Saturday, July 31, 2004

Iran: U.S. senators daydream of regime change

7/25/2004 6:00:00 PM GMT

"Those who draft such plans live in their daydreams," Hamid Reza Asefi said.
Source: Reuters

Iran's Foreign Ministry on Sunday said that U.S. senators are "daydreamers" for sponsoring a bill aimed at toppling Tehran's rulers by supporting opposition groups inside and outside the country.

Earlier this month, republican senators, Rick Santorum, representing Pennsylvania, and John Cornyn of Texas introduced the "Iran Freedom and Support Act of 2004".

The bill authorizes the U.S. president to provide $10 million to foreign and domestic Iranian pro-democracy groups such as radio and television networks in order to promote regime change in the Islamic state.

"Those who draft such plans lag behind the times, they live in their daydreams," Foreign Ministry spokesman, Hamid Reza Asefi, told a weekly news conference.

"They neither know Iran, nor the Iranian opposition," he said adding that Washington had been "plotting against Iran ever since the (1979) Islamic revolution" without success.

While disillusionment with the 25-year-old Islamic revolution is widespread among Iran's disproportionately youthful population, opposition to the ruling establishment is weak and disorganized.

Despite appeals by California-based satellite channels run by Iranian exiles for mass demonstrations last month to mark the fifth anniversary of student protests brutally crushed by security forces, there were no large gatherings in Iran.

Political analysts say exile opposition groups such as supporters of the former monarchy or the Iraq based People's Mujahideen Organization enjoy negligible support within Iran itself.



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