The Iran Threat: President Ahmadinejad and the Coming Nuclear Crisis by Alireza Jafarzadeh

Blacklisting of the main Iranian opposition

CNN Headline News, February 22, 2007


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Glenn Beck: All right. The deadline for Iran to halt their nuclear program has come and gone again. The report released today said it can`t guarantee it`s strictly for peaceful purposes. You think so? President Ahmadinejad isn`t listening to U.N.`s tough talk. What a shock that is. While the White House called the report`s findings, quote, "disappointing," the reality is that Iran is a child that needs a spanking. Only, the U.N. is the parent who keeps threatening one but never gives it. Sanctions against Iran will only work if they`re supported by the entire world`s force. And it seems that President Bush might agree, because a second aircraft carrier with its full battle group has parked itself in Iran`s backyard. If you think that`s an overreaction, listen to what Ahmadinejad said yesterday. Quote, "Iran will not retreat one iota in its path to nuclear victory


Now, Alireza Jafarzadeh is the author of "The Iran Threat".

Alireza, the deadline has passed. And now we`re looking at sanctions? Now the U.N. is trying to decide what we should punish them with?


Alireza Jafarzadeh: I think the U.N. should have been prepared for this long ago. They should not even have wasted a day coming up with much tougher measures.


The sanctions should include oil, arms, technological and diplomatic sanctions. Because if it`s meaningful, it`s going to hurt the Iranian regime, not only economically but also by sending a strong signal politically to the Iranian regime that the international community is going to be tough on them. But also to the Iranian people that the international community is going to be supportive of their efforts to unseat the ayatollahs.


Glenn Beck: You know, I have to tell you. I am -- war is the worst possible option with Iran. Sanctions are not going to work, because we`ve got the U.N. there. We`ve got to appeal to the people. And I read a disturbing report this week that we were actually considering, and I hope we haven`t done this -- maybe you can verify -- turning over people that are against the regime in exchange for terrorists. Is that true?

Alireza Jafarzadeh: Well, unfortunately, Glenn, this is what the State Department has been doing for the past, at least since 1997 when Khateimi took office, remember, the so-called moderate president.


Glenn Beck: Right.


Alireza Jafarzadeh: The State Department was trying to reach out to the Iranian regime, thinking that this way, by sacrificing the main Iranian opposition, they can, you know, modify the behavior of the Iranian regime. They included the main opposition, known as the Mojahedin-e Khalq on the terrorist list in 1997. And then it further emboldened the Iranian regime. This is the same opposition that exposed all the major nuclear sites of Iran.

And in 2003, there were major efforts by the Iranian regime to get the United States to get the forces of the Mojahedin based in Iraq north of Baghdad, to turn them over to Iranian regime in exchange for Iran`s, you know, passive actions in Iraq. You know, that clearly is going to backfire if it`s ever considered.

Right now the U.S. military is building a very, very good relationship with this opposition in Iraq. There are many people in the Congress from both sides of the aisle who were saying we`ve got to end the designation, the terrorist designation that the State Department put on this group in 1997, because the Iranian regime is making threats that are real. We need to reach out to the Iranian people and to the main opposition to strengthen it, not hinder it.


Glenn Beck: We have got to reach out to the people. War is not the answer. Alireza, thank you very much.

The Iran Threat: President Ahmadinejad and the Coming Nuclear Crisis by Alireza Jafarzadeh
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