By: Daryoosh Homayoon
Over the past year, the US economic sanctions against the Islamic Republic of Iran has cost the Islamic regime about $500M. We support any political and economic pressure against the Islamic Republic that would help prevent the government from tormenting our people and would prevent the Islamic government from plundering our natural resources to solidify its power.
The US as a superpower plays an important role in the world scene. For historical reasons this role in many regions such as in Latin America and in our geographic region of the Middle East, is more important and more controversial. In these regions expectations from the US and reactions towards it have special dimensions. In Europe, the historical role of the US has been more definite. During the two world wars in this century, the entrance of the US changed the direction of the world history. But Europe, due to its own power and presence, does feel a sense of self pity because of the United States. In contrast, the Latin America and the Middle East nations seem to carry a sense inferiority. In the Middle East, since the end of world war II, the Americans has become increasingly involved. The fear of a Soviet take over of this strategic and resource-rich region, and the industrial nations' need for its sources of oil led the Americans to charm the region's governments into its camp. For decades, Iran was at the center of this strategy and eventually in the 70's formally announced itself as the Gendarme of the Persian Gulf. With the advent of the Islamic Republic, the Iran-Iraq war and finally the Gulf war (the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait), the Americans realized that they had to carry the responsibility of regional stability directly. Since then, they have stationed a carrier in the Persian Gulf as well as carriers in the Mediterranean sea, the Atlantic and in the Pacific. They have stored massive amounts of heavy artillery in Saudi Arabia and in Arab Emirates. Compounding that are 20,000 US Army and Navy solders who have camped in the southern regions of the Persian Gulf.
The stability of the Persian Gulf and the Middle East are at the pinnacle of the American foreign policy. This foreign policy means that: nations friendly towards US in the region are not toppled, changes in these countries should take place gradually and in complete control. It also means that war should not break out again. The Palestine question should be resolved with the participation of Israel and the Arab nations. That the hostile governments of Iraq and the Islamic Republic become powerless, and weapons of mass destruction, specially nuclear weapons do not fall into their hands. These doctrines have placed the Islamic Republic at the top of the list of governments whose existence is a threat to the United States' interests. The Islamic Republic is a de-stabilizing agent in the region. For example, its financial funding and participation in revolts and terrorism which is spread from Lebanon to North African countries like Sudan. The Islamic Republic is also the disruptive element in the Arab Israel peace process. On top of all these, consider the Islamic government's terrorist activities in the rest of the world from Argentine to western Europe and even in the US. For these reasons, Israel calls the Islamic Republic its only blood enemy, and with the influence that it has in the US, it has convinced the Americans that the Middle East must get rid of the Islamic Republic. As a result, the US government has taken many measures against the Islamic regime which include: The economic sanctions against the Islamic Republic, the legislation in the US congress for punishing companies that deal or invest with the Islamic Republic for oil exploration, plus a special CIA budget of $20M to obstruct IRP's policies and disrupt the government's plans. In the US history of non-military confrontation, one can rarely find a situation that would match such severity in US actions against any government. It is not surprising that the leaders of the Islamic Republic seem so nervous and confused about their reaction to this tough US policy.
The opposition groups to the Islamic Republic have shown diverse reactions to these tough US policies against Iran. Except for two or three opposition groups, they have condemned the US policy against Iran as an act of aggression against its people and its independence. Some have indicated that the economic sanctions only hurt the people and not the government of Iran. Over the last year, the economic sanctions have cost the Islamic Republic of Iran about $500M. The penalties for dealing with Tehran's government has terrified companies in many countries which is hindering their investment in Iran's oil and gas explorations. This fear has evaporated IRP's hopes for increasing its revenues. Yet, the US efforts can be even more potent and comprehensive. Even a $20M special CIA budget acts more as a message to Islamic Republic than a solution to the problem.
In the face of these US actions, the organization of the Constitutionalists Movement of Iran has adopted a clear policy:
1. We support any political and economical pressure against the Islamic Republic which would help prevent the government's torment of people and would prevent the government's spoilage of our oil for its own sake. From the very beginning -as we have indicated to all opposition groups, we support political efforts for the purpose of alienating the Islamic regime and exerting international pressures on it. And now that a country -namely the United States, is acting according to the wishes of the Islamic Republic's opposition, we do not change our political direction.
2. The struggle of the Iranian people against the Islamic Republic is an uneven battle. The economic and diplomatic pressures on the regime from abroad helps even out the balance in favor of the people's struggle. We are asking the major businesses and corporations who deal with the Islamic Republic whether they are in Japan or in Europe to consider their long term interests and the interests of the Iranian people over their short term profits. The oil revenues that they pay to the Islamic government, do not benefit the Iranian people and end up in the same bottomless pit that has swallowed $250 billion of Iran's oil revenues over the last 17 years. We are asking all nations of the world to join the economic sanctions against the Islamic Republic of Iran.
3. The United States and any other country who oppose the Islamic Republic are confronted with a government that does not represent the Iranian people. The sweeping majority of the Iranians are against the policies of the regime. The fight against the IRP should not become a fight against the people of Iran, however. The American politicians occasionally and mistakenly defend the claims of the Arab Emirates to the Persian Gulf islands (which are Iran's territories), or change the name of the Persian Gulf. These actions are viewed by Iranians as a threat to Iran not to the Islamic Republic and as a result help the Islamic Republic's position. Although American policy makers rarely act or speak recklessly, yet any careless opinion or statement made by an American politician or military commander can cause a great deal of misunderstanding among the Iranian people. The struggle and the victory that we are fighting for against the Islamic Republic must be within the framework of Iran's independence, sovereignty and national unity. We explicitly declare that if a threat from a foreign nation is directed at Iran's national sovereignty and independence, we will temporarily rest our political opposition in order to defend our country above and beyond any ideology.
4. Allocating $20M of the CIA budget to destabilize the Islamic regime, or disrupt its policies is unwise from every aspect. If viewed as an intervention in Iran's affairs, it will cause difficulty for the people's national struggle against the regime. We are asking the US congress to correct this mistake in its final review of the CIA budget. This sort of maneuver against the Islamic Republic will discredit our struggle and will offset much of the opposition's efforts. The primary combat mechanism against the Islamic Republic from abroad is through exerting political and economic pressures.