An Open Letter to UFPJ

*Ardeshir Ommani, July 18, 2009

Dear UFPJ’s Leadership Group,

UFPJ has asked in its Action Alert of 7/9/09 that people join the “United 4 Iran” Global Day of Action on July 25. Is UFPJ confident that the leaders and proponents of this action are not being financed by NED and other “pro-democracy” fronts awash with some of the $400 million that the U.S. Congress has provided to the National Endowment for Democracy, the CIA, the USAID - U.S. Agency for International Development and others for the explicit purpose of subversion, acts of sabotage, financing, equipping and training upper echelon Iranian-Americans who are ready to serve the U.S. foreign policy objectives of infiltrating and penetrating the security spheres of the Iranian nation? By supporting and attempting to create credibility and prestige for these newly-hatched anti-Iran networks, UFPJ’s legitimacy will be on the line, considering that NPR on July 10, 2009 reported that the majority of demonstrators in Washington, DC were from the Mojahedin Khalq, a terrorist organization.

In your July 9, 2009 Action Alert on Iran, you conveniently stated that, “What followed” Iran’s presidential election on June 12 “remains unclear,” which meant you had no lucid knowledge of the laws governing Iran’s electoral process, the way the Tenth presidential election unfolded and the events that took place during the four weeks after the election.

Given this admission one may ask what was the UFPJ leadership doing when during the first two weeks after the election at least 50 thousand articles and news reports appeared in newspapers, magazines, TV and radio stations and electronic sites in the United States and media around the world. It was truly one of the most written and talked about elections in recent memory. By asking UFPJ’s leadership some not so complicated questions it may help the rest of us to separate the murky issues from those that could be understood with statistical data and common sense. Unfortunately, in your Action Alert, you did not express which issues you were clear about.

Questions that UFPJ should answer:

What amazes us that while by its own admission UFPJ states that they know very little about all the complexities of the Iranian election, yet they are asking us to take sides, thereby dividing the peace and justice movement along one more sensitive and hot issue – Iran.

As decision-makers in the UFPJ, you wrote that you “feel compelled…to stand in solidarity with the people of Iran and their elementary right to protest their government…” The Iranian people do exercise their right to peaceful assembly, as reported as recently as July 17, 2009 in the Washington Post, following Rafsanjani’s speech at Friday prayers: “Shortly after the sermon, thousands of Mousavi supporters demonstrated around Tehran University.” As an Iranian American dual citizen, and after spending two and a half months in Iran from March to May, and being in Iran regularly over the past four years, I find your assumption in this claim to be biased, either by total ignorance of the social and political freedoms in Iran or made out of the American cultural superiority concept that only recognizes its own brand of ‘democracy’ as legitimate. I can attest that there are more opposing viewpoints appearing in more than 52 daily newspapers in Tehran alone than in the New York Times, Washington Times and the Financial Times of London put together.

Dear UFPJ’ers, today your group politically, morally and ethically is standing on the same platform that George W. Bush and the infamous neocons stood not long ago when they called for “regime change” through bombing, sanctions and attacking Iran. However, when it became clear that such a military action had no support and was opposed around the world, even by some of the elite Western governments who are helping the U.S. military in Afghanistan and Iraq, they changed their tactic: regime change with a soft touch, carried out by a segment of the Iranian population that has been pro-western for longer than Ahmadinejad has been in office.

Members of UFPJ who have spoken openly against the Islamic Republic, and are supporting the chants “Marg bar dictator!” of the protestors in northern Tehran are objectively weakening the government in the Middle East that has been the defendant and supporter of the people in Iraq, Palestine and Lebanon. Internationally, it was President Ahmadinejad that strengthened Iran’s alliance with the people in Syria, Lebanon and Palestine to resist the daily and yearly aggression of the Zionist state. It has been the government of Ahmadinejad who has strengthened the Middle East peoples’ ties with Latin American nations, specifically deepening ties with the governments of Venezuela, Bolivia, Cuba, Brazil and with China, Russia, Malaysia, and the 118 countries in the non-aligned nations, and built relations with 53 Moslem countries. This is the government that our western-oriented Iranian Americans are standing against, and who UFPJ is giving a platform to.

I would like to end my questions to the leadership of the United For Peace and Justice with some quotes from President Ahmadinejad’s address to the Durban Review Conference on Racism in Geneva on April 20, 2009, and ask them to please let me know which part of this statement they believe stands against peace and justice:

“Ladies and gentlemen, let us take a look at the UN Security Council which is one of the legacies of World War I and World War II. What was the logic behind their granting themselves the veto right? How can such logic comply with humanitarian or spiritual values? Would it not be inconformity with the recognized principles of justice, equality before the law, love and human dignity? Would it not be discrimination, injustice, violations of human rights or humiliation of the majority of nations and countries? The council is the highest decision-making world body for safeguarding international peace and security. How can we expect the realization of justice and peace when discrimination is legalized and the origin of the law is dominated by coercion and force rather than by justice and the rights?

Coercion and arrogance is the origin of oppression and wars. Although today many proponents of racism condemn racial discrimination in their words and their slogans, a number of powerful countries have been authorized to decide for other nations based on their own interests and at their own discretion and they can easily violate all laws and humanitarian values as they have done so.

Following World War II, they resorted to military aggression to make an entire nation homeless under the pretext of Jewish suffering and they sent migrants from Europe, the United States and other parts of the world in order to establish a totally racist government in occupied Palestine. And, in fact, in compensation for the dire consequences of racism in Europe, they helped bring to power the most cruel and repressive racist regime in Palestine.

The Security Council helped stabilize the occupying regime and supported it in the past 60 years giving them a free hand to commit all sorts of atrocities. It is all the more regrettable that a number of Western governments and the United States have committed themselves to defending those racist perpetrators of genocide while the awakened-conscience and free-minded people of the world condemn aggression, brutalities and the bombardment of civilians in Gaza. The supporters of Israel have always been either supportive or silent against the crimes.”

Proponents of peace and justice, again, I ask you to please tell me which statement of the President of Iran stands against peace and justice?

Ardeshir Ommani, *Co-Founder, American Iranian Friendship Committee (AIFC)