the ruling hierarchy. But more importantly, it represents a loss of confidence in the government -- not merely by the people (an example of which shall be discussed later), but by one of the most significant members of the cabinet.

We believe that this will very likely result in more defections, and not only from within the regime, but from the Armed Forces, and even perhaps the Revolutionary Guard. Historically, when a government looses its moral authority and the people's confidence, its organizations and bureaucracy begin to unravel.

Such situations are open season for foreign intelligence organizations. We must assume that various foreign intelligence organizations will eagerly grasp any opportunity to exploit all factors in favor of their own national interests. What this means for Iran is the potential for foreign involvement in its affairs, and quite possibly, to the detriment of the Iranian national interest. We, the Azadegan, are extremely concerned about the vulnerability of the present situation in ban, the potential for unwelcome foreign involvement, the possibility of disintegration, and the harm to the welfare of the Iranian people and the future of the country.

DOMESTIC TERRORISM

In the past three years, public unrest has steadily increased. In almost all major Iranian provincial cities like Arak, Esfahan, Mashad, Ghazvin and
Zanjan, people had taken to the streets in peaceful demonstration against the ever worsening economic, social and political conditions, and without fail, they had been violently suppressed.

As reported by the international media, on April 4, 1995, in one of the poorest of the slums ringing south Tehran, demonstrations that started out peacefully to protest the lack of adequate water supplies, and the doubling of the price of gasoline, turned bloody when the increasingly insecure vile regime of the mullahs called out its gunships and mercenaries to violently suppress the already oppressed people.

It is ironic that these are the very same people the regime has claimed all along to represent, and on whose allegiance it has always staked its mandate to rule. The regime had also tried very hard to keep the greater Tehran area under tight security control so as to avert the possibility of civil unrest. But the chicken do come home to roost. It is becoming quite apparent that the scope and depth of popular discontent is so pervasive that the clerical regime has, in effect, isolated and alienated itself domestically as well. It may be apropos to quote Agence France Presse quoting some of the youthful demonstrators who claimed "you have seen the start of the second revolution". Though this slogan may be premature and emotional, there is definitely a ring of truth to it.

The regime has depended on the poorest and most economically disadvantaged youth to man its most militant and, up to now faithful, Bassij militia. In many instances in the recent past, the Bassij were the only willing and obedient para-military force that the government could depend on to deal with domestic unrest. As was witnessed in Ghazvin, the regular Armed Forces as well as the local Revolutionary Guard units refused to participate in the suppression of the people. What is more, they issued a communiqu reminding the government that the role of the Armed Forces was to defend the Nation and not to suppress it. Now that the last bastion of their support has fallen, there is no place left for the regime to turn to for support. For a while they may be able to continue 'buying' support, as they have been doing in recent years, but even the 'Bassijis' have brothers and sisters and relatives. And it is these people who have finally lost faith and patience.

In another demonstration of its insecurity and lack of confidence in its own institutions and people, the regime recently promoted Seyed Hassan Firouzabadi, a 'Bassij' veterinarian, to the rank of Major General, and made him the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, over the head of many more senior Military as well as Revolutionary Guard officers.

The regime is also trying its foreign policy card. In a last ditched effort to shore up his 'image', Mr. Rafsanjani literally bought himself a red-carpet welcome to India in his April visit to that country. As reported in our earlier issues and by the press at large, the clerical regime had spent hundred of millions of dollars to buy 3 Kilo-class diesel submarines from Russia last year. Now they are paying India more hundreds of millions of dollars to 'refurbish' these newly purchased vessels! This is how the Iranian nation's wealth has been and is being squandered.

These irresponsible, primitive clerics have not only sacrificed the welfare of the Iranian people today, but have mortgaged the future of the Iranian children as well. And all for the preservation of their power, which translates to the annihilation of the "Iranian Ideal" and the perversion of Islam. By resisting to relinquish power to a government of National Salvation, the regime is exacerbating the already nearly hopeless economic and social conditions in the country.

MORE SANCTIONS, MORE MISERY

Mr. President, I rise to briefly discuss Iran. While this administration contemplates its next move regarding Iran, the brutal terrorist regime in Iran is plotting its next move........

...........this band of terrorists is planning an offensive buildup. It is planning for the projection of its aggressive actions even further in the region. This administration should take this to heart and not appease these terrorists like it did with the dictators in Pyongyang. What the administration should do is support my legislation barming all trade with Iran and place sanctions on those foreign corporations that continue to trade with Iran.

To this end, I ask unanimous consent to have printed in the RECORD, following the text of my remarks, the February issue of the Focus on Iran. This publication details current events in Iran, with this particular issue centering on Iran's ongoing efforts to obtain nuclear weapons.

This is a vitally important issue and this important brief will shed further insight into a dangerous regime bent on violence and aggression.

There being no objection, the material was ordered to be printed in the RECORD as Follows:


IRAN: NUCLEAR WEAPONS AND IRRESPONSIBLE GOVERNMENT
(From Focus On Iran, February, 1995)

Focus On Iran is very proud to have been able to accomplish one of its intended goals - making the voice of the Iranian people heard where it counts. Twice so far, two issues of Focus On Iran have been placed in the Congressional Record. First by Congressman Bill McCollum (R FL), and more recently, by Senator Alfonse D'Amato (R NY). Following is an excerpt from the Senator's speech:
Senator D'Amato has placed before the Senate two Bills, 277 and 630, barring all U.S. corporations from undertaking any transactions with Iran. Also any foreign corporation trading with Iran would be barred from trading with the U.S. During the same time frame, as soon as an oil exploration deal was revealed between Conoco Oil Co. and the Iranian government, President Clinton forced its cancellation.

At present, the indirect oil related trade between the American owned oil companies and Iran is around US$ 4.2 billion annually. The implications of a total U.S. rupture of financial and commercial relations with Iran are indeed severe, and will undoubtedly

further increase the misery index of the Iranian people. The clerical regime like its nemesis Saddam Hussein's regime in Iraq, does not allow any sanctions to thwart its personal ambitions or opulent lifestyles. Instead, the burden is passed directly to the people by further cuts in essential services and restrictions on import of essential material such as medicine, foodstuff and industrial equipment.

It is highly unlikely that economic sanctions alone will force change in the behavior of such regimes. What is required is a coherent policy that would incorporate all available means -- economic, political (overt and covert) and social, to force such regimes to comply with international norms and standards of behavior. The most important factor to be considered is human rights, or violations there of. Regimes, such as the clerical one ruling Iran, which are inherently against individual rights, and whose idea of human rights is to force the people to conform to primitive and archaic standards, cannot be dealt with gingerly. Western governments cannot have two standards -they cannot ease their collective conscience by making excuses about cultural differences or hiding behind a lack of 'national interest'.

It is in the national interest of the United States to see a world free of terrorist regimes. It is in the moral interest of the United States to see all people of the world enjoying basic human rights. It is in the human interest of the United States to help people help themselves. It is in the national interest of the free world to help us help our compatriots.

WE MUST UNITE

It is our belief that actions which would simply prolong the misery of the people are self-defeating. You do not want to antagonize the very people that are looking to you for support. And moral support is all they ask for. We believe that Iran can and must be liberated by the Iranian people themselves, but with the financial support of the 3 million strong Iranian expatriate community, and the moral support of the world community. The role of the Iranian expatriates, though crucial, is quite limited. Time and again we have reiterated that the main role of the Iranians living abroad can only be to unite in support of the indigenous freedom movements at home, and to amplify the voices, the demands and the needs of the Iranian people.

Many expatriate groups waste their time in ideological recrimination. Some have gone as far as deciding the form and type of the future government of Iran. We say to them how dare you! A small minority abroad has no mandate to decide the fate of 66 million Iranians at home. We must faithfully resolve to help our compatriots gain freedom. We believe once freedom is achieved and the mullahs are returned to the mosques, the Iranians people will freely decide the form and make-up of their government.

 



 

 

 

 


 

 






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