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A Chance for Change in Iran By: Reza Torkzadeh
FrontPageMagazine.com | Thursday, October 09, 2003


With its continued defiance of major international laws and world public opinion, is the international community prepared to confront the immediate threat that the clerical regime in Iran poses? 

Unwilling to disclose its nuclear weapons program, the Islamic Republic of Iran has been given about three weeks by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) (October 31) to come clean with all uranium enrichment related imports and all components which may have been exposed to the uranium. 

Despite the IAEA's intentions to persuade the clerical regime to comply with its demands, the track record of the regime's behavior towards such resolutions almost guarantee's the regime's noncompliance. 

The Islamic Republic has been found by the United States Department of State to be the "most active" state sponsor of terrorism for two years in a row.  The United Nations has repeatedly demanded the clerical regime's immediate conformity of its resolutions and charters, but to no avail and without any cogency.  Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch continuously condemn the regime's behaviors and methods of punishment yet, after two decades of complete disregard for human rights, unilateral sanctions and further diplomatic pressure, the regime continues to defy and violate the principles of progress and civilization. 

What makes the IAEA think that the regime will listen to them?

It is no secret that the regime is working very closely with the local warlords in Afghanistan to destabilize the Karzai government. Since the fall of the Taliban, Iran has been sending Al Quds and Sepah-i-Mohammad forces into Afghanistan to support and supply weapons to independent warlords while simultaneously allowing members of the Taliban and Al-Qaeda to reside and cross into Iran.

Moreover, since the end of Saddam Hussein's regime, the clerical regime in Iran has been actively pursuing a policy of interference in Iraq.  Military trained groups of both Iran's Badr Brigade and Iran's Revolutionary Guards were sent to Iraq to generate support for an Islamic style government similar to the Iranian regime.

What is even more interesting is that the IAEA is demanding "unrestricted access" to inspectors throughout the country and allow them to take environmental samples wherever and whenever they choose.  Doesn't this sound familiar?

The international community must not allow inspectors to be led on another wild chase for weapons of mass destruction through a country whose ruling regime has proven to be a master of deception.

One thing is for sure:  the regime in Tehran is the greatest threat to freedom, progress and peace in the world.  The most serious threat that the clerical regime poses is not its development of nuclear weapons but instead, it is the regime's unequivocal and unwavering support of terrorism, it's meddling in the affairs of the region, its persistent interference in the Middle East peace process and the suffering and abuse of the Iranian people.

It is critical to remember that Iran is much different than Afghanistan and Iraq.  Other than they're location and the fact that they were all once run by tyrannical regimes, these three countries have very few similarities. 

So now the question remains:  what to do?  Military action is obviously not an option.  And doing nothing is also not a choice.  A budding and vibrant movement which already does exist in Iran must be supported openly and consistently

Through the continued support of the will of the Iranian people and their already demonstrated strategy of non-violent political defiance, the U.S. and the free world can help bring about change in Iran within months rather than years.  It can be done without using military forces and instead by empowering the Iranian people. 

Today, Iran is surrounded by two potentially vigorous free and democratic states, and the regime in Iran is feeling the pressure. 

Even if as Tehran insists its nuclear programs are only to generate electricity, the U.S has a chance to stay on course and confront the terrorist where they exist.

The U.S. has an opportunity to face the challenge with "focus and clarity and courage," and to bring about a change that is in the best long-term interests of all the people's in the world and one that will inevitably change the make-up of the Middle East.

Mr. Torkzadeh is a student at Thomas Jefferson School of Law in San Diego, CA.


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