AN OPEN LETTER TO THE U.S. PRESIDENT
William Jefferson Clinton
Regarding dialogue and rapprochement with the clerical regime in Tehran
Dear Mr. President:
The Azadegan Foundation, an organization dedicated to the liberation
and freedom of Iran, congratulates you on your re-election and
furthermore wishes you and the United States great success in
all of its endeavors. In so doing, the Azadegan is mindful of
the world leadership, in-peace and liberty, which you and your
great nation stand for. We are also mindful of the dangers and
malevolence existing at present and that which will continue well
into foreseeable future.
Mr. President, in this letter, we shall endeavor to illuminate
those aspects of Tehran's clerical regime which we deem most inimical
to the national security and foreign policy interests of the United
States as well as the democratic community of nations and the
people of Iran. We, at the Azadegan Foundation
in the world of the 21st century principally lies in the leadership
role played by the American government. This includes those decisions
in economic and foreign policy, involving Iran. It is in this
regard that this letter is written with the concurrent hope that
you may find the information presented here, of use to yourself
and your administration and above all, to the good fortune and
well-being of the Iranian and American people.
Mr. President as you undoubtedly are aware, there are efforts
currently being undertaken by various officials in the U.S. government
attempting to "reach a dialogue" with the Tehran leadership.
Under ordinary circumstances, reaching such a bilateral dialogue
could be mutually beneficial if both parties are committed to
respect and accomodation towards each other and, most importantly,
are willing to bargain in good fai th with all its g lobally accepted
fervently belie ve that the fat e of democracy and peace.
We believe the current leadership in Iran has neither the will
nor the desire to enter into such a "dialogue" with
the United States and to fulfill all the responsibilities that
such a bilateral engagement requires. Simply put, the Tehran leadership
has its domestic and international policy agendas predetermined
and will not alter them unless your administration clearly points
out to that leadership that the United States is cognizant of
those agendas and finds them unacceptable in a realm of a normalized
At the Azadegan Foundation, we have discerned five salient points
pertaining to the Islamic Republic's domestic and foreign policies
which the U.S. government would reject on the basis of contradiction
with its political ideals and national security interests. They
1) Clerical regime's regional and world-wide sponsorship of terrorism
and poloitical assassinations.
2) The mullahs' initiatives in acquiring weapons of mass destruction
3) The Islamic Republic's possible threats to the impairment
of the free flow of oil in the Persian Gulf. 4) Tehran's "harassment"
of U.S. economic and political interests in the international
5) The clerical leadership's violation of domestic human rights
and perpetuation of an undemocratic and despotic regime.
We respectfully recommend, Mr. President, that in order for the
mullahs' regime to fully recognize the importance, seriousness,
and impact of these issues on the U.S. national interests and
world peace, and in order for a meaningful and productive dialogue
to take place, the U.S. government should include the following
in its dialogue/negotiations:
Demand that the so-called Islamic Republic, immediately cease,
or at a minimum, renounce all acts of state-sponsored terrorism,
along with ending any interference in the affairs of other governments,
causing further instability in the region .
Since its seizure of power in 1979, the leadership in Tehran has
been actively supporting terrorist groups such as Hizballah and
Hamas in Lebanon and the West Bank. It is currently engaged in
pressuring Damascus from seeking a peaceful resolution of the
endemic hostilities with Israel and the instability in Lebanon.
Moreover, the mullahs"'fingerprints" are behind every
radical poitical and religious faction in Algeria, Egypt, and
Sudan aimed to establish puppet governments acceptable to Tehran.
Indeed, if this occurs, the latter would not only be hostile but
counter the interests of the United States.
The backing of the clerical regime, if not its actual participation
and support of international terrorism has grave relevance to
U.S. security interests, vis-avis the terorist acts against American
troops and facilities in Beirut, Riyadh, and most recently, Dhahran.
The bombing of the World Trade Center in New York is not unlikely
to be traceable to the mullahs in Tehran. The United States should
make known to the Tehran authorities that it has "zero tolerance"
to that kind of international modus operandi. The other significant
aspect of the Islamic Republic's terrorist program is its assassination
campaign. This agenda which was recently outlined in the November
11, 1996 issue of the Atlantic TIME, is ruthlessly waged against
political activists, journalists, and anyone deemed dangerous
to the status-quo in Tehran.
Over the past decade, over 100 of these individuals have been
assassinated by the intelligence officers, professional "hit
squads" and assassins hired by the mullahs in Iran. The most
notable of this assassination campaign aimed against the emigre
dissidents are: former Prime Minister Shahpour Bakhtyar (murdered
in Paris), three leaders of a Kurdish minority in Iran (murdered
in Germany). Recently, in the court proceedings held in Berlin,
Iran's ex-intelligence operatives testified and disclosed the
complicity and approval for these assassinations by several of
the Islamic Republic's leaders, including its President Hashemi
Rafsanjani, and its Religious Leader, All Khamenei. The latest
victim of these death squads,
was Iranian writer, reformer and journalist, Dr. Reza Mazlouman,
who was assassinated in his apartment in Paris, on May 27, 1996.
Such accounts testify to the utter intolerance of the current
regime towards any opposition and the length it will go to eliminate
those whom it perceives as a threat to its hold on power.
Exert intense and vigorous international pressure on Iran to
sign multi-lateral agreements to renounce the acquisition and
use of weapons of mass destruction and civilian incapacitation.
There is increasing empirical evidence that Iran is acquiring
nuclear weapons technology and the means to deliver them. Various
world-wide intelligence sources report, with high degree of credibility,
that much of this technology has been acquired from sources in
the former Soviet Union and its former central Asian Republics,
North Korea, and the People's Republic of China. It is against
these actual and alleged providers that the United States must
exert its influence in order to halt those sources from supplying
the irresponsible mullahs.
It should be further noted that the Russian government, within
the past two years, has negotiated a commercial agreement with
the clerical regime to provide Iran with nuclear energy for its
electric power grid. No adequate provisions have yet been made
to prevent the Islamic Republic from reprocessing the spent Uranium
or other nuclear waste products to weapons grade materials.
Secondly, the mullahs are acquiring longer range NoDong surface-to-surface
-intermediate range (IRBM) missiles; these missiles can reach
Israel, not to mention all vital areas of Saudi Arabia and the
Encourage Iran (with other Persian Gulf States) to pledge non-interference
in innocent commercial traffic in the Persian Gulf.
The great concern is rightly the unrestricted, unhampered flow
of oil in the Persian Gulf and through the Strait of Hormuz The
presence of antiship missile boats and shore-based launchers is
persistent reminder of the vulnerability of commercial traffic
and of U.S. Naval weapons to the mullahs aggressive fire power.
This issue, may very well turn out to be the most critical national
security problem for the United States in the 21 st century. Send
an unambiguous message to the clerical leadership in Tehran that
the United States will not tolerate subversion or "harassment"
ofAmerican political and economic interests in the international
arena. Furthermore, the United States must emphasize that the
continuation of such actions by the Islamic Republic constitutes
an extremely unfriendl if s not a provocative act which may result
in an American retalliatory response.
Over the past decade the Tehran regime has engaged in various
activities world-wide which might be considered harassing and
provocative ranging from anti-American propaganda to reported
counterfitting of U.S. currency for various purposes. Though the
clerical leaderhip has denied these allegations there are sufficient
instances and evidentiary materials to substantiate the allegations.
Moreover, the different congressional committees charged with
relevant responsibilities, have held hearings on these allegations.
The mounting evidence pointing to the mullahs as the source for
counterfitting U.S. currency is indeed a serious problem bordering
economic warfare against the United States and violating a fundamental
principle of international law. Secondly, and even more serious
and dangerous to U.S. national interests is that this bogus currency
is most likely used to finance international terrorism and the
illegal purchase of arms and munitions required to carry out these
The anti-American propaganda has been effective in that it has
endangered the lives of American citizens, businessmen, tourists,
government representatives, and military personnel, especially
in all parts of the Middle East and even beyond. These anti-American
incidents in frequency have occurred in Egypt, Sudan, Algeria,
Lebanon and Saudi Arabia and are closely linked to the terrorist
activities in those countries
Urge the Tehran government to subscribe to all treaties and conventions
guaranteeing and recognizing human rights and basic freedoms Lr
its own people in Iran, and elsewhere in the international communih.
This should be especially so, for those emigres opposing the regime.
The human rights record of the Tehran regime is deplorable. It
rules in an undemocratic and despotic manner, denying all basic
rights to its citizens and even less to its minority populations.
It has ruthlessly suppressed all domestic opposition and has waged
a campaign of terror and assassination against the Iranian expatriates
abroad. All of this is in violation of all treaties and conventions
on human rights to which the United States is a signatory and
actively supports them as a fundamental part of its foreign policy
program. Information continuously received from present day Iran
portrays the intolerable political environment there. Many leading
intellectuals, students, and potential political oppositionists
are either jailed or are under house arrest. At a minimum, they
are under the close surveillance by government agents. The "average"
citizen, though not politically active, is well aware of what
confronts him, should he raise his voice against the leadership.
The former's awareness of the danger to their physical, economic,
or social survival, stems from their knowledge of governmental
suppression and intimidation exercised by the regime since its
usurpation of power in 1979. Indeed it may be said that this regime
is the greatest enemy that the Iranian people have had to confront
since the mongol incursion of the middle ages.
Mr. President, it has been a persistent responsibilty, and indeed,
the patriotic duty of the Azadegan Foundation to enumerate the
unfortunate and sad decay of Iran in its domestic and international
policies during the past 6500 days. It has been tragic for the
benevolent people of Iran along with others affected by it all
over the globe. We, in the Foundation, recognize the extensive
International obligations and concerns of the United States. We
also recognize the current and future role of Iran, especially
as it concerns the economic, political, and security
interests of the United States. We also, unequivocally, believe
that a free and a democratic Iran, not only serves the good and
welfare ofthe Iranian people but to no lesser extent, the interests
of the United States. The friendly ties between the U.S. and Iran,
which existed prior to 1979, is a testimony to the mutual benefits
that can accrue to both nations in such relationships.
The strategic importance of Iran to the United States, and the
economic and the technological importance of the U.S. to Iran
is manifest to all. A cordial, friendly and mutually beneficial
relationship between Iran and the United States is a high-priority
goal that hopefully can be realized in the foreseeable future.
Mr. President, we ask that before considering any dialogue with
the Tehran authorities, the latter be made to agree upon the five
points herein discussed as the starting criteria. In the face
of reality, however, it is highly unlikely for the clerics to
yield to reason and dialogue. Nonetheless, we must point out that
any mili , action or surgical operations against Iran, will serve
only to strengthen the position of the mullahs and rg eatly increase
the 12robability of a retaliatory action aimed at Iran's neighbors
in the region, along with enabling the clerics to manipulate the
Iranian nationalism, for their own gain . Therefore, we believe
that the desire for rapprochement and normalizafoncan only occur
with the replacement of this undemocratic regime with a government
dedicated to democracy and international responsibility.
The Azadegan Foundation will always support the Iranian people
in their struggle for a free and democratic Iran and ask that
you and your government give them your moral and political support
so that they may overcome the tyranny of the clerics, regain their
international dignity and bring peace and stability to the region.
The United States has all the instruments of moral, political
and economic power to do so thus, we cordially ask you to help
the Iranian people (who are ready to change this despotic regime)
in their noble efforts for freedom and democracy.
May God bless the American and Iranian people in their common
quest for peace and tranquillity in the World of today and tomorrow.