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Enabling Regime Change in Iran

By David Amess

Tehran's brazen approach to nuclear negotiations has been fueled in part by its thus-far correct presumption that the West does not have the resolve to prevent it from acquiring nuclear weapons. The West's strategic blunder is in its determination to pressure the regime into changing its behavior rather than to seek a long-term change of regime.

It is in the interest of the international community and financial markets for Iran to have a democratic stable government. This, however, cannot be achieved by foreign military intervention or maintaining the status quo as Tehran speeds up its illegal nuclear activities in defiance of the Security Council and the UN's nuclear watchdog.

The Tehran regime has realized that obtaining nuclear weapons is a strategic guarantor of its survival, and that as such it cannot abandon these activities. Iran has made clear that it has no intention of suspending its uranium enrichment despite the generous package of incentives offered to it last month by the world's major powers. Iran's government spokesman said on August 10 the Islamic Republic would not change its nuclear stance "under any circumstances."

Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, who has the final say on all state matters, said in July that the Islamic Republic has "clearly-defined red lines" in nuclear talks with the world powers. "The [nuclear] achievement belongs to the entire Iranian nation and no power would be able to deprive it of this technology and certain right," Khamenei said.

Meanwhile, as president of the world's fourth-largest oil-exporting nation, Ahmadinejad added economic pressure to political pressure when he declared on 14 July that crude oil prices would continue to increase. Officials of Iran's Revolutionary Guards have even threatened that they could block the Strait of Hormuz, the strategic conduit where over a third of the world's oil crosses each day.

Many Western leaders shy away from serious consideration of regime change in Iran for fear of opening up Pandora's Box of troubles in its aftermath. That fear is based on a serious lack of knowledge of the state of Iranian society, and to some extent on misinformation distributed by the Iranian authorities. The reality is that the overwhelming majority of Iranians want an end to the mullahs' rule. Conditions are ripe for change to come about via the Iranian people themselves. Public resentment of Iran's theocratic dictatorship is at an all-time high; inflation topped 26 percent in July, and the regime has led a vociferous crackdown against students and women,

In short, the West's current inept policy toward Iran has led to global energy shortages and has negatively affected Western lifestyles by causing a rapid increase in the price of oil. The solution to this dangerous quagmire lies in our support for the Iranian people and their organized Resistance movement.

The People's Mojahedin Organisation of Iran, the main arm of Iran's democratic resistance movement, has been working tirelessly to spur public discontent into widespread protests against the regime. Some 5,000 acts of anti-government protests erupted last year alone.

As part of a misguided policy of appeasement, the U.S. banned the PMOI in 1997. Since then, this ban has been the greatest impediment to democratic change in Iran. In London in May the Lord Chief Justice called the proscription "perverse" and ordered the British government to lift its version of the ban. Parliament unanimously approved the order and de-proscribed the PMOI. Some 70,000 Iranians flocked to Paris in June urging the EU and U.S. to support the Iranian Resistance's president-elect Mrs. Maryam Rajavi and end the ban on PMOI.

The U.S. must follow suit and listen to their pleas. The West must allow the group to focus its entire resources on mobilising the Iranian population to bring about democratic change and transform Iran into a partner in peace.

David Amess MP, a Conservative Member of Parliament from the United Kingdom, is a leading member of the British Parliamentary Committee for Iran Freedom.

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Comments (21)

Perspolis:

MKO was under the control of French Masonic Lodge

in order to propel French geopolitical goals

in the middle east.

disappointed iranian worker:

Mr. Amess, Fellow intelligent readers,

This is rich.

First, the conservative Winston Churchill pushes to overthrow a DEMOCRATIC government in Iran and installs a dictator, and now a conservative a few generations later wants to "free" us again.

Does a CONSERVATIVE support "freeing" Iranians by supporting MILITANT COMMUNISTS? Conservatives give up their principles frequently, as they demonstrate regularly all over the world, and in this article. Their certitude is for the Media.

Second, the PMOI actually worked with Saddam. Didn't America "regime change" Iraq to get those Qaeda baddies who were supposed to be working with Saddam? I know you wouldn't like pointed out the parallels with other resistance groups that later needed regime change after they were ENDORSED by crafty western statesmen and diplomats.

You have to belt out a horselaugh when you see this level of hypocrisy paraded as authentic "goodwill" and concern for the "freedom" of others.

I share your goals for Iran, but suppose you were truly democratic, you would let the PEOPLE of Iran decide, wouldn't you?

But it is flatly obvious that the real motive here is another realist maneuver -- a "strategic compromise" of supporting the enemy of my enemy -- especially when it can be done at the expense of others. I and my family (in Iran) do not want to become a victim of your latest scheme sir! Will you listen to our voices?

It is pitiful to see a reputable paper publishing amateur solutions.

I have only one request: How about you just GET OUT of our business.

Iranians will be fine, and would have been fine now if it wasn't for the constant "enabling."

Thanks for reading.

The Intellectual:

The Persian speaking division of Arab Iraqi army, or the so called MKO, served the interests of the occupying military machine of the enemy of Iran who raped and destroyed our motherland for more than 8 years.
The remainders of this "red islamic" organization which was first founded in the 60's during the marriage between Maoism and Islam in order to crush the "American Imperialism" in the area, is by no means a good answer to handle the enormous will of the Iranian people for true democratic changes.
The crimes of the top leadership of this organization are endless as they used young men and women to fullfill their own ego in a sectism way. They should be put on trial by an international organization for all the deeds agaisnt the Iranian people but also Iraqi Kurds (when they were used by Saddam for crushing the Kurdish rebellions in the early 90's just after the Kuwait war).

They have since then served the wills of all external enemies of Iran, including the followings:
1. Iraq. As mentioned above, during 8 years they fought side by side Saddam to kill Iranian soldiers. They also participated in the killings of Iraqi Kurds according to Kurdish freedom fighters.

2. France. During a period the French were using them as a leverage against Iran for dealing with hostage crisis in Lebanon.

3. British Lords. They have been fully supported by some British lords who serve the interests of London's financial markets, specifically the ones who are major stock holders of big multinational oil companies with headquartes in Europe(no names mentioned, but it is easy to guess)

4. Rich sheiks in the Middel East. Whenever the Arabs feel they need a leverage against the regime in Tehran, they give big financial support to the MKO.

5. Norway was using the MKO during the 90's in order to run its own agenda in the oil producing world. Big financial and political support was provided to the organization and certain oil company was the flagship of lobbying for the MKO in Norway and Europe in the background (no company name, but their HQ is located in Norway)

6. Israel and the US use the organization for intelligence gathering on Iranian nuclear activities but also involvement in Iraq.

Anyone who is trying to impose this Persian version of the "Khmer Rouge" upon the Iranian people should understand that those days when these types of actions were possible are gone for a long time ago.The Iranian people do understand that there are forces which are trying to deviate its course for reform and liberty by imposing their own selfish will upon them.
Certainly they are carefully watching these disturbing forces in order to better distinguish between friends and foes.

The US should not pay attention to these forces as they are only trying to increase the gap between the Amerian and Iranian people.

Texan_Paul:

PMOI is a terrorist group that actively pursued weakening the iranian regime by killing innocent people, it's time for European legislators who are on the payroll of this terrorsit group to realise the facts and stop backign these fanatics.

During the Saddam's ethnic cleansing of Kurds in 1980's this was PMOI who was payed by Saddam to deliver one of the most heinous crimes of the century and killing Hurds in hundreds of thousands numbers.

Ismaeil I:

The Mojahedin were never terrorists. Both the European Court of Justice and the UK's Court of Appeal reviewed in detail all allegations and realised they were all false. Both called for the removal of the PMOI from the terrorist list.

Archaeopteryx:

I'm not sure what's being advocated here but if it's terrorism, it's probably not going to fly because both the UK and the US are afraid (with good reason) of substantial reprisals. I mention this because the UK and US usually ban organizations only if they have been associated with terrorist acts.

Citizen of the post-American world:

"The reality is that the overwhelming majority of Iranians want an end to the mullahs' rule. Conditions are ripe for change to come about via the Iranian people themselves. Public resentment of Iran's theocratic dictatorship is at an all-time high... The People's Mojahedin Organisation of Iran, the main arm of Iran's democratic resistance movement, has been working tirelessly to spur public discontent into widespread protests against the regime. Some 5,000 acts of anti-government protests erupted last year alone."

Reminds one of the so-called "Iraqi opposition groups", and of the role played by the revered Ahmed Abdel Hadi Chalabi in the US strategy leading to the Iraq war: we all saw that, as predicted in the same media, the invaders-liberators were soon showered with flowers while parading proudly down Main Street, in Baghdad.

We are all familiar by now with this type of story as part of a failed strategy.

Anybody there with enough imagination and creativity to change the tune?

Mullah hater:

We Iranians will get rid of the mullahs once and for all. There were over 5000 anti-regime demonstrations in Iran last year alone. The Mojahedin are behind all this - especially the ones on student campuses.

Mojahedin rock!
Too bad for the mullahs and their agents in the West.

Asghar:

The author is absolutely correct. Let us allow Iranians to make the decision. De-proscribing the PMOI/MEK is legally, morally, and politically the right think to do. Lets protect the bulk of their membership who live (as "protected persons" under the Fourth Geneva Convention rules) in Camp Ashraf, Iraq.

The U.S. must acknowledge the reality that the alternative to war is not appeasement of tyrants but is democratic change by the Iranian people.

Let us remember that 20 years ago this month, Iranian regime began a wave of systematic executions where in the span of just a few months, it massacred thousands of PMOI members or supporters. Many of whom were, as Amnesty International pointed out last month, "prisoners of conscience" and women.

If the U.S. does not wish to support the Iranian Resistance and the PMOI/MEK, it at must at least adapt a neutral policy towards them. Removing the outdated terror tag is a necessity, the key to removing the mullahs who are the greatest threat to humanity.

Hojjat Kardari:

I think Mujahedin are the best way of eliminating mullahs and Ahmadinejad.
Many thanks for good article.

Ladan Beboodi:

The biggest mistake of western politicians is to try to legitimize a dogmatic clan like MKO and to suggest it as a viable change against the mad clerics.

MKO and its ideological leadership are rejected by the absolute majority of Iranians. who not only see them as killers; but also of an old Marxist-Islamist bankrupt ticket; that can not offer the big progressist change seeked by a nation like Iran with a majority of young looking with a future visionist.

Western politicians who are following the bad advise of "the enemy of my enemy, is my friend" must look the their past mistakes, when they helped promoting Talebans of Afghanestan or Pol Pot of Cambodia.

MKO has of both these groups, a Pol Pot type background marxism and leadership; and a more milder but authoritarian islamism.

Jim:

I can’t believe the writer’s annoyance about realities and common facts about Iranian people and government. Currently hardliner’s domestic support run around 30-35%, thanks to Washington’s recent policies toward Tehran, it flip-flopped major reformists support to hardliners. Support for MKO or Pahlavi is well below 2%. The only way to achieve the goal is to stop intimidating and threatening Iranian regime and nation. This would switch domestic support from hardliners back to reformers. And the more tolerable western’s policies toward the reformers, the faster hardliners disappearance and quicker strive to real democracy in Iran. If Bush would have not rebuffed Khatami’s policies, we would have been fairly close to that point.
I truly believe that Washington’s intentions were to have a hard-line government in Iran. It may have not turned the way they originally planned it, to take advantage of the region and gain much needed tremendous US interests for global supremacy. Or it actually may have turned exactly the way US planned, however the gigantic interests are to be realized in near future.
The only other explanation would be that Washington was/is so imprudent beyond imagination. However this presumption is denied by logic, since the president of US is not the only driving factor of real power in USA and around the world. The major events are planned years ahead of time (in some cases decades). They are so well thought out and orchestrated with great details, and contingency plans have been drawn for every little move that may go of track. They have expert groups for every imaginable subject, and they research/calculate all conceivable possibilities.
That is why I think the writer, MSM, corporate, major entities are in this great capitalism hegemony game and their job is not only to make certain events happen, but also deceive people to whatever they deemed them to believe. No major entity can escape their domination.
Welcome to the world’s of 21st century democracy, USA/Zionist style (Rule of a few over the world, whom praise not the “Lord”, but the “Capital and Power”).
Small percentage of people who know about this, are either bought out, feared to self denial, or helpless to do anything but to write.

S G Logan:

I’d like to thank you for publishing an article which promotes strong opposition to the remnants’ of the mediaeval tyrant Khomeini who are black-mailing the civilised world even before they’ve announced that they have the nukes. Anyone who argues the religious fascists ruling Iran represents the people there even in the slightest is either completely ignorant or has some kind of interest in keeping the regime in power. The theocratic dictatorship is so corrupt that so as to keep in power it led to death hundreds of thousands of Iranians in its war against Iraq. The most “moderate” leader there, i.e. Khatami, was actually in charge of sending thousands of children over the minefields. Furthermore, the regime has actually murdered or tortured to death tens of thousands of mainly Muslim Iranians including hundreds of children as young as 13 for their love of freedom, political, religious, personal and otherwise.

In a similar fashion to the people of Norway, France, etc., the Iranian nation need outside support to get rid of this fanatical fascism not the UK or European governments appeasing it. Once I wrote I wish Churchill were alive or principled leaders of all democratic governments, parties and media got together and pushed aside this self-defeating policy of flirting with murdering thugs ruling Iran and blackening the name of the great religion of Islam or the reputation of an ancient civilization as well as killing our soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq and beyond and threatening the peace of the world with support for terrorists of all kinds around the globe and now speeding towards the nuclear bomb.

S G Logan

Nader Gh.:

execellent writing of article for Iranian people. well done David Amess. Iran will be free.

naser moradi:

Rejime change is exactly wat we want.
No more mullas forcing wat we do,
mojahedin khalqe iran are hope of us. when iran is free of mulla you will see how much peiple suporting mojahedin, - very much.
this is good article. my thanks are for mr. amess and others who suporting mojahedin. iranian peiple do not forget your suport.

DR.KAHOOR KHAN HOOSHAAPI:

A regime change? where is/are the substitutes?. The Mojahedin are considered the black spot in Iran for their support to Saddam Husain in his aggression against Iran and the followers of the monarch who are gathered in Los Angeles and Dubai doing business in real estate with the billions dollars of Iran's plundered money.There are not any effective elements which indulge the support of the Iranians to the extent of the change of the Cleric regime in Iran.

Jalal:

Islamic fundamentalism and religious dictatorship in Iran whose president is Ahmadinejad is fueled by an idea and a belief system. One can only fight an idea with an idea not guns and weapons as Mr Bush may believe is the way. PMOI (MEK, Mojahedin) is the anti-thesis and the idea well suited to challenge this regime.
Mrs Maryam Rajavi with her widespread support among Iranians, is the tolerant face of this wounded nation with 8 thousand years of history and culture.
It costs America a lot less to support the Iranian opposition than starting another war.

Ahmad Tavassoli:

The people Mojahedin Group, who are in exil, and the Mullahs, who are in power in Tehran; are the 2 faces of the same unpopular coin.

Indeed, Iranians don't see the MKo as a legitimate alternative to the mullahs regime; and they know them as a group of killer and traitor.

The lis is long about how MKO helped mullahs getting powwer and how they sided with Iraqi forces of saddam when they were ousted from the 1979 revolution coalition.

Foreign diplomats, in lack of good project for Iran, should avoid endorsing such elements.

An Iranian:

Long live Mojahedin
Shame on Bush for labeling them terrorists
The real terrorists are Ali Khamenei, Rafsanjani, Khatami, Ahmadinejad, Karrubi, Haddad-Adel, Ali Larijani and the Revolutionary Guards.

Amir Marand:

Well done to David Amess for this outstanding commentry. Truely the PMOI is best solution to the mullahs' regime.
Iranian people want regime change.

Hamid Tehrani:

Interesting point. The Iranian people are far more courageous than the West in standing up to the mullahs. Kudos to Mr. Amess for a nice article, especially the part about lifting the ban on the Mojahedin.
As a young Iranian I gotta say the only force capable of bringing about change in Iran is the Mojahedin, period.
So Bush and co. listen up, stop calling the bravest of the Iranian people "terrorists" just to appease a bunch of smelly mullahs. Get rid of the ban on the Mojahedin.

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