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Iranian expatriate speaks in NY of a democratic alternative

Dr. Behrooz Behbudi founded the Council for a

Dr. Behrooz Behbudi founded the Council for a Democratic Iran. Credit: Handout

Ten blocks from the United Nations, where Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad delivered his latest inflammatory remarks, Behrooz Behbudi, founder of the Council for a Democratic Iran, held outreach meetings. Behbudi, an expatriate businessman and life member of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, said, “The only force this [Iranian] government is afraid of is the people” — and suggested that current U.S. foreign policy is difficult to fathom.

Behbudi is the author of the 2012 book “Democracy Within Our Reach.” He's the son of Abbas Behbudi who for 30 years managed the estates of the Pahlavi dynasty in Iran. He doesn't speak about restoration, or returning to a prior time, however, and says that the country's only good alternative to the current oppressive, theocratic hard line is a change that needs to come from within, and which requires help from those outside the United States.

In one commentary published in his book, he says the Obama administration failed to heed the right voices for support after what he describes as the rigged 2009 presidential elections in Iran. In his critique Behbudi wrote that by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's own account,  the United States listened only to “what they heard from two leaders of the movement."

"It will not be long,” Behbudi predicts, “before there is another popular uprising that will sweep the country against the regime, in which most of the Iranian people, with various political and religious tendencies, will take part and when that happens, it will be the moral responsibility of the U.S., Europe and the international community in general to come to the aid of those forces that intend to establish a true democracy in Iran.”

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