|Solidarity With Freedom Loving People Of Iran|
An Open letter in opposition to " The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action" addressed to US Congress and Obama Administration
Office in the US:
5576A Norbeck Rd, # 140,
September 8th, 2015
Open Letter on ‘The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action’
Honorable members of the US Congress & Obama Administration
The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) with its many possible interpretations has provided valid points of argument for all those in favour and against the deal. Fears of war and military action and continuing economic hardship for the Iranian people have prompted a few Iranian scholars and experts to write to you, the honourable members of the Congress, in support of the JCPOA. We, the undersigned, share these most serious and legitimate concerns and condemn any use of force against Iran. However, we do not believe that the JCPOA will realise the desired objectives either for the Iranian people or the global community.
As concerned Iranians for the future of Iran we, too, believe that a nuclear-armed Islamic Republic poses a serious threat to the security and stability of Iran, the region and the greater international community. As many have pointed out and argued, there are loopholes and ambiguous sections that allow for duplicitous interpretation by the Islamic Republic. They have demonstrated this with their successful sanction busting efforts.
The JCPOA will in effect lift international embargoes on Iran’s access to advanced conventional weapons and ballistic missile technology. Since the 14 July, 2015 agreement with the United States and five other countries the following are among actions taken by the Islamic Republic which have increased our concerns and make us doubt the lasting functionability of the JCPOA:
- secret side deal with the IAEA,
- ongoing construction at Parchin, a military site linked to nuclear weapons work, and
- resumption of negotiations over the purchase of Russian S-300 surface-to-air missiles (SAMs).
In addition to the above, we would like to draw your attention to the following three crucial issues:
The first issue is:
The primary question before the American people and the US Congress is: who are the parties the United States and its allies are making a “Deal” with?
- Constitutionally power is divided into the executive, legislative and judicial offices. However, as we are sure you are aware, the Office of the Absolute Supreme Leadership has the final say on all matters. Ayatollah Khamenei, the Absolute Supreme Leader (ASL), has his own inner cabinet with control over armed forces, security establishment, judicial, state media, and Sepah Pasdaran (Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps - IRGC) who operate their own independent business enterprises, including export & import dealings without the knowledge or control of the government.
- The members of the government who have been party to the drafting of the JCPOA are therefore powerless in its execution and enforcement without the support and authority of the ASL.
- The members Islamic Consultative Assembly (the Parliament) who are preparing to vote on the JCPOA will not have the power of an independent vote and must vote as instructed by the ASL. Thus, the only way the will and voice of people can be heard is through protests and demonstrations which, as the world has witnessed, due to the brutal nature of the regime is not possible.
The enforcement and execution of the agreement requires political power which is lacking in the office of the President. Any agreement with the government has no jurisdiction or any value as it can be rejected by the ASL. It must not be forgotten, however, that Mr Rouhani is a major cog in the wheel that keeps the Islamic regime turning. Meanwhile, the people of Iran remain hostages to the will of Ayatollah Khamenei and the factional fighting amongst various power bases. The Iranian people’s hope for any deal is to have the threat of war removed yet they remain at constant threat of military strikes and sanctions under the ‘snap back’ provisions in the JCPOA as flawed as they may be.
The second issue is:
While harsh economic sanctions have adversely affected the lives of ordinary Iranians, those in the circles of power have benefited greatly:
- Billions of dollars of Iran’s income has been squandered, embezzled and mismanaged;
- The Islamic Republic is implicated in international money laundering.
As state figures indicate, today, 40% of Iranians live below the poverty line; nevertheless, since the creation of the Islamic Republic its proxies have been well funded in their terrorist activities.
It is a known fact that the Islamic Republic is an active state sponsor of terrorism and in the last thirty seven years US citizens have repeatedly fallen victim to their heinous acts. The released funds would also make it easier for the regime to continue its destabilising activities in the Middle East and increase its influence in the region.
It is worthy to note that this terrorism is also practiced at home and abroad. Iranian people have not been immune from the regime’s ruthless and violent activities either with assassinations of Iranians inside and outside of Iran’s borders.
As such, we are gravely concerned about the revenue that is going to be available to the regime. We are also outraged at the fact that individuals and companies listed in the JCPOA that have been active in such activities will have access to funds held outside Iran and will be free to travel once the agreement is implemented. Smart sanctions are a powerful and effective tool and should be applied here. Experience of the last thirty seven years has shown that whenever there is an international rapprochement with the regime, Iranians citizens suffer the most terrible human rights violations.
The third issue is:
Regardless of the JCPOA and the sanctions relief, the volatile and unstable political situation in Iran will go on to threaten any foreign investment. Without a doubt, Iran remains a profitable consumer market and foreign investors can take full advantage of the regime’s desperate need for finance and investment. It concerns us that, anxious for quick profits, the irresponsible regime will enter into deals which will not be in the best national interest of Iran and its future.
The alternative to JCPOA is not war – it is support for the establishment of a secular and democratic rule in Iran. It is investing in the will of a nation tired of living under a religious tyranny as demonstrated during summer of 2009, after the disputed presidential elections and before it was brutally beaten into silence. It is thinking strategically and long term. For Iranians the road to democracy, respect for the rule of law, justice and human rights is full of obstacles not least because of deals with the regime such as JCPOA with its bountiful rewards. A secular and democratic Iran will prosper, benefit its people and will be an effective positive ally in regional peace and security.
Can the Islamic regime with its feuding factions, military ambitions of the Sepah Pasdaran and history of deceit and lying to its own people and the international community be trusted? Due to the deceitful, untrustworthy and adventurous nature of the Islamic regime, as Iranians working towards a better future for Iran, our unequivocal and expressed concern remains that even with the implementation of JCPOA the threat of war, military action and sanctions will not been removed. To reiterate, we do not believe that the JCPOA will realise the desired objectives either for the Iranian people or the global community.
During the US hostage crisis President Carter made the mistake of negotiating with the government. Thirty seven years later let us not make the same mistake.
Afshin jam, Afshin, Human Rights and political activist, Canada
Nazanin Afshin Jam- Mackay, Human Rights activist, Canada
Maryam Akbari, Civil Rights, UK
Mahvash Alasavandi, Mother against Execution, Canada
Dr. Roya Araghi, Human Rights activist, Canada
Shabnam Assadollahi, Human Rights activist, Free Lance Journalist, Canada
Dr. Bahram Bahramian, Political Activist, Professor at University of Maryland, USA
Anni Cyrus Human Rights activist, USA
Soheyla Drostkar Human Rights activist, Canada
Dr. Steven Ebbin, Bethesda, MD
Roozbeh Farahanipour, President of West LA Chamber of Commerce, Founder of Marze Por Gohar, USA
Bijan Fathi, Mother against Execution, Canada
Shahla Ghafouri, Teacher, Canada
Akhtar Ghasemi, photo Journalist, Germany
Maziar Ghavidel, Political Activist, Researcher, Iran''s culture and History, Sweden
Parviz Haddadzadeh, Political Activist, USA
Mahboobeh Hosseinpour, Human Rights activist, University Instructor, Turkey
Dr. Javid Javan, former Associate Dean at National University of Iran, USA
Sheema Kalbasi, Human Rights activist, USA
Farahmand Mahmoud Kalayeh, Political Activist, USA
Marjan Keypour, Human Rights activist, USA
Dr. Hooshang Lahooti, Senior Scientist, University of Sydney- Australia
Dr. Hossein Lajevardi, Economist, France
Ahmad Mazahery, Political Activist, VA, USA
Reza Mehrabian, Political Activist, VA, USA
Dr. Ahmad Mostafalou, Political Activist, Canada
Dr. Avideh Motmaen Far, Political Activist, Canada
Shahram Namvarazad, Human Rights activist, Canada
Partow Nooriala, Poet, Writer, USA
Shadi Paveh, Human Rights activist, Canada
Guiti Pourfazel, Lawyer, Human Rights activist, Iran
Banafsheh Pourzand, Zand Foundation, USA
Koroush Radmanesh, Senior Economy Specialist, EU
Kaveh Taheri, Human Rights activist, journalist, Turkey
Dr. Reza Taghizadeh , Lecturer, Political Activist, EU
Hamed Tehrani, Cologne - Germany
Dr. Borzumehr Toloui Semnani, Professor of Physics, Canada
Elham Yaghoubian, Political Activist, Co-founder of Marze Por Gohar, USA
Mandana Zand-Ervin, Zand Foundation, USA
Please Also Read This
The funeral of Iranian pop idol Morteza Pashaie on Sunday drew the biggest crowds seen in Iran since mass protests in 2009 rocked the Islamic Republic.
Pashaie, who died on Friday of pancreatic cancer at the age of 30, was a singer-composer who won a big following that crossed Iran''s political and social divides. His music appealed both to Westernized urbanites and the traditionally devout.
Last week, before he died, large crowds of fans poured into the streets of Tehran, holding candle-lit vigils, praying and humming his hit song "One-way Street", an ode on unrequited love.
His funeral in Tehran on Sunday brought out thousands of Iranians, both supporters of the Islamic government and secular-minded critics, in a rare moment of solidarity in a polarized country.
State television showed Pashaie''s coffin, bedecked in flowers and the Iranian flag, moving toward Behesht-e Zahra cemetery in south Tehran. Mourners in black sobbed, sang and waved his picture on his latest album cover.
The crowd grew ever bigger as young fans alerted each other by text, disrupting commuter traffic. Many filmed and broadcast through social media in defiance of security forces present in force.
"It was so overcrowded that some planned services had to be canceled. Repeated pleas for cooperation from Pashaie''s father had no effect," said the official IRNA news agency.
Fearing a repeat of mass demonstrations following ex-president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad''s disputed 2009 re-election, Iranian security forces are vigilant against any planned or impromptu public congregations.
In a country where Western-inspired entertainment is frowned upon as "un-Islamic", establishment media tried to give a spiritual spin to Pashaie and his work, showing him in acts of prayer or during pilgrimage.
Music has had a difficult time in Iran since the 1979 Islamic revolution. The clergy have allowed traditional Iranian music to be produced and aired, but many young musicians with taste for such popular genres as rock, rap and hip-hop have been forced to go underground.
REST IN PEACE MORTEZA PASHAI
Iran''s president has not delivered on pledges of more freedom: U.N.
By Louis Charbonneau
UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - Iranian President Hassan Rouhani''s promises of greater freedoms for the Islamic Republic have not resulted in any major improvements regarding human rights and freedom of expression, the U.N. chief said in a new report on Iran.
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon''s annual report to the General Assembly on human rights in Iran, obtained by Reuters on Friday, also expressed alarm at the reported recent increase in executions in Iran.
"President Rouhani has pledged to decrease restrictions on freedom of expression and to ensure security for the press," the report said. "Unfortunately, those promises have not yet led to significant improvements, and restrictions on freedom of expression continue to affect many areas of life."
But reporters, Ban said, continue to face restrictions and other difficulties.
"Journalists and other media personnel are frequently summoned or detained by the judiciary or face harassment and attacks by security forces," his report said.
Rouhani, who took office in August 2013, promised in April that religious and ethnic minorities "must feel justice." Also in April, the head of Iran''s High Council for Human Rights said members of the Baha''i community, which has been persecuted, were entitled to the same rights as all Iranian citizens.
"However, discrimination against ethnic and religious minorities reportedly persists both in law and in practice," the report said. "Baha''is remain barred from access to higher education and government employment; they also continue to experience governmental interference in private employment."
Another promise Rouhani has not delivered on is related to Internet censorship, the report said. In remarks earlier this year that challenged hardliners, Rouhani said Iran should embrace the Internet rather than viewing it as a threat.
"However, the Secretary-General deplores the fact that it appears that these words have not yet been translated into practical measures and that the judiciary has ordered the blocking of many social media platforms and websites," it said.
"It is noteworthy that, while such sites as Twitter and Facebook are blocked for most Iranians, the leadership increasingly uses social media to broadcast messages."
Iran says Internet censorship is necessary to protect its citizens'' morals and safeguard against cyberattacks, such as the Stuxnet computer virus that corrupted software in nuclear centrifuges and caused them to self-destruct.
Ban''s report also raises concerns about the increase in the number of executions last year. According to Cornell University Law School''s Deathpenaltyworldwide.org database, there were between 624 and 727 executions in Iran last year. Estimates for 2012 executions range from 314 to 580.
The vast major of those executed, Ban said, are for drug-related offenses. He also criticized Tehran for carrying out death sentences on juveniles.
"According to information gathered from reliable sources, more than 160 juveniles are currently on death row and at least two have been executed in recent months for crimes that they committed when they were younger than 18," Ban''s report said.
According to Deathpenaltyworldwide.org, there are currently at least 2,000 people on death row in Iran.
(Additional reporting by Stephanie Nebehay in Geneva; Editing by Lisa Shumaker) the last 14 days there as been about 50 executions:(
A video showing images that have been posted to the Stealthy Freedoms page of Iranian Women, with a song that speaks to the strength and beauty of women and girls throughout Asia as it portrays Iranian women, and their male supporters, from all walks of life:
| || || || || |