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General Strike Set in Iran In Bid To Topple Mullahs

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  • General Strike Set in Iran In Bid To Topple Mullahs

    General Strike Set in Iran In Bid To Topple Mullahs

    Date of July 9 Puts U.S. on the Spot REZA PAHLAVI: ‘THIS COULD BE A MAJOR TURNING POINT’

    By ADAM DAIFALLAH Staff Reporter of the Sun



    WASHINGTON — Mark the date: July 9. That’s when op-ponents

    of the Iranian regime have called a general strike that they hope will expand to topple the government there and bring freedom and democracy to the Iranian people.

    The strike is being organized by profreedom student groups to coincide with the fourth anniversary of the last student uprising in Iran that saw thousands of students take to the streets against the Islamic Republic’s ruling mullahs.

    The planned event — indeed, the Iranian freedom movement as a whole — could take on a new dimension now that Iran’s western neighbor, Iraq, is free from Saddam Hussein’s tyranny.

    Policy experts have speculated that a liberated Iraq could embolden Iranian freedom fighters to rise up and mount a serious challenge to the ruling mullahs.

    The July 9 strike is also putting Washington on the spot, as policymakers scramble to decide how the American government should respond.

    Some say that American encouragement could make the difference in getting a protest large enough to topple the Iranian government, which President Bush has called part of the "axis of evil."

    Reza Pahlavi, the son of the late shah of Iran, has been in touch with student organizers and is lending his support to the event.

    "This could be a major turning point. It is crucial for the world community to pick up on this," Mr. Pahlavi told The New York Sun.

    "The best way to invest in regime change in Iran is through the people of Iran themselves. It is so important at this stage to be supportive of the Iranian people and give them this moral solace that they’re not alone."

    Mr. Pahlavi told the Sun the mullahs’ "days are numbered" and that "Iranian society is picking up on these vibes."

    The optimism of the Iranian opposition movement is palpable, despite a lack of attention in the Western press.

    The July 9 strike, an organizer said, will be followed by protests in Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, and in Brussels at the European Union.

    A California-based Iranian broadcaster, Paris Saffari, said Iranians are calling in to talk about the event every day on her radio program.

    "We think in this period of time after the Iraq war, the people of Iran have a great hope.We think this time it will be a big event," Ms. Saffari said.

    "We’re hoping this will be the clincher day; that it numbers the days of the mullahs," said Banafsheh Zand-Bonazzi, a New York-based Iranian activist whose father, journalist Siamak Pourzand, is in jail in Tehran.

    Yesterday, the French foreign minister, Dominique de Villepin, arrived in Tehran for meetings with Iranian officials,including President Khatemi,and the chairman of the powerful Expediency Council, a former president of Iran, Hashemi Rafsanjani.

    The visit has angered Senator Brownback, a Republican of Kansas who has championed the cause of freeing Iran.

    "The Iranian people are struggling for their freedom and yet, France continues to do business with this torturous regime" Mr. Brownback said yesterday. "Iran’s current regime is the largest state sponsor of terrorism in the world. I find it shameful that the French would claim to support a secure world, and then do business with a regime that is actively dedicated to destroying that security."

    Protests are planned today in Iran against Mr. de Villepin, Ms. Zand-Bonazzi said.

    "Iranian university students and women are going to go out there and demonstrate in front of the French Embassy. We’re hoping it will be a huge turnout.

    The French have made dirty deals with the mullahs. Chirac is one of the best friends of Khatemi."

    A wide-scale revolt this summer by students in the Islamic Republic, where about 70% of the population is under the age of 30, would be momentous.

    Some experts believe that regime change could be achieved with simple moral support from America. President Bush’s labeling the regime as part of an "axis of evil" was a good start, they say, but more must be done.

    "The students are telling me they have basically made a decision that reform within the system is impossible. The story of the internal politics in Iran is not getting out.

    "We really have a unique opportunity to do something good, and we are not," said Rob Sobhani, a professor at Georgetown University who closely follows the situation in Iran.

    Mr. Sobhani said that a turnout of 500,000 Iranians in the streets this July could topple the government.

    "If we did this right, we could have a regime change in Iran. It would just take for the U.S. to make very clear that we want to change the regime — no platitudes, no pussyfooting around," he said.

    Calls to the State Department and the National Security Council seeking comment were not returned.

    A resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, Joshua Muravchik, said, "We ought to be making a lot of noise."

    "We’re in a situation where it’s all psychological. We need enough people that will go into the streets with courage and do it," Mr. Muravchik said.

    "We ought to be stepping up our broadcasts. Iranian opposition groups are proliferating, the Congress could easily put through something to support them," he added. "We’re not talking much money here, just a few million dollars just to disperse."

    Mr. Brownback, who championed the Iraq Liberation Act of 1998 that funded anti-Saddam opposition groups, is pushing for a $50 million federally funded foundation to be created to help fund pro-freedom Iranian activities.
    "Speaking here in my capacity as a polished, sophisticated European as well, it seems to me the laugh here is on the polished, sophisticated Europeans. They think Americans are fat, vulgar, greedy, stupid, ambitious and ignorant and so on. And they've taken as their own Michael Moore, as their representative American, someone who actually embodies all of those qualities." - Christopher Hitchens

  • #2
    "Death to America, death to America" they yell at Mullah-sponsored rallies but I know what tempts them. I read an interesting article in a Polish-language magazine in Europe. It was about Iranian women and how they are beginning to enjoy the first freedoms since that rat Khomeini. And they dream about more. About the right to go skydiving, to wear modern western clothes and haircuts (they really do except only indoors during girl-only parties). They spend countless hours and all their savings getting their nails done. They want to be attractive to people in the streets, but since Islam attempts to suppress their natural sexuality the hands and the eyes are the only parts of their bodies they can display in public. You can bet they wear the best fingernail and mascara jobs that money can buy.
    Last edited by MonsterZero; 26 Apr 03, 09:09.

    "Artillery adds dignity to what would otherwise be a ugly brawl."
    --Frederick II, King of Prussia

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    • #3
      Originally posted by MonsterZero
      "Death to America, death to America" but I know what tempts them. Read an interesting article in a Polish-language magazine in Europe. Most of the article was about Iranian women and how they are beginning to enjoy the first freedoms since that rat Khomeini. And they dream about more. About the right to go skydiving, to wear modern western clothes and haircuts (they really do except only indoors during girl-only parties). They spend countless hours and all their savings getting their nails done. They want to be attractive to people in the streets, but since Islam attempts to suppress their natural sexuality the hands and the eyes are the only parts of their bodies they can display in public. You can bet they wear the best fingernail and mascara jobs that money can buy.

      Maybe its just me, but i think the muslim woman look is hot. From now I'm going to make any girls i start dating wear the veil.
      "Speaking here in my capacity as a polished, sophisticated European as well, it seems to me the laugh here is on the polished, sophisticated Europeans. They think Americans are fat, vulgar, greedy, stupid, ambitious and ignorant and so on. And they've taken as their own Michael Moore, as their representative American, someone who actually embodies all of those qualities." - Christopher Hitchens

      Comment


      • #4
        You guys wouldn't believe what goes on inside Muslim homes in countries like Iran. All the little pleasures and freedoms that are forbidden in public-they are exercised inside their homes and with even greater enthusiasm. Fortunately, as oppressive as the Mullahs are, usually they don't disturb people in their homes.

        "Artillery adds dignity to what would otherwise be a ugly brawl."
        --Frederick II, King of Prussia

        Comment

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