ATLANTA, Jan. 22 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- On 21 January, 2008,
Professor Raymond Tanter, President, Iran Policy Committee, spoke at the
invitation of the Iranian-American Community of Georgia in Atlanta.
Prof. Tanter explained Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s position on human
rights abroad, which is based upon one fundamental principle: "Injustice
anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."
According to Prof. Tanter, "It was Dr. King's commitment to fighting
injustice that led him to champion the cause of the African National
Congress in South Africa. To this end, Dr. King issued a joint statement
with ANC President-General Albert Lutuli in 1962 and spoke out in 1964
about the jailing of Nelson Mandela at the notorious Robben Island prison."
Prof. Tanter went on to describe how impressively Dr. King's legacy
continued after his death: "The ideals of Martin Luther King Jr. were a
critical source of inspiration to democratic movements behind the Iron
Curtain. Both Solidarity in Poland and Charter 77 in Czechoslovakia adopted
Dr. King's 'Letter from Birmingham City Jail.'"
Prof. Tanter then moved on to discuss contemporary human rights
atrocities, particularly those committed by the Iranian regime. According
to Prof. Tanter, "The way a government treats its women is the best
barometer of a country's human rights condition. In Iran, married women
have very few legal rights. A woman must have written permission from her
husband to travel. It is also nearly impossible for a woman to obtain a
divorce, allowing men to abuse their wives and take multiple wives without
fear of punishment.
Regarding policy options, Prof. Tanter concluded, "The most powerful
tool the United States can use to put Tehran's rulers on alert that gross
violations of human rights must end is to empower the Iranian people for
democratic change. To this end, the United States should remove the
terrorist designations of the main, democratic Iranian opposition groups.
The evidence behind such designations is specious, and the hampering of the
democratic opposition jeopardizes U.S. national security interests.
The main opposition groups, the Mujahedeen-e Khalq and the National
Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), in stark contrast to the regime, are
democratic, inclusive of women, and have as one of their highest missions
the protection of human rights in Iran. In fact, NCRI President-elect
Maryam Rajavi has looked to Dr. King's Birmingham Letter as a source of
inspiration as the Iranian people are terrorized by those ruling Tehran."
SOURCE Iran Policy Committee