Iranians Call on West to Help Bring Down Regime

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Massive demonstrations are expected Thursday in Tehran for the 31st anniversary of the Islamic Revolution, and the world will be watching to see how the regime responds.

Today, a growing number of Iranians say the West needs to help bring down the current regime.

This movement exploded last June when Iranians took to the streets claiming fraudulent elections. Those elections resulted in the reelection of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

CBN News Sr. International Correspondent Gary Lane speaks more about Iran's political situation, following this report. Click play for his comments.

CBN News' Sr. International Correspondent George Thomas spoke more about the threats to Iranian freedoms on Wednesday's Newswatch program. Click here for his comments.

"In fact, what happened in the Iranian elections was an excuse, or a means, for the Iranian people to go to streets and express their protests against the regime, because most of the Iranians are fed up with this regime," Menashe Amir said. Amir hosts a radio call-in program which is broadcast in Iran. He said the Iranians want a change.

The massive protests, seen around the world, turned violent resulting in security forces arresting and even killing protestors.

"The Iranian people are regular people as the Americans, French, Germans, or others. They want to have a good life. They want to have freedom," Amir said.

This desire led to the Green Movement, a coalition of Iranians calling for democracy.

"We do not want the West to directly support the Green Movement," Dr. Mahmood Karimi-Hakak, currently a visiting professor at an Israeli University, said. "It's the inside problem of the Iranians, and Iranians are intelligent enough, forceful enough, smart enough to solve it on their own."

Karimi-Hakak was forced to flee his country 10 years ago because of his production of a Shakespearean play. Still, he says the West has an obligation to support the Iranians' fight for free elections.

He believes current sanctions aren't working, and that instead the West should freeze the personal assets of Iranian leaders, limit their travel, and push other countries to cut off the regime.

Karimi-Hakak also believes Western news organizations can do more. Even if foreign reporters aren't allowed in the country, stories can get out through the Internet. That was the case with the shooting of a young Iranian protestor.

"We have seen the picture of Neda Agha Sultan - has been going all over the world. But she's only one. There are up to date about 103 people known and confirmed killed by this regime," Karimi-Hakak said.

And what about military action against Iranian nuclear facilities? Karimi-Hakak said such an attack would be a disaster.

"Any foreign attack on Iran will establish the existence of this regime, will strengthen this regime for another 30 years," he said.

Amir believes Iranians would support action as long as civilians don't suffer. However, he said the West has an even bigger part to play now.

"I believe that by much broader and decisive sanctions against Iran, you can bring thing them into accepting the international demand and helping the collapse of the regime in Iran and rescuing not only Iranians from a tyrannic and despot regime, but the whole humanity from a danger of a new nuclear war," Amir said.

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Julie Stahl & Chris Mitchell

Julie Stahl & Chris Mitchell

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