Persian and Israeli Courage
On Sunday, one week ago, Israel National Radio host Tamar Yonah showed remarkable political and journalistic courage by interviewing independent and popular Iranian TV political commentator Saeed Behbahani. They
discussed Iran's presidential election rigging and the renewed possibility for a new revolution and regime change in Iran (by and for the people of Iran).
Unlike what we see, hear, and read in the mainstream media, Tamar's interview shows that the people of Israel and the people of Iran may still be long-term friends and allies. In addition, the needs and wants of the people of Iran and the people of Israel may be somewhat similar. Both Israelis and Persians need the freedom to live in peace without threats from hostile neighbors.
Seventy-five percent or more of the people of Iran (Muslim and non-Muslim) want a new, independent, non-Islamic form of government - with individual, tribal, and provincial autonomies (i.e., true regime change).
Saeed Behbahani was born into a science-oriented, Muslim political family in Iran in 1954 - one year after British and Americans helped to overthrow the elected government of Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadeq in a coup d'etat and installed the pro-West government of the Shah of Iran.
In the mid-1970s, the Shah's secret police arrested Mr. Behbahani for political opposition to the Shah's government. After the Grand Ayatollah Khomeini came to power in Iran in 1979 (with still-continuing British and American help, Behbahani and most Iranian intellectuals say), Khomeini's secret police arrested Behbahani for political opposition to Khomeini's government in Iran.
In 2005, during boycotted elections that first selected President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Behbahani was arrested in America while videotaping an empty Iranian election-polling place in a mosque near Washington. Although numerous Iranian Muslims assaulted Behbahani, the Bush Administration labeled Behbahani as a "terrorist" and had him arrested by the local police. The numerous Muslims who assaulted Behbahani (and broke his camera) were not arrested or prosecuted. I met Behbahani when he came to me for legal help. Behbahani was later acquitted of all charges.
Saeed Behbahani and 75 percent of the people of Iran favor a new revolution and regime change in Iran (by and for the people of Iran). The Obama Administration, the British and other Western leaders are not in favor of such regime change unless they help to pick the new Iranian leader.
Muslim Brotherhood-style political-religious leaders in Iran choose the candidates permitted to run for president. The people of Iran do not choose these presidential candidates. Although pro-nuclear Mir Hossein Mousavi (supported by nominally pro-West and definitely pro-Obama Iranian oligarch Rafsanjani) allegedly won the recent presidential election in Iran, Mousavi is not the candidate of the people of Iran. Saeed Behbahani says this; and so do most people of Iran (if you listen closely).
"According to Saeed Behbahani of MihanTV, a US government emissary met in Dubai two weeks ago with Mehdi Khazali, campaign manager for Mir Hossein Mousavi, bringing assurances of US government support for his campaign," according to a June 10th report at www.Iran.org (website of Ken Timmerman's Foundation for Democracy in Iran).
With Ahmadinejad again allegedly winning the election in Iran - but with credible allegations of massive vote fraud - Behbahani and many others say that a new revolution in Iran may occur soon. However, if new revolutionary regime change in Iran occurs now, then Rafsanjani and Mousavi may soon control an Iran with nuclear capabilities. If Mousavi becomes the front man for revolution and regime change in Iran, then the only real difference may be a smiley face on a nuclear-capable Iran.
If we support the people of Iran in their legitimate self-determination endeavors (which are not anti-Israel or anti-West), then the people of Iran, America and Israel may eliminate the threats that a terror-supporting, nuclear-capable Iran may pose to Israel, America and others - and to Iran. The people of Iran may be ready, willing, and able to carry out a new revolution and regime change in Iran - despite and due to soon-escalating government violence. Since Israel, America, and the West cannot lead this revolution, how should we support the people of Iran?
Saeed Behbahani : video in Farsi - I don't understand a word but the introductory pictures are striking:
And here is Tamar Yonah's show.