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Translation of Dr. Homayoun's Interview on July 13, 1995 with London Keyhan (Farsi)

"Rule is the normal exercise of authority, and is always based on public opinion ... never has anyone ruled on this earth by basing his rule essentially on any other thing than public opinion."

- The Revolt of the Masses by Jose Ortega y Gasset


Q: The European countries were expecting the Iranian Foreign Minister, AHAKBAR Velayati, to live up to his promise in officially announcing the abrogation of Salman Rushdie's death fatwa and that they ( the Islamic Republic I will not dispatch anyone to kill him. Nonetheless, they later went on to state thatAyatollah Khomeyni's fatwa is immutable. What is your view in this regard?

A: The Islamic Republic has always portrayed an image that needs w be viewed with skepticism and distrust. Furthermore, one does it otlatow. who the real decision maker is in this regime. What is obvious however, is that "Khomeyniism" has been the prevailing ideology and modus operandi among the ruling clergy and thus, they cannot function outside of this cause and effect, in like manner that fish are incapable of living outside of water. On the other hand, the Europeans which primarily due to their commercial interests, have taken a "deaf & dumb" stance towards the Islamic Republic, are once again reminded of the bitter fact that the nature of this regime is incapable of reform. The clerical regime is not a "Government", it is neither a "Republic" nor is it "Islamic" and finally, it has no kinship with "Iran". Usually, in a government, the decision making element_% are known, but there, this notion becomes an enigma. Velayati says that he will write a memo clarifying that no-one will be dispatched to kill Rushdie, but Vaezi, his deputy, contradicts the Foreign Minister. Above the post of the President, is the "Supreme Theologian" who could nullify all the decisions made by the former. In addition, none of the acts or behaviors of this regime could possibly fit into any Islamic framework. They have, in the past 16 years proved that their thoughts, deeds and their words are distinctly anti-Iranian. One could, beyond a shadow of a doubt, characterize the clerical regime as the synergy of these three terms: IGNORANCE, MURDER and TREASON. Such a regime, is undoubtedly incapable of reform and ought not to be trusted. It would not yield to the notion of free-elections. Those who adhere to the theory of reform ( for this regime ], are quite far from reality. The one and only solution is the replacement of this regime with a democratic one.

Q: Some are supporting the recent U.S. sanctions towards Iran and some are not. What is your opinion ?

A: We analyzed and discussed these sanctions in our June issue of "Focus On Iran", which is the publication of the AZADEGAN FOUNDATION. The blame, first and foremost lies with the tyrannical regime in Tehran, which through its belligerent behavior has brought about the enmity of most nations. For over 16 years the people of Iran have been under severe economical, political, cultural sanctions of the Islamic Republic. These internal sanctions are extended to people's freedom of speech, breathing, eating and even clothing! Iranians now, after the imposition of the U.S. sanctions, are in essence, under "dual" sanctions. The responsibility for this dilemma, lies with the so-called Islamic regime and its near-sighted imbecilic leaders.

The persistent violation of human rights inside Iran, its support of international terrorism and radical cliques, opposition to the peace process in the Middle-East, the propagation of a "revolutionary Islam" and efforts in gaining and producing nuclear arms, have all been elements in the political isolation of the regime and finally in bringing about the U.S. sanctions. It must be noted that any economical pressure intended for the clerical regime, will have an impact on the maltreated and tyrannized people of Iran. The pressure of this recent sanction then, will be directly felt by the populace who, now more than ever, would face financial hardships.

Thus, no one could be joyful about these issues. On the other hand, one must keep in mind that these hardships are solely created by the Islamic Republic. The oil income of the Islamic Republic in the past 16 years has been in excess of 250 billion dollars ( 5250,000,000,000 ). This enormous sum has not been put to redress any essential issue. And today, the Iranian people, due to the ill-management of the clerical regime, have become the "poorest oil rich nation" in history. The leaders of the Tehran regime have wasted this national treasure in their short-sighted pursuits, namely in purchasing out-dated armaments, seeking nuclear arms, propagating a "revolutionary Islam" , and in politically and financially supporting terrorist groups around the world, especially in Lebanon and Palestine. Perhaps the sanctions by the U.S. or better put, the "additional / doubled" sanctions would act as the awakening thrust for the people of Iran to unite in ousting this totalitarian and bellicose regime. Any other discussion, however, about the perceived benefits or detriments of the sanction is needless and unfruitful. The only effective path, is the unity of the Iranian people in dismissing the clerical regime and its current Constitution which has been the cause of numerous hardships and dead-ends. The persistence of the mullahs' regime is not only economically detrimental to Iran, but it could also impact the national and cultural security and the territorial integrity of Iran in an irreparable way.

Q: These days one could hear the inauspicious tunes of separatism and local secessionism from all directions. Keeping the recent events and the actions of the regime in sight, what are your beliefs about such issues?

A: The most evident disgrace of this regime is in its weakening of the Iranian nationalism and in the danger that it poses to the Iranian cultural continuation. In Iran, as you witness, Islamic Republic has replaced the institution of Monarchy. Namely, religion has substituted the kingship, but due to the erroneous exegesis of religion, rendered by the Islamic Republic, and the corruption and endless tyranny of its leaders, religion has lost its veneration and esteem. In Iran, the people and especially the youth have lost their hope. They are not placing their trust in any institution. This, in turn has created a political and intellectual vacuum in our nation. Poverty coupled with numerous psychological pressures and the vision of a dark hopeless future, has increased the vulnerability of the Iranian people especially the young ones, towards foreign propaganda and even separatism. This kind of susceptibility is quite dangerous to the national unity of Iran. Iranians, throughout history, in times of tyranny, dissatisfaction and the weakness of the central government, have always possessed a centrifugal force. The current regime is detested more than any other regime in the history of Iran. Almost all layers of the Iranian society are discontented with the clerical regime and this should be a grave concern for all patriotic Iranians. Meanwhile and regrettably, Islamic Republic has turned a deaf ear to this issue and is totally unaware of the perilous consequences of the problems created by its misguided policies and, since political and ideological systems such as socialism and communism, have lost their esteem and importance, social pressures and discontent could in fact play the tunes of separatism in some ears.

The notion of "self-government for all nationalities" set forth by Woodrow Wilson at the end of WW I, also fuels the separatist sentiments. Specifically, the passage of the U.N. Security Council resolution no. 688, on April 5, 1991, at the end of the Desert Storm War, for the first time empowers the U.N. and in essence the super-powers, to alter the territorial integrity of other nations under an altruistic mandate. Therefore, the independence and the territorial integrity of Iran necessitates that this regime surrender to a democratic and powerful government which could in turn enjoy the support and contentment of all layers of the people. In this regard, the Armed Forces including the regular Army and the Revolutionary Guards, who protected the independence and security of our nation against the Iraqi incursion, ought to be more alert than ever. They must recognize the fact that the internal and external policies of this regime have jeopardized the territorial integrity of Iran.They should refuse to be the military arm of a clique who wishes to bring about the decay of the Iranian nation.

Q: Explain the role of the Armed Forces now that you mentioned them.

A: The heroic defense of the Iranian Armed Forces, including the Regular, the Revolutionary Guards and the Basijis against the Iraqi incursion, is indeed commendable and praiseworthy. With the exception of a minor segment who still continues to be the repressive arm of the regime in performing its anti-Iranian aims, these forces are nationalistic and are committed to Iran. They have realized that they are not to become the mere tools in carrying out the ill-wishes of a handful of greedy and despotic mullahs. The interests of the Iranian people and that of its Armed Forces which have historically been nationalistic and patriotic, does not coincide with those of a regime which is an advocate of so-called "pan-Islamism". Control of the Armed Forces by these mullahs, who lack the most basic strategic and national concepts, impairs the spirit of the former. Nonetheless, the gap between the clergy and the Armed Forces started from the Qazvin uprising and, has been widening by the day. The extent of this ideological rupture reached such levels that among all the qualified officers, Ayatollah Khamenei had to appoint a veterinary surgeon, Dr. Hasan Firooz-Abadi, to the post of the Chief of Staff and assign a 9 year seniority to his rank. This action, attests to the fact that the clerical leaders do not trust the Army, and a crisis of reliance is extant. I believe that for the sake of safeguarding the territorial integrity of our nation and for the sake of its national interest, the Armed Forces must direct their loyalty from the mullahs to the people. This re-direction of loyalty from one power to a new one has historical precedence in Iran.

Q: What do you make of these recent visits between the Iraqi and Islamic Republic missions?

A: Islamic Republic is the one seeking these arrangements with the Iraqis. Of course, secret collusions between the two countries have been going on for over a year now and, have intensified after the announcement of the recent sanctions. Iraq and Islamic Republic see eye to eye in certain issues such as their opposition to the Middle East peace process, their stance against U.S., Saudis and moderate states, and finally their common resistance against the economic sanctions. However, on the issue of war reparations, POWs, the return of the Iraqi planes which were flown to Iran during the Desert Storm, and the activity of the People's Mojahedin of Iran (PMOI) in Iraqi soil, have differences which have remained unresolved. Islamic Republic would not hesitate to disregard national issues when it comes to its own survival.

This is evident from the fact that these recent arrangements are made with the Iraqis, despite the fact that the latter's incursion has caused the loss of life of 500,000 Iranians, has left another million maimed and injured and has cost Iran an astronomic figure of one trillion dollars ($1,000,000,000,000). All such agreements, if they are to take place, must have the total approval and blessing of the Iranian people. The actions and arrangements of these two regimes will be contrary to the national interests and the stability of the region.

Q: The People's Mojahedin of Iran (PMOI) have been successful in attracting the attention of some members of the congress. Could this be considered as recognizing them as an alternative?

A: The ultimate decision in regards to an alternative for the existing regime, rests with the people of Iran. PMOI's efforts in the U.S. Congress are the consequence of the silence which the majority of the expatriates have opted - for. PMOI have noticeably increased their efforts since the sanctions were put in effect. They have attached unrealistic hopes to the sanctions, namely, that these sanctions would be the thrusting tide in bringing them to power in Iran. They are far from the truth with such erroneous imaginations, notwithstanding the fact they continue to alter their tactics. Their strategy remains the same, however. They remain in total darkness when it comes to recognizing the psyche of the Iranian people and their nationalism. They disregard the political mutations and realities in the world. While being under the total control of the Iraqi regime, they are between a rock and a hard place. Young members of the PMOI who generally are patriotic and love their nation, are misguided by their leadership in a direction contrary to the interests of their motherland. Such members live in a world of doubts and, due to an undemocratic report card in the West, their new tactics remain fruitless also. In Iran, the people have become totally weary and dubious about them.

The leaders of the PMOI have lied to and misguided their followers and thus, resorting to old tactics is merely futile. Their true nature, a religious political cult which believes in the "end sanctifying the means", and one that would resort to anything in coming to power, will not change regardless of the frequency of their chameleon-like tactics. The Armed Forces of Iran could not forgive the co-operation of the PMOI with the Iraqi forces. Now, the PMOI's efforts are channeled into portraying themselves in U.S. as a totally democratic organization which intends to gain the support of the Americans. They are indeed incorrect in this assessment also since, firstly, the world has changed and even if the U.S. were to officially back the PMOI, they could not come to power in -Tian because any organization/leadership who aspires to do so must have the consent and mandate of the populace, secondly, the era of U.S. electing, supporting and bringing to power a certain person or persons, is long gone. We live in the era of instantaneous communications, an era of new knowledge and technology and one of "GEO-INFORMATION". People have become more aware and are more cognizant. No longer can any force, bring to power a person or group who lacks the popular support. Therefore notwithstanding the fact that the moral and principled support of U.S. could not harm a democratic person or group, it must also be kept in mind that this support however strong, would be in vain if it does not coincide with the will of the populace. The U.S administration and its Congress are generally aware of this political reality. Young members of the PMOI who are well intentioned and patriotic ought to refrain from being manipulated in carrying out the cultic wishes of their leaders.

Q: Let's talk about the AZADEGAN FOUNDATION. When did it start and how would you characterize its activities?

A: As you know, the name AZADEGAN which appears repeatedly in the epic Shahnameh of Ferdousi, is synonymous with "Iranians". We have chosen this name in commemoration of the late nationalist and scholar, General Dr. Bahram Aryana and the Liberation Army of Iran. AZADEGAN in essence is a political movement. Shortly after the 1979 revolution and the usurping of power by the clerics, Dr. Aryana and myself along with a few civilian and military compatriots, founded the AZADEGAN Organization in Paris. The purpose of the Organization was the liberation of Iran from the despotic and regressive rule of the clerics, and the establishment of a democracy in Iran. With the passing of Aryana in 1985 in exile, the torch dimmed and the activities of the Organization came to a standstill. Last year, we re-ignited the torch. AZADEGAN has a monthly publication in English, by the name of "FOCUS ON IRAN". Its goal is to portray for the world, a realistic picture of the political mutations caused by the theocracy in Iran and, to attract the moral and high-minded support of the democratic societies in regards to the Iranian people and their rightful aspirations and struggles for liberty. We believe that although the key to the salvation of Iran remains solely in the hands of its people, but the moral support of the "world opinion" for the Iranians in regards to the dismissal of this brutal despotic regime, is also necessary.

Q: Describe the current situation of Iran in the region.

A: Iran due to its size, population, strategic situation, natural resources and cultural identity, enjoys an exceptional status in the region. Nonetheless, she is unable to play her important role in that region. This is due to the fact that a tremendous rift exists between the government and the governed. The former, has abandoned its fundamental, traditional and historical role and has adopted "religion" as the basis of its foreign policy. The close relationships extant between Iran, N. Korea and China along with the selection of futile defence policies, efforts in seeking nuclear arms, and supporting terrorism are all examples which have worked to diminish Iran's vital role around the globe and in the region to the point of total isolation. CONOCO, cancelled its agreements with Iran due to the pressures from the White House. The Azarbaijan consortium went on to exclude Iran in a degrading manner. The economic sanctions have also added insult to the these injuries. Therefore, due to the incompetence of the political leaders in Iran, all of the strategic, geographic, economic and political privileges of the nation have now been altered to become its detriments. Iran can, and indeed must be the main political axis of the region, it ought to be influential in all the Middle Eastern, Central Asian, and Caucasian issues, contributing to the stability of these vast regions. Unfortunately, the choices made by the current leadership are quite contrary to the above aims. Our primary national and security interests have been also victimized by such ill-intentioned policies.

Q: As you know, the economical conditions in Iran are worsening by the day. Are there any hopes of recovery?

A: With the continuation and existence of the Islamic Republic, the answer to your question is a resounding No! Economically speaking, Iran is a totally bankrupt nation. Penury, prostitution, unemployment and inflation have all reached explosive levels. The damages due to the 8 year war with Iraq have not been redressed yet. Rial, the Iranian currency, has completely lost its value. Another yet vital issue, is the deficit in the budget and a foreign debt exceeding $40,000,000,000. Every year, Iran must import 12 to 14 billion dollars worth of foodstuff. Chemical fertilizers and industrial products are also imported. The oil industry, namely the maintenance of its wells and other petrochemical installations require an annual budget of 5 billion dollars. Iran must also annually pay 6 billion dollars to meet the "principal & interest" payments of its loans. No one knows how the Islamic Republic intends to deal with such catastrophic economic conditions and its political isolation. Most notable is that Iran's population, under no planning or control, leaped from 34 to 67 million and that under circumstances void of any insight for their cultural, health and food requirements. The continuation of these conditions could lead to an immense social explosion. In my opinion, the main condition for an economic emendation, lies in a political change. This is the only remedy and hope.

Q: Some are of the belief that through reform, the political and economic situations could be improved. What are your views in that regard?

A: The thought that this regime would change its ways, or that one could have hopes in some moderate elements in and about the regime, is indeed a futile one. Everyone knows that as long as the mullahs are in power nothing would change and there could not be any hope of reform or improvement. The Iranian people are not thinking of anything short of the removal of the clerical regime and its replacement with a national government, and they would not consent to anything else. Those who advocate reform, and speak of free elections in the framework of the "Velayate Faqih - the Governance of the Supreme Theologian" and the continuation of the clerical rule, knowingly or inadvertently are aiding the salvation of a system which is clearly on its last legs. All changes in this regard, ought to be fundamental and essential and not merely tactical. The people of Iran both inside and outside, have reached a new era in their opposition. The crisis of reliance is on the rise amongst the intelligence organizations and the Armed Forces. A large number of clerical and spiritual leaders, such as Ayatollah Rohani, Ayatollah Qomi and others are at odds with the religious oligarchy in power. Public dissatisfaction is reaching its limits. Such mutations will cause the opposition inside and outside of Iran to opt for new strategies in aiding the people who wish to rid themselves of this regime, replacing it with a democratic government of their choice. Is it not true that 17 years have provided ample time and opportunity to institute and cant' out economic and social reforms 7 Ironically, during this period instead of positive efforts towards betterment, the nation has been pushed to the extreme brinks of bankruptcy. Fortunately, the public opinions inside and outside, are prepared to dismiss the mullahs regime. To accomplish the latter, there is hardly any need for any pre-organized existing group, rather it is in need of a catalyst to regulate and guide the struggles. This catalyst should materialize in the near future, either inside or outside of Iran. What is vital of course, is that this change must take place peacefully and without any bloodshed, however we do recognize that it is not in the nature of this regime to make any concessions.

The unprecedented military maneuvers of June 14, in the southern part of Tehran, dubbed as "Ashoora Maneuvers", consisting of 120,000 Revolutionary Guards and other mechanized brigades and commando forces, speak volumes of the fact that the regime is not willing to change its ways and continues to flex its military muscle for the unarmed citizens of Tehran. Usually, military maneuvers are performed against a hypothetical enemy, and even then, they are carried out close to the borders and far away from the cities. This maneuver, the advent of which appeared on the headlines of all the government-controlled newspapers, is condemnable from the viewpoint of public opinion, both inside and outside of Iran. It clearly demonstrates that the clerical regime is unstable and quite concerned about the uprisings in the large capitol. Such policies, namely these futile military and political maneuvers, will indeed have the opposite effect. It would not be unlikely for the 1989 events of Romania to re-occur in Iran also. As you know, up until the latter parts of December 1989, Romania was well under the control and scrutiny of its police and security forces. There were no organized opposition elements and, no-one suspected that the conditions were about to change, however, on December 17th, there was a "spark" in the city of Timisoara, and a hundred people were killed in that incident. It took merely 3 days for the unrest to devour the rest of Romania, thrusting the Armed Forces to shift their loyalty from their despotic regime to the people. We all know of the consequent events. The hatred and detestation that the Iranian people have towards the clerical regime is by far more intense than the one Romanians had towards the Ceausescu's regime. Nonetheless new struggles have commenced between the people and the government. The people there, are keeping an eye on the Armed Forces. The effective role of the Armed Forces, the youth, and the Bazaar which is the foundation of Iran's economy and also the role of women in these national resistances will be crucial.

Q: You mentioned the role of women, what could be their contribution in this path, and what is their stature in gaining democracy and liberty fur Iran?

A: Women could have an important and effective role. Throughout history, they have never been mistreated to the extent of these past 16 years. Their rights have never been violated to the degree it is being violated now. Islamic Republic has trampled the civil, political and social rights of the Iranian women. To remove such unprecedented atrocities and tyrannies, men and women, in my opinion, ought to fight back, shoulder to shoulder. The solution lies in the removal of the current regime and Iranian women must not only have a fundamental and constructive role in that regard but they should also be in the leadership ranks. It is indeed a disgrace that on the thresholds of the 21st century, where men and women ought to have an active and equal role in the betterment of their nation, such contemptuous attitudes are taken towards women in ]ran. Women should be the front-runners in this national resistance and must not refrain from any self-sacrifice in the path of removing the clerical regime. Their efforts should become the model and the guiding light for setting the resistance policy.

In my opinion, we will not accomplish anything worthwhile without the active and serious participation of women in our national struggle. In our new world, women are not only the speakers of the family but they are also the guardians of the family traditions working and participating in social responsibilities as effectively as men. The Iranian women should be totally un-shackled from the restrictions laid upon them by lire clerics. They ought to be free in selecting whatever profession they desire. They should be free in making their decisions and in enjoying the merits of economic independence. The choice of clothing, is an absolute right of women and ought not be imposed on them. These nefarious, contemptuous, backward and tyrannical heresies must come to an end and this could only be realized when the wretched life of the Islamic Republic is brought to an end by the noble and cooperative efforts of Iranian men and women who wish to live in a progressive and free Iran, one rebuilt to provide tranquillity and security for its citizens on the verge of the 21 st century.








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