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Investing in Iran: Five Reasons Why American Philanthropists Should Support the Iranian Opposition

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The Iranian opposition has again taken to the streets, with increasingly violent clashes being reported via Twitter, Facebook and Youtube.

Reports that Ali Moussavi, a 35-year-old nephew of opposition leader Mir Hussein Moussavi, was killed during a protest in Tehran on Sunday have fueled the protests--protests that could be a tipping point for all of those who care about democracy--and the security interests of the United States.

The opposition desperately needs support, and wealthy individuals in the United States are well positioned to provide it.

Here are 5 top reasons American philanthropists should support the Iranian opposition:

1) They want to stop an attack on America or our allies using weapons of mass destruction. American intelligence experts believe that Iran has made major progress in the areas necessary to launch nuclear weapons: enriching weapons grade uranium; developing a missile capable of reaching parts of western Europe and Israel and developing a warhead for that missile. In September of this year Iran stated that it had test-fired missiles with the range to strike Israel, parts of Europe and American bases in the Persian Gulf. If the Iranians develop nuclear weapons, what's to stop them from giving them to terrorist groups who want to use them in the United States?

2) They want to save the lives of American troops in Afghanistan. According to intelligence experts the Iranian government is helping kill Americans in Afghanistan, providing training assistance and some weapons to the Taliban. http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/library/news/2009/12/mil-091217-rferl04.htm

3) They want to prevent the possibility of a future war with Iran. This week in the New York Times Alan J. Kuperman, the director of the Nuclear Proliferation Prevention Program at the University of Texas at Austin wrote an op-ed entitled "There's Only One Way to Stop Iran." which argued for military action. Whether or not you agree with Kuperman, the fact that the New York Times is featuring his opinion should make clear that this is a very real possibility. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/24/opinion/24kuperman.html?pagewanted=1

4) They believe others who fight for democracy deserve our support. America stands as an inspiration to all those who fight for democracy around the world. Our country was formed through revolution and it is our responsibility to stand up for democracy around the world.

5) They care about saving Israeli lives. Many American philanthropists donate to Jewish causes. The Iranian government is one of the primary sponsors of Palestinian terrorist groups as Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad and Hezbollah, the greatest threats to Israel's security. http://www.cfr.org/publication/9362/
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It's time for American philanthropists to think about how they can help. An investment in a peaceful change of leadership for the Iranian people is an investment in the national security of the United States.