Do the right thing

It is time to see support for freedom and democracy


Do the right thing
by Setareh Sabety

I am now genuinely scared about what might happen to Iran. I fear that this movement for freedom and democracy that took us all by surprise with it depth and breadth, its courage and resilience, will be choked into silence. I am afraid that we will have to face many more years of an even more fascistic theocracy or “thugocracy”, in the words of Robin Wright. The people, activists, young and old, male and female, can only stand for so long in the face of the vicious brutality that the Khamenei regime inflicts. Especially if they stand more or less alone.

The response of the world to the election fraud and ensuing clamp-down by the Ahmadinejad government has been very lukewarm. Despite the overly cautious reaction of the world leaders, especially Obama, Ahmadinejad and Khamenei have accused the West and particularly the British of outright involvement in the post-election uprising and struggle. Ahmadinejad had the gall to lecture the U.S president when he condemned the use of violence against the protestors, comparing him to Bush despite the latter’s very cautious and light condemnation of atrocities.

Now, I ask myself, why is it that a movement so popular, so huge, with such a good purpose as unseating Ahmadinejad and ushering in an Iranian Perestroika would be so shyly supported by Obama and his democratic administration?

The hatred for the Neo-Cons and the after-taste of eight years of Bush has made the democrats and the left in general in the West very timid about opposing anyone who the Republicans opposed. In fact, the ‘politically correct’ West tends to think that the aspirations for freedom and liberal democracy are purely Western ideals lacking genuine popular support in other parts of the world. They see us as naïve natives who can’t tell the difference between a leader who wants to help us and one who wants to bomb us. So they don’t offer us help! They think that Islamic extremism is more genuine and indigenous and that democratic liberalism is an imperialist import. Their anti-imperialism blinds them to atrocities committed by local bullies. They cannot fathom that we are sophisticated enough to want western style democracy: you know, the kind where you vote and they actually count it! This hurts and isolates the Iranian people.

The people in Iran want more outrage to be voiced by the world’s democratic leaders and especially Obama. They want more outright support. They, like the rest of the world, fell in love with Obama, and expected him to show leadership and pick the right side. After so much bloodshed and violence committed by Ahmadinejad’s government all of us Iranians, or most of us, freedom seeking Iranians want Obama’s help. Iranians no longer understand his pragmatism, his naïve belief in being able to negotiate with these evil thugs. People who can shoot pregnant women, club to death teenagers and audacious enough to rig this big an election will certainly lie at the negotiating table as well.

Obama, whom I and many other Iranian-Americans voted for, should not sacrifice his chance to support a righteous people’s movement to save his ambition of negotiating the nuclear issue with this sullied regime. They will lie and stall and do everything they can to get that bomb. To expect otherwise after this show of ideological extremism on their part is simply naïve.

Obama will have wide support in Iran despite what ‘experts’ say. Iranians do not buy and are fed up with Ahmadinejad’s scapegoating of the West and America. We have moved far beyond what the analysts call our ‘complicated history’ with the U.S. We are being slaughtered by our own and are no longer suspicious of imperialistic aspirations of Obama’s America. We are a sophisticated people capable of understanding historic context and political nuance! Iran is neither Afghanistan nor Iraq. We have a very educated population. Sixty percent of our University students are women; we have twenty-four million internet users and sixty thousand bloggers in Iran. A majority of our people voted for change like Americans did with Obama.

Many excited about the success of the Mousavi campaign linked it to the Obama effect. In fact, his campaign seemed to borrow from Obama’s message of change and a break from the past. The other popular-amongst-students-candidate, Karoubi chose the logo, “Change for Iran.” Mousavi’s wife, Ms. Rahnavard, with loads of charisma and the only wife who has actively campaigned for her husband in the history of this so-called Republic, was repeatedly compared to Michelle Obama by her young female followers.

The Mousavi campaign, however successful, did not end with an inaugural celebration but with a blood bath. Our worse nightmare came true. The campaign was heavily rigged and outright stolen by coup headed by the Supreme Leader himself. Ahmadinejad was declared the victor and people took their anger and sense of betrayal to the streets.

Millions showed up and silently protested. Their numbers gave their supporters hope and inspiration. The world cheered them on as they were beaten and harassed by the Ninja looking death squads and plain-clothed thugs. Each day the suppression of the people got worse until people started dying and their deaths were youtubed to the world. People on social networking sites like Twitter or Facebook started following the story of lone protestors clicking away their news and those images, those images that made the world weep. One girl, Neda whose horrible death by a gun shot in the heart, captured on a phone video and sent out on the internet, was so moving and heart-wrenching that it became the symbol of the entire struggle.

Still, we only get a condemnation out of Obama and the rest of the democratic world does not do much more. It is time to see the difference between one Islamic state and another; it is time to see the nuances and the context. It is time to see that in the case of Iran supporting the right side, the side of freedom and democracy, is the right thing to do. Show us some outrage! Help us oust these thugs who have desecrated the religion of our ancestors and robbed us of our human rights.


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ostaad jaan

by KouroshS on

In the whole entire text there really is no one place where she makes any points about such demand. To me the message is that, it would have been nice if mr. obama in particular came out a bit more harsh and strong and fervent that he did. The iranian people have certainly earned that much and they deserve that.

Thank you for acknowledging my support, but what i am saying or writing is far from the collective efforts of those others who really can make a difference.



by Anonymous XXX (not verified) on

Here's your evidence: They were carrying signs in ENGLISH saying "where is my vote". They wanted the world to hear them and come to their aid.


Are Iranians better off .......

by Neda I (not verified) on

Setareh Khanum,

I like your writing style, and command of language. From your writings, I gather that you grew up in a well to do family in Iran, and are still doing well, living in South of France.

My question to you is: In general, do you think Iran and Iranians are better off today, or before the revolution of 1979?


KouroshS, you're certainly entitled to your opionion...

by Ostaad on

Moral, technical and any non-violent kind of support for the Iranian uprising is welcome. Somehow you seem to have missed my point, which is Sabeti's assertion the people in Iran are "demanding outrage" from foreign leaders! Courts are not the only entities that require evidence, those who pretend to be speaking for the Iranian people should have some kind of evidence for their claims too.

Again, support the Iranian freedom seekers all you want. You have certainly shown to be a tireless supporter, from afar like Sabeti and I, but saying the people are demanding outrage from foreigners needs some kind of proof to say the least.



by KouroshS on

I seriously doubt whether this would be an issue where one needs to come up with any kind of evidence.Certainly Neither you or Ms. sabeti werethere to actually "hear that from any demonstrator on the scene yet"!! One can not help to realize just by looking at those images on TV and youtube, without having court-approved, undeniable evidence, that these people ought to be supported in the efforts. Like you said, the regime is already playing the foreign conspiracy cared anyways, so what is the harm of getting at least some moral support?


Setareh, do you have any evidence that...

by Ostaad on

"The people in Iran want more outrage to be voiced by the world’s
democratic leaders and especially Obama."  I sure have not heard that from ANY demonstrator on the scene yet. You, on the other hand, seem to have convinced yourself that you are speaking for the Iranian people.

Obama's handling of the Iranian uprising has been spot on. The regime has already justified its repression of the uprising blaming it on the foreigners. Do you think more the kind of "support" coming from McCain/Lieberman, the same people who wanted to bomb Iran, is what the Iranian people need? I sure don't so.



by mohamad vaezi (not verified) on

Everyone is TanParast, that is our human nature. Iranians are no different.

You can argue though that they are too dumb to have a true democracy. Look at Mossadegh, it took the West only $1 mil to topple him !!!

Every nation deserves the leadership they got .


For Cares and Persian Vatan Prast

by Miny (not verified) on

i strongly go by Cares.....IRAN can win by evolutionary change rather revolutionary.....

i do believe there is truth in what Persian Vatan Prast is difficult for people to give up their what Cares says and what Mousavi is doing is the right thing....

But i do believe too that people of Iran do deserve the freedom which people in other parts of world are having....which is quite affordable....i mean basic human rights...right to information.....right to peaceful protests.....i mean why not....

i somehow deplore the role of people who are looking for outside support.....i mean i dont see it a good stand....this really is an internal affair of Iran....and the question is if people would want some puppet govt. sometime.....will that be freedom.....

well....i am not an opinions are just of a simple individual mind,,,,,


Palin 2012

by aaron (not verified) on

All i know is that i am voting for a Palin/Jeb Bush 2012 ticket. Both will handle the Iran situation much better than Obama.



by PERSIAN VATAN PARAST (not verified) on

I'm persian, first of all.

I know my own kind.

Persians are too educated and too wrapped in their comfort to be patriots.

Once and for all, Persians are Tann-parast, body patriots, rather than vatan-parast, country patriots.

My body, my comfort, my life, my happiness, my joy, is that matters to us.

Why do you ask? because not a single one of us is willing to give up 12 years of med or eng school, higher education to bear arms against enemies, foreign and domestic, take a bullet, kill or be killed in vain, for Iran. None of us.

We don't even want to sell arms to arm the simpletons to defend the land. We are too cheap for that too. Money patriots, that is all that we are.

We are a bunch of rhetoric shouts, with not a grain of substance.

Americans will kill every one in the world if they have to, to keep their county enemy free. They will use guns, sticks and knives to kill any bastard that attacks their land. No questions asked. None.

Irish Republicans will kill their own British white cousins to defend their land. We, couldn't kill an ant for that matter.

Persians, well, we just let some idiot chap to die for us, then we'd come in to take over, and say: well I'm the educated one here so I have to run the country now, and you, the idiot simpleton are only good for taking bullets.

Any Persian that demonstrates in the West, must be willing to give their blood. We are just too wrapped in our education, careers, homes, jobs, and titles, that death for country is meaningless.

None of us are willing to leave the comfort and protection of the western world. It's not in our blood, school is, but not patriotism.

What we are really saying is: You go die for Iran, while I get educated and make something for myself in the west. Why should I die?

There is not a Silver Star medal folks in being a Persian patriot. There is no reward. But there is in being an American, being the best of the best.

We are just a bunch of ungrateful exiles, pretending to be patriots.

None of us have any thing on these Americans. None of us. If you even think of having it, get on a plane, go to Iran and be a suicidal terrorist, terrorizing the clergy, if you dare. You are just a wuss. If you kill ten clerics with a suicidal bomb, these mullas will run like piss, out of their Abas and shorts.

At least Arabs have that on us pathetic Persians. They are willing to be suicidal maniacs. We can't even do that. We are too sophisticated and educated to act like animals, or be killed like animals.


You know who you are, who we are. Don't look too far in the mirror.

No wonder God has blessed this American nation and cursed our own.

We deserve it.

Good luck, every educated Persian in mustering even the thought of defending your nation on the sidelines from the West, with your med school books under your arms, in a beemer driving by and honking like a moron on the streets of the West.

All of us have to get lost, me included. All of us.

Setareh Sabety

monda and everyone

by Setareh Sabety on

I did not mean military intervention just stronger words, political sanctioning, international pressure. Like freezing accounts. not issuing visas and not recognizing this president who stole the election and many more types of pressure that are effective, non-violent and not imperialistic.
thank you for reading and commenting,



by Monda on


i agree with you about not enough US voice in support of demonstrators, but I would not wish their physical support on any nation, especially Iran. 




by Anonymous XXX (not verified) on

So, what's the point? Everything in Iran is OK because they killed fewer people than China or India? If you want to look at it that way, why don't you consider this: Iran has a population of 70 Million. India is almost 1 billion and China is 2 billion. I guess if you want to compare percentages, the number killed in Iran is comparable to that of China and India.


Sorry folks,but wake up!

by Landanneshin (not verified) on

All demonstrations for freedom are glorious and all deaths as a result of it tragic. Having said that, I'd like to pose two simple questions to all those who call IRI's actions in the last two weeks "barbaric" and " pure thuggery".

1- What is the average death toll,as a result of electoral disputs and ensuing demonstrations during and after any Indian general elections, both as a result of the paramilitary police intervention,or by the supporters of rival factions themselves? Now,how do the Western media report on the significance of these deaths or invite the Indian people to report it to them?

2- In case it escaped anybody's attention,just before the Iranian elections, it was the 20th. anniversary of the bloody events in Peking called by the Western leaders and media in those days,as the Tianannman Square massacare. On that day, thousands of Chinese demonstrators were killed by the Army. The ruling Party won the day and since then China has become such a power that,as an example,the United States alone owes it trilions of dollars. Now, does anyone remember any freedom loving Western leader say a word on the that anniversary? I can tell you they didn't! why not?

Lesson 1: No foreign power of any colour or creed whould shed a tear for the loss of freedom in any other, unless there was something in it for them.

Lesson 2: It is up to every individual to want to belong to an idependent country or one under the influence of outsiders. But,If you choose to be independent, you'd have to be prepared to put up with some harsh policies because big powers don't like independent states. In a word, do most Iranians, and I exclude all those who have lived abroad and just carry an Iranian name,want Iran to be more like China,India or Russia, or do they prefer countries like Georgia,Estonia and Jordan with imported leaders?



by 908 (not verified) on


The article below by Mohammad Sahimi should be read by every Iranian:


Video of Ahmadinejad and Mesbah talking about their future goals:


Please Understand what's at stake here; very disturbing

by op0 (not verified) on

Setareh khanoom: You should read this piece by M. Sahimi. This is coup planned by Mesbah Yazdi and Ahamedinejad to turn Iran into a puritincal Islamic society, not only Iran but the goal is the whole world according to Ahamdinejad.




Green: NO. Tricolor: YES.

by Dayi Jan (not verified) on

Excuse me but I don't go for all that green stuff. That served its purpose and we don't need to deck ourselves in green any more.

If we need a visual symbol, we've got the tricolor: green, red, white. And I prefer the "IRAN" or "FREE IRAN" that some people put in the middle. We can decide what permenantly goes in the middle later.

And for God's sake, forget about Obama. Mageh khodemoon aadam nistim? When was an American president ever on our side?


USA has no influence in Iran

by shirazie (not verified) on

Obama or no Obama- this is an Iranian issues. Late Michael Jackson carried more weight in Iran that USA government


told you so

by MRX1 on

Obama is pompous,phony person with no backbone. Those of you who voted for him did not want to accept the fact  that he is an empty suite. you are now begining to wake up! some of you who are older did the same mistake  30 years ago and apparently you still have not learned your lesson.Genuine compassionate liberals are gone now. Liberals of today are all bonified facists. Liten to them and they will tell you time after time how mideastern people don't deserve  democracy...

Another great opportuniyt wasted in Iran.I feel sorry for the people that died, but I am sure obama will remember them when he starts talking to ahmadinjead at dinner table.


Most people on this site

by Bavafa on

Most people on this site care about Iranians and Iran's best interest. Some on the other hand seem to care more about US and Israel national interest. We need to unity and we need to support the Iranian people first and for most.



Pushing for regime change

by Cares also (not verified) on

Pushing for regime change now can result in untold numbers of deaths. Bringing the system down altogether can also result in chaos and possible fragmentation of Iran.

As difficult as it is to follow, Mousavi's approach is the optimal one; challenge the government on by its own rules non-violently. As a schoolteacher in Kerman said recently "the change and the direction of change we had under Mr. Khatami was a lot better". This approach might not result in the "whole shebang" as quickly as most would like but things don't necessarily happen in the length of time we would like them to. Pushing to separate church and state at this point in time will cost much too many lives with unknown results. A more hopefully achievable goal is to split the system as Mr. Mousavi is trying to do - this is certainly less costly in terms of lives of the people who live in Iran.

At this time this universal yearning for human right is being pulled and pushed in all directions.

We need steadiness, togetherness and leadership - our own leadership not Obama's or anyone else's. Due to restrictions put on them Mr. Mousavi or Karrubi are unable to provide such leadership. All they can do, which they have already done, is to lay out the broad strategy. What we need here outside of Iran is a leadership face and action committee which can provide tactical support and information. We should all keep our eye on the ball; the ball being "more transparency, more freedom, more justice with hopefully least blood shed as possible." An organized and focused leadership in exile can then choose to get help in any way they deem appropriate. Ganji and Ebadi have the credentials to lead such an effort.


EU has all the Leverage

by RC (not verified) on

Here is my 2 cents:

The United States with no diplomatic relations with Iran and only $92 million trade doesn't have much of leverage on this regime.

However, EU with more than $2 billion trade has much more influence. EU can help the Iranian people topple the mullahs by halting its trade with Iran, freezing mullah's bank accounts and not issuing any visas to Ahmadinjad and the members of his government because of their illegitimacy.

This will help weaken the regime...

Farah Rusta

Drop Moussavi out of the equation

by Farah Rusta on

 and keep his wife for charisma (LOL)!!



Wake the heck up!

by Fred on

Based on the preponderance of the evidence, as long as the Islamist republic is not overthrown, the national security of America along those of Israel, all of the little Persian Gulf sheikdoms and far beyond will remain in extreme jeopardy.
There will never ever be peace in the region let alone any progress in the Taef Agreement. The free flow of oil will remain subject to wild fluctuations prohibiting stability in the world economy.

The free world has to wake up and realize their best and only non military alternative to alleviating the gathering threat of nuke capable Islamist cutthroats’ republic is an unrelenting full blast moral and material support of Iranian people. 

Start with tightening the sanction screws and making anti-jamming technology available to information deprived Iranians inside occupied Iran. Close down the intelligence centers of the Islamist cutthroats’ republic in the West and block their bank accounts.


The right thing to do! Not Obama

by Einar Jordan (not verified) on

My friend Obama is a politician not a man of principles. Many critisize Bush and McCain but one thing about them is that they do say what they think. My oppinon first politics second. Obama is the oposite, like Kennedy when the Cuban invation.



by shashu on

I just wrote a novel about this issue and took me for a ride. LOL.

 So efff it. I totally feel you on this one sis. Let's just hope that all these people didn't die in vein.