31 Years of Embarrassing a Civilization

In less than two weeks Iranians every where will be celebrating one of the most ancient celebrations known to the human calendar. Nowrūz or the Iranian New Year has been celebrated for over 3000 years and it is this antiquity along with a rich plethora of empires, philosophers, poets and an extraordinary culture that makes Iranians proud of their contributions to humanity.

However, it is with great sadness to endure that for the past 31 years the only contributions that have occurred at the hands of the Iranian regime towards the people of Iran and humanity as a whole have resembled a dimension that is best described as the opposite of civilized. The tenure of the Islamic Republic began through the efforts of idealistic Iranians who brought down an autocratic regime in the hope of replacing it with a better system and yet the fruits of their labor led to the creation of an administration engaged in a hostage crisis, a long and futile war with Iraq, a failing economy, enforcing world wide backlash, a controversial nuclear program and most recently a fraudulent election that led to the incarceration and death of many innocent Iranians.

Yet just when you think nothing more can be done to add further embarrassment steps in the ever so ludicrous Mahmud Ahmadinejad who over the weekend decided to add a new number to his repertoire of rubbish by labeling the horrific events that took place on September 11, 2001 as a "big lie paving the way for the invasion of Afghanistan under the pretext of fighting terrorism".

It is important to note that the controversy that has been spewing by the Islamic Republic over and over in the past 31 years has been strategically done in order to conceal obvious truths and divert the attention of both domestic and the international community from significant issues.

Domestically, despite the rising price of oil (Iran's main export) the Iranian economy has been in ruins for almost as long as this regime has been in power. For being the second larges oil and petroleum producing nation, Iran's foreign debt stands at $20 billion. Productivity is low; underemployment and outright joblessness are at an all time high. Each year, more than 750,000 Iranians enter a labor market that has been adding only about 300,000 positions at best. Inflation has become rampant ranging from 20 to 50 percent while eating away at the buying power of those who are employed. Ironically the living standards of most Iranians are now below what people enjoyed before the 1979 revolution.

These harsh economic implications have resulted in a significant brain drain in which most of the skilled and bright minds have left their native land to seek employment and higher standard of living elsewhere. The other unfortunate yet predictable outcome of the failing Iranian economy has resulted in distressing social costs of substantial increases in drug addiction, crime, depression and prostitution.

Yet the deceitful nature of this administration has no ends and sadly no shame as it has always blamed the social ills and the recent popular discontent on "a sinister Western agenda" working to undo the Islamic Republic. Let me be clear, I am not a conspiracy theorist; I am not a part of a sinister Western scheme and I do not belong to any colored movements. But what I am is an Iranian forced to leave his country and like millions of others both inside Iran and outside I have had enough of this regime bringing disgrace and humiliation to a proud land and its people. More importantly we have had enough of the incompetence that is the Islamic Republic, the blatant human right violations, a three decade old infrastructure, a failing economy and a lack of democratic ideals and rights just to name a few.

During the past five years Iran has enjoyed selling oil at the highest selling price and yet unfortunately it has very little to show for it. My guess is Mr. Ahmadinejad skipped the management seminar when he was getting his doctorate in "traffic management and transportation planning". Ironically if the Iranian regime was replaced today, the new administration would inherit a nation which is below par to every standard that existed before the 1979 revolution.

There is a popular saying in Iran that says "I am an Iranian before I am a Muslim but more importantly I am a human before I am an Iranian". Sadly it seems that this concept is foreign to the bulk of the Iranian regime as they are certainly threatening the very concept of humanity. One thing that is for certain is that Ahmadinejad will have nothing more to contribute but for controversy and further humiliation of Iran and Iranians for the next four years unless this regime is replaced.