Iran Regime Change
American Hand in Iran
Like the color-coded terror alert system, the technicolor Velvet Invasions blink warning. Despite receiving an ugly bruise in Uzbekistan, the CIA and its NGO regime change industry hope to stage another cardboard coup in Iran. But it could be a Black & Blue Revolution.
Citing a 'mission accomplished' in Iraq, President Bush told 25,000 soldiers in Fort Hood, Texas: "The establishment of a free Iraq is a watershed event in the global democratic revolution. That success is sending a message from Beirut to Tehran."
Tasked by the Bush administration with sending that message from America to Tehran and "winning hearts and minds" is Swiftboat Veteran author Jerome Corsi. On May 16, Corsi's NGO The Iran Freedom Foundation, inaugurated a 12 day "Iran Freedom Walk" from Philadelphia's Liberty Bell to Washington, D.C.
Dipping two fingers in red paint, Corsi waved a peace sign in solidarity "with the blood of oppressed Iranians" and called on "the spirit of Mahatma Ghandi and Martin Luther King." He declared; "I love the Iranian people. America does not hate the Persian people. We love the Persian people. We want peace and we love the Persian people." Corsi's voice then dropped to a whisper; "We stand here today and we pray in the name of the Gods. I embrace Jesus Christ as my savior- and we also pray in the name of Allah, Zoroaster, and B'hai."
But Corsi has expressed very different opinions on Islam in the past. According to his own postings
on FreeRepublic.com, on November 18, 2001 Corsi used a racial slur to define Arabs; "Ragheads are Boy-Bumpers [sodomizers]
as clearly as they are Women Haters- it all goes together."
Surrounding Corsi at his 'Freedom Walk' were three dozen Los Angeles Iranian dissidents and pro-monarchists interviewed by an Orthodox Jewish journalist and by the CIA-backed Voice of America and Radio Free Europe/Radio Farda. The Los Angeles Times of March 20, 2005 revealed that 'Tehrangeles' has become a crucial recruiting ground for Iranian expatriates who gather information for the US intelligence community. Also providing assistance are various Farsi language media who broadcast messages against the Iranian government into Iran.
According to the March 4, 2005 Los Angeles Times, the US currently spends $14.7 million a year on Farsi "opposition broadcasts" into Iran. The Voice of America's Farsi service reaches an estimated 15 million Iranians with news programs and websites, and the Bush administration has recently requested an additional $5.7 million in 2006 to expand the hours of transmission.
Los Angeles Farsi radio station KRSI noted the similarity between current US efforts and the CIA's 1953 overthrow of Iran's democratically elected Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadeq. When asked if he was CIA affiliated Corsi replied; "No I'm not. I've never held a government position, never had any government position at all. I've been in universities. I'm an author. I'm in business. I'm not related to the CIA. It's just not true."
But when later asked how he became so committed to Iranian liberation, he explained; "When I was a young man I was an expert in antiterrorism and political violence. I had a top secret clearance when I was in universities and I worked to assist the State Department and the government." Corsi's publisher, Cumberland House, states in his biography that Corsi's top secret clearance came from the government agency USAID. USAID has often served as a conduit for American covert operations funding, under humanitarian auspices.
I then asked Corsi about the Iran Freedom Foundation's funding. He said the money came from sales of his book "Atomic Iran" and from private donations, adding that the IFF would apply for government funding when it became available.
That government funding may be on the way. On February 11, 2005 a promoter of the Iran Freedom Foundation, Worldnetdaily.com announced that Corsi had helped Republican Senator Rick Santorum write the Iran Freedom and Support Act of 2005. The legislation was to authorize $10 million in assistance to pro-democracy NGOs that challenge the Iranian regime. Corsi called that figure a "starting point."
It was an accurate projection. According to the May 5, 2005 Financial Times article "US offers grants to help oppose clerics," Guy Dinmore reported that lawmakers demanded a bill aimed at overthrowing the Iranian government be increased to $50 million. This did not include the millions of dollars provided by the State Department's Middle East Partnership Initiative. "We have turned opposition into a profession," commented Ray Takeyh of the Council on Foreign Relations. "This money is going to go up."
Such "soft power" opposition activities are escalating. The May 29 New York Times quoted R. Nicholas Burns, under secretary of state for political affairs, as saying the Bush team was "taking a page from the playbook" of colored revolutions where the US funded pro-democracy NGOs helped nonviolently overthrow noncompliant governments.
The Iran Freedom Foundation lists several such activities on its website. Corsi's book "Atomic Iran" is being translated into Farsi for clandestine distribution in Iran, there is an online petition targeting the mullahs, IFF university associations are mobilizing college students, and a national speakers bureau to educate Americans on Iranian atrocities has been deployed.
The IFF is also filming a documentary and has begun running TV ads entitled; "An Atomic 9-11: When Evil is Appeased" accusing Iran of plans to detonate a 150 kiloton nuclear bomb in New York City. According to Israeli Knesset documents, Corsi was formerly with the Israel Atomic Energy Commission. When I reminded Corsi that it was the US who began Iran's nuclear program in the 1970s, and that Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld sat on the board of ABB which sold North Korea its nuclear reactors in the 1990's, he refused to comment.
The IFF's efforts are supplemented by an array of related sister organizations such as Regime Change Iran, Alliance for Democracy in Iran, Iran of Tomorrow Movement, the Iranian Opposition Council, and "The 70 Million People of Iran" who are organizing an election for a secular interim government in exile "ready to assume Iran's governmental functions by June 10, 2005." The group has also issued an ultimatum letter to world leaders, demanding they void all contracts with Iran by June 16. (Halliburton contracts in Iran were not mentioned). This small US-backed group, presuming to speak for 70 million Iranians, even borrowed State Department lingo urging "the removal of the Islamic Republic to win the "War on Terror."
Corsi's IFF has also endorsed the Free Iran Project, an enterprise created by Reagan Doctrine policy architect Dr Jack Wheeler. In January 2005, Wheeler advocated that President Bush use nuclear weapons to destroy Mecca if America is hit by another terror attack. Wheeler boasted on his website 'To The Point' that Osama Bin Laden is "playing poker with a Texas cowboy holding all the nuclear aces."
The goal of these strategies, Corsi announced at his event, was to incite mass protests against Iran's June 17th presidential elections and thus destabilize the regime. Iranian dissident Ghassem Sholeh Sadi agreed. In the NY Sun article, "Iranian dissidents asking aid from Bush," Sadi explained; "After the events in Kyrgystan, there is an idea to try to turn the elections into a referendum and uprising."
As early as 2003, Reuters printed allegations that the US had infiltrated several million dollars into the country to bribe officials and pay protestors. The Economist of June 13, 2003 headlined; "More unrest on the streets of Tehran. Is America pulling the strings?"
America is pulling strings, with Israeli assistance. The former head of Mossad's Foreign Intelligence Division Uzi Arad told Worldnetdaily.com; "Support of Iranian opposition by the international community could be an effective way to handle the current regime" and that "its stability can be geatly reduced by the people themselves." Pro-Israel lobbyist Michael Ledeen wrote for the neoconservative American Enterprise Institute; "Mr. Bush is correct that we should actively help the brave Iranians who are leading demonstrations against the regime..."
Israel's Student Solidarity Movement and The Jewish Agency recently staged protests at Iranian embassies worldwide. The Israeli newspaper Ha'aretz reported "AIPAC [American Israel Political Action Committee] spurring Congress to pass a sanctions bill against Iran." AIPAC is also pressuring the US to support the Iranian Mujahedin-e-Khalq (National Council of Resistance of Iran) for use against Iran's mullahs.
MEK has been legally designated a terrorist organization since 1997 for killing US citizens, for its role in the 1979 seizure of the US embassy in Tehran, and for attacking coalition troops in Iraq. Human Rights Watch recently condemned them for use of torture, bombings and assassinations. Nevertheless, 150 congressmen have petitioned Bush to remove them from the terrorism list, and several lawmakers spoke at their 2005 convention in Washington, D.C.
The Israeli Communication Ministry's R.R. Sat provides transponder capability to the MEK to broadcast programming on its two channels. Iran-interlink.org even hints that Ariel Sharon personally approved funding for the broadcasts, because of his alliance with MEK founder Maryam Rajavi.
On May 28, The Iran Freedom Foundation's 'Freedom Walk' reached the White House. The closing rally featured Richard Perle, former Assistant Secretary of Defense and pro-Israel architect of Bush's Middle East policy. Jerome Corsi then phoned the White House where President Bush congratulated the marchers and offered support. Vice President Cheney's office also thanked the IFF. Corsi vowed; "If we can find sufficient monetary resources, we plan to send funds inside Iran to support those oppressed."
In response, USAToday reported that Iranian Ambassador to the UN, Mohammad Javad Zarif denounced these types of US measures as a violation of the Algiers Accords. The Algiers Accords freed 52 American embassy hostages in exchange for a US promise "not to intervene directly or indirectly, politically or militarily, in Iran's internal affairs." Iran may file a complaint with The International Court of Justice in the Hague to stop US interference.
to Reuters, Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi threatened; "Iran has always defended its interests with
full power and will continue to do so. It won't hesitate even for a fraction of a moment to defend itself" and Iran's
government has pledged harsh resistance.
Iranians: They're Just Like Us!
By Trish Schuh March 12, 2008 http://www.esquire.com/the-side/blog/iranians-like-us-031208?click=main_sr
TEHRAN, Iran — A friend jokes: "If you're going to Iran, better batten down the burqa."
No need. I've long ago mastered the hijab (the Muslim headscarf). Besides, Iranian women wear the less-conservative chador,
a long, black cloak that covers the arms and legs and is worn with hijab. Not the ghostlike burqa shroud- which
entombs a woman in fabric- that is worn in Afghanistan to appease the Taliban.
What's more, my invitation to visit Iran had come through officials at the Iranian Consulate to the United Nations, where they promised that my schedule and story proposals in Iran had been reconfirmed.
"Everything's under control," I tell my friend. "I've got contacts in high places so I'm covered!" I touch down in Iran. Upon landing at Imam Khomeini Airport, the authorities survey my passport and suddenly I become The Emergency. Whispers, gestures, stares. Something is wrong. They march me to the police.
"Arms? We want the arms," the head security guard demands.
"Arms. Now! Must has your arms," he repeats.
I start to panic. "No. I have no arms. Or weapons. You must be thinking of somebody else," I say.He pulls out a tin box and a page. "Here," he points, "put arms." Then he inked my hands up to the wrist. He even fingerprinted my knuckles. Maybe Iranian intelligence reads palms? I hoped it wasn't a bad omen.
Khomeini overlooking the Christian Church of St. Sarkis in central Tehran.
The text says, "Dear Khomeini, We will never put down the flag that you have raised."
The trouble started at the Ministry of Culture. They had not been informed by anyone at the United Nations in New York about my visit. My diplomatic contact had made no contact with them on my behalf. Nor did they recognize the name of the diplomat who sponsored me.
So I would be required to register with an official press agency that wanted $300 per day for the use of a state-approved translator. And they would charge me for every day of my stay, whether I used a translator or not.
It wouldn't help to find a cheaper translator on my own because to enter an event or exhibition, or do interviews, required verification from the same state press agency, as well as a letter of permission from the Ministry.
At one point I was evicted from my hotel for overbooking and because my visa extension was pending. The police had confiscated my passport so they could renew it. But I couldn't check into another hotel because I had no passport. So I roamed around Tehran and hauled around my entire set of luggage. Negotiating back and forth on these problems can easily waste entire days.
All this could have been smoothed over with a bit of a "baksheesh" (bribe), a colleague hinted. The big corporate news agencies pay around $60,000 dollars for a visa, not counting press agency fees, hotel commissions, etc. (In a hotel, restaurant, or store the quoted price is often doubled when dealing with foreigners.) "You should have brought some sort of a slush fund," he sniffed.
Such bureaucratic mismanagement and corruption is commonplace in the region. Rather like dealing with the IRS. In Iran it is a far bigger obstacle to U.S. business people than any reputed anti-American sentiment.
In fact, Iran is the only genuinely pro-American country in the Middle East. OK, so one person in a taxi launched into an anti-American tirade, angrily castigating me for being an American. But it turned out he was another tourist from Canada.
Despite the Iraq War, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the Lebanon War of 2006, and Iran's Islamic Revolution, younger Iranians love America. After September 11, for example, Iranians were among the first to hold a candlelight vigil for the victims.
Some of this affinity is due to
the proliferating "poison of Western culture" or "westoxification," as the Ayatollah Khomeini condemned
it. My taxi driver from Khomeini airport didn't want to talk politics, Islam, or about the weather. He wanted to talk about
Tom Cruise. And he told me he dressed like him too.
Almost 70 percent of Iranians are under the age of 30, and they emulate Western trends via satellite TV and the Internet. On the streets of the capital, young men sport subversively moussed hairdos that are short and stand on end. They wear everything from three-piece suits to European leather jackets with black suede pants and Italian loafers. Long hair and goatees in a neo-hippie style are not uncommon.
Among women in affluent north Tehran, females sometimes don fuchsia pink hijab (yes, these Islamofashion freedom fighters can be arrested for being too colorful). An Iranian Code Pink?
Other women are a bit more underground. In central Tehran, I saw copper-frosted spiked bangs poking out from under a headscarf, punk jewelry, Goth lipstick, and Joan Jett eyeliner. One middle-aged matron wore denim jeans and cowboy boots under a full chador.
As a Western visitor, I was reminded to do as the Romans do. While chatting with friends
at Iran's new television channel, Press TV, one of them scolded me for my overly conservative hijab. "It's too tight
— show some hair. Loosen up a bit. You look like an Islamic fundamentalist! We are not the Taliban here."
AGE: 63 years old
TEHRAN, Iran - Morris Motamed is the only Jewish Minister of Parliament in Iran's Majlis, and is the official representative of the largest (25,000) Jewish community in the middle east Diaspora outside of Israel.
The Persian Jewish community
stretches back nearly 3000 years to around 680 BC when Jews fled King
But now those ties are under strain. President Ahmedinejad has offended the Iranian Jewish community
with his attacks on Israel and the Holocaust, and there is worry for the community's safety if the crisis in Lebanon with
Iranian-backed Hezbollah broadens into a US-Israeli attack on Iran.
In October, 2007 Israeli media disclosed that "Danger!" warning letters had been sent to Iranian Jews by Jews in the Diaspora warning them to flee ahead of an impending military attack on Iran.
What is the condition of the Jewish community in Iran?
In recent weeks, President Ahmedinejad has amplified his criticism of Israel by calling it a "stinking corpse" doomed to annihilation. Local authorities burned down seven ancient synagogues in Tehran while renovating the city, and clerics announced a plan to erase Iran's non-Islamic heritage by destroying the tomb of Cyrus the Great.
US House Approves Military Attack on Iran
[Iran] has engaged in a systematic campaign of deception and manipulation to hide its true intentions and keep its
The resolution urges nations
that have signed the Treaty on the Nonproliferation of Nuclear Weapons (to use any and all appropriate means to deter, dissuade
and prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons). It also demands that the European Union, Asian nations, and Russia
cease future commercial and energy trade with the Islamic Republic. Russia is
Representatives Pete Stark (D-CA) and Dennis
Kucinich (D-Ohio) have publicly condemned the bill, noting its similarity
A U.S. plan for military action against Iran has been complete since May 2003, according to the Sydney Morning Herald. Under the plan, there would be strikes on the Arak, Natanz, Isfahan and Bushehr installations with precision missiles launched from Iraq as well as Iran's northern neighbors, Georgia and Azerbaijan.
British and American intelligence and special forces units have been put on alert for an Iran conflict within 12 months, according to British sources. The Israeli newspaper Haaretz revealed that a special Mossad unit has been activated to draw up Osirak II (a reference to the 1981 Israeli bombing raids that destroyed the Iraqi Osirak nuclear complex near Baghdad).
Mossad chief Meir Dagan declared Iranian nuclear capability "to be the greatest threat ever faced by Israel." In December, 2003 he informed the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee that an operation to annihilate the Iranian facilities had been finalized.
Israeli Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz also announced that under no circumstances would Israel tolerate nuclear weapons in Iranian possession, warning that by the end of 2004 Iran's atomic development would have reached "the point of no return."
In response, former President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani warned that "if Israel committed such an error, we would give it a slap it would never forget- not only now but for all its history."