Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Iranian University Chancellors Ask Bollinger 10 Questions

an email i received today that needed to be posted!! my own written work will be back soon. i promise

From: Ann & Ahmad Shirazi
Date: Wed, 26 Sep 2007 15:48:06 -0400
Subject: [codepinknewyork] Iran chancellors' letter to Bollinger

Iranian University Chancellors Ask Bollinger 10 Questions

TEHRAN - Seven chancellors and presidents of
Iranian universities and research centers, in a
letter addressed to their counterpart in the US
Colombia University, denounced Lee Bollinger's
insulting words against the Iranian nation and
president and invited him to provide responses
for 10 questions of the Iranian academicians and intellectuals.

The following is the full text of the letter.

* * * *

Mr. Lee Bollinger
Columbia University President

We, the professors and heads of universities and
research institutions in Tehran , hereby announce
our displeasure and protest at your impolite
remarks prior to Iranian President Mahmoud
Ahmadinejad's recent speech at Columbia University.

We would like to inform you that President
Ahmadinejad was elected directly by the Iranian
people through an enthusiastic two-round poll in
which almost all of the country's political
parties and groups participated. To assess the
quality and nature of these elections you may
refer to US news reports on the poll dated June 2005.

Your insult, in a scholarly atmosphere, to the
president of a country with a population of 72
million and a recorded history of 7,000 years of
civilization and culture is deeply shameful.

Your comments, filled with hate and disgust, may
well have been influenced by extreme pressure
from the media, but it is regrettable that media
policy-makers can determine the stance a
university president adopts in his speech.

Your remarks about our country included
unsubstantiated accusations that were the product
of guesswork as well as media propaganda. Some of
your claims result from misunderstandings that
can be clarified through dialogue and further research.

During his speech, Mr. Ahmadinejad answered a
number of your questions and those of students.
We are prepared to answer any remaining questions
in a scientific, open and direct debate.

You asked the president approximately ten
questions. Allow us to ask you ten of our own
questions in the hope that your response will
help clear the atmosphere of misunderstanding and
distrust between our two countries and reveal the truth.

Why did the US media put you under so much
pressure to prevent Mr. Ahmadinejad from
delivering his speech at Columbia University? And
why have American TV networks been broadcasting
hours of news reports insulting our president
while refusing to allow him the opportunity to
respond? Is this not against the principle of freedom of speech?

Why, in 1953, did the US administration overthrow
the Iran's national government under Dr Mohammad
Mosaddegh and go on to support the Shah's dictatorship?

Why did the US support the blood-thirsty dictator
Saddam Hussein during the 1980-88 Iraqi-imposed
war on Iran, considering his reckless use of
chemical weapons against Iranian soldiers
defending their land and even against his own people?

Why is the US putting pressure on the government
elected by the majority of Palestinians in Gaza
instead of officially recognizing it? And why
does it oppose Iran 's proposal to resolve the
60-year-old Palestinian issue through a general referendum?

Why has the US military failed to find Al-Qaeda
leader Osama Bin Laden even with all its advanced
equipment? How do you justify the old friendship
between the Bush and Bin Laden families and their
cooperation on oil deals? How can you justify the
Bush administration's efforts to disrupt
investigations concerning the September 11 attacks?

Why does the US administration support the
Mujahedin Khalq Organization (MKO) despite the
fact that the group has officially and openly
accepted the responsibility for numerous deadly
bombings and massacres in Iran and Iraq? Why does
the US refuse to allow Iran 's current government
to act against the MKO's main base in Iraq?

Was the US invasion of Iraq based on
international consensus and did international
institutions support it? What was the real
purpose behind the invasion which has claimed
hundreds of thousands of Iraqi lives? Where are
the weapons of mass destruction that the US
claimed were being stockpiled in Iraq?

Why do America's closest allies in the Middle
East come from extremely undemocratic governments
with absolutist monarchical regimes?

Why did the US oppose the plan for a Middle East
free of unconventional weapons in the recent
session of the International Atomic Energy Agency
Board of Governors despite the fact the move won
the support of all members other than Israel?

Why is the US displeased with Iran's agreement
with the IAEA and why does it openly oppose any
progress in talks between Iran and the agency to
resolve the nuclear issue under international law?

Finally, we would like to express our readiness
to invite you and other scientific delegations to
our country. A trip to Iran would allow you and
your colleagues to speak directly with Iranians
from all walks of life including intellectuals
and university scholars. You could then assess
the realities of Iranian society without media
censorship before making judgments about the Iranian nation and government.

You can be assured that Iranians are very polite
and hospitable toward their guests.

(c) 2007 Fars News Agency

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