News Tip: Exiled Iranian Dissident on Threat of Israeli Attack on Iran

On
Tuesday the United States, France, Britain, China, Russia and Germany agreed to
resume negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program.

This
news came one day after President Obama met with Israeli Prime Minister
Benjamin Netanyahu to discuss the threat posed by Iran's nuclear program.

  • Mohsen Kadivar
    Visiting Research Professor of Islamic Studies, Duke University
    http://religiondepartment.duke.edu/people?Gurl=/aas/Religion&Uil=mk153&subpage=profile
    http://en.kadivar.com/ (personal
    website)

    Mohsen Kadivar is a Muslim scholar, an Iranian dissident who has been in
    exile since 2008, and a visiting research professor of Islamic studies at
    Duke since 2009. He was sentenced to 18 months in prison in Iran because
    of his political criticism of the Islamic Republic, and was released in
    July 2000. He remains active in the opposition Green Movement.

    Quotes:

    Regarding A Possible Attack on Iran by Israel:

    "Any military attacks on Iran, especially by Israel, would be an extremely
    big mistake and an enormous obstacle to the spread of democracy and human
    rights in Iran because it would be the best guarantee for the continuance
    of the Iran's theocratic regime.

    "The government of the Islamic Republic of Iran welcomes the Israeli
    government's threat to attack Iran. They would use this threat as a 'heaven-sent gift' to increase their illegal restrictions on the people,
    and to put pressure on the opposition."

    On Sanctions:

    "Difficult sanctions against Iran have harmed the people more than the
    government. The government is spending its oil revenue to compensate for
    the sanctions. The impact of sanctions on the ordinary life of Iranians is
    undeniable. The lower class and middle class are suffering from inflation
    and increasing prices. The sanctions have not led to rebellion or protest
    against the dictatorship."

    On Iran's nuclear program:

    "Israel, which is widely believed to have nuclear weapons and is not a
    member of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, is in no
    position to say to others you can’t have nuclear weapons. There is a
    Persian idiom: 'When you eat a date you cannot prevent others from eating a
    date.' Peace requires a world free of nuclear weapons without any
    exceptions. If nuclear weapons are illegal and evil, it should be
    universal and for all countries, including the U.S. and Israel. A
    double-standard policy is immoral.

    "Iran does not possess a nuclear weapon, but its regime is anti-Israeli
    and anti-American. Israel's fear is not about the proliferation of nuclear
    weapons in the world, but they fear a nuclear Iran would change the
    balance of the power in the region against Israel.

    "The main demand of the Green Movement in Iran is enriching democracy and
    human rights. Enriching uranium (the Iranian government's demand) or
    stopping the enrichment of the uranium (Israeli's demand) is not among the
    demands of the Iranian people."