Syrus Safdari writs in Iran Affairs
Tondar makes me laugh
Mildly amusing article in the Wall Street Journal today about “Tondar” — one of those Exile TV outfits that rants and spits bile from LA about how a bunch of aging dinosaurs are going to “overthrow the regime.” etc. Believe me, I have heard enough of these people in the last 30 years to be bored to tears with their rubbish.
But what was interesting was how the article in the WSJ totally disregarded the real identity of Tondar as a hardline, unreformed militant Monarchist outfit. After all, they do call themselves the “Anjoman-e Padeshahi” (translated literally as “Kingdom Assembly” but better yet as “Monarchist Society”.)
More interesting is a contradiction that the Wall Street Journal doesn’t bother pursuing: On one hand the Tondar spokesman claims “we are not soldiers” and yet on the other hand they take responsibility for a bombing (reportedly of a mosque — which they deny was a mosque.) State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley may “dismiss” reports that Tondar carried out an assassination in Iran as being “outrageous” (LOL!) but he can’t dismiss what Tondar openly admits to, namely that it was responsible for a terrorist bombing that killed 24 people in Iran. That means that they openly admit to the WSJ that they used US soil to support and conduct military activities overseas.
Well anyway I just got too bored to pursue this. See guys, as long as the best “opposition” you can find against the government in Iran is a bunch of white-haired (or, balding) Shahis and some crazy cultist MEK members, you’re just not interesting enough.
First of all “Anjomane Padeshahye Iran” translates to “Kingdom-assembly of Iran”, not “Monarchy”. Monarchy means “Saltanat” in persian, the very thing that TONDAR does not want to be confused with. If you had bothered to gain any background information you would unmistakably have noticed the various articles and broadcasts that focus on the distinct difference between these two words. While Monarchy is not far from Tyranny of a Monarch, a Kingdom based on “Ayine rishehy” is the assembly of a Queen or King who serves his people, defends the constitution and opposes a democratic parliament elected by the people. I’m not going into detail with this though, but if you are interested (which I doubt) you can find more information about this difference on our website /exdoc/ar-en.pdf.
The so called “amusing contradiction” that you thought to have discovered is very logical to anyone who knows what TONDAR is. Tondar is the name and connection between various underground organizations mostly inside, but also outside of Iran. It consist of thousands of little groups, all self sponsored, self organized, and acting on their own decision, but being united by one common goal: The downfall of the Islamic Regime, by all means. These organizations operate mostly in Iran, organizing revolts (they initiated the whole green movement), initiate demonstrations in big cities in Iran, spreading news and information, providing help to political prisoners, creating attacks against Islamic Regime mercenaries and so on.
The people, on the other hand, who are in LA and who you kindly call “balding dinosaurs” are the press and radio spokesmen of TONDAR. Which mean they spread the recent news, explain the groups’ philosophy, provide a portal of members to communicate, and much more. This is why these radio spokesmen said “We are not soldiers”. They are not. The claim of the Islamic regime is that these people sitting in LA direct the groups in Iran to organize attacks, meaning they are the people who are responsible for it. This claim is not true, since all TONDAR activists work on their own, and just send the news of their activities to the Radio TONDAR to be broadcasted. This is why the spokesmen in the WSJ interview clearly stated “No, we are not soldiers, the soldiers are the brave people in Iran who fight, we just broadcast the news and support them”. Therefore it is clearly NOT a contradiction when they say we (the spokesmen) are not soldiers” but Tondar (which are thousands or organizations working under this name) claims responsibility for the shiraz bombing.
Tit is sad to read such blind criticism, but the only thing that amuses me is to see the ego in you. You read an entire WSJ article written by real journalists, who are trained to do lots of thorough research on the issues they write about, they take the time to find background information, interview politicians, members, and critics of TONDAR to get a full rounded view before they sit down to write an article about it. You on the other hand decide to just criticize an entire revolutionary movement, including thousands of Iranians who give their lives to be free, by reading an article (which you didn’t even understand) and make vague accusations. Next time I recommend you do a little bit more research before jumping to conclusions.
On another note, your disrespectful attitude towards the people who run the radio stations is more than just out of place. These people are mature enough to have witnessed the change in Iran before the Islamic revolution, and after it, since they have lived through it, which gives them more knowledge when it comes to actual facts and life experience under various governments. This is something you cannot learn in school, you need the life experience. These people are using whatever tools they have to create a website, weekly broadcasting, and finance everything on their own. More importantly, they spend most of their free time on the phone talking to the leaders of organizations in Iran, while you and I are chatting or watching TV. They have taken a great risk of exposing their faces and names to give these organizations something that the press can contact and interview (since most activists are in Iran and therefore operate anonymously). If you would have done a fraction of what they do I would think differently about you response, but these seems like wasted words for a person who passes harsh judgment “out of boredom” to people who give their lives for what they believe is aver human beings right.