He is on a scholarship trip in the Netherlands for a couple of months. I did not know he was here until a common friend asked me if I had seen Namver (not his real name). I call him right after I talked to our common friend.
We are both doing some research on two different projects. We agree to meet another friend of his who is a long-time university professor and researcher at a well-known institute in Amsterdam.
“You just have to agree with whatever he says; otherwise we will be here for couple of days.” Namver tells me. I agree and walk to meet his friend in that institute. Not even two minutes pass after we meet and start our conversation that I start scratching my head.
“There are a lot of power struggles in the Iranian government at this moment,” he says.
I think dinggggggggggggggggggggggg, you don’t have to be rocket scientist to know that. It is so simplistic to come up with this again.
Yes we do have a power struggles in Iran, and we have had them for a long time, since the first days of our recorded history. What is new about this? I think to myself.
Are any of those involved with this power struggle worthy of trust? Are they really so diffirent from each other? Or do they just want the same thing but have different ways of getting it?
“Maybe this power struggle will end up in war,” the professor continues.
Bush is getting ready for war I am thinking...
They are counting minutes
When I talk to my friends most of them, like I am, are against war (At least in public).
Not only because they think war is devastating, but also so that they can tell everybody later that “I told you so” when things go wrong. And you know, things always do go wrong.
Power struggle or no power struggle, Iran should get ready for a nasty war, I think by myself quietly. There will be war. I have been saying this for almost two years, but I don’t want to tell anybody, “I told you so.”
“Americans are seeing that the option of diplomacy is not getting them anywhere. You can see that clearly. There are still some people in the Iranian government who believe we should be more willing to work things out with the European negotiators, but those people are not inside the power lines,” the professor tells us. “Look at history, and you can get your answer. Those mullahs don’t make deals until things get really bad.”
I don’t think this any more. This time I don’t believe they will compromise. Ahmadinejad said, “We don’t need experts; we need believers.”
Believers in what?
We all agree that if Iran is attacked and there is the possibility of regime change that we would see months of horrific bloodshed in the streets of every big city in Iran. Mobs will go wild and tear apart Teheran. The regime must know this. Just look at these pictures Kamangir found.
We talk about what might happen: pardons, arrests, riots, etc.
“What about 125,000 revolution guards forces?”
“Will they target us?” my friend adds. “What will happen to the MEK? Can you imagine if they get power?”
We all decide not to think about it.
I don’t personally know any Iranians outside Iran who would openly say that he wants the US to attack Iran. I am sure there are many in US who are just jumping up and down waiting until the day the US bombers attack Iran. Most of those are not people who care about the lives of Iranians that may be lost in case of war as long as this regime gets the lesson they deserve. Those people are just waiting to take power for themselves and steal more of our resources and money.
In Iran I met many people who could not wait to be (freed) by America. In the last two years I heard many Iranians say that they cannot take it anymore and that living cannot be worse than what they have even if there is attack.
I hate to admit that most of those people who I spoke to felt I had a direct line to the white house and wanted me to tell Mr. Bush “please just don’t hit my house.” One guy said that he wanted to paint an American flag on the roof of his house. “America. Friends,” he said he would write under the flag.
I don’t think it is a question of if there will be an attack but more of when. One friend says, “If it’s war or the regime, maybe war is not so bad.” Then my wife says, “What if it is war and the regime?” We both look at each other, and we are just shocked.
The sanctions and the talk of war are pushing Iran closer to Russia and China, some may think, but most Iranian don’t believe that Russia is there to help us. Russia is like poker player who is holding his cards close so that he has more options. Later they can say, “we were the only friend you had in those hard days when you were under attack from all over the world.” Or they can say to the US, when we realizes the danger of Iran with the N weapon, we took the right side. (Listen to this interesting interview with Steve LeVine on Fresh Air)
A couple of months ago when I met a friend here in Amsterdam who just married a nice Iranian girl, I was shocked to hear a different story. He told me that there are a couple of other possibilities. “Imagine Khameneie would get really sick from whatever he has and die in the next couple of months and there is a fight for his replacement and a lot of people are putting Rafsanjani forward since most of the people believe Ahmadinejad is not able to deliver what he promised two years go. He would be in power, and he would make a deal with US. End of story,” he told us with a small smile but self-confident face.
I told him, “Imagine Rafsanjani would die long before Khameneie.” When I told him this scenario, he was not happy. He told me, “You Iranians are always unpredictable.” I shook my head and told him that is the problem with the west, you only see things in black and white.
He was clearly frustrated with me. Yes there are a lot of options out there, but none as effective as a military attack.
His boss, a professor at a university in Amsterdam, told me a couple of months ago during a dinner, that there is 3rd option: the West could find a way to live with a nuclear Iran.
“Like they live with Pakistan?” I asked. “What about if things change in Pakistan, and you don’t have a president like Mosharaf who changes his polices in one night from not worried about terrorists at all to commando in chef of the war on terror in the region?” The professor had to leave after my question, so I never heard his answer.
“Dadash jan Khoobi?” I asked my brother when I called him yesterday.
I can’t wait to ask him how he and his family is doing, but I asked him first, “Are the people getting ready for war?”
“Which war” he asked.
“Here in the west everybody thinks there will be a war or better put: an attack.”
“Na dasash jan (No my dear brother ) don’t worry, there would be no attack. Nothing will happen,” he is confident. Why? I don’t know. “Na dadash jan, nothing would happen,” he changed the subject. I don’t know if he does it because he is worried he is being recorded or he just wants to make feel better.
“Iran said that they would fire 11,000 rockets in the first few minutes if they are attacked.”
“What would they do when those are finished?”
“Fire 11,000 more?
“How is your wife?”
“I miss you too.” This time there is no way I can change the subject
I hung up the phone, stretched, flexed my muscles like a bodybuilder would, looked out the window happy to have heard his voice but worried very much about whether he and his family would be okay when and if an attack starts.
I would never forgive anyone who would attack and harm my family and friends. That is why I hate and can never forgive the Iranian government for killing and imprisoning and torturing of a lot of my dear friends. They killed the dreams of millions.