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February 1996

"They [the Mullahs] have treated the Qoran like the founders of various sects, the moment they find verses of the Qoran at odds with their own system of beliefs, they do not hesitate to invent and assign a hidden meaning to it! Instead of gauging the integrity of their beliefs with the contents of the Qoran, they compare the integrity of the Qoran to how closely it matches their own whims and inventions."

On Islam by Ahmad Kasravi Tabrizi -Iranian Reformer (1890-1946)

"The Islamic Republic has no precedence in Islamic Jurisprudence, and, from its inception, has been contradictory and illogical in practice. To me, as a Mujtahed' (Islamic authority) the regime which has usurped the power of its people by considering them as minors and delegating all authority to the Supreme Theologian (Fagih), has never had legitimacy; therefore, all legislation, laws, rules and regulations promulgated by it must be declared null and void."

Translated from HEKMAT VA HOKUMAT By Dr. Mehdi Haeri Yazdi

(Dr. Haeri Yazdi is an acclaimed Islamic theologian and Mujtahed, with a Ph.D. from the University of Toronto. The book was published and distributed in London, but has not been allowed to be distributed in Iran.)

In late December 1995, it was reported that the White House, under pressure from House Speaker Newt Gingrich, has agreed to accept a bill for $20 million authorizing small scale covert actions aimed at blunting the political plans and actions of the Islamic regime in Iran. Speaker Gingrich has often described Iran's clerical regime as the most dangerous in the world, so it would follow that he would probably be more pleased to see the replacement of the regime altogether, rather than sanctioning some more token defensive actions against the fundamentalists ruling Iran.

If the lessons of the past 17 years are to be heeded, it is abundantly clear that the clerical regime does not look at the world from a conventional point of view, and feels no compunction to abide by international
norms of behavior. It is also clear from past 17 years of experience that conventional means of diplomacy and negotiation with the clerical regime are also ineffectual.

Focus on Iran believes that the Iranian problem will be a major foreign policy issue for the American administration in 1996. When, the peace process between Israel and Syria is completed, the Iranian issue will have to be dealt with, one way or another. To forestall another fiasco, we would like the American Government to hear the Iranian peoples' point of view loud and clear.

Our concerted and unwavering belief is that the American Government can be far more effective by not spending a penny of the U.S. tax-payers' money on such programs. The destiny of Iran must be decided and shaped by the Iranian People. To achieve their freedom more expeditiously, the Iranian people only need the moral and political support of the American people and government.


President Clinton, in an interview on December 20, 1995 with the Arabic newspaper Al-Shargal Owsat, published in London, referred to an extremely important notion. He said the U.S. has no quarrel with the Iranian people. The problem, he pointed out, is with the Islamic regime which supports international terrorism, undermines the peace in the Middle East, and violates the rights of the Iranian people. Fortunately, many other American leaders and elected officials in the U.S. Congress are also very much aware of the clerical regime's fundamentalist policies which harbor and propagate domestic and international terrorism, and disallow the most basic rights to the Iranian people. But the U.S. government cannot seriously believe that the $20 million budget for covert operations against the policies of the clerical regime will even make a dent in the armor of a well prepared adversary. Much larger budgets have been spent in the past, and many lives lost, without anything but negative results.(This paltry sum isn't even large enough to bring a smile to the face of some Iranian expoliticos who normally benefit from such largess.) Airwaves, newsprint, covert military and civilian action and many other means have been used, but the net result has been that the regime is still very much in power after 6,200 repressive days.

When, how, and what way this money is going to be spent is still unclear. Some believe that most of the budget will probably be spent on psychological warfare. This is not new. By now, one would think that it would be clear to all, that the regime is incapable of changing its behavior by listening to advice, or learning from example. And there is a very good reason for that. The philosophy and ideology of the regime is based on the theory of "Velayate Faqih" (the governance of the jurisprudent or the supreme theologian) which is sacrosanct. It has come with the clerics, and will only end when they are sent back to the mosques. This is a cultist regime which has but one specific agenda: to spread the fundamentalist ideology -- no holds barred. Therefore, democracy, moderation, and other such notions are basically incomprehensible and totally foreign to them. One only has to follow the Friday prayer speeches at the Tehran University to understand this notion.

Another possibility is that the budget or part of it is to be used for covert operations with the hope of precipitating the change of the clerical regime. In our view, this cannot be possible either, because, first of all, the budget is not large enough. Second and more importantly, this is not 1953. Any meaningful change can and must only be brought about by the Iranian people.


We believe that 959'0 of the Iranian people are against the regime, because they are fed-up with misery, repression, uncertainty and instability. They have lost all faith and trust in the system, and are ready, willing and eager to replace the regime. They hesitate only because they want to make sure that this time around they do not make another fatal mistake. They do not want more repression under yet a new cultist regime such as is being offered them under the guise of the "NCR - National Council of Resistance", another cover for the discredited cult of the Peoples' Mojahedin Organization.

What the Iranian people need in order to exercise their sovereignty and regain their freedom is only the moral and political support of the people and
government of the United States of America. Iranians have bad memories of covert operations since the fall of the nationalist leader Dr. Mohammad Mosaddegh in 1953, who was toppled by covert operations financed by the CIA. Since that time, the Iranian people have become very skeptical regarding any foreign intervention in their national affairs.

At the same time, the greater majority of the Iranian people are well aware that for any change from dictatorship to democracy in Iran, the role of America as a catalyst, would be important and decisive. They welcome and actually look forward to American support, but not covert operations. Therefore, moral and political support is enough. The American Leadership must also refrain from sending the wrong signal to the Iranian people. Expecting the regime to moderate itself, is one such signal. Instead, the United States Government should come out categorically in support of the Iranian people.

As noted before, any alternative to the present regime must have the full support and confidence of the Iranian people. Today, public opinion has become the center of political gravity (because of the mass media revolution). It would be a grave error, and at best, counter productive for anyone to support any faction or person who does not have the support of the Iranian masses.

Among the 70 million Iranians living inside Iran and some 4 million outside, there are great reserves of dedicated men and women capable of carrying out any task, no matter how difficult or dangerous. We must strive to identify and unite these individuals and/or groups. The leadership that would be acceptable to the Iranian people must be clean, untainted, moderate, nationalistic and democratic. Given the opportunity, the Iranian people will choose a system that will contribute to their individual freedom and prosperity, that will unite all Iranians regardless of ethnicity or religion, and that will afford all Iranians equal
opportunity to participate in the political, social and economic reconstruction of their country.

The Iranian people would like to put an end to international terrorism, would like to see the separation of religion and state, and would like to improve, and indeed establish cordial relations with all their neighbors as well as the U.S. To help rebuild Iran, all economic help -- especially that of the U.S. -- will be essential and welcomed.

Focus on Iran has always advocated a peaceful transfer of power from the clerics to the people, however, it would be a waste of time and resources for anyone to even consider moderating the present clerical modus operandi. Furthermore, it would be wishful thinking to expect that the present regime would be capable of holding free and honest elections. The only solution is for the Iranian people to return them to their appropriate place -- i.e. the mosque.


March will see "elections" to the 5th session of the Islamic Majles (parliament) in Iran. People will be "free" to choose only from the hand picked candidates of the regime, whose revolutionary Islamic credentials and competency have been duly verified and approved by the "Council of the Guardians" -- a round table of black and white turbaned clerics -- who are in turn and in essence appointed by the "Supreme Spiritual Leader". Astonishingly, a few prominent Iranian expatriates have lately developed the opinion that such elections are actually constructive, and that free elections are actually possible under the clerical regime. They have even gone so far as to say that the relations between the Islamic Republic and the U.S. could be normalized. It seems that they are unaware that nearly all of the external and internal opposition groups have declared the elections under the Islamic regime a sham, devoid of any








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