Three Years Later, Obama Reaches Out to Iran Dissidents
President Barack Obama wants to pierce what he is calling the “electronic curtain” shrouding the Iranian people in totalitarianism by inviting them to make contact through America’s “virtual Tehran embassy.”
The American president pierced the electronic curtain by recently sending an online Internet video message to the Iranian people, letting them know the United States supports their freedom and wants to open a dialogue with them about America’s future relationship with a free Iran.
“The Iranian government jams satellite signals to shut down television and radio broadcasts. It censors the Internet to control what the Iranian people can see and say,” the President said. “The regime monitors computers and cell phones for the sole purpose of protecting its own power. I want the Iranian people to know that America seeks a dialogue to hear your views and understand your aspirations.”
Stephanie Kennedy of the Australian Broadcasting Company reported on radio this morning that to facilitate a dialogue between the Iranian people and the U.S., Obama is “unveiling new measures to make it easier for US software companies to market chat and social network programs in Iran.”
Kennedy specifically reported, “The US also wants Iranians to have better access to its Virtual US Embassy that it set up last December to communicate with the people of Iran through Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.”
Numerous pro-freedom groups in support of Iranian democracy flourish on Facebook, and the social networking system was considered instrumental during the 2009 Green Movement uprisings against Ahmadinejad.
The actual U.S Embassy in Tehran was shut down in 1979 in the wake of the Islamic Revolution. It has since been used as a training center by the regime’s Revolutionary Guard. The outside of the embassy now features a number of anti-American murals, including a defaced Great Seal of the United States. One particular mural features the Statue of Liberty with a skull-face signifying the eventual death of America.
The actual U.S. Embassy in Iran is now represented in the U.S. Interests Section within the Embassy of Switzerland in Tehran.
White House spokesman Jay Carney said that the Islamic Republic is afraid of what may happen if the Iranian people are exposed to outside opinion and news about the terror and oppression being caused by the regime.
They're afraid of what the Iranian people might do with the truth and knowing the truth about the way that they're treated by their regime, the way that Iran is viewed and the Iranian regime is viewed by the international community, the incredible price that is being paid by Iran because of the sanctions regime that continues to be ratcheted up as a result of the regime's failure to live up to its obligations.
Countering Obama’s message to the Iranian people, Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei responded in a speech in the wake of the Persian New Year, telling supporters in Tehran that Iran does not have nuclear weapons but if there is any aggression from the U.S. or Israel, Iran will attack to defend itself.
Iran and the P5+1 group of countries are scheduled to engage in diplomatic talks next month in an attempt to reach a settlement of some kind.