President Obama’s reach-out to the victims of Azerbaijan’s quake is certainly welcomed and most appreciated by the Iranian people and the Iranian-American community. It represents the deep connection between the people of two countries and shows that what is going on in the international scene with regards to the Iranian regime, in fact, has no effect on the relationship between the people.
On the other hand, following news on Tuesday that the United States will allow a 45 day suspension of ban on transferring funds to Iran by American banking institutions, due the urgent need of aid to Azerbaijani earthquake victims, Iran and its lobby in Washington are using the excuse to try to convince policymakers that sanctions really have no effect on Iran and instead it will more likely hurt the average Iranians rather than the mullahs.
“We hope that American sections on Iran should be more targeted and have less of these open sanctions that we see, because of this earthquake, that put more pressure on the Iranian people and it is the people who will be hurt,” says Trita Parsi, an Iranian lobbyist in Washington to Voice of America.
Parsi and his D.C. firm, NIAC, advocate collaboration with Iranian clerics rather than using sanctions and a firm stance to deal with the regime and to counter threats posed by the mullahs against the international community.
The Iranian advocates of collaboration policy (more meaningfully called the ‘appeasement policy’) have for years tried to depict to the American policy circle that there is really nothing much that can be done with regards to the Iranian regime, its atrocities towards its own people and its support for terrorism and war threats against the region and the world community. They claim that sanctions are bad and harm the people; standing firm on the nuclear issue will force the mullahs to take a more hardheaded position rather than be flexible; condemning violations of human rights by this regime will bring about more executions and torture; and any struggle for a regime change will cause more harm to those who oppose the regime than it will do any good at all.
It is obvious where these arguments come from and who the people work for and advocate.
There is nothing wrong in trying to aid to the Iranian people hurting from the earthquake. What is despicable and disturbing is about a tyrannical regime and its hired hands in Washington fishing for opportunities to undermine a firm policy against a regime that is the central banker of terrorism in the world, instigator of all crisis in the Middle East region, and torturer and executioner of its own people.
Nima Sharif is an Iranian-American human rights and political activist. He is the editor of Stop Fundamentalism. (facebook.com/nima.sharif1)
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