Sam Ghandchiسام قندچي Danger of IRI-Israel War .. and What Iranian Opposition Needs to Do

Sam Ghandchi

خطر جنگ جمهوری اسلامی و اسرائیل ..و اینکه اپوزیسیون چه کار میتواند بکند




Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI) since its inception has been intimidating Israel, beginning with Khomeini's announcement of the Ghods Day  in Tehran after the establishment of IRI, supposedly to defend the Palestinian people, but in reality to export Shi'a Islamism all over the Middle East.  During the recent years, IRI boasting of having long range missiles reaching Israel, created the same kind of rhetoric Saddam initiated against Israel, that ended up in Israel's preemptive strikes on Iraq's nuclear facilities.


Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, during his presidency of Iran, moved all the anti-Israeli rhetoric of previous IRI administrations to a new level when he called for destruction of Israel on one hand and claimed the Holocaust as a myth, on the other. In short, the denial of Holocaust ended any attempts of the Europeans to try to ignore the anti-Israeli verbiage of IRI for some time and made them even more determined than the U.S. in their support of Israel.


Ahmadinejad’s rhetoric about Holocaust and Shahab Missiles that are claimed by IRI to reach Israel, together with IRI’s military support of Lebanon’s Hezbollah in their war with Israel, brought the two countries the closest to war more than all the years that hateful anti-Israeli slogans of Islamic Republic of Iran has been continuing. 


The prospect of military conflict of IRI with Israel is imminent when Iran is facing economic sanctions.  Sanctions that have continued all these years because of the behavior of Islamic Republic of Iran.  If at the time of Iran-Iraq War, Iran only faced the U.S. sanctions, in the new conflicts, Iran is facing the sanctions of United Nations Security Council which includes Europe, China and Russia as well.


Actually as far as the Holocaust Conference of Tehran is concerned, Iranian opposition should thank Ahmadinejad for inviting the Nazi Fascists and KKK and announcing his unity and alliance and shared goals with those forces in that gathering. I mean how much work the opposition would have needed to do to show the world that IRI is a real fascist regime. I mean he did the best work of public relations for IRI opposition.


Thus although I would say my thanks to Mr. Ahmadinejad for helping us the opposition to show the true face of IRI, that of Nazi Fascists, but putting Iran in danger of a war is not just about IRI and it is about the lives of all Iranians and the existence of Iran as a country in the world.


This is where the intimidations by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s tension-building of nuclear issue alongside his attacks on Israel and the Jews, while Iran's ambitions in Iraq and Lebanon are flaming, have isolated Iran more and more and today Iran is definitely at the risk of a war between IRI and Israel.


If full Israeli attack on Iraq was avoided by big powers because of the fear of isolating the Arab countries and the US was the country that spearheaded the attack on Iraq, in case of Iran, any direct involvement of Israel in a war with Iran will be welcomed by the Arab countries. 


Even the opposition and radical Islamist forces in the Arab countries, if any of them sides with Iran in such a conflict, they will be viewed as unpatriotic in the Arab countries as it was the case for Shiites in Iraq during the time of Iran-Iraq War and such forces will be suppressed easily in the Arab countries even if they side with IRI and any hope of Islamic Republic of Iran in such forces is another pipe dream, the same way Khomeini hoped to get to Karbala by Iraqi Shiites siding with him and this way caused the death of millions of Iranians and Iraqis.


Israel will also be able to move the constant war from its borders to some place as far as Iran and this will give it more breathing space.  Already Israel has achieved agreement with many Palestinian groups and has the tacit support of Saudi Arabia and the Kurdish forces.  The attack of Israel against Hezbollah in Lebanon showed that none of the Sunni groups supported Hezbollah and this time, the Shiite radical groups of Lebanon viewed as IRI’s agents have no support of the Sunni Arabs.


It is already very clear that Iran would not have any allies among the Arab countries in case of any IRI-Israel War.  And we all know about the relations of Turkey and other Iran’s neighbors with the West in general and Israel in particular.  The presence of Western coalition forces in all neighboring countries of Iran is another major difference of the situation in the region in comparison to the time of Iran-Iraq War. This shows the catastrophic position Islamic Republic is putting Iran and Iranians by getting us into a war with Israel.


This is a situation that calls for drastic measures by the Iranian opposition.  Iranian opposition should start a clear initiative of starting full communication with Israeli people and to let the people of Israel to know that Iranian people are friends of the Israeli people and are friends of the Jews. Actually Iranian Jews are one of the pillars of Iranian Civilization (1) and that we are not interested in any war between Iran and Israel.  The Iranian opposition for years has worked hard to pass a similar message to the American people that we are not a nation wanting any war with the U.S. and we have been successful in conveying this message.


In all the years since the inception of Islamic Republic of Iran, many Iranians living in the U.S. took the people’s initiative of sending a people to people message of peace from Iranians to Americans, in the U.S.  But Iranian people have done next to nothing to communicate our message of peace to the Israeli people and we should start that before it is too late, because IRI is getting us to a disaster of a war with Israel in a short time and we do not have much time to start an initiative in Israel.

The Islamists and leftists (2) have always tried to make Israeli-Palestinian conflict an issue for Iranians by siding with Palestinians, whereas it is *not* an issue of Iranians.  The Iranian opposition should make this point as clear as ever that we do not want to get involved in any wars with Israel whether directly or thru proxies like the Lebanese Hezbollah, wars that have no result for us except for devastation of Iran and Iranians for nothing. 


Can anybody name one state in the Middle East to be more modern and democratic for its *own* citizens than Israel?  I am aware that Palestinians are treated as second degree citizens in Israel.  I know that and I condemn it.  But blacks were treated as second degree citizens in law of the land not only till 1864 but even till the Civil Rights Movement in the U.S., but the United States was still a democracy for the rest of its population, for over one hundred years, despite the ugly presence of apartheid during that time period in US history.  The same is true that admitting democracy in Israel for its recognized citizens does not mean that I am denying the second-degree citizenry status of the Palestinians which I condemn and support all the peaceful efforts to correct that unfortunate reality.


Let's remember that in contrast, IRI and the Arab countries not only treat their so-called "second-degree” citizens like women and religious and ethnic minorities and LGBT below democratic and human rights standards, rather they treat all their citizens with no democratic rights, and those states are backward where they even allow the killing of heretics, or practice beheading and other cruel punishments in Saudi Arabia, and allow stoning and other crimes against Iran's own citizens that are even sanctioned in the IRI’s own constitution.  Thus states like IRI are the last to talk of violations of human rights in Israel, when they treat their own “first-degree” citizens with such grave human rights violations. 


And most of these Middle Eastern countries having oil are a lot richer than Israel and could have modernized and democratized a lot if they had the right leadership.  Israel has been one of the most successful countries in the Middle East, which has been able to become way more modern and democratic than all the other countries in the Middle East even without having oil revenues.


The superiority of the state apparatus of Israel in the independence of its parliament and checks and balances, having real elections and not sham elections, and the social welfare and independent media and other human rights mechanisms are undeniable, and their advanced status in technologies and health care are known even to Iranian ordinary people who wish medical attendance in Israeli hospitals for their loved ones, and if anybody says it is all because of dependence on the U.S., I would respond that Saudi has also been dependent on the U.S. but is a symbol of backwardness in the world and not advancement.

Nonetheless, I condemn the attacks of Israeli state against the Palestinians and if some Israeli officials still imagine they have legitimacy of owning a piece of land in the Middle East based on whatever has been the case some thousands of years ago, are wrong. In the same way, the Palestinians and Arabs who imagine having privileges based on some historical events are also wasting their time rather than trying to solve the problems of Israelis and Palestinians today, which is what the whole peace process is about and there is no other way to solve the problem.


Those wanting to solve problems by going back to history in Palestine and Israel are as if one keeps saying white population has no right to the U.S. land, because it belonged to Native Americans at some point. The reality is that there is a country of Israel because of whatever historical reasons, just like all those different Arab countries exist rather than just one Arab country because of myriad of historical developments, and one better see the reality and plan on resolving today’s issues without destroying more lives, rather than having a self-serving version of dream history to try to solve today’s problems by using it.


Therefore basically I do not care to take side with either side of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and frankly I see it waste of time to argue these historical discussions and prefer to focus on practical reality of the Middle East than to get drowned in history.  Moreover these are all issues of Israeli people and Palestinians and not issues of the Iranian people to decide one way or the other.  We have enough problems of our own to address.

Iranians want good relations with Israel and it is to our advantage to learn about technical and social advancements of Israel and looking at Israel from the angle of Israel-Palestinian conflict has been a wrong approach to Israel for half a century among the Iranian opposition. Even during the Iran-Iraq War, the Palestinian political groups sided with Iraq and not Iran. Iranians do not want a war with Israel and if IRI leaders cause a war with Israel, they are the ones who are causing another disaster for Iran and Iranians.


Any IRI-Israel War can hurt Iranians a lot more than the Iran-Iraq War, and those Iranians helping such a war to take shape by attacking Israel, under any pretext of supporting Palestinians or any other cause, should answer for all the devastations that will follow from such a war for Iran and Iranians.  They better come to grips with the new realities of the Middle East (3) rather than putting Iran and Iranians at risk.


Iranian opposition needs to start to spearhead the initiative of peace talks with Israel and should not allow IRI leaders to intimidate us from creating the good will relations with the Israeli people.

Hoping for a democratic and secular futurist republic in Iran,


Sam Ghandchi

February 3, 2017
* The first edition of this article was published ten years ago on January 27, 2007.




1. A Brief History of Iranian Jews


2. Again and again Worry about Zionism and Palestine instead of Iran


3. Iran and Restructuring of the Middle East

















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