Values, not bombs!

It is Iranian civil society that will ultimately bring the Islamic regime down


Values, not bombs!
by Tina Ehrami

Is president Bush trying to strengthen his alliance against the Iranian regime during his visit to the Middle East? In Iran, with its current dog-eat-dog internal political affairs, president Ahmadinejad is too busy trying to keep his head above water while his political opponents try to drag him down. Too busy perhaps to notice how discontent the Iranian people have grown.

The system of the Islamic Republic is in a state of crisis. The fact that neither Khatami nor Ahmadinejad has been able to realize unity even within the ruling elite shows this. For over two decades, the main resistance to that system has come from within Iranian civil society. And it is Iranian civil society that will ultimately bring the Islamic regime down.

Knowing this, one could state that wanting to change this regime should start by supporting the Iranian people instead of opposing the current Iranian government. Perhaps our best weapons against autocracy and terrorism are not military or even diplomatic but ideological and cultural.

The struggle is not just for political rights but also for the right of individual citizens to live the way they choose. There will be no foreign government who will defend the existential rights on behalf of Iranians, since governments have no direct interest in such thing, so we must rely on other actors to push the cause of liberty.

The best group, except for the Iranians in Iran, to demand change are human rights groups, activists and journalists who have the capability to take up the cause of the Iranian people.

It will however help when governments all around the world would make a stand by the international community on Iranian human rights. An example of how it shouldn’t be however is the U.N. Human Rights Council’s recent decision to stop monitoring Iranian and Uzbek human rights violations, even though executions in Iran are currently rising.

President Bush would not make efforts to strengthen his alliance in the Middle East against Iran if he hadn’t had any serious military objectives. There seems to be something awkward about the timing of the bilateral frictions in the Persian Gulf during the past few weeks. Regardless of what the recent report of the intelligence services said about Iran not having a nuclear program, president Bush does not seem to want to lay back and loosen up the rope around Iran’s neck.

Under such circumstances, military action against Iran would however only strengthen the hard-line elements within the regime by justifying political repression. Governments planning an invasion in Iran the “Iraq-style” to introduce a model of enlightened democracy would not only cause internal damage and destabilization in the region, but it would also damage the credibility of Iranian liberals. We should remember that an open and democratic society can be reached only through open and democratic methods.

During an interview between several members of the Iranian political opposition and European politicians the opposition members were asked what the EU can do to improve democracy and liberty in Iran. One of the opposition members answered very simple but to the point: “defend and promote your values!”

Promoting values of freedom of expression, freedom of movement, freedom of conscience will be much more effective than any missile to neutralize Iranian radicals. Values, not bombs will eventually save Iran. Let’s hope that the EU and other democracy and human rights respecting countries will promote these values effectively enough to reach through the dog-eat-dog crisis struck Iranian political core.


Recently by Tina EhramiCommentsDate
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more from Tina Ehrami

tolerant world

by Sara Bruns (not verified) on

I'm not sure who the author of this website or specifically, this text is, but it's really interesting and I would like to suggest if you want to cooperate and have a weblog on this website which I am the Co-director of.

You can use the contact information of the website for further questions.


Seeding the unconscious

by Anon ymous (not verified) on

The recent mainstream media front-cover page news about the "provocation by Iran" is prepping the people for their wish to start another war, this time to attack Iran. From an article at // "Psychologists call this process "seeding" the unconscious. As in the American "snuff" film, 300, where hordes of subhuman Persian/Iranians ultimately "crucify" the Greek defenders of Western "civilization."
Remember the Cole! Remember Thermopylae! The indoctrination of the American people is relentless".


T o Luis Dis Nef:

by Tahirih (not verified) on

It is true that there are foolish individuals who have never properly examined the fundamentals of the Divine religions, who have taken as their criterion the behavior of a few religious hypocrites and measured all religious persons by that yardstick, and have on this account concluded that religions are an obstacle to progress, a divisive factor and a cause of malevolence and enmity among peoples.

They have not even observed this much, that the principles of the Divine religions can hardly be evaluated by the acts of those who only claim to follow them. For every excellent thing, peerless though it may be, can still be diverted to the wrong ends. A lighted lamp in the hands of an ignorant child or of the blind will not dispel the surrounding darkness nor light up the house—it will set both the bearer and the house on fire.

Can we, in such an instance, blame the lamp? No, by the Lord God! To the seeing, a lamp is a guide and will show him his path; but it is a disaster to the blind.


Why Practice Tolerance?

by Mona 19 (not verified) on

Tolerance and Righteousness are two lights amidst the darkness of the world and two educators for the edification of mankind.

So deal with one another with the utmost love and harmony, with friendliness and fellowship.

If you are aware of a certain truth, share it with all in a language of utmost kindliness and good-will. If it be accepted, if it fulfill its purpose, your object is attained.
If any one should refuse it, leave him unto himself, and beseech God to guide him. Beware lest ye deal unkindly with him.

A kindly tongue is the lodestone of the hearts of men. It is the bread of the spirit, it clotheth the words with meaning, it is the fountain of the light of wisdom and understanding….

With Loving Greetings,


Why does God tolerate all

by defenition of tolerance! (not verified) on

Why does God tolerate all this?
He really does not!!
This world and us is just a mock.
He allows this so that when the real world, and the real life comes the test of free will, will bear the fruit of purification, separation and creation.


Luis and anonymous

by defenition of tolerance! (not verified) on

Please dont expect any rocks here. As long as you invoke the name of religion in a public place where everyone has the same right to free speech, you will hear many opinions including mine.
I really think your reaction is out of proportion though.
I can agree with you about preaching but there are better ways to deal with that!
A simple well intended statement of concern or opinion does not equate preaching.

As far as Anonymous Bidari goes, one does not have to go to a website to discover your intentions and what you think of this world and its diverse people. You are making it to the daily news by your actions. We are tolerating you, regardless of how nausiating and unfair you are at times.
Just remember no one can represent you better than yourself and you are doing a good job and as long as you are well intended there is no cause to worry.


Brian Appleton, Bravo. Also,

by sick and tired of BS (not verified) on

Brian Appleton, Bravo. Also, in the original Doctrine of Neocons it specifically emphasizes that religion should not be separated from governments in the middle east, hence the Islamic republic of Afghanistan and Islamic republic of Iraq.(see Leo Strauss). The mullahs were installed by the American Democrats because they believed Iranian society is too religious ,and therefore, does not need democracy and civil rights (see moral relativisim among the left).

To supporters of so called "Evolutionary Democracy":
"A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen, philosophers, and diviners." --Ralph Waldo Emerson

You people are either too naive or have an agenda to pacify dissent through using euphemism and ridiculous, and fallacious concepts such as "gradual democracy" in a fascist oligarchy [(with built-in self-regulating (refromist) and self-adjusting (e.g., sham elections) measures to stop its collapse)] to give people false hope and silence the voices of dissent.

You can't expect an ugly geese to become a beautiful swan even through evolution without drastic mutations and change. Evolutionary Democracy or any sembalnce of democracy is tantamount to gradual death of the regime and it would render it irrelevant and that is why Ahamdinejad at the request of Supreme thug is trying to take all those cosmetic/superficial freedoms back and push Iran further into ignorance (revamping the education system and islamicizing the universities), suprestitions (mahdi in a well), poverty, martyrdom (The highest form of art is martyrdom according to Ahmadinejad) and so on...

“If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be."—Thomas jefferson

And no I don't think bombing IRan will do the trick either. It would make matters much worse. If I had the solution, I would be very rich...hahahaha


To the guy/girl who posted a

by Ali (not verified) on

To the guy/girl who posted a link to this website. Aren't you tired of this kind of hate propaganda that no one buys anymore?

You are the one who needs to wake up from your ignorance, hatred and dogmatism, instead of trying to wake people up!

مرده‌ی خود را رها کردست او
مرده‌ی بیگانه را جوید رفو


Tina's essay

by Brian H. Appleton (not verified) on

I have said this before and I will say it again....America and G7 countries, Russia, China, they are not interested in Iranian democracy or exporting democracy to Iran. They don't care who is in power as long as they have access to the oil...reason IRI has survived all these years is that the world powers except for the USA have oil deals with IRI and it is in their vested interest to keep the status quo...the Americans are angry because they got kicked out of Iran and with the sanctions they have imposed which they try to bully everyone else into following, they have been left out of the deals and so they threaten war because military is only tool they have left to get back into Iran and impose another puppet....I am sorry Tina but the naked reality is that until the world energy source changes from fossil fuel to hydrogen, Iran will never be left alone to develop its own democracy...these damn mullahs have gotten filthy rich in the process is not easy to change the ruling class any country and we are losing democracy in the USA and civil liberties with a Presidential tyrant that our senate and congress will not stand up too and they continue to fund his barbaric war of greed on Iraq...US is not in a position to export democracy and has lost its moral authority...US appointed Saddam, encouraged and paid for his war on Iran and then when he got too big for his britches the Americans took him out and put in a new puppet and Bush scapegoats Iran for his woes in Iraq...he has wanted an excuse to invade Iran all along, when the nuclear scare failed,then he desparately tries this speedboat nonsence...the only hope for Iranian people is that the American people wake up and stop supporting this American regime led by unelected advisors, with no control over them by other branches of our govt, from the American Enterprise Institute with the American Century see for the neo cons anything which secures US energy future or gives US the upper hand is many Iraqis have died so far, 645,000 and Americans are only howling about a few thousand American dead...

First they stole your oil and then your most talented professionals...I believe the whole world is suffering right now from the same illness of govts not representing the will of the people...

I was on a radio talk show this morning and a minister was saying that fear is the problem and that communication between our peoples is the key to preventing war but we have to question who is generating the is govt propaganda on both sides trying to save their own postions and regime...sometimes I think that the two presidents are on each others pay rolls. But the US administration isusing fear to justify another war of greed...



Here is a shocking video to prove we were right

by The Unassoicated Press (not verified) on

Please watch and send to all those brave men and women who have been trying to prove that indeed freedom will come to all of those who are willing to wait:


Your feedback is important to us.



by Anonymous! (not verified) on

If you are tolerant check this site out:



You are still in darnkness

by Louis Dis Nef (not verified) on

What I said is TOLERANCE is when I can say that I do not believe in any religion or any holly book and you stay silent. Silent as a rock, dirt on the ground, a bone in the desert. That is tolerance.

On the other hand, as soon as you saw my definition, you came and started preaching me as what UNESCO said. You might as well quote your master the British Royal Family. I don't care what UNESCO says, what I am saying is can you be tolerant that someone says something and you do not preach? Same goes to Tahereh, who jumpeed and defended you just because there seems to be a Bahai gang here preaching, abdol baha....

Now, can you be tolerant?

Show me


To defenition of tolerance:

by Tahirih (not verified) on

Well said ,thank you for your explanation of tolerance. Hope it is understandable to our angry friend "tolerance".

Kouroush Sassanian


by Kouroush Sassanian on

I agree with some of your points, but I have a more important question. Why is it some women's avatars  in this site are  Eshvehee! Nadia, Rosie and well, you!  I know this is part of your right of freedom of expression, but I would like to know.

I mean you see JJs - he looks like a miyansal harry potter! JR and others!  Well, you get the picture! I know there are some efiminates here, that are Eshvayee, also, but that's not the norm! Of course, all the rainbow power to them!

I mean does casting your hair to one side to make it look fuller, tilting your head to the side like jenger[JK!] give you more crediblity. I know during Khatamis reign he was liked by many women, because of his starched aba and we all know about Antarnejad!

How would people respond if you put up a picture of a kolee menopausal woman?


Tolerance is when you do not discuss a word about religion,

by defenition of tolerance! (not verified) on

you say
"...Tolerance is when you do not discuss a word about religion..." I think they tried that in the old soviet and eastern block and its history now!

You should not ask people to be quiet while you expect them to tolerate your objectionable, irrational speech.
Deffering opinions are constantly expressed and we need to respect them even if these opinions are contrary to ours, that is tolerance.

"In its Declaration on the Principles of Tolerance, UNESCO offers a definition of tolerance that most closely matches our philosophical use of the word:

Tolerance is respect, acceptance and appreciation of the rich diversity of our world's cultures, our forms of expression and ways of being human. Tolerance is harmony in difference.
We view tolerance as a way of thinking and feeling — but most importantly, of acting — that gives us peace in our individuality, respect for those unlike us, the wisdom to discern humane values and the courage to act upon them".



by Louis Dis Nef (not verified) on

Tolerance is not to accept a Bahai by a Muslim and vice versa. Tolerance is when I can stand in front of bunch of Iranians and say proudly that I do not believe in any fucking religion and I do not believe in any fucking book, and none of them get angry and start preaching me, that is tolerance.

Other than that, Iranians have always been tolerant for other religions. Look at Bahai, Jews, Armenians, Muslims and etc.

The only ones Iranians have been hostile towards were the ones that DID NOT WANT TO HAVE A RELIGION, stop all these fukcing discussions about religion. Tolerance is when you do not discuss a word about religion, that is it.


To anonymous -19: there is no hidden message!

by Tahirih (not verified) on

I am not suggesting we all have to be Bahai's to save this planet.But the concept of Unity in Diversity is the answer to the world and Iran's problems.
Unity in Diversity does not mean conformity to the same religion,but to learn to respect each other and live harmoniously side by side.
In cosmopolitan cities of Europe and North America,we live side by side,Muslim,christian ,jewish and buddist,and so on.Then why can't we do the same all over the world and in Iran?
I am not saying every one has to become bahai's but the principles of Bahai faith will help humanity to move on.
We have to be united people should have freedom and rights and women and men should be equal,masses should have access to free education,prejudices should be eliminated and there has to be religious tolerance to be able to have true democracy.
As Bahai's we believe that future of Iran is glorious,but it does not mean we think Iran should dominate the earth.And as future we do not mean tomorrow!
To sum it up,we believe that well being of mankind ,it's peace and security,are unattainable unless and until its UNITY is firmly established.and it goes for Iran too ,we need to be united.


To Tahirih

by Anonymous-19 (not verified) on

You write excellent articles, but the main obvious or hidden message in all of them is this:

The world will become Bahai and Iran will be the center of the world.


Tina, the Iranian political

by Farhad Kashani (not verified) on

Tina, the Iranian political system runs exactly like the Mafia system. Actually, I’m sure you know, Mafia and Mafia like systems are products of tyrannical Mediterranean/indo European mixed with Semitic societies, such as Italy, Iran, Syria and Greece. So the godfather Khomeini or Khamenei are the ones who call the shots and make the decisions, people like Ahmadinejhad and others are just lower ranking soldiers in the family. So when you call Ahmadinezhad “the president” or talk about some kind of a democratic political rivalry in Iran between Ahmadinezhad and other people, it seems me that you’re either talking about a different Iran, or that you have bought into the “Iran is a republic” argument. Furthermore, I’m against military action too, even bush himself if he can get away with confronting the regime without resorting to military action, he would, but please explain to me how can the Iranian civil society without resorting to more extreme measures such as strikes and civil disobedience, can effectively rise up to the regime? Because it appears that everything you hear from the so called “civil society” (one wonder if such thing really exists under the Islamic laws and system) in Iran is that they are resorting to measures that are being laughed at by Khamenei and his fascist followers in Tehran. I agree with you and applaud you for acknowledging the fact that International community’s, including U.S government and NGOs, support is essential and vital to the success of any struggle against the regime, and that makes you different that many of our wonderful Islamic Marxists and IRI apologists, including this site, but I think I am sensing that you agree with the methods used by the so called “civil society” and so called “reformists” in Iran right now. I mean obviously they haven’t worked and the IRI is getting stronger by the minute. I believe more extreme measures are needed to be taken. Remember, the issue the world community has with Iran is not just helping promote democracy in it ,like they’re doing in Myanmar, Zimbabwe and North Korea, but because IRI is a fascist style, Islamic fundamentalism center for inspiration and support, the world needs and eventually will, take extreme actions against it. Basically, we’re running out of time. So we as people need to take back the movement and before disaster erupts upon Iran, to EFFECTIVELY stand up to this regime. Lets forget about people like Ebadi. These Islamic-Marxists will never EFFECTIVELY lead our movement to overthrow the regime. They’re more a hurdle than anything else.


Inferiority Comlex

by Ali (not verified) on

Why do you think "freedom", "human rights" and other such values are exclusive to European and American?!! And what moral authority do these Western countries have to promote these values?!!

The same Europeans who are directly responsible for the slow and agonizing death of Africa, who were the suppliers of Saddam Hussein when he was gassing our people, or the Americans who still have their hands soaked in the blood of hundreds of thousands (if not a million) Iraqis, do NOT have any exclusivity on the notions of freedom and human rights!!

I think it is so degrading for the Iranian "opposition" to act like good "shagerd aval" students and ask Europeans to "please teach us YOUR values"!


even if IR ended

by Anonymous-haha (not verified) on

Iranians will make sure people like you Tina will never be allowed to return to Iran.

Ehsan Jami and you can stay put in the Holland and become crackpots or hookers,whichever jobs you guys prefer.

Jahanshah Rashidian

Let's Punish IRI's Seniors

by Jahanshah Rashidian on

To confront the plague of the IRI, concrete propositions and expectations from the international community are to be brought on table. I do not propose economic sanctions on the basic needs of people, nor am I for a military adventure, but for fair sanctions on the perpetrators, the IRI’s seniors.

Sanctions must be politically and judicially so worked out that they only target the crimes and corruption of IRI’s officials, not people. Western blind sanctions are not the real solutions; in fact, the regime sanctions should only target the repressive organs and judicial backgrounds of IRI’s officials.

The values of liberty, democracy, Human Rights, and support of Iranians' struggles against the plague of the IRI must be more important in order to punish the regime, not the Iranian people.As I previously proposed the crimes committed by the IRI must be the issues of UN resolutions

-The UN’s highest court, which has once cleared a number of Serbian authorities of direct responsibility for genocide in the 1990s Bosnian war, is now expected to clear many IRI’s crimes, especially the genocide of political prisoners in the summer of 1988 with the same principles that the Nuremburg Court applied to Nazi genocide criminals. 

–The UN members must freeze all assets of IRI’s corrupt seniors and their related institutions in the world.

 –All Islamist centres, foundations, institutions, media, and economic activities in the West having ties with the IRI or its international political Islam.

Above, there are some concrete examples.


To: Anonymous77 = Hajiagha

by Anti-Hajiagha (not verified) on

Do you think any single woman cares about a man who has lived in Canada for 12 years, yet still writes like this in English? ( "are Tina is single ?" )

Go back to Shahrood, bro!

David ET

Well Said Tina

by David ET on

Thank You.


Too Late!

by Concerned Iranian (not verified) on

I am afraid it may be too late to atempt to instill values in Iran. You talk about dog-eat-dog political climate in Iran. I think we should also include the Iranian society, which suffers from the same ailment. Iran, a third-world conutry, even at the time of the Shah, has now become an old lethargic, backward and fanatic population. Even the majority of the Shomal-e-shahr ladies routinely throw Sofr-e-he- Sahab-e-Zaman or the like. This is not religion. It is superstition. Bribe and lies are rampant. The list is too long. It will take 100-200 years to return the people to where they were at the time of the Shah. Even then, there lies a long way to civil society. Good luck nonethelss!


This Fairest of Lands was once a lamp....

by Mona 19 (not verified) on

O people of Persia! How long will you wander? How long must your confusion last? How long will it go on, this conflict of opinions, this useless antagonism, this ignorance, this refusal to think? Others are alert, and we sleep our dreamless sleep. Other nations are making every effort to improve their condition; we are trapped in our desires and self-indulgences, and at every step we stumble into a new snare. This fairest of lands was once a lamp, streaming with the rays of Divine knowledge, of science and art, of nobility and high achievement, of wisdom and valor.

Open your eyes! Pay heed! Release yourselves from this blind following of the bigots, this senseless imitation which is the principal reason why men fall away into paths of ignorance and degradation. See the true state of things. Rise up; seize hold of such means as will bring you life and happiness and greatness and glory among all the nations of the world.

Choose noble ends; how long this lethargy, how long this negligence! Despair, both here and hereafter, is all you will gain from self-indulgence; abomination and misery are all you will harvest from FANATICISM, from BELIEVING the FOOLISH and the MINDLESS. The confirmations of God are supporting you, the succor of God is at hand: why do you not cry out and exult with all your heart, and strive with all your soul!

With Loving Greetings,


This is what it means.

by Tahirih (not verified) on

This has come to pass: means IRI is destined to PASS. Because "It is a need and exigency of the time". And this is how we can do it:By developing human potentialities i.e. respecting human rights,tolerance,developing human virtues (like honesty,truthfullness....),education,purity of intention,the list goes on and on.
My dear change has to come from within self ,and it should include everyone of us ,then we will see a change at the top.


tina tina zendea bad Tina

by Anonymous77 (not verified) on

are Tina is single ?


RE: Lets have hope for land of our fathers.

by Anonymous! (not verified) on

Very beautiful and profound response. But, I am not sure what your point is? Let IRI continue their atrocities because we believe God wanted this to happen? What is it that you want people to do? Nothing?


Lets have hope for land of our fathers.

by Tahirih (not verified) on

This has come to pass. The powers of earth cannot withstand the privileges and bestowals which God has ordained for this great and glorious century. It is a need and exigency of the time. Man can withstand anything except that which is divinely intended and indicated for the age and its requirements.
We must now highly resolve to arise and lay hold of all those instrumentalities that promote the peace and well-being and happiness, the knowledge, culture and industry, the dignity, value and station, of the entire human race. Thus, through the restoring waters of pure intention and unselfish effort, the earth of human potentialities will blossom with its own latent excellence and flower into praiseworthy qualities, and bear and flourish until it comes to rival that rosegarden of knowledge which belonged to our forefathers.
Then will this holy land of Persia become in every sense the focal center of human perfections, reflecting as if in a mirror the full panoply of world civilization.