Do Iranian political activists need American help?
Or maybe they do but they rather receive it silently? Eli Lake from New York Sun is reporting that “prominent” activists inside Iran say President Bush's plan to spend tens of millions of dollars to promote democracy here is the kind of help they don't need, warning that mere announcement of the U.S. program endangers human rights advocates by tainting them as American agents.
Washington Post has a similar report that US Push for Democracy in Iran is Backfiring since two political activists who attended a series of workshops on human rights in Dubai are jailed now. The workshops sponsored by some American groups were held last April in Dubai but they were arrested last month right after when the United States announced the $75 million budget to support freedom movement in Iran.
Washington Post reports that all three activists mentioned in these articles were Emad Baghi, Ali Afsahi, Abdolfattah Soltani, and Vahid Pourostad are all complaining about how the US is doing things wrong and it's America’s fault that some were jailed in Iran recently. They don’t like our timing and/or the way we are going about helping them! They apparently wanted us to help them 4-5 years ago. Well we had a different administration and different strategy back then and we can not go back. It seems that they are saying, since the US is late in helping them, they don’t need any help anymore!
But this only makes sense if we believe that they are free to speak their mind in Iran. They are still living in Iran and of course they have to blame everything on America...What else do we expect?
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