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Jewish Journal

Is Obama listening to the people of Iran’s calls for help?

by Karmel Melamed

November 19, 2011 | 2:51 pm

Two weeks ago on the 32nd anniversary of the hostage-taking of the American embassy in Iran, nearly two dozen current and former Iranian student activists wrote a open and very heart breaking letter to President Obama. The letter which was translated into English online was practically begging President Obama for greater diplomatic help, strong leadership and open support for the people of Iran who have been enduring unspeakable human rights abuses at the hand of Iran’s current regime. The letter also speaks volumes about how the average people of Iran are truly disappointed with the President’s failure to stop the Iranian regime from killing and torturing its people— human being that are just yearning for democratic freedoms. The following is just one excerpt from the letter…

“On numerous occasions in recent years, the Iranian people have demonstrated to the world that they want to free themselves from the oppressive grip of the Iranian regime. Two years ago today, the Iranian people, while being beaten by batons and shot at with guns, cried out to you. They asked you which side you were on, the hostage-taking regime’s or the people’s. The Iranian people chanted, “Obama, Obama, you’re either with us or with them.” They cried out for your direct help. However, you have been considering talks with the hostage-taking regime, based on the advice of your advisers, which has worked to the benefit of the Islamic Republic and the disadvantage of the Iranian people. Your administration’s Iran policy gave the Iranian authorities much confidence to visibly suppress citizens during peaceful protests”.


One is left wondering why President Obama and his administration have continued to sit on the sidelines since the 2009 Iranian elections after seeing the people of Iran being crushed by their evil government when protesting in the streets for greater freedoms? Why has President Obama not responded to the student groups and democratic opposition groups in Iran that have repeatedly asked him to apply stiffer economic and political pressures on the Iranian government? Why did the President and his administration repeatedly call for the immediate removal of Egypt’s dictator Mubarak and voiced support for the Egyptian people’s freedom this year, but not call for a similar regime change in Iran and support for it’s people that want to be free? Why has President Obama extended a hand of friendship and desire for negotiations with Iran’s leadership since 2008 even though the ruling Iranian mullahs have repeatedly said they do not want dialogue and only want to destroy America? Why has the President and his administration failed to publicly shed greater light and taken the Iranian regime to task for imprisoning torturing and killing hundreds of innocent people whom have spoken out against the regime? Why have the President and his administration not more actively engaged the world’s leaders to shut down or slow down Iran’s banking and financial institutions that are keeping the Iranian regime alive? These questions and others about President Obama’s lack of leadership on the Iran human rights issue are the main reasons why the people of Iran have lost hope in our president who wrote about “the audacity of hope” and won a Nobel Peace Prize, but has clearly failed to help them.

I think what is most powerful about this latest student letter directed to the President is the fact that the Iranian students do not ask for U.S. military help, but rather ask the President to apply greater sanctions on Iran’s individual leaders, call for human rights abuses to end in Iran, obtain greater international pressure on Iran’s banking institutions and more actively voice support for the average Iranians who are seeking to overthrow their evil government. By the way, the Iranian individuals who signed their names to this letter are perhaps one of the most courageous individuals in Iran that you will meet because they have risked their own lives by identifying themselves and potentially making themselves targets for being imprisoned or killed by the Iranian government they are openly criticizing.

Yes the Iranian government’s pursuit of nuclear weapons is an important issue, but many Iranian Americans believe the U.S. should be more actively encouraging regime change in the news media, in diplomatic channels and creating both a diplomatic and economic environment where average Iranians can themselves throw off the yoke of oppression place upon them by Iran’s fundamentalist Islamic leaders. One would think that President Obama’s administration would encourage a policy of regime change in Iran by the people of Iran as a more effective and less violent method of solving the Iranian nuclear weapons crisis. But it seems as if the President and his advisors are totally asleep at the wheel because for the last three years they have done none of this, but followed an obviously ineffective and foolish policy of engaging the Iranian mullahs in “diplomatic dialogue”. Your first term as President of the United States is fast coming to an end Mr. Obama and the people of Iran have lost faith in your ability to help them, when will you listen to their pleas for real help and real solutions to overcome the tyranny they are plagued with?

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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Karmel Melamed is an internationally-published freelance journalist based in Southern California.

Since 2000, Melamed has specialized in covering the growing influential...

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