Free Thoughts on Iran
Front Page | About FToI | Authors | Archives | Comment Policy | Disclaimer
e-mail

bra.gif Justice for Mostafa, Funeral for Tohid | Main | Open Letter ket.gif

November 24, 2006

The US Policy toward Iran
Arash Rajaeeyan  [info|posts]

I was attending a web chat with Ambassador James F. Jeffrey regarding the US policy toward Iran; sadly there were not many people from Iran. I strongly recommend reading the content of these links before going on.

It is obvious that Iran and the US are standing face to face because of different interests they have in the region, which includes, but is not limited to, making nuclear bombs, their policy toward Israel and interference in Iraq. Now what will be the policy of the US toward Iran?

It looks like the US is not considering a complete war with Iran in its options.
It also looks like the pressure from the occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq on the Iran's government has led to more power for anti-American political forces in Iran.

So, now I think the remaining options are:

  1. Tighter economical and political sanctions.

  2. Starting a civil war on racial matters (Arabs, Azerbaijanis, Turkmen, Kurds, Balouchs, etc) making another Yugoslavia out of Iran, and dividing Iran into smaller, weaker parts.

  3. Destroying the military facilities and strategic economic infrastructure, especially those that can somehow be related to the nuclear energy by:

    • aerial bombing,

    • special-force operations.

  4. Changing the government of Iran.

  5. Another innovative idea, may be?

I think the first option is obviously the worst for the US and European companies, since they have already lost a lot of profit and the Iranian regime has bought whatever they needed from Russia, China, India, Pakistan and North Korea with higher prices, or indirectly through Dubai and Turkey.
So although China and Russia are supporting this solution but I think Europeans are not much interested in this solution.

The second option is also already tried. You may have read about the news of the bombing in Khuzestan, and the riots for a cartoon in Azerbaijan. The regime shows a high degree of capability and power for dealing with such matters, so I think this option is also off the table.

The third option (using special-force operations in different parts of Iran for destroying various facilities) is nearly impossible. As you might remember, the first of such operations by delta forces to rescue the American hostages failed in Tabas. I don't think that the US politicians take the risks again. Aerial bombing using stealth fighter bombers may look like a good idea, but since most of Iran's strategic nuclear and military facilities are about a kilometer deep under mountains, it is totally useless and this would most likely destroy the economical infrastructure supporting the country instead. I guess Iran's obvious reaction will be to increase the number of attacks toward American forces in the region and to stage dealier attacks against Israel. This will be even more effective now, after the latest Arab-Israeli conflict. It could be even deadlier in terms of the number of civilian casualties. I am sure that American politicians will avoid such a conflict in favor of Israel.

I think the fourth option is becoming impossible more and more. In the first days after revolution the US was full of Iranian opposition members, and under their influence the US politicians underestimated the number of people who are in favor of the current government because of their religious background. Years of armed fighting by the Mojahedin, Toodeh and other political parties and the Noje coup d'ťtat has shown that this government cannot be changed that easily!

I think now Americans need a new innovative idea, not yet used in their history. The increase in the budget toward Iran indicates they have come up with one, but what is it? Is it some thing bloodier than the above solution?

I hope that the new solution is spending that money on educating the next generation of Iranian politicians about realities in the new world.

Comments
muffy at November 25, 2006 05:08 PM [permalink]:

Hello,

I have question according to Iran issue, what do you think about iranian foreign policy? What are the most important parts, cases, what influencing foreign policy the most

thanks for any comments

Arash Rajaeeyan at November 25, 2006 07:06 PM [permalink]:
There are 3 major concerns in Iranian foreign policy, relation with Israel, Arab states and United States. Thanks to the sanctions of US against Iran during the Iran-Iraq war, the military industry has become very productive and we are one of the few countries in the world which produces its entire necessary weapon locally. There are different forces in Iran, but current government is a religious one, and the new government of Mr Ahamdi Nejad who was a member of Guardian Army of Islamic Revolution is strongly militaristic. they was thinking about making all Muslim countries united at first, and they were dreaming of ruling that big united country, most of them were dreaming about taking Muslim world to its brightest time in its history, but the Iraq war against Iran Kuwait teach them a very good lesson. Now they are more thinking about having a good relation. Although most Iranians hate Arabs the government is trying to make good relation with them. Although some Arabs speaking states like Bahrain or UAE were originally parts of Iran before becoming a separate country by support of UK. Osama bin laden and Saddam Hussein also had the same idea. The religious Islamic politicians hate Israel, the aggressive reactions of Israel against its neighbors and Palestinians is cleverly covered in Iranian media and most of Iranians support government Idea toward Israel, (only few of nationalists who hate Arabs prefer better relation with Israel) If you study History you may see that all Arabs armies are defeated by crusaders until the sallah-aldin (the Kurdish king ruling Egypt, Kurds are Iranian race) enters the war and defeats the Christians, and capture Jerusalem. Now both Iran and Israel know a full war with Iran will not only wipe out the Israel state from the maps but it will also make all Islamic countries united under government of a person like Mr Ahmadi Nejad or Bin laden. Mr Ahmadi Nejad has proved that his ideal personality is sallah-al-din is waiting for a chance to save his name in history. So I think he welcome a war with Israel very much but he needs the Israel to take first step. Happily according to Iranian laws the president has no real power and the real power is in hands of supreme leader, since he was president during the Iran-Iraq war I am sure he has much better idea of realities of War than president, and as long as he is alive and Iran will not start another war. The policy toward United States is very complicated, although US has made lots of bad things against Iran from changing the government of Mossadegh, to support of Saddam during the war and shooting Iranian Airbus, but most Iranians still love United States, may be thatís because lots of people in Iran have families in US or some families who have studied in US, or dreaming of migrating to US! They understand that US is a big country and a superpower and it can be a power in the region (unlike the small country like small which can never be mentally accepted by most Iranians to be a regional power!) The problem is that support of Saddam by US, Europe, Russia and rest of the world, has thought the current government that they are very alone, the decreasing popularity of the government between ordinary people has thought them they need some thing as strong as a nuclear weapon to ensure their existence. So I think they will continue playing some politics till the scientist finish making their bomb. Nothing will stop them from continuing their plan even if US ensur ["Toooo long!" editors say, "Here: click to read the whole thing!"]
A Reader at November 26, 2006 12:55 AM [permalink]:

Arash jan, I think you are over-estimating Iran and Arab countries power. Tell me what happened the last time there was a war between Israel and Arabs? And still Israel did not use her nukes.

Iran never welcomes a war with US or Israel. And thats why Iran accepted to suspend her uranium enrichment a couple of years ago. If a war happens (and I hope it will not), then what Iran can do is to throw a few Shahabs to Israel and disturb the flow of oil over the strait of Hormoz. This definitely affects the world's economy, but it is very different from wiping out Israel.

Other thing is that Iran at this moment of the history is not in a level to lead the arab world. Those countries all have very strict dictatorships, and even if the majority of their people back Iran in a possible war, their government's dependency to the US with not allow them to join the war in favor of Iran. The most we can hope is that they remain natural and don't let US to use their land against us and that still is an optimistic hope.

Arash Rajaeeyan at November 26, 2006 12:01 PM [permalink]:

Hello unknown reader!
I don't over-estimating Arab countries power, I think they have repeatedly proven they are not a match for Israel and Europe without help from Iran and Turkey many times in history, but I am sure that when Iran builds a nuclear bomb, it can wipeout
Israel from the maps easily!
Iran can use Hamas and Hezbollah to lunch the missiles from very near to Israeli borders and then Patriot missiles are totally useless.
So what I believe is that when we finish making our nuclear bomb, Israel will become our hostage. (By we I mean Iran, I am not personally involved!)

And about Iran leading Muslim world, again yes Iran is not in that position, but some politicians like current president think a war between Israel and Iran will put Iran in that position! Thatís why he welcomes a war with Israel

Ron at November 27, 2006 01:34 AM [permalink]:

I am curious, Arash, why you believe that Israel would let Iran finish making a nuclear bomb? Do you rule out the possibility of a pre-emptive nuclear strike against Iran?

Arash Rajaeeyan at November 27, 2006 06:16 AM [permalink]:

Yes I roll it out! Because there is one big difference between Israel government and Iran and it's they care for their people while Iranian government don't.
Iranian government makes money by selling oil, not by getting TAX so the only reason they need people is to fight for them as soldiers.
So these are my reasons:

1) Dropping atomic bomb on Bushehr or Natanz facilities are useless because the real strategic facilities of Iran are more than 1000, meters deep under a 1000 meter and higher mountains near Tehran and other catties.

2) A nuclear strike can only kill lots of civilians, thatís what exactly current government needs to hide its weak economical functionality and reach their dream toward starting holy religious war against Israel involving all Muslim countries.

3) Israel needs to use Jordan and Iraq air space or turkey or Saudi Arabia to attack Iran, I am sure non of the neighbor countries of Iran are willing to accept consequences of such a favor toward Israel against another Muslim country in their own people public opinion.

4) Iranian Air is very strong; you can go to http://www.acig.org and see the result of air campaign of Israeli air force against Arab pilots and Iranian pilots against Arab pilots during the Iran Iraq war.
As you may see even using the old F4 phantoms which are no match against modern aircraft used by Iraq and its allies, Iranian air force was much more successful, now they have repaired their air planes, captured some from Iraq during the second gulf war, and now producing Saeghe (copied from F5) and two other fully natively designed Shafaq and Azarakhsh. (Similar to F16 and JSF) they have also purchased a modern anti air missile defense system from Russia just for defending their nuclear sites.

Mehrdad H. at November 27, 2006 06:47 AM [permalink]:

Arash, Ron,

Iran will not be able to wipe out any country from the map even if it becomes nuclear capable. As already experienced by North Korea, going through this path and even reaching the final goal of making a nuclear bomb will only increase our country's isolation and our people's state of suffering in today's vibrant international community. Such a policy will only benefit the hardliner mullahs in Iran and the exteremist influential Jews of the USA as the survival of both of these groups very much depends on an ongoing conflict between the two.

The solution, as Arash has mentioned, is "to educate the next generation of Iranian politicans about the realities of the new world." And of course, to educate people in both Iran and the USA so that they are less prone to fall in the trap of and be manipulated by their extremist leaders.

Arash Rajaeeyan at November 27, 2006 07:08 AM [permalink]:

Dear Mehrdad, Arun
As I said in my article thatís what the supreme leader the Ayattolah Khameneyee understands as he was president of Iran during the Iran Iraq war, but Mr Ahmadi Nejad don't!
But hopefully in Iranian laws president is no one! And government power is very limited to strategies made by supreme and guardian councils and the supreme leader him self, and they are really controlling the government

So when Mr Ahmadi Nejad says Israel should be wiped out, I think he really loves to do so and think he can, but only supreme leader can start a war, and he will not do so.

Ben at November 27, 2006 11:33 AM [permalink]:

I don't understand why they put a president without power and let him talk like he does.

Rancher at November 27, 2006 01:13 PM [permalink]:

Iran has two goals.

1. The complete destruction of Israel
2. A Muslim (Shia Iranian) Caliphate

Towards those ends Iran has some secondary goals.

1. Shame the US into leaving the region.
2. The destruction of all democracy in the region, (Israel, Lebanon, Afghanistan, and Iraq)
3. Obtain nuclear capability.

Now we are to believe it is the United Statesí best interest to hold more talks with Iran. What do we have to bargain with? We have already held out all kinds of bribes to the Mullahs to get them to give up the bomb resulting in nothing but the promise of more talks. We want them to leave Iraq alone. They want us to leave Iraq period. What can we offer them to stop, especially since they appear to be winning, at least winning the hearts and minds of Americaís left? The left has already championed the Iranian goal of kicking us of Iraq. When the American public has already voted for cut and run we would look pretty stupid offering that option to the Iranians. Can we offer them Afghanistan? They must figure that once we are out of Iraq it can safely be left to Sadr to finish the job of gaining control for the greater Shia Caliphate. The Jihadist can then go to Afghanistan to destroy that annoying democracy. They donít need us to abandon Afghanistan, make it tough on the Americans and they will cut and run from Afghanistan as well. Iran will most assuredly ask us to abandon Israel although the left is not quite willing to do that yet. They only need to kill one or two more ministers to take back Lebanon so we canít even offer them Lebanon. The only other carrot we can offer Tehran is to go ahead and let them get their nukes. Is that even an option? Based on the situation so far Tehran should have every reason to believe we will do nothing to prevent them from reaching that goal. On top of that, what incentive does Iran have to actually abide by whatever agreements they agree to? None.

Arash Rajaeeyan at November 27, 2006 01:26 PM [permalink]:

Hey Rancher
thanks for the nice post,
These Mullahs I see here are very eager; they don't accept any thing less than the whole galaxy!
The only way to make them weak is to decrease the religious beliefs of Iranians, but it will take lots of time and they will do what ever they want (including making nuke) till then.

Ron at November 27, 2006 01:54 PM [permalink]:

Arash,

Thanks for your reply, but I am highly skeptical about your answers.

1. There may be underground nuclear facilities, but the support and delivery mechanisms, not to mention military personnel can effectively be wiped out with a nuke strike.

2. A nuclear strike may kill many civilians but it could also wipe out the regime.

3 & 4. I think you overrate Iran's Air Force, it's hard to imagine they could stand up to combined Israeli/American/Arab assault with the latest technology. But more importantly the air force is useless against nuclear armed Israeli/American submarines. I am 100% certain that as we speak the U.S. and Israel are formulating operational plans to strike Iran from subs stationed in the Gulf.

Mehrdad,

Educating the next generation is all well and good if we had a matter of decades to resolve this, but I think this crisis will come to a head in a matter of years if not months.

Reza at November 27, 2006 04:23 PM [permalink]:

There is a very obvious option that somehow Arash hasn't included that is
1- Both countries have to lower their rhetoric. US has to stop threatening Iran. Iran has to stop its death to America slogans.
2- The governments have to talk to each other to resolve their issues.

Arash Rajaeeyan at November 27, 2006 04:30 PM [permalink]:

For ron,
Combined Israeli/American/Arab assault

That will never happen

Let me teach you to things:

1) About culture of people in our region:

Most Arab countries hate Iraqis, but in war between Iran Iraq they all supported Iraq as an Arab Country.
All Arabs hate Iran but they hate Israel much more, if US attacks Iran alone, they may help, but if Israel also becomes involved this will put an end to life of US puppet Arab states in the region.

2) About submarines in Persian Gulf
The deepest point in Persian Gulf is 150 meters; it means submarines will be visible from the air!
Submarines are useless in Persian Gulf; they can operate in Indian Ocean but in Persian Gulf.
Yet still US can lunch some nuclear missiles from a submarine toward Iran, to avoid directly involvement its puppet Arab states.

Ron at November 27, 2006 05:04 PM [permalink]:

Arash,

I note your points about the Persian Gulf and about Middle East relations. But these are incidental points. A sub attack is still the most probable possibility IMHO, and any combination of American/Israeli, American/Arab or just American or Israeli air attack will likely overwhelm Iran's air defences.

Arash Rajaeeyan at November 27, 2006 05:09 PM [permalink]:

Yes
A single US aircraft carrier has much more power than whole Iranian air army.
US don't need Israel or Arab states help on this matter.

Rancher at November 27, 2006 05:32 PM [permalink]:

Reza, the issue is Iran out of Iraq and Iran's nukes. The Iranians aren't going to give up their nuke program simple as that, and why should they? So what's to resolve? Likewise Iraq. Why end their involvement as long as the US is there? They suffer no consequences for meddling in Iraq's affairs so why should they stop? Seems like we are the ones with issues, Iran has none so whatís to talk about?

Ron at November 27, 2006 05:51 PM [permalink]:

So...do you still rule out the possibility of a pre-emptive nuclear strike?

Rancher at November 27, 2006 05:58 PM [permalink]:

BTW with a range of 7000+ miles our subs don't have to be very close to Iran.

Rancher at November 27, 2006 06:02 PM [permalink]:

Ron, the US will not attack with nukes. Israel, who knows, itís their lives at stake, not ours. I doubt we have the backbone to blockade or otherwise stand up to the Mullahs with conventional weapons much less nukes.

Arash Rajaeeyan at November 28, 2006 03:06 AM [permalink]:

To Ron,
I agree with Rancher, as Ambassador James F. Jeffrey said US is not planning a war with Iran.
If they do they don't need to nuke Iran, the best thing they can do even without a war in short time is to close all bank accounts owned by mullahs.
This is the dearest things to them, which will bring them to negotiation table much faster than US can even think of it.
And for Israel I am sure they won't do it, more than 90% of Muslims around the world hate Israel, attack of Israel to Iran, can only make Muslims united against it and brings down the governments who have made peace with Israel, this not only very bad for Israel but also a disaster for US and worldwide peace.

Ron at November 28, 2006 09:57 PM [permalink]:

Arash,

I agree with your last post, except that you don't mention nuclear-armed IR of Iran is an existential threat to Israel, so they would have no choice but to "de-arm" Iran by all necessary means, and we all agree that this wouldn't be possible through a conventional attack; what options does this leave Israel faced with a nuclear Iran?

Arash Rajaeeyan at November 29, 2006 01:57 AM [permalink]:

Israel has
Options to face with Iran gaining nuclear capabilities:
1) As Mr Ahmadi Nejad suggested prepare it self to move into Austria, Australia, Canada or America
Since they have the technology and money they can actually do that if they want but it will cost lots of money to them counties like Australia or Canada have lots of free space much more than that little ground which is currently called state of Israel, I am sure they can live there with peace and respect without being in fear of being killed by terrorists or being nuked by Iran
The Arabs, living in Palestine can create their own country and after a period of living under an Islamic government like the one in Iran, Syria, Saudi Arabia and other states in the region they will go after the Jews and ask them to come back and help them to get ride of their Islamic government!
This way Israelis can live in peace with Palestinians for rest of history.

2) Attack Iran without help of US
This is the best scenario for Iranian government as I told with lead to leader ship of Iran in the region; this new Islamic caliphate will sure destroy Israel

3) Attack Iran, with help of US
They will capture Iran but for sure Hezbollah, Hamas and Iranian National Guard Special Forces will kill as many citizens of Israel as they can with either conventional missiles or suicide bombing.

4) Don't attack Iran and wait
Iran will make nukes and at first will ask US to leave the region and then it will behave very differently possibly seriously asking Israel to the first option

5) Some how try to change Iranian government
This is the only way which doesn't lead to destruction of state of Israel but with this
The current government is a holey government of GOD for lots of people in Iran, and can not be changed that easily without a cultural change in majority of Iranians first.

At and since way 5 is more like science fiction and the rest of the ways will lead to destruction of state of Israel any way, I think they will choose option 3 which will sacrifice life of innocent Israeli citizen in order to save face of US in the region. Although I think the first option could be a very wise one.

Arash Rajaeeyan at November 29, 2006 03:30 AM [permalink]:

why nuclear attack against Iran is useless?

see this movie:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5CYYkFU_GTM&mode=related&search=

Ron at November 29, 2006 11:54 AM [permalink]:

Arash,

Besides the immorality of dismantling and relocating an entire country, where is the wisdom in appeasing extremists?

The amazing thing is that you think this is a feasible option while calling regime change in Iran "science fiction"!! Isn't changing a regime easier than relocating 6 million people to Canada?

But your response is not entirely unexpected to me. It's typical of Iranians to bury their heads in the sand and wish that Israel will just go away. Not that I blame you, if I was an Iranian, I would be more frightened with each passing day.

Arash Rajaeeyan at November 29, 2006 12:58 PM [permalink]:

Ron,
Don't get me wrong, this is political view of current Iranian government not me.
I see Israel more a friend than a foe for Iran, if we didn't have Islamic government, because:
1) Historically all Arab nations hate both Jews and Iranians
2) If you read history you see Cyrus great was the one who made Jews free and bring them back to their country and let lots of them to come and stay near Sepahan (today Isfahan) city, so Iran, Israel friendship dates back to 2500 years ago
3) During the Iran-Iraq war at start of the war Israel send lots of military support for Iran, yes this actually happens, and continued it until US ordered Israel to stop it.
4) During the Iran-Iraq war Israelis destroyed the Iraqi nuclear reactor, I am sure if they haven't done that, Saddam has made and atomic bomb and was used it as it used chemical and biological weapons in war. And now history was much different!

At least known of me and Mr Ahmad Nejad and other people on this list were not alive to write these here.

May be some authors in this list don't like what Israel is doing with Arab countries, since they are very soft hearted and hate any kind of war in any place of world! but lots of people in Iran are happy with what US and Israel are doing in Arab countries specially in Iraq.

Ron at November 29, 2006 09:15 PM [permalink]:

People in Iran should understand that Israel will not dismantle itself in order to spare them from disaster. If Iran escalates this conflict, the people of Iran stand to suffer the most and the possibility exists that they could suffer in the most unimaginable ways. You are the hostages, the human shields of your government, and Israel will not, and indeed should not, spare your lives, if threatened with annihilation.

That said, I'm not entirely pessimistic. At a certain point Iran will lose the support of Russia and China when those countries judge the cost of their relationship to be too high. Maybe the U.S. and Iran will come to an agreement. Much depends on what will happen in Lebanon, Syria, and especially Iraq, which might bring about new alliances that we can't even imagine today.

Arash Rajaeeyan at November 30, 2006 07:00 AM [permalink]:

Support of Russia, China
Russia is one of the historical enemies of Iran; they have occupied lots of Iranian territory which are now Azerbaijan republic, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan and others.
They were never friends are will never be they have a clear contract to finish the booshehr nuclear plant but they are playing politics to get the most possible benefit.

China in other way is the most current enemy of Iran, Arabs, Mongols, Britain, Russia, and US has done some thing bad in past but Chinese are destroying Iranian industry by cheap product! I am sure due to high volume of trade between china and US when it comes to make a serious decision they will support US, the only reason they support Iran and North Korea is an international show off to get a bigger market in governmental sector.

So I believe Iran is alone now, and our government already knows this fact and is playing according to this role.

And about Israel attack to Iran, it is funny that just for some useless words of man who has weak internal power in a country to start a nuclear war. Please read my previous comments, in Iran president has no legal power to start a war, it is just a formal figure, and there is no treat from Iran toward Israel. They just use these words to show off and get more votes in next elections.

Amercian Vet at November 30, 2006 05:33 PM [permalink]:

You may be right that Mr. Ahmadinejad has little power in Iran but his words combined with a nuclear weapons program may be all Israel needs to make a move.
Wars have been started on just words.

Arash Rajaeeyan at November 30, 2006 06:07 PM [permalink]:

Hi American Vet,
Welcome to discussion,
We Iranians are very peaceful people if you read our history for the last few 1500 years the only Iranian who started an offensive war against neighbors was Nader Shah and there was no other war started by Iranian.
We have just passed an 8 year war with Iraq backed by Soviet Union, US, Europe and rest of the world, we want to build our country and we donít want to start any war.
To give a sense I estimate less than 1% of Iranians support starting a war with Israel but more than 90% are willing to defend their country at any cost even their own live.

Babak S at November 30, 2006 08:07 PM [permalink]:

Ron,

You said: "You are the hostages, the human shields of your government, and Israel will not, and indeed should not, spare your lives, if threatened with annihilation." Taking the characterization of the situation as a hostage taking seriously, I think your statement here is not morally acceptable. Lives should always be spared if possible. And that includes both Israeli and Iranian lives. The lives that should not be necessarily spared are those of the hostage takers. Even there, there are gray areas.

American Vet at November 30, 2006 09:08 PM [permalink]:

Arash,
Thank you for welcoming me. I know the Iranian people very well. So well I married an Iranian. My wife was born and raised in Tehran. I have found for the most part Iranians to be some of the most polite people I have ever met and I have been all over the world.
My comment was not meant to say that the harsh words of Mr. Ahmadinejad were intended to start a war but accidents like this do happen.
If it were just the words, I would have much more faith that a war might not take place but the words plus the preceived or real threat of nuclear weapons make an accident much more likely.
An all out war does no one any good. But, if the Iranian government under Mr. Ahmadinejad were to possess nuclear weapons, Israel would live in constant fear of his words. That cannot and should not happen.
My sincere hope is that the Iranian people some day rise up and take back their government for the people of Iran. I would love to visit.

Arash Rajaeeyan at December 1, 2006 09:56 AM [permalink]:

Hi Again American Vet
Making a nuke changes nothing for Iran, as more than 80% of Israeli population and Infrastructure is located in one place, dropping a bio-chemical bomb or missile can have the same effect, the biological bomb is ready and can be deployed easily by Hezbollah or Hamas.
I think what ambassador Jeffrey said clearly shows they[US] know Iran is not a real treat.

Ben at December 1, 2006 12:44 PM [permalink]:

Babak,

You misunderstood what Ron was saying or rather dismissed it with childish aristocratic counter argument e.g "I think your statement here is not morally acceptable" - Are you out of your mind? How could a people who are threatened by annihilation be immoral trying to defend themselves by attacking the threat? To my knowledge bombs are not picky!

I'll try to put it in my words which I claim no 100% loyalty to what Ron means but reflect my opinion and most Israelis opinion.

Suppose we are neighbours living in two parallel buildings of the same street, and you lift a canon aiming it at the direction for my balcony with the intent to murder my entire family, I have full right to pull out a much bigger canon and blow your whole building to pieces before you even shot. If you already shot, I have the obligation to do that. And no, snipering isn't possible and following the threat or aftermath from your canon snipering is not a fair choice.
At such event we are way beyond considerations for the innocents and that is what worldwide Muslims and Iranians (including you) don't understand, that is a tremendous problem, one which leads us for a very grim future.

Arash Rajaeeyan at December 1, 2006 04:45 PM [permalink]:

Hi Ben,
Are you from Israel, or are you a jew?
Since no one has answered your previous post, the reason they put one president after another is just to keep people busy with those presidents and matters like nuclear bomb while the actual rollers are making their pocket full of oil money they are stealing from people.
Iran can not be a real treat for Israel because there are lots of friendly countries between Iran and Israel which Iranian Missiles should pass their air to reach Israel.

Arash Rajaeeyan at December 1, 2006 04:52 PM [permalink]:

Dear Ben,
I will answer instead of Babak
We don't have a canon it is like that a neighbor tell another neighbor I wish you die, and the other neighbor takes out a knife and kills the other neighbor.
In such case police will never accept this as defense, even if the victim had lots of knives in the kitchen!

Ben at December 1, 2006 06:58 PM [permalink]:

Arash,
Answer is yes to both your questions.
I don't agree with your description of Iranian regime threat level to Israel or importance of Iranian president and luckily for you I don't have time for compiling a long post for the next few weeks.
You seemed to completely missed my point - Knives don't come close to what we were talking about and they cannot even remotely be part of the equation I described in the metaphor.
As you said: "We don't have a canon"
I reply: yet.

Ron at December 2, 2006 01:43 AM [permalink]:

Babak,

I agree that lives should be spared whenever possible, but the nature of being a human shield is that it is not possible. That's the whole point of making someone a human shield; that it forces the intended victim to choose between killing and being killed and it's what happens every day in Gaza and this last summer in Lebanon and my point is that it could very well happen in Iran too. Allow me to make my morality perfectly clear by using an extreme example: If someone is shooting at me from behind a wall of puppies, babies and kittens, I have a God-given natural right to shoot those babies to pieces, if it's the only way I have to save myself. Is that morally acceptable to you?

AIS at December 2, 2006 04:44 AM [permalink]:

There is a confusion here. Having a right is not always the same thing as moral behavior. There are myriads of examples to give for this distinction.
So you can argue about your right, and I agree, but it will not address the moral issue.

Now, Ron and Ben, what I find incomprehensible is what the point of these remarks really is? what do you expect as a response from us?
By the very same reason when it comes to it, I, and I presume many like me on this side, god forbid when faced with a choice between the lives of me and my loved ones and that of others including you and people you care for, won't waste one nanosecond to make the choice. So you might as well get this point straight. We have not a single iota more obligation to save you, the world or anything of this nature than any one else living on this planet. Ultimately when it comes to our lives and the risks envolved in losing it, it is our own personal wellfare and that of our loved ones that would be behind it and not much more. This should be enough answer also to the common, meaningless and annoying rants of this sort as well.

There is however a point of important difference between doing what you have to do ina tragic situation and knowing full well the moral problems involved in it without trying to justify it as all good and simple on one hand and the need to do exactly that and to convince others of the moral justifications of it. The first one aknowledges the problems, helps make the worst decisions to be avoided as long as possible and more importantly opens the path for future growth in all of human society to get out of such "situations", "tragic choices" and all the slime that comes with it. where as the other by simply denying there is a problem or expecting everything to be self evident and clear cut helps nothing but some hurt egos perhaps.

This is ultimately the difference between maturity and, well, some other conditions.

Ben at December 2, 2006 05:57 AM [permalink]:

AIS,
Quibbling the philosophy, morality and psychology (see:some hurt egos perhaps) behind the preemptive/aftermath respond of a people going through annihilation scenario maybe enjoyable for you but hasn't got much grips for reality.
Having a question in your second paragraph while actually answering it already yourself in the first stresses that under thoughts of so-called reason you can't notice it.
Right, morality and the correlation between the two are inventions of humans, they don't exist as default! The point was that a nuclear attack on such a tiny country/area with the intent to "wipe it off the map" and the intent to annihilate its people breaks all fundamental human rules, that's what "crossing all the red lines" mean, that's when all the remaining iotas were exterminated along with the blast.

Here's where we most agree (yes agree!):
["By the very same reason when it comes to it, I, and I presume many like me on this side, god forbid when faced with a choice between the lives of me and my loved ones and that of others including you and people you care for, won't waste one nanosecond to make the choice."]

However, I shall, at this occasion commemorate the fact that you and those on 'that side' never faced any annihilation threat from Israel and never will be the first to face such threat because even though Israel has extremely silly leaders, unlike Iranian ones, ours are not crazy!
When you do face such threat (in some imaginary future or world) from Israel or some other country, please, don't waste your nanosecond..

Just for the record.

Ron at December 2, 2006 01:54 PM [permalink]:

AIS,

I feel some confusion was caused by an omission on my part, so please allow me to clarify. In said tragic situation that I've mentioned, not only is there a right to act to defend ones self, but also the moral obligation. Each of us is morally obligated to do what is necessary to preserve our own lives.

What do I expect as a response from you? Well, to agree of course! :)

So yes, I agree with everything you say in your second paragraph. Your third paragraph...well, I appreciate your desire that no one's feelings are hurt, but we are dealing with universal moral principles, so I don't see why anyone's ego should be a factor. Yes, it is quite morbid and horrible to discuss annihilation of your family or mine, but the reality of what's going on in the world necessitates a frank, open, and dispassionate conversation about what is right and what is wrong.

Arash Rajaeeyan at December 2, 2006 03:16 PM [permalink]:

Iran to nuke Israel?
Why do some poeple keep repeating this!? This is a funny joke.
Don't you see that Iran can not nuke Israel, Even if it really wants to wipe it out of the map?
If they say we want Israel to be wiped out it means they want the land to be handed out to Palestinians, but by nuking the Israel they will kill all Palestinians and Muslims living there too.
So the only reason for Iran to nuke Israel is to defend it self against military attack of US or Israel.

And for the record
No one in Iran has ever said we want to nuke Israel, but Israeli officials have declared several times they have plans to nuke Iran.
I was listening to Radio Israel long time ago they were keep telling that they support those who want to over through Iran's government.
So who has a canon and pointed it toward the other? As a matter of fact Israel has lots of nukes pointed toward Tehran for several years.
If we Iranians had some nuclear missiles pointed toward Tel Aviv, how could you sleep each night? What would your government do? So even if we make nukes and precise missiles we will just become equal!

Ben at December 2, 2006 04:43 PM [permalink]:

Arash,

When you talk about the threat level Iranian regime poses to Israel, to me, you sound like you live on another planet. That's a long issue to discuss and I'm not going into it now. I also don't think I have to argue about that because that threat is so clear. Maybe for someone who's being fed by Iranian media that's not comprehensible at first glance.

Sometimes you sound like you're lying or maybe I can't tell a liar from a terribly misinformed person (I'm serious): ["Israeli officials have declared several times they have plans to nuke Iran."]
May I ask where are your sources for that? Any link to a news source citing an Israeli official? How on earth were you able to come up with this statement when Israel has a policy of ambiguity regarding its nuclear program... If any official really said such a thing he/she should've been sued by the state since there's a law in Israel prohibiting officials from making any remarks about the nuclear capability of Israel.
You heard on Radio Israel that they support regime change in Iran - so what - that's only natural having the Iranian president saying: "Israel should be wiped off the map", also considering Iran is funding almost all of the Palestinian and Hizbollah terrorism Israel suffers from for years.

Arash don't take it personally but you say alot outrageous things yet give nothing to support them. Doing so is alright if you first declare it's your own opinion but you don't. You talk about what Israeli officials said or the aiming angle of "Israeli nukes" etc as if these things are sure facts while they are not.
Even worse is that you submerged yourself in a severe state of denial regarding who's aiming a cannon at whom.

For similar way of thinking like yours, whether it's intentional or not (e.g heavily influenced by Iranian education/media) there are holocaust deniers, Armenian genocide deniers, 9/11 deniers and after Iran or its proxies nuke Israel there will be deniers of that sparking out of your way of understanding the world saying it wasn't Iran.

Ben at December 2, 2006 04:44 PM [permalink]:

Arash,

When you talk about the threat level Iranian regime poses to Israel, to me, you sound like you live on another planet. That's a long issue to discuss and I'm not going into it now. I also don't think I have to argue about that because that threat is so clear. Maybe for someone who's being fed by Iranian media that's not comprehensible at first glance.

Sometimes you sound like you're lying or maybe I can't tell a liar from a terribly misinformed person (I'm serious): ["Israeli officials have declared several times they have plans to nuke Iran."]
May I ask where are your sources for that? Any link to a news source citing an Israeli official? How on earth were you able to come up with this statement when Israel has a policy of ambiguity regarding its nuclear program... If any official really said such a thing he/she should've been sued by the state since there's a law in Israel prohibiting officials from making any remarks about the nuclear capability of Israel.
You heard on Radio Israel that they support regime change in Iran - so what - that's only natural having the Iranian president saying: "Israel should be wiped off the map", also considering Iran is funding almost all of the Palestinian and Hizbollah terrorism Israel suffers from for years.

Arash don't take it personally but you say alot outrageous things yet give nothing to support them. Doing so is alright if you first declare it's your own opinion but you don't. You talk about what Israeli officials said or the aiming angle of "Israeli nukes" etc as if these things are sure facts while they are not.
Even worse is that you submerged yourself in a severe state of denial regarding who's aiming a cannon at whom.

For similar way of thinking like yours, whether it's intentional or not (e.g heavily influenced by Iranian education/media) there are holocaust deniers, Armenian genocide deniers, 9/11 deniers and after Iran or its proxies nuke Israel there will be deniers of that sparking out of your way of understanding the world saying it wasn't Iran.

Ben at December 2, 2006 04:49 PM [permalink]:

and many apologies for that double post I had a page error for some reason.

AIS at December 3, 2006 04:46 AM [permalink]:

Ben,

I totally agree about the character of the two regimes. I don't think that such a threat has been issued either. and I am very certain that Israel is one of the very few sane and moral states existing today, despite the usual age old propaganda against it that is so prevalent these days. You were the ones who brought the annihilation threat up, and canons that destroy whole buildings and shooting babies and puppies and kitten to pieces. So make up your minds.
What I am saying is that nevertheless if such a case arises, who was right or wrong would not matter at that point anymore.You understood that part right. Just for the record.

oh and no one is forcing you or even asking you to waste your time with such irrelevant matters as subtle or not so subtle moral problems.

Ron,
I appreciate your clarification. I have no disagreement about that, but defending yourself against an actual emminent attack is very different from destroying an entire people once there appears "a threat" of some sort, or from shooting little babies and puppies and kittens to pieces in a room to survive a lunatics hostagetaker's threats.

If you want us to agree that if and when we and our loved ones are about to go up in smokes, that you had a right in doing that then fine. We understand.
Now is there any thing else we can do for you while we are still here?

AIS at December 3, 2006 05:20 AM [permalink]:

Also somewhat relevant but very interesting:

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/794384.html

Ben at December 3, 2006 08:50 AM [permalink]:

AIS,

You're not completely right by saying:
["You were the ones who brought the annihilation threat up"]
Actually it all started when Arash posted this comment from 29/11, seriously suggesting Israel dismantle itself and move to another place - extermination of a state. Annihilation part came up because the only thing close to that which could happen and probably will is the nuclear threat by Iran.
I'm really sorry if Ron and I being shocked from the idea to seriously "wipe Israel off the map" seem odd to you but that's the way we are.

Now about time wasting habits vs moral issues,
I said that only after crossing all red lines with a nuclear attack, then and only then all moral flies out the window and I'm more moral and more pluralistic than you think.
I don't believe there's one nuclear-able country on earth who wouldn't respond by nuclear attack on civilians of the aggressor country if it was attacked by a nuclear weapon.
Can you point to such country which you can be sure will just sit there and happily absorb a nuclear attack without responding the same way?
You know what? Here's a little exercise for you to understand how moral I am and how moral Israel is compaired to French president for example:

"President Jacques Chirac said Thursday that France was prepared to launch a nuclear strike against any country that sponsors a terrorist attack against French interests"
BTW he just repeated the same thing he said 2 years earlier.

["Now is there any thing else we can do for you while we are still here?"]
I'll answer that too:
YES, for god sakes do something about your insane leaders and misled society!
If or when we all go up in smoke, most of the blame will lie on the Iranian people that didn't rebel against their lunatic regime and their messianic religious leaders. Those Iranians are the overwhelming majority.

Arash Rajaeeyan at December 3, 2006 10:10 AM [permalink]:

Hi Dear Ben,
First thatís Mr ahmadi nejads idea, not mine.
Second, Moving Israel to some other place, is not termination of Israel, it is just moving it to a better place which they can have better neighbors.
I don't know what is so special in that peace of land that as long as history remembers it was subject of bloody wars.

Ben at December 3, 2006 11:13 AM [permalink]:

Arash,

It was Ahmadinejad idea but in your post from 29/11 you adopted it when you specified what are the options Israel has when facing "with Iran gaining nuclear capabilitie"
Now you say: "Moving Israel to some other place, is not termination of Israel"
Beside the fact that it'd be termination of Israel, that's immoral way of thinking same as if I told you it wouldn't be such a bad idea to relocate Iran to antarctica and even try to rationalize it with foolish justification:
"it is just moving it to a better place which they can have better neighbors"
I am now sure that you have no understanding of that matter.

Ben at December 3, 2006 11:18 AM [permalink]:

Arash,

It was Ahmadinejad idea but in your post from 29/11 you adopted it when you specified what are the options Israel has when facing "with Iran gaining nuclear capabilitie"
Now you say: "Moving Israel to some other place, is not termination of Israel"
Beside the fact that it'd be termination of Israel, that's immoral way of thinking same as if I told you it wouldn't be such a bad idea to relocate Iran to antarctica and even try to rationalize it with foolish justification:
"it is just moving it to a better place which they can have better neighbors"
I am now sure that you have no understanding of that matter.

AIS at December 5, 2006 01:53 AM [permalink]:

Ben,

in case of an actual nuclear attack I agree with you, no argue about that. We have no dsiputes there.

As for the comment, I speak only for myself. I have no dispute again about Ahmadinejad or the regime. But many of the people are themselves victimes of the same bastards. My argument was about the fact that they are basically "spendable" in case of a mere "threat", not an actual or emminent attack or anything of that sort.
That's it.

Arash Rajaeeyan at December 5, 2006 03:39 AM [permalink]:

Hi Dearest Ben!
Iran is actually relocated!
All Iranians who could migrate from Iran has done so.
Population of Iranians in United State alone is more than total population of Israel!
For example more than 5,000,000 Iranians live in southern California!
There is movie from BBC called "Will Israel bomb Iran?" all Israeli people in the movie has answered yes! Two of them confirmed they will nuke Iran I guess one of them was former president or prime minister. If you can't find the movie it is downloadable from P2P networks.
I don't know what is in Mr Ahamdi Nejads head (if there is any thing at all!) but I am still sure Iran will not attack Israel and Israel will not attack Iran.

Ben at December 5, 2006 10:19 AM [permalink]:

Arash,

I'd like to regard what you said:
["There is movie from BBC called "Will Israel bomb Iran?" all Israeli people in the movie has answered yes! Two of them confirmed they will nuke Iran I guess one of them was former president or prime minister."]

Everyone can watch that documentary at youtube and here is the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v7DHqTpTAXo
I've sure watched it and absolutely everything you said is wrong.
There is not a single Israeli official who says anything about nuking Iran, even the documentary doesn't deal with that question, it only deals with the question of how probable would an Israeli preemptive strike against Iranian nuclear facilities can be.
The documentary is very cheap and lousy attempting from the very beginning and until the end to present the Israeli society as militaristic which is a total lie and a brief observation on the Israeli parliment which currently consists of 2/3rds of left wingers can rebut that lie.
The makers of the documentary interviewed many officials and they failed to squeeze what they wanted to hear, so this is what they've done:
In the last minutes of the documentary the narrator asks again how probable would such preemptive strike be and he answers himself that "analysts" and "reports" say it's close.... Where the hell are those analysts? Where the hell are those reports? They interviewed so many people why don't they show their anonymous "analysts" and "reports"?

That dealt with, now for the minor issue,
I think the numbers of Iranians living outside of Iran is hardly valid to calim Iran was relocated, I suppose in a sense a big chunk of its citizens were relocated but I don't see that as a big number comparative to the number of Iranians as a whole, furthermore, without checking I suppose that the proportional percentage of willingly relocated Iranians might be higher than for example the proportional number of Swiss who live outside of their country but that would only be because of regime issues, that's also the point from my previous comments that Iran has crazy leaders, Iran was kidnapped by them and instead of living outside of Iran, Iranians should claim their country back, however this wouldn't be peaceful work to say the least.

Ron at December 8, 2006 11:35 PM [permalink]:

I was reading a talkback on Jerusalem Post, and there was an exchange between an Iranian reader and another reader which I thought summarizes our own discussion here quite well.

Iranian:
I would also wish to add that inflamatory remarks on the part of politicians of both sides (Iran & Israel) can only inflame the pure feelings of innocent civilians on both sides. As an Iranian I can attest that we have no ill feelings towards jews & actually we respect them & are proud of our own jewish countrymen who have lived here for over two milleniums through thick & thin. PLEASE stop these hate mongering words of annihalation, pre-emptive strikes & other unrealistic & hateful remarks.

The Jewish reader's reply:

You sound sincere, like an individual speaking for himself out of fear and concern. I believe your comments also reflect the realization that we, the Jewish people, will not sit still for our annihilation once. However, I suggest that if you wish Israelis not to prepare for a nuclear showdown, you influence your leaders to stop denying the Holocaust while preparing another for us. If it's you or us, it will have to be you...

Arash Rajaeeyan at December 9, 2006 02:55 AM [permalink]:

Hi Ron,
We are grown during the war with Iraq, Russians bombers were bombing Tehran daily, Saddam was throwing Korean Missiles with chemical war heads made by help of Germany, UK and rest of Europe, France was giving free airplanes to Iraq, Arab states were sending troops, money and giving their air space to Iraq to attack Iran, and US was giving intelligence and direct naval support to Iraq.

We are grown up under risk of being killed and we are not afraid of that at all.

Compared to that situation that we were fighting with nearly all the world including Russia and US, fighting with Israel is not a concern at all.

This web site and lots of more similar ones are created to help change the government or at least its reactions by showing Iranian scholars thoughts; itís so bad that every reader will find out that all Israeli people posting in this thread are thinking so aggressively about Iran. I am sure not all Israelis think like you, and there are some moderate and friendly ones also living there too.

Mehrdad H. at December 9, 2006 04:47 PM [permalink]:

Ron,

As an Iranian, I do accept the responsibility of doing my best to soften the attitude of Iranian politicians towards Israel. But I believe the hostile attitude of Jews like you can be enough reason for every extremist in my country to accuse Israeli people of being an aggressive nation obsessed with "annihilation, pre-emptive strikes, and other unrealistic and hateful remarks." Like Arash, "I am sure not all Israelis think like you, and there are some moderate and friendly ones there too." This is what I regard to be true and believe should be clearly shown to my compatriots.

I would also like to remind you that, Iran is the only country in the Middle East that, despite its rulers' political views, has a pro-US majority. Although the governments of countries such as Saudi Arabia and the United Arabs of Emirates are the closest allies of the USA in the region, the majority of people in these countries share a widespread anti-US feeling which has been the motive behind lots of teroristic attacks worldwide. Unfortunately, since the US-led invasion of Iraq, I have sadly been observing a grave shift in my compatriots' general attitudes against the West. In fact, the launch of exporting democracy through military operations, as well as the histrionic rash reactions of extremists like you, has brought lots of new fans for the hardliners in Iran. So, if you can't change your, and obviously our, politician's attitudes towards a healthier more constructive one, at least do not "inflame the pure feelings of innocent civilians on both sides."

Ron at December 9, 2006 05:06 PM [permalink]:

If by suggesting that Israel has a right and a moral obligation to pre-empt its own destruction by any means necessary makes me "aggressive" and an "extremist", then those labels should be applied to just about every other Israeli and Jew in the world. Because like them, I'd rather be disliked than dead.

Ben at December 9, 2006 07:16 PM [permalink]:

Arash/Mehrdad,
I didn't think that Rons trivial summarization could attract such critical fire, but I'm not surprised considering the participants.
You both pretty much agree with each other, and so, your comments are very similar. You say he acted in an inflammatory manner but thats not true. Before it got into military option and such Arash brought it up (see comment from november 26 and 29) and I'm not accusing Arash of that, the discussion went that way.
The latter really angered me becase one of the options he gave Israel was to dismentle, delusional and unethical, yet nothing compared to the continuum of the thread where he wanted to present reversed roles (the cannon part).
That reasoning suggests a wide and negative background in the attitude toward Israel and has caused me to ponder alot.
Arash said in the first november comment I regarded: "I am sure that when Iran builds a nuclear bomb, it can wipeout Israel from the maps easily!"
From there Ron said the same thing he said until now: that Israel should do something even militarily.
You two turned him into "aggressive" "extremist". I think something is wrong with you not him, even objectively.
Both of you seemed to be worried about inflammatory talk,
don't worry about Israeli people getting incited, they aren't inflamed that easily like the other nations surrounding them.
You both should ask yourselves how many mass demonstrations took place in Arab world and in Iran in particular where mainstream leaders stood on a high stage inciting the thousands calling "blood blood", "death to Israel", "death to America" - The honest know that's a hard number to point to, there were so many of these demonstrations that everyone lost count.
Can you guess how many such demonstrations took place in Israel where Jews were mass gathering to show thirst for enemy blood? Here's a figure, the number is zero.
What Ron said isn't what incites people from our side, it also doesn't incite the hardliners in Iran as you claim, what incites them are the preachers at friday sermon describing Jews as a demonic race who seeks world domination while at the same time say themselves that Islam should rule the world, the Iranian and Syrian soap operas in which Jews are using blood of christian children to make matzo (a medieval blood libel shamelessly brought to life) - while in my recollection Palestinians lynched and ate the livers and hearts (in front of live T.V cameras), of two Israeli reseve soldiers that mistakenly entered the Palestinian territory of Ramallah at end of 2000. And of cource don't forget the curricula in Arab/Muslim countries which is loaded with the Koranic garbage about Jews.
The most Satanic of all is the holocaust denying epidemic in your country but we'll just leave that aside, that's not so important after all for you, the bigger problem is Ron, whatever he said..

Your problem is that you don't see the inflammatory talk and incitement going already amongst your people and how worrying and real it is that a nuclear bomb will be used by your crazy regime or its proxies by its direction.

Mehrdad H. at December 10, 2006 03:32 AM [permalink]:

Suggesting a pre-emptive attack by any means against a threat which does not exist is an extreme aggressive reaction. Before Iran can nuke any country, it will be nuked 100 times more by the USA and Israel. So what kind of threat Iran can be even if it gets nuclear capable? As I mentioned earlier, all this nuclear dispute is no more than an excuse for those who see their benefits in an endless hostility between the two nations. Justification of the current enmity is thus either extreme aggressiveness or a blind reaction to what we are fed through prejudiced media.

Mehrdad H. at December 10, 2006 03:50 AM [permalink]:

Ben,

"how many mass demonstrations took place in Arab world and in Iran in particular where mainstream leaders stood on a high stage inciting the thousands calling "blood blood", "death to Israel", "death to America"

In Arab world: that's not my business.

In Iran: the number of demonstrations is countless as you said, but participants are always the same minority. Generalization of this to the whole nation of Iran is, as I said before, an extreme blind reaction to what prejudiced media want us to think.

Ben at December 10, 2006 10:43 AM [permalink]:

Mehrdad,

Maybe it was minority in the first few years after revolution but now after decades of brainwash by the revolution forces holding education and media I really don't believe it's minority and you present nothing to support your minority thesis. But for the sake of argument I'm ready to assume (only) for a minute that these people are only in the margins of Iranian society, then I must ask: What good does it do even if it was minority that was responsible for these demonstrations?
Iran still spends a great chunk of its wealth to finance global and Palestinian terrorism.
Iran mass produce high performance weaponry and finances Hizbollah deadly harrasments of Israel and take-over of Lebanon as we speak.
Iran mass produces anti semitic media and literature and spreads it worldwide.
Iran is the only country in the world to develope missiles that can go farther than her enemies (and I ask why)
Iranian regime declared clear intent to "wipe Israel off the map" while at the same time seeking manufacture of nuclear weaponry.
Those people you call minority in Iran hold all of Iranian resources and power and harness it for evil purposes.
If most Iranians don't agree with it then why didn't they do anything practical to stop it? And so I ask even if extremists are minority, what good is it?

"Suggesting a pre-emptive attack by any means against a threat which does not exist is an extreme aggressive reaction"
This is your problem you either don't see it or you pretend like you don't.
Forgive me if I connect two dots together when I hear an Iranian regime repeatedly saying Israel should be wiped and races toward nuclear weaponry and just last month manufactures a circus media around wide scale military exercise with missles that can go 2000km and carry a nuclear warhead..

Arash Rajaeeyan at December 10, 2006 01:17 PM [permalink]:

Ron, you said
Iran is the only country in the world to develope missiles that can go farther than her enemies (and I ask why)

Would you please tell me who do you think is Irans enemy? And who do you think our government thinks, as its enemy?

you asked:
If most Iranians don't agree with it then why didn't they do anything practical to stop it? And so I ask even if extremists are minority, what good is it?

That's exactly the point I also want to know, may be I will start another thread to gather ideas, because I do want to change this system seriously. Not to save you but to save qaulity of my own life !

At start they used Iran-Iraq war as an excuse to make all people united and do what ever they want.
Now they are generating another enemy, the united states, there are very few religious people in young Iranian generation but nearly all Iranians are some how nationalist and at some level pride of their origin an external treat will let them rule all people, kill the enemies all most brutal ways in order of fighting with external threats etc.
In short Iran is ruled from the revulsion just the way G.W.B is ruling USA now. They put people under fear of an external treat and do what ever they want.
The second method they use is to use that brain washed minority you have been speaking about, to control the others they arm them, they tell them every body that fights with regime fights with Allah and should be killed!
Thatís easy those who don't like the government are mostly educated people who have access to internet, free media etc, and can find better jobs outside Iran, and most of them prefer to migrate from Iran to stay here and being killed.

Ben at December 10, 2006 02:56 PM [permalink]:

Arash,
It was me, not Ron, and FToI should indeed make the fonts here a bit bigger.
You ask to define who is enemy to Iran, that's a bit of trolling because that's questioning something which is obvious, Iranian leaders define Israel as enemy, and we all know Iranian regime will not dare to attack US with missiles even if it could, so I ask why is it developing missiles that go beyond Israel?
That was rhetorical question of course because even if you accept Iranian regime view that Israel is enemy, they still don't have reason to develope missiles that go beyond Israel and that should light red light bulbs spelling 'danger!' to the rest of the world as well.

When I asked why Iranians didn't prevent extremists from continuing ruling them all this time it was rhetorical question too working under Mehrdads assumption that extremists are minority - in order to prove him wrong - since it's clear to me they aren't minority. I'm sorry to see that you can't understand when I ask rhetorical questions.

Mehrdad H. at December 11, 2006 04:09 AM [permalink]:
Ben, "Iran still spends a great chunk of its wealth to finance global and Palestinian terrorism." "Iran mass produce high performance weaponry and finances Hizbollah deadly harrasments of Israel and take-over of Lebanon as we speak." "Iran mass produces anti semitic media and literature and spreads it worldwide." "Iranian regime declared clear intent to "wipe Israel off the map" while at the same time seeking manufacture of nuclear weaponry." I am sure you by "Iran" you mean "Iranian Regieme" as you have mentioned this in your last sentence above. If so, I do agree with you and do believe that it's a shame for all Iranians to be under such a regieme. As I stated before, I feel being responsible for trying to change the wrong attitude of Iranian politicians. But, would you please let me know what would you have done if you were in my shoes? Would you just go into the street and shout "down with this regime" so that you are imprisoned and killed the day after? Of course, there are other more practical ways; but that's beyond this discussion at the moment. "Iran is the only country in the world to develop missiles that can go farther than her enemies (and I ask why)." "Öwe all know Iranian regime will not dare to attack US with missiles even if it could, so I ask why is it developing missiles that go beyond Israel?" "Öthey still don't have reason to develop missiles that go beyond Israel." Iran has an obvious reason to develop missiles although it will never dare to attack US first. By preparing these missiles, Iran is trying to increase the cost of any possible war initiated by the US. As far as I know, a major target of all these missiles is Arab countries in the Gulf where US companies are making a big profit. By this, Iran tries to convince US big companies that any war between the two countries will ruin all their benefits in the region, at least for a significant period of time, and thus it will be to their benefit to use their influence in the US political system to prevent such a war by all means. So, you don't need to worry about Iran's missiles. As long as the US hasn't staged a war against us, Iran's missiles pose no threat to our neighbors. "Maybe it was minority in the first few years after revolution but now after decades of brainwash by the revolution forces holding education and media I really don't believe it's minority and you present nothing to support your minority thesis." Well, I can't refer to any particular statistics to support my minority thesis. So, I just bring the following reasons: 1- If by majority you are referring to the number demonstrating and shouting "down with the USA" every Friday in Iran, I would like to say even if you assume the number of participants in such events to be 10,000 at its peak, then in a city with 10 million residents, that accounts for only 0.1% of the population forgetting about how many of those attend such ceremonies just as part of their dictated duties. 2- To understand to real attitude of Iranians towards the West, you just have to visit Iran to get out of the brainwash of those ill-aimed US media. I don't remember any particular website at the moment, but you can find the experience of many American and European scholars visiting Iran recently. They have almost invariably been surprised how well-respected they have been in Iran and how the image they had had before visiting Iran has been different from what they have been made to believe beforehand. "Those p ["Toooo long!" editors say, "Here: click to read the whole thing!"]
Mehrdad H. at December 11, 2006 04:17 AM [permalink]:

In order to have quotations be separated from my own coments in the last post, I recoomend first "click to read the whole thing" (even if you don't want to read the whole thing!)

Arash Rajaeeyan at December 11, 2006 07:10 PM [permalink]:

Minory, and people demonstrating in streets as you see in media

Hi dears Ben, Ron
Yesterday MR ahmadi nejad went to Amir Kabir University, some students went there and called him liar and dictator, they censored students in TV and showed those who were answering them (who were obviously not university students)! And they showed him (ahamadi nejad) telling that those few students who are speaking against him are getting money from U.S. and they will be treated soon (in Iran, this means they are spy, and will be killed immediately!) what can we do more than this? This is just a suicide to show some people like you that Ahmadi Nejad is not representative of Iranian people, when you see 50 people out of 5000 are willing to sacrifice their life for such a goal, you can estimate how many hate him, but are not willing to give-up their life to prove it.

A simple calculation: (
source CIA world fact book about iran)

Each year more than 800,000 people are taken to a 2 year military service in Iran, this means there are more than 1.6 Million soldiers.
According to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military_of_Iran
There are 420,000 regular army soldiers
There are 545,000 revolutionary guards
Also add 4 million official government employees
There are unknown unofficial government contractors
Now giving the fact that the military personnel are forced to go to demonstration and the rest if don't attend the demonstrations may loose their job,

Yet you still see the government gives free drink and food and some times prizes like expensive cars in demonstrations to gather ordinary people!

This means those people who believe this government, are very small minority!

Lots of people in Iran hate Britain, lots hate Russia, lots hate Arabs (including Iraq), some hate US, but very few people hate Jews in Iran, I should admit lots of people here don't agree with how Israel is dealing with Palestinians, (this is the only place our media was successful by showing only one side of story), but most of people prefer their oil money to be spend in Iran that Palestine or Lebanon even if those people really need it!

Ben at December 12, 2006 02:11 PM [permalink]:

Mehrdad,

"But, would you please let me know what would you have done if you were in my shoes? Would you just go into the street and shout "down with this regime" so that you are imprisoned and killed the day after?"
"Any practical suggestions are welcome. But, I just want to remind that solutions such as those already experienced in Iraq have so far worked to the advantage of Iranian hardliners if not to the disadvantage of Iraqis!"

Before getting to the point my feeling is that some disclaimer has to come first, since I'm drawn to somewhat inconvenient position both because it'd be hard to step inside your shoes, of course opposing those criminals isn't simple, and also because a detailed interference in the moral salvation of a nation other than my own would be evidently indecent. It's not supposed to be my business. Unfortunately in Iran, the regime decided to make it my business and we seemed to agree on few causes.
To the point, I don't expect to see you running in the street shouting slogans against that regime if that would mean suicide.
My frustration was with the Iranian people as a whole. Again, following years of control over education and media inside Iran and because there was never a wide scale resistance to that regime as far as I know, my logic dictates that the Iranian Revolutionary forces have (probably) written a 'copy' of their own worldview in the minds of most Iranians. Suggesting that 'copy' isn't completely loyal to the original in everyone doesn't encourage much because even if it's only close to the ideas of their current regime, our situation is still sad.
I'm not qualified by any means to compile a recipe for getting rid of lunatic regime, but I know it has been done before, more than once or twice and because of that, I don't expect anything less from Iranians.
Iranians wouldn't have to totally reinvent the wheel to do it.
It's possible, recommanded and the best way for everyone..
Real wide scale resistance to Iranian regime could result in regrettable wide scale deaths of precious people, however, when this regime will drag Iran to the apocalyptic future I see it racing towards, Iranians and Israelis would regret even more for the apathy which Iranians practiced, in retrospect, nowadays. The future impact of the current state of denial of Iranians (because they didn't comprehend yet how real the apocalyptic intentions of their regime are) will be catastrophic for you, for me and worst of all - for no good reason!

"By preparing these missiles, Iran is trying to increase the cost of any possible war initiated by the US. As far as I know, a major target of all these missiles is Arab countries in the Gulf where US companies are making a big profit.

That still doesn't give reason to develope missiles that can go so far as beyong Israel and as far as almost entire europe.
If Iranian regime sought only to endanger U.S interests in the surrounding region which you suggest, then much shorter-ranged missiles which they already have can do the job.

Ben at December 12, 2006 02:36 PM [permalink]:

Arash,

Even if your extrapolations and following deductions were correct, it'd still not compile a complete picture for regime defenders/oposers simply because there are too many details missing in it.
For example, you speak of 'silent moderate majority', that majority can just as well be extreme. It'd still be silent and you would have no way of knowing.

"free drink and food and some times prizes"
This is being done by many political parties even in fully democratic western countries such as the U.S and Europe, it's part of the happening political factors arrange to stay likable in the eyes of the people.

I also saw the news of what happened at the Iranian university but with all due respect I must question the probability that Iranian regime will execute so many students because of a demonstration which was by now covered in media all over the world. Ahmadinejad isn't that foolish to create saints. Do you claim those students knowingly marched to certain death? I sincerely hope they didn't.
To your question what should be done I explained my opinion in the last comment for Mehrdad and if there were really enough people in Iran that want sane, moderate, peaceful and fair regime then only missing ingredient is a big influential-practical roof organisation to unite them all and save the region from a tragedy by taking Iran back from its kidnappers. What are the chances for that tho...

Arash Rajaeeyan at December 12, 2006 03:40 PM [permalink]:

Dear Ben
yes, you are not in Iran, when I say majority of people don't agree with government because I live here daily, and I see people in taxi, bus stations constantly speaking about they hate mullahs and current regime.
They can't kill those students? They kill much more people easily! How many names do you need?
They have killed more than 200,000 people from only 2 political parties already. the exact number will be known only when the regime changes.
They rape girls before execution (that's role of Islam, a virgin girl should not be executed, so they rape them!)

50,000 are killed by air pollution each year, 22,000 are killed in road accident. a few thousand more or less being killed for political reasons even can not be counted. and they have some methods which are much better than killing, they take some one to prison rape him there, bring his wife, sister, mother and rape them in front of their eyes, then they give them drugs, and make them addicted, hit them to near death, then take them to tell they were American or Israeli spy in front of TV camera. Then they through them out of university and don't let them to be accepted in any university, don't let them to be employed in organization related to government. Then they release them after few years without dignity, education, money and ability to find a job in society so other sees the result of resistance. That's much worst then being killed by bullet or some thing. Is this unbelievable? Read this letter from one of the imprisoned persons to see the reality is 100 times worst:
http://www.geocities.com/bateby/letter.htm
And please read it.

May be you may have not heard "Zahra Kazemi" name, she was an Iranian / Canadian journalist who came legally to Iran and started to gather some news with permission of Iranian government, but they took her to jail and hit her till she died.
They have recently imprisoned Dr Ramin Jahanbagloo a very famous Iranian journalist, and university professor, no resistance? Go to Google images and copy paste this " 18 تیر" then hit search button see the pictures.

Even this site is made for resistance, to show the world how we, the Iranians people really think.
I am not a politician and I don't know what is best for us to do to get ride of this regime, but a friend of mine who is working in foreign ministry of United State told me their experts thing the best things Iranians can do today is to try to educate others about reality of the worlds and help them to get access to free media and internet.

Ben at December 12, 2006 08:55 PM [permalink]:

Arash,

About the students, I didn't question how capable of murder (in general) that regime was. Continued Debate of their fate which none of us know for now will be pointless. In time we'll be smarter.

As said, I personally don't expect anyone specific to go for a confrontation against Iranian authorities which will result in own death, yet Iranians must understand that the cost of continuing to live under the control of those criminals will be much higher for them and also take a grave toll from other nation/s in a most unfair manner imaginable of such situation where your own problem hurt others.

Stories of the people who are abused by the Iranian regime for resisting it or even on some other pretext will keep happening until Iranians change the regime to something which can be compared to those that exist in Europe.
So my point, these stories will never end until you break the cause of it. Having the cause as an excuse for everything will keep you inside the cycle.
Practical resistance to mullahs doesn't have to start inside Iran.
You said there were millions of Iranians living outside Iran. Do they agree with Iranian regime? do they not? If so then why aren't they united under a roof organization which uses their electoral and combined financial power to fight the legitimacy of the Iranian Ayatollahs in the eyes of politicians where they live?
You said in one of your comments: "For example more than 5,000,000 Iranians live in southern California! "
Why don't we see demonstrations of Iranians in the U.S against Ahmadinajad? If there was one in the past how many participated - there should've been thousands, at least by your extrapolations which explain why those doing demonstrations in Iran are minority, why isn't it frequent?
I think they don't care.

T Parks at December 12, 2006 09:43 PM [permalink]:

Good questions Ben! If the thousands of "outraged" individuals in this world criticising the U.S were to turn their angst on those killing their own neighbors would we not have peace in Iraq, Lebanon, the Sudan, .......?

I am one American that has grown weary of sacrificing our own children and treasure to save people seemingly happy to live in ignorance and poverty or blissfully oblivious to the sacrifices made to guarantee their right to demonstrate in the streets.

Shadab at December 12, 2006 10:35 PM [permalink]:

Hi Ben, nor war, nor revolution is good solution to deal with Iran. Revolution is not as an easy thing to do. It is costly. By each revolution each nation must start over every things and sacrifice so many lives. Besides economy of that country will suffer hugely also. History has proved that the regimes that come after the previous regime are usually much crueler than the previous one. Revolution is not going to be any useful if people do have enough knowledge about democracy and how it works. So If a revolution happens, for sure the same scenario might repeat over and over as long as peopleĎs awareness has not been increased. Freedom is not going to achieve by Iranian changing the regime. As you see the pressure outside of Iran is increasing on regime and also inside of Iran by Iranians. Consequently, regime will be obliged to gradually give much freedom to the people. By giving more freedom, people get more educated and as the knowledge of people increase the number of people getting tricked by the government decreases. More political parties which are more peaceful, educated and sane will allow having activities. Then, this regime might be replaces by some of these political parties who are more educated .Democracy is not something that can be exported. Another thing that I want to mention is that Democracy rises within a society by people. War is something that prevent a society to gain Democracy since, democracy can not be achieve by force, For example , you can not force people in to believing that Islam is not a good religion. This regime forces woman into covering their hair that leads me and other women to do exactly the opposite. This pressure on Iran is good and will lead Iran to better future. Democracy happens gradually, not fast , not by a revolution or a war.

Ben at December 13, 2006 02:28 PM [permalink]:

Shadab,

I sympathize with your optimism, unfortunately I don't see Iranian regime changing gradually in the way you describe simply because that path, as described, is more suitable for a dynasty class or single person dictatorship. Iranian regime is immune to that because it follows a strict set of rules derived from its founders sick yet well qualified and educated interpretation of religious scriptures.
Whenever things get too liberal/loose those rules will remind Ayatollahs to tighten up the belt again. Gradual transformation is highly improbable.

"History has proved that the regimes that come after the previous regime are usually much crueler than the previous one."

Painfully inaccurate claim.
There have been revolutions of all kinds with no constant inclination for better or crueler post revolution regime yet the pre-revolution regimes were in most of the cases evil.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_revolutions_and_rebellions
The kind of revolutions where a minority took control over the entire state like in Iranian case really ended up in cruel regime, but those that started from a latent consensus of the general population who was burdened under an already cruel regime - ended up in a much better future and quite a few of them, were even bloodless just like the recent coup in Thailand.

Shadab at December 13, 2006 06:20 PM [permalink]:

Ben
As I said in my pervious post, a revolution is not the best solution for getting rid of this regime. A revolution is a significant change that usually occurs in a relatively short period of time.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Revolution
And this significant change usually does not occur very peacefully.
There are few cases that government has changed peacefully and in these cases the conditions were in that way that allows that country to have a peaceful revolution.
In Iran we have different situation and as you said whenever things get too liberal/loose those rules will remind Ayatollahs to tighten up the belt again.
So, I do not think we ever going to end up with a peaceful revolution right now since these Ayatollahs are not going to give up that much easily as you know.
Ben, the important point here is that even for having a revolution, there must be some political parties exist in that countries in order to lead these huge mass of to successfully eradicate this regime. It means that even for having a revolution, something has to hAVE these Ayatollahs give more freedom to people since the unison of people would be totally impossible if there is no political party to lead and organize people. The Pressure exerted on Iran by other countries is the force that I am talking bout. This external force would have several consequences
First, this pressure out side of country will increase people hatred toward my government even more than before. For example, more people are now suffering from poverty due to sanction. So if my leader were clever enough they will be obliged to give people more freedom to avoid any possible rebellion. They give more freedom to people in order to maintain their own tyranny
Secondly, my government actions are now closely monitoring by other countries, that means if my president want to kill somebody, it is going to have a huge reflection on the world outside. So, my leaders will start monitoring their actions also. That means if a student burn the Ahmadinegad picture in fort of him in university, he can not imprison or murder the person as easily as before
In sum, my government has to give up more freedom in order to maintain its leadership.
Several years would be pass in order that we Iranian can peacefully change our GORNMENT or as you said Ben, by having a peaceful revolution. You see I can not agree with you more than this, having a peaceful revolution I mean

Ben at December 13, 2006 10:24 PM [permalink]:

Shadab,

"As I said in my pervious post, a revolution is not the best solution for getting rid of this regime"

Ahmadinejad will not step down even if you ask him nicely.

"I do not think we ever going to end up with a peaceful revolution right now since these Ayatollahs are not going to give up that much easily as you know"

Then we agree.
And I'd like to add that the alternative to revolution (as in doing nothing) is and will be worse for you and those around you!

"even for having a revolution, there must be some political parties exist in that countries in order to lead these huge mass of to successfully eradicate this regime"

I don't know at which stage you began to read the thread but this was my point all along with emphasis on my belief that Iran doesn't have the human infrastructure to oppose that regime. Not in organization and certainly not in numbers. Arash & Mehrdad seem to disagree with me on the numbers part :D From there I assumed their view for the sake of argument.

"For example, more people are now suffering from poverty due to sanction."

Iran is the world 4th largest oil exporter producing about 4.1 million barrels per day which in todays oil prices, ammounts to almost 100 billion U.S dollers per year, Trillion dollars on average in 2006 currency every 12-14 years for the last 30 years. (calculated from data and graphs from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Petroleum#Top_petroleum-producing_countries)
There are poor people in Iran not because of sanctions but because the Iranian regime is using all that money to finance Hizbollah, Hamas, Shitte Islamic Jihad movements around the world, Nuclear bombs manufacturing, expensive long ranged missiles in quantaties that wouldn't shame a superpower etc..etc.. and God knows how much of that money is also going to the Ayatollahs own private pockets..
Just something to consider next time you see someone poor in Iran.

"You see I can not agree with you more than this, having a peaceful revolution I mean"

I only gave general example that revolution can be bloodless following your claim that revolutions are always accompanied in bloodshed - "and sacrifice so many lives"
I'm all hope that bloodless revolution will be possible in Iran, however, realistically I don't believe it's possible today, and today may be the only opportunity you have to prevent a disaster which will take far more lives than the most bloodiest revolution.

Mehrdad H. at December 14, 2006 04:02 AM [permalink]:

I found Behnoud's latest post somewhat relevant to our current discussion. As for non-Iranian readers, I have translated a paragraph below.

http://behnoudonline.net/2006/12/061213_018449.shtml


You people that are unconfident of a simple vote, what can you do to reform our society? Can you carry out a revolution against 10 million Basijis?! Or may be you are awaiting American and English children to come and do this for you. To enter your country with their guns and bring democracy for you, and more importantly, not teach you democracy, because if they try to teach you, you will accuse them of being a regime's supporter. You want them to miraculously make our country like Germany and Japan regardless of that we are like Iraqis? To come to Iran and be killed so that you can go to cinema, have freedom, and be modernized? If you are awaiting the later, then you have to wait at least for thirty years until the Iraq disaster, like the Vietnam War, is forgotten by the US public, and then someone like George Bush dares another impossible mission with his aim may being Iran. But, provided that at that time something worthwhile is yet left of Iran's oil and gas; otherwise it will be Sudan and Darfur.

Shadab at December 14, 2006 05:06 PM [permalink]:
http://As I said in my pervious post, a revolution is not the best solution for getting rid of this regime. Ahmadinejad will not step down even if you ask him nicely. First, Amadinejad is just only one person, not the whole regime. Besides, he is just a puppet and does whatever his superiors want him to do. Secondly, It is obvious that this regime will not step down easily but revolution is not something that can happen easily even we Iranians has longed to watch the falling down of this regime. First, all Iranians dislike the regime but due that fact that we do not have good organization, unison of people are not possible yet. So, first, the help of other countries needed in order to have these Ayatollahs to step down a little bit. Then, Some organization with the support of nation Iran will start their political activities. Then, if these new organization will not be destroyed by this regime; unison of people might become possible. Thirdly, as I aforementioned, there must be some organization to organize and lead people and as you probably you know money will be needed since an organization cannot have any activities if it is not supported financially. It is obvious that our government will not support any of these organizations. So, the only source that can support these organizations would be people. Iran is the world 4th largest oil exporter producing about 4.1 million barrels per day which in todays oil prices, amounts to almost 100 billion U.S dollars per year, Trillion dollars on average in 2006 currency every 12-14 years for the last 30 years. (calculated from data and graphs from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Petroleum#Top_petroleum-producing_countries) There are poor people in Iran not because of sanctions but because the Iranian regime is using all that money to finance Hizbollah, Hamas, Shitte Islamic Jihad movements around the world, Nuclear bombs manufacturing, expensive long ranged missiles in quantaties that wouldn't shame a superpower etc..etc.. and God knows how much of that money is also going to the Ayatollahs own private pockets.. Just something to consider next time you see someone poor in Iran So as you know this money cannot be supply by people also So when people cannot come up with enough money to support their favorite organization, the chance for having a revolution is so low also. More Importantly, Powerful governments of Russia, china, UK, and letís see what government else are supporting my government, oh yes, sorry, I nearly had forgotten, USA government also do not want do see the overthrow of this regime. A: Bahadyr. Thank you for the question. At this point our focus is on diplomatic, not military means with Iran. We are not seeking the change of the regime, but rather fundamental change in many of its behaviors. We have no desire to impose sanctions on Iran, but are prepared to do so with the by do so with the support of the UN if nuclear weapons programs continue. Said by James F. Jeffrey principal deputy assistant secretary in the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs, discussed U.S. policy on Iran in a November 16 USINFO Web chat Following is the transcript: http://usinfo.state.gov/usinfo/Archive/2006/Nov/17-357518.html So, as you see, Ben, Iranians may overcome this regime as if it was not for the support of some governments. Iran doesn't have the human infrastructure to oppose that regime. Not in organization and certainly not in numbers. Arash & Mehrdad seem to disagree with me on the number ["Toooo long!" editors say, "Here: click to read the whole thing!"]
Shadab at December 14, 2006 05:46 PM [permalink]:

Hi Mehrdad
The situation that we have in Iran depends on several factors

AS you probably know our history, the interference of some countries has led Iran to current situation. As you probably know this Islamic revolution would not have occurred if it is not because of the help of some other countries. If, people of world want peace, they have to try their best also. It is highly unlikely to expect democracy ever happen in Iran , If Iranians would not be supported by other countries ( I do not mean military support though)

Arash Rajaeeyan at December 14, 2006 06:55 PM [permalink]:
Revolution in Iran !? Iranians had some revolutions in their history: The first at 496 by Mazdak, which was crashed by Zoartoshtian moghs (mullahs of that time!), the instability of that revolution in Iranian government helped Islam which was grown outside Iran entered Iran easily and overthrown the very the same government. "Siah Jamegan" who bring down Umayyads caliphate and bring Abbasid to power, in hope to return Iran to the glory of pre Islam and take Arabs out of country. But the powerful Abbasid caliphate established by them crashed the remaining Iranian resistance against Islam and well established Islam in Iran, and destroyed the Persian civilization. The next is 1905-1906 Persian\Iranian constitutional revolution the only real revolution of current nation of Iran, crashed by Reza khan Mir Panj who later becomes first Pahlavi king with support of UK and Russia. Then there is the movement of nationalization of oil which is obviously not in the any site, which leads to first real democratic government of Iran. This government was taken down by United States backed coup d'ťtat to take back Mohammad Reza shah in power. I think Mohammad Reza was not worth being a king, but he started to employ some sophisticated and step by step becomes a good king. Till he took the price of oil high and west realized it is time has come and they need another servant. So they made that fashion show of Islamic republic which I don't count it as a revolution, I think it was the same coup d'ťtat against Mosaddegh in favor of Mohammad Reza shah now re implemented this time against him, with some Islamic figures. U.S. wanted two things from that change, 1) keeping oil price low, 2) have a good regime to fight with communists they succeed in both, the Iran-Iraq war dropped oil price to lowest possible during the war which was directly next move after so called revolution, oil was cheaper than water (as it is still cheaper in lots of countries) and fundamental Islamic government killed all communists, and prevented the scenario of yemen, korea and Vietnam to be repeated in Iran. I am sure the genius boys at CIA and MI5 hadn't seen Frankenstein movie before they planned Islamic revolution, and they have just realized what monster hey have created! Ok, to be honest there were over thousands of unsuccessful revolutions in Iran, many people like babak khoramdin fighting Arabs, Sarbedaaran fighting against Mongols, Mirzaa koochakkhaan most of them are now just sad stories grand mothers tell children as lala bye which are almost forgotten. What did I learned from this history? 1) There was no successful revolution in history of Iran. 2) Every revolution which is not crashed by lack of support or strong opposing force, is almost lead to a big disaster. 3) Some of the goals not achieved by a revolution are achieved peacefully, or just by a direct opposite political force. The third need more explanation, by example: Iranians Nobles tried to resist against Islam for 1000 years, then they realized they can't do it and Islam has taken all of Iran. So they made Shi'a Islam (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shi%27a) (the map in wiki is incorrect) and they succeed to have their own religion to separate them from Arabs. Mossadegh didn't succeed to nationalize the oil, but later some people in Mohammad Reza's government succeed to sell oil with such a high price to be profitable enough for both oil companies and the Iranian nation. So I think this is the way ["Toooo long!" editors say, "Here: click to read the whole thing!"]
Craig at December 15, 2006 03:33 AM [permalink]:

Arash, you said the US is headed for a confrontation with Iran, and then you systematically removed all American options. What's your point? :)

I agree with you that the US and Iran are headed for a conflict. And, obviously, the US is going to do something.

My guess, is full scale invasion, Arash. Doing the unexpected is always a sound strategy, and everybody has spent a great deal of time marketing the idea that a ground invasion is off the table. Therefore, a ground invasion is absolutely on the table. I wouldn't be the least surprised if US troops were withdrawn from Iraq by simply crossing the border into Iran. Two birds with one stone. It cuts the legs out from the Shia militias in Iraq at the same time as it removes Iran's global economic blackmail option.

Looking at sheer numbers, it's a risky move. Iran has roughly 650,000 troops, in total. The US has less than 150,000 troops in Iraq. But the sheer numbers don't tell the whole story. All of the American troops in Iraq are combat or combat support troops. The 650k for Iran includes a majority of which have jobs in the military that are unrelated to combat. Also, there's the disparity in capabiliity. Still, it's a bit sketchy. Conventional wisdom says the attacker should have a substantial numeric advantage. Just because we got away with a light attack force in Iraq doesn't mean we could in Iran. However, landing another MEF and a couple of Army divisions from the sea (which we could do, and it would double the strike force) removes most of the risk. Two Marine Divisions and 4 Army Divisions for a total of some 300,000 ground troops, plus naval and air power, is something the Iranian military cannot withstand, Arash. And it leaves the US with 2 Marine Divisions and 6 Army Divisions, uncommitted.

It leaves Iraq to fend for itself, but last I heard we were planning on withdrawing from Iraq, anyway. Getting Iran out of Iraq as we do so, givces the Iraqis a better chance to settle their differences without outside interfernce.

Don't be so quick to leave America with no options. There are always options. Sometimes, there aren't any *good* options, and this may well be one of those times. But something must be done, so (in my opinion) something will be done.

I also disagree with your assessment of what has led to the confrontation, but that point is moot I guess. What is, is.

Mehrdad H. at December 15, 2006 04:07 AM [permalink]:

Hi Shadab,

I do agree with your comment. If people of world want peace they should do their best to help (educate the next generation of Iranian politicians as Arash has mentioned in his article) and not make the situation worse (by military invasion as you have mentioned). Iranian scholars on the other hand should also do their best to participate in this process of educating both the Iranian politicians and public.

I am sure foreign countries know very well how to promote real democracy in Iran. The only problem, however, is that are they really after a real democracy in Iran or they still see their benefits in an authoritarian regieme governing Iran like Saudi Arabia. I hope this time, may be for the first time throughout Iran's history, they see their benefits in supporting a real democratic movement.

Arash Rajaeeyan at December 15, 2006 04:41 PM [permalink]:
Hi Craig Thanks to post a good text right about the topic. Please see this link in wikipedia about Military of Iran Then read this page about how General John Abizaid, chief of the US Central Command thinks about how Iran Favors Asymmetric Strategy In Joust With US Which is source of most of my analysis. If you don't count the military office personnel, the actual number of active armed forces of Iran is some thing near 1,100,000 With more than 550,000 Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, more than 450,000 army forces, and 100,000 Basij forces. You may also add 300,000 reserved trained Basij forces and 2 * 800,000 active military soldiers to come with number of 2,800,000 armed forces ready for combat. There are another 11,000,000 (11 million) Basij members who may take part in defending the country in case of a ground invasion. I don't know how many of these number will fight for the regime, and how many has registered just for other benefits, like acceptance in university and getting a priority in governmental jobs. But since there are lots of people who hate this government but may fight for their country (the same has happened during Iran-Iraq war), It may be a fair number. If you check this Asymmetric warfare page, you may see that this kind of warfare is invention of Iranians and we are really good at it, (it should be proved to Americans in Iraq and Afghanistan, and Israelis in Lebanon, since as you said they are actually fighting with Iranians there, Afghanistan is also part of Iran lots of people still speak Farsi there) ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- I guess this will be the scenario of a full war between US and Iran: In air war we have nothing against US, other than the recent missile defense systems just purchased from Russia which is some how better than the one Iraqis had which may force US to use stealth fighters to destroy them they will not face much resistance in air. At sea we don't have any thing in ocean but these rocket launcher speed boats and kamikaze submarines may cause serious damage to Heavy American ships. Even our own navy doesn't claim they can destroy American navy, but they say are doing their best to make it as bloody as possible for Americans to enter Iran from holey waters of Persian gulf. At ground story is different, I can't really say what will happen. American soldiers have really good weapons; but they are good for conventional wars; and Iranians are training them self for asymmetric war, using new techniques like using unmanned aircraft (thatís another Iranian invention during Iran-Iraq war now US has unmanned aircrafts too), rocket launcher on speedy motorcycles, robotic rocket launchers. Etc. I think after US finishes this war possibly with heavy casualty, they will enter a new phase of war similar to one in Afghanistan and Lebanon fighting with partisan forces which are hided in mountains, desert and jungles. I don't know how the war will be in cities it heavily depends on preparation of the people by the mass media, if those 11 million number is real, the invention of each Iranians cities will be like "Battle of Berlin" for US forces. And with what they have done in Afghanistan and Iraq I think my first guess will be closer to reality. After they finish all this resistance the war will enter a new state which is like the current Iraq. In this stage each partisan hiding among civilians can easily kill tens, or even hundred ["Toooo long!" editors say, "Here: click to read the whole thing!"]
Ron at December 15, 2006 08:18 PM [permalink]:

Arash,

You just explained why a conventional offensive against Iran would be a catastrophic failure, which leads me right back to what I was saying at the beginning. If the U.S. and/or Israel were to attack Iran, they would skip the conventional war and get right to the WMDs. Why would the U.S. even consider a conventional war against what you just described?

As for life in Israel becoming "like hell", not likely for long. In such a situation Israel will take off the kid gloves of precision munitions it has used until now against Lebanon and Gaza, and will proceed straight to the saturation bombing Dresden-style. It is very strange (almost comical) that commentators have unanimously judged a defeat for Israel this summer. This is a bit like saying that Mike Tyson lost a fight with a little girl when he was only fighting with one finger.

Arash Rajaeeyan at December 16, 2006 03:06 AM [permalink]:

Yes Ron,
I have just described for Craig why I think a conventional war for US is not on the table.

I don't think that Iranian government believes by firing some few missiles, Israel will be destroyed or US will step back, but they will just make war as costly as possible for US as they can by different actions including this one.

If by WMD you meant weapons of mass destruction, I think US has previously shown in WWII they will use it to minimize their own casualty, but I think they will not use this method for following reasons:
1) they don't want to create more hate against US in world
2) using WMD against Iran will put entire Muslim world on fire, and puppet Arabic government will use their power in they own country, thatís exactly in benefit of Iranian regime and opposite of US benefits
Iranian mullahs are using a very good weapon, they are using their weapon is using religion and psychology. The more US challenges them with these kinds of methods they get stronger support from people in the region.

I still think the best method is requisition if their bank accounts and investments outside Iran, so they will be forced to keep their money in Iran and invest it here. And in order to secure their investment they have to keep people happy by using some more people oriented methods of governance.

P.S.
Have you heard the result of holocausts seminar? They declared result was holocaust has really happened by misused to create state of Israel!
This Mr Ahmadi Nejad is famous for speaking without prior thinking, once before he becomes president he said he believes the stock market is not legal according to Islam, and the entire stock market of Iran collapses! Then they force him to come back and say that I didn't mean it is illegal I meant if they don't give information to public it is not fair! The same thing happens for lots of other things.

Ken at December 20, 2006 04:57 AM [permalink]:

Hi,

One American opinion here..

I believe that seeing Saddam Hussein dragged out of a hole, filthy and disoriented probably scared many leaders in the Middle East. They know the same fate could await them also.

I tend to agree that the most likely scenario is in fact a full scale invasion of Iran. It is decidely logical. We already have a small Army on the border of Iran, and easily control the air and seas in the region. I doubt that the Iranian military would even slow us much.

Do I like this scenario? Not at all. Many many will die. Innocents. Women, children, citizens who may be pro American. But it is the best alternative.

Alternative? Yes. Iran can NEVER be allowed to have nuclear weapons while the Muslim fundamentalists rule there. They are a de facto terrorist state, and could easily supply WMD technology to American enemies.

And believe me. Iran would MUCH rather be invaded by America and it's allies than respond later, AFTER being attacked with a nuke by terrorists. That response is simply nightmarish: a complete ICBM attack on major industrial, military and religious sites. It would be the goal of the United States to completely devastate Iran in that scenario, as well as other countries that may have helped the terrorists get the weapons.

I seriously don't think that the average Iranian wants to see their country destroyed by a nuclear war?

OK.. bleak, but true....

Here is a better plan: Why don't the Iranian people overthrow the Mullahs, and drag their country into the 21st century, and avoid a war with America?

thanks,
ken

Craig at December 20, 2006 01:58 PM [permalink]:

Hi Arash,

Firstly, I'd like to comment on "asymmetrical warfare" and what it can and can't accomplish. asymetrical warfare is the new term for guerilla warfare, and it's only used in order to take into account things like suicide bombings, and attacks by insurgents on their own population, in order to drive down enemy morale and in order to enrage the occupied people. These things are not generally considered guerrilla warfare, but they are effective - at least, they have been in Iraq, and in Lebanon too.

OK, all that said. You cannot *stop* a conventional invasion force using asymetrical warfare. It takes time... sometimes a LOT of time.... for asymetrical forces to "bleed" the enemy. If you're expecting geurilla attacks to stop an invasion of Iran, you should know that has never happened before.


And if you are arguing that the US is worried about getting caught in another quagmire, I'd say you are right about that. But there's no rule that says US forces have to STAY in Iran and try to occupy the country for an extended period of time. It seems US goals are simple - destroy the nuclear program, and topple the regime. A tertiary goal is PROBABLY to keep the flow of oil, going. But the US may very well let somebody else worry about that, because America does not receive any oil from Iran, and hasn't for almost 30 years.

About the size of Iran's forces, if you go back and look at the numbers you gave, you contradicted your own numbers at least once, and then apparently added them! My numbers come from a formerly classified intelligence report and I'll stick with them. They break down Iran's military unit by unit, with numbers of troops and equipment, number and type of tanks, number and type of artillery pieces, so on and so forth. I'm not prepared to argue that point, especially when you're giving contradictory figures.

Craig at December 20, 2006 02:12 PM [permalink]:

Oh, one more thing about the numbers, Arash. There are about 3 million people in the US military. Yet, we constantly hear that the US military is over-stretched because we have 150k troops in Iraq, and 20k troops in Afghanistan. How can this be?

I'll answer my own question - it's because the force in Iraq is heavy on ground combat units. Our huge air force and huge navy are almost entirely uncommitted, in Iraq. But even so, there is only 1 of 4 divisions of Marines in Iraq. And 2.5 of 10 Army divisions. The force in Afghanistan is mostly just odds and ends. Marines have been deploying there by brigade. I'm not sure what the Army is doing, but I assume they are also sending "bits * pieces" of other units, to Afghanistan. I have some friends in the Marine Corps who've been to Afghanistan twice and to Iraq 3 times, in the last 3 years alone. We're re-using the same troops, over and over, and holding the rest in reserve. In reserve for what?

Sam at February 13, 2007 07:41 PM [permalink]:

The US will never allow Iran to develop nuclear weapons. Period. End of story. It will use bunker-busting tactical nukes to take out the buried facilities. We owe Iran a good stomping for taking the Embassy hostages, and for countless acts of terror and support for terror in the years since. Your mouthy little half-pint of a president is leading you to doom. Retaliate and we vaporize Qom and Tehran.

A Reader at March 9, 2007 06:41 PM [permalink]:

US warmongers and their lies can go to hell and let Iranian and US ctizens live in peace.

A Reader at March 9, 2007 06:43 PM [permalink]:

You vaporize a village and a city of your hardly existant "internatonal respect" vaprizes.