Message from Iranian Trade Unionists - Help Stop the
Campaign for War Against Iran
[Iran's Network of Iranian Labor Associations (NILA) sent
the message below to Amnesty International's December 10
Human Rights Day Event in Chicago on Human Rights in Iran]
Iran Labor Report
December 9, 2011
We, trade unionists in Tehran and other cities, extend our
warm greetings to you from half way across the world.
Please forgive us for not sending you a video message.
Unfortunately trade unionism is considered a dangerous
offense by the Iranian government and labor activists here
are persecuted like dangerous criminals. Hence the need for
extra caution even in a simple message of greeting such as
Certainly, your event is special in more ways than one.
While in the past there have been human rights conferences
focused exclusively on persecution of political or civil
society activists, or to repression against religious
minorities, or on rare occasions, to the hounding of labor
activists in Iran, to our knowledge an event devoted to all
of these at once is rare, and quite welcome.
What activists in Iran from all these diverse movements have
learned is that one can only separate these struggles at
one's own peril. It is simply a matter of survival for
democracy activists, labor rights activists and religious
and ethnic minorities to be working together.
In facing a powerful and ruthless dictatorship like the
Islamic Republic, it would be shear madness to highlight our
differences rather than our common ground.
It is therefore deeply satisfying to know that experts from
various fields are discussing repression against political
activists, followers of the Baha'i faith and labor activists
in one panel as it is being done in Chicago today. One can
hope that this model is taken up by other American and
international human rights groups.
Finally let us share with you a major concern of ours today
-- one that demands maximum vigilance in the months to come.
As you know, the Iranian regime is in the throes of its
worst ever crisis. In fact we are dealing not with one but
multiple crises: economic, political and ideological ones.
This is beginning to hit the very heart of the regime: ice.
its social and political support base. This year, for
example, the Ashura mourning ceremonies, devoted to the
martyrdom of Shi'ism's Third Imam, was the most lackluster
ever. While this may be greeted by outsiders as welcome
news, in reality it makes the regime far more dangerous than
in the past. The recent attack on the British embassy in
Tehran should be seen as a warm-up for what is planned. They
are preparing themselves for war. The bloodier, the better,
from their perspective. It would be their savior, a lifeline
to the regime. Under the circumstances, it would be sheer
folly for either Israel or the United States to go to war
with Iran. Why give the Islamic Republic's leaders a fresh
lease on life when every visible sign points to a terminal
state of being?
Unfortunately there are indications that this doomsday
scenario is not so far-fetched. Despite denials in the last
few days, Israel's right-wing government is actively
preparing itself for that very option. It may do so for both
domestic and strategic considerations, dragging the Obama
Administration with it into the abyss. What would an attack
on Iran achieve? It certainly can not destroy the country's
nuclear program. It would only set it back for a very short
time while giving every pretext for that regime to resume it
feverishly afterward. It would consolidate the regime for
many years to come and it would radicals the Arab Spring
into a radical Islamic fundamentalist nightmare.
It is incumbent on us, in the weeks and months to come, when
war drums are rolling, to alert our public to the dangers
oft the war option. There would be no room for campaigning
for human rights when cities are bombed and civilians
Therefore let us not forget to publicize this dreadful
threat as we highlight the many cases of human rights abuses
in Iran. We wish you a very successful event on this
Saturday December 10.
-- The Network of Iranian Labor Associations, Iran
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