Posted by Karmel Melamed
Readers of this blog have e-mailed me over the last few weeks asking why I have not commented on the current situation in Iran and on the 31st anniversary of Iran’s Islamic revolution. The answer has been simple, nothing has changed since this past summer’s outbreak of violence the Iran regime has unleashed on average citizens in Iran seeking greater democracy. Iran’s brutal totalitarian regime has imprisoned, beaten and killed hundreds of individuals living in the country who are seeking freedom and protesting non-violently in the streets. Yet I, like many Iranian Americans living in the U.S. see a larger untold story in the White House and Congress during these past few weeks.
What shocks many of us in the Iranian American community is the lack of supportive rhetoric and activity from President Obama and his administration for those innocent protesters in the streets of Tehran who are demanding democracy and better lives for themselves. Moreover, why haven’t more members of Congress more actively voiced any anger or outrage at the clear human rights violations committed by the fundamentalist Islamic mullahs ruling Iran? It seems as if Obama and certain policymakers in Washington D.C. prefer not to “upset” the Ayatollahs ruling Iran by speaking out against the regime’s human rights violations. It seems they’ve chosen to stay quiet about the issue in hopes of negotiating some “deal” regarding Iran’s quest for nuclear weapons. Well Mr. President and Members of Congress, the sad reality is that you will NEVER get any sort of peaceful negotiated deal on the “nuclear issue” with the regime ruling Iran period! Those powers in Iran’s government have a sick and twisted religious quest to terrorize the world and those whom don’t follow their radical Shiite Islamic views by acquiring nuclear weapons. So anyone who believes that negotiating with the regime in Iran is a viable option, then he or she is living in a dream world!
What is even more disturbing is the fact that the Obama Administration and our elected officials lack the moral courage to stand up for human rights in Iran. Instead of embracing and helping those who have flooded the streets in Iran demonstrating for greater freedom, the current American administration has said and done very little. Last week U.S. Secretary of State Hilary Clinton made those most ridiculous statement when saying; “Iran is becoming a military dictatorship”. Excuse me? But anyone in their right mind who has been following the notoriously brutal violence perpetrated by Iran’s current Islamic leaders against the people of Iran, knows that Iran has been a military dictatorship since 1979 when the Ayatollah Khomeini first took power! The silence of the current administration speaks volumes to those in Iran who want freedom and those seeking to crush the voices of freedom in that country. One is left wondering what would have happened more than 20 years ago in a very similar situation if then U.S. President Ronald Reagan, or British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, or Pope John Paul II would have stayed silent and not voiced support for those protestors seeking greater freedoms in Communist controlled Eastern Europe?
Yes the anniversary of Iran’s radical 1979 Islamic revolution this year is a painful reminder to many Iranian Americans of how our lives were turned upset down and dreams shattered. But what is even more painful for the majority of us is that many of our elected officials in our new homeland of America, have said and done very little to help individuals in our former homeland who want to live free lives.
My piece found here two years ago shed light on how the 1979 revolution has impacted Iran’s Jews who fled that country.
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February 18, 2010 | 11:58 pm
Posted by Karmel Melamed
I had the unique challenge these past several weeks of researching and writing the cover story for this week’s Journal concerning the alleged business fraud scandals that are currently shaking Southern California’s Iranian Jewish community to its core. Since late 2008 many in the community have known of the financial devastation created by these scandals to seniors, young couples and low to middle-income families. In my own opinion, a very select few group of individuals in the community have had the real courage to speak out against the injustice these victims of the alleged frauds have encountered. A. David Youssefyeh, a Century-city based Iranian Jewish attorney was one of those brave voices.
Youssefyeh has stood up from the begin of these scandals and sought to find justice for the victims. He faced verbal attacks from community members questioning his judgment when he suggested the victims of these alleged frauds take legal action to regain their lost money. Today nearly two years later, members of the local Iranian Jewish community realize the importance of his legal advice.
I sat down with Yossefyeh recently to discuss the current status of the bankrupcty case in the Namvar case for this webcast interview: