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8/16/04 - IRAN’S RULERS FEAR THE PEOPLE - 2004-08-16


Like despotic rulers everywhere, the extremist Muslim clerics who run Iran consider the people their greatest enemy. That is why, says U.S. National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, Iran’s rulers are worried about the movement toward democracy in Iraq:

“They’re aware that trends in Iraq toward a government that would be democratic, that would not be theocratic, like the Iranian regime -- would be Islamic, but not theocratic -- would expose some of the weaknesses of the Iranian regime. I think they fear nothing more; the mullahs fear nothing more than their own people, and they fear nothing more, therefore, than when the voices of the people of the Middle East start to be heard by their governments, that the Iranian people are going to demand the same.”

Through such means as the Voice of America and the new Radio Farda, says President George W. Bush, the U.S. is bringing the message of freedom to the people of Iran:

“There is a significant diaspora here in the United States of Iranian-Americans who long for their homeland to be liberated and free. We’re working with them to send messages to their loved ones and their relatives. . . . And one method -- and very overt, I might add -- we’ve got radio broadcasts, a new radio broadcast system, going into Iran, say[ing], ‘Listen, we hear your voice, we know you want to be free, and we stand with you in your desire to be free.’”

In addition, the determination of the U.S. to help Iraq become democratic, says Mr. Bush, sends “a clear message to people in Iran”:

“. . .that freedom is possible. In other words, there are reformers and people who want to be free watching carefully as to whether or not this country [the U.S.], which is the beacon of freedom, is strong enough not to wilt when the pressure gets significant.”

“By serving the ideal of liberty,” says President Bush, “we’re bringing hope to others, and that makes our country more secure. . . . Free nations do not export terror. Free nations enhance the dreams of their citizens. Free nations are peaceful nations.”

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