An open letter to Sen. Kerry:

'You are either with us, with the Iranian people, or with the regime'

By Aryo B. Pirouznia
Thursday, February 19, 2004

The writer represents the Student Movement Coordination Committee for Democracy in Iran (SMCCDI)

February 19, 2004

Senator John Kerry

Dear Senator Kerry:

For the past few months we have listened to and observed with apprehension and dismay your statements and views regarding the terrorist theocracy in Iran. Yet, we have remained silent!

We have read how you refer to the theocratic regime in Iran as a "democracy;" we have heard how, if elected, as the president of the United States you intend to "engage" this barbaric regime; this very terrorist regime that your own State Department lists as the most active "State Sponsor of Terrorism."

Why is it, Senator, in all your statements, you don't, even once, mention the oppressed and suffering masses of Iran? Obviously, as long as there is such preoccupation with appeasing the regime, the people of Iran don't even enter your equation.

For us, recognizing the political season in the United States, we have maintained our silence respecting the internal politics of the country. And, above all, we still believe that United States is cognizant that supporting terrorist regimes, such as the Islamic Republic, is contrary to the values of the nation and would gravely undermine her status as the champion of the democratic principles and the ideals that she stands for; the very foundation of America. And, naturally, we fail to see how a powerful nation could be safer or its national security interests better served by "engaging" and rewarding a terrorist regime!

Senator, those Mullahs in Iran know better than most that: "Money is the mother's milk of politics." After all, they bought a revolution with it and seized a country. Contrary to the cynics, we refuse to accept or entertain the idea that the millions of dollars that the Islamic regime is disbursing to the Democratic Party, through your supposed Iranian-American fundraisers or the so-called Iranian-American PACs or alleged charities, has anything to do with your comments. Sir, those duplicitous and cunning Mullahs in Iran are dangling the lure of other advantages, prior to the elections, to the other side as well.

How a corrupt gang of Mullahs intends to manipulate the internal politics of a superpower is beyond belief. Even so, call us fools or na•ve, we like to believe that, perhaps, in this great democracy, the famous adage: "Politics stops at waters' edge" may still be true.

Yes, up to now, we have remained silent!

But, Senator, on February 8, 2004, Tehran Times, Mehr News Agency, as well the newspapers in the United States reported that: "The office of Senator John Kerry, the frontrunner in the Democratic presidential primary in the U.S., sent the Mehr News Agency an E-mail saying that Kerry will try to repair the damage done by the incumbent president if he wins the election." And, includes your statement: "... America needs the kind of leadership that will repair alliances with countries on every continent that have been so damaged in the past few years, as well as build new friendships and overcome tensions with others." Adding further: "He believes that collaboration with other countries is crucial to efforts to win the war on terror and make America safer."

Once informed, obviously, we were outraged and disillusioned! Senator, by sending such a message directly to the organs and the megaphones of the dictatorial Islamic regime you have given them credibility, comfort and embraced this odious theocracy. You have encouraged and emboldened a tyrannical regime to use this as propaganda and declare "open season" on the freedom fighters in Iran. Sir, by so doing you have assaulted us directly and have insulted the honor and the dignity of the Iranian people.

Senator Kerry, this E-mail, this latest message has changed the dynamics completely; this elevates your statements and actions to another level; this takes it out of the internal politics of the United States and points it directly at us, the Iranian people. Senator, how does one "win the war on terror" by cuddling and pleasing the very terrorist State? This is beyond our comprehension! And, we fail to understand, how "collaboration" with a "State Sponsor of Terrorism" could be "crucial to efforts to win the war on terror and make America safer?"

Sir, diplomacy does not mean strengthening totalitarian regimes at the expense and the agony of the citizens of that country. Protracting the Islamic Republic's survival in Iran would only prolong our pain and suffering.

Senator, for us, silence no more! And we repeat what we have been saying to all those who appease the Islamic regime: You are either with us, with the Iranian People, or with the regime!

Respectfully, On behalf of SMCCDI,

Aryo B. Pirouznia (for the Committee)

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