Is the United
States serious about Iran?
By: Amil Imani
Recently, Secretary of State,
Condoleezza Rice has requested $75 million to support pro-democracy elements
inside Iran and also assist the
Iranian opposition groups outside of Iran.
While I am grateful for this kind
gesture from President George W. Bush’s administration, I have serious doubts
that this amount can change anything in Iran. I doubt that the $75 million
(if Secretary Rice indeed receives it) will be used effectively and wisely.
President Bush, in his 2005 state of
union address, once again reiterated his support of the Iranian people. He
said, “And to the Iranian people, I say tonight: As you stand for your own
stands with you.” A Tehran University student responded, “As long as President
Bush stands with the Iranian people, the Iranian people will stand with him and
Is it not totally ironic that the
presidential race in the United States
was won by a few percentage points, but in Iran, President Bush won by a
landslide? What also remains irony is while President Bush is sinking in the
polls in his home country, his popularity is climbing in Iran. Yes, the
Persian speaking people have found a friend who says he cares about the Iranian
plight. But, really, how serious is President Bush about the Iranian plight? Is
it simply a lot of rhetoric with no action?
It has been 5 consecutive years that
President Bush has adamantly supported the Iranian people in his state of the
union address. What we have seen is too much carrot, but not enough stick or as
they say in Texas
all hat and no cattle. Mr. President, while I have supported your efforts to
liberate Iraq and bring
democracy to the region, I am afraid the key to peace in Iraq and the
region is in the hands of the Iranian people. As long as the Islamic regime
rules over the defenseless people in Iran,
will never see the light of democracy.
While we are spending over $200
million a day for the war in Iraq,
in contrast, a $75 million proposal to bring change in Iran seems
utterly unreasonable and unrealistic. We are talking about the Islamic republic
"the world's most active state sponsor of terrorism", according to
the U.S. State Department.
According to research by the Iranian
Studies Group, an independent academic organization at Massachusetts Institute
of Technology (MIT), more than one in four Iranian-Americans hold a master's or
doctoral degree, the highest rate among 67 ethnic groups studied. Iranians
continue to be among the most highly educated in U.S.
and annually inject over $600 billion into the U.S.
It would be a travesty for the
Iranian opposition groups to accept such an insignificant amount of money while
the Iranian-Americans are such large contributors to the U.S. economy.
So far Iranian-Americans have not
given big money to the cause of liberating their fellow Iranians in Iran, nor has the U.S government given any
significant amount for the eradication of the mother of all terrorist groups in
the world, the Islamic regime in Iran. Again, we are back to square
States still holds billions of dollars of the Iranian
assets in U.S.
banks. It only makes sense to utilize this fund for the regime change by the
Iranian opposition abroad. This money must be returned to its legitimate heirs,
the Iranian people.
So, if the U.S. is serious about a
regime change in Iran, if the U.S. is hoping for a democratic form of
government in Iran and if the U.S. truly advocates a broader democracy in the
Middle East, then I urge the white House to consider unfreezing the Iranian
assets and supporting all the Iranian opposition in doing what is best for
their country. After all, Iranians know Iranian mentality much better than any
It is time for the US government
to get serious about this issue. Bombing Iran’s installations will not help
the cause. As a matter of fact, it probably creates unity with the regime
The most effective way is spending the Iranian frozen assets in the right
Let us create a secular, democratic
Iranian nation and obliterate the venomous theocratic regime in Iran which the
majority of Iranians consider to be alien occupiers. The clock is ticking and
the majority of Iranians want to be free from the oppressors now. So I urge the
administration to stop the bureaucracy and get down to business immediately.
Amil Imani is an Iranian
born/American Citizen and pro democracy activist who resides in the United States of America.
Imani is a poet, writer, literary translator, novelist and an essayist who has
been writing and speaking out for the struggling people of his native land, Iran. He
maintains a website at www.amilimani.com