Open Letter to Colin Powell: International Coalition against Global Terrorism

Written by Jade in 16 September 01

Date: September 16, 2001

Ref.: 199 / M / 59

To: The Secretary of State Colin L. Powell


Subject: Membership of the Islamic Republic of Iran in the International Coalition to Fight Terrorism

Dear Mr. Secretary

Following our notice of condemnation of the abhorrent terrorist attacks (198/M/58 – 12.09.01 copy attached) and while reiterating our heart felt condolences to you and the people of United States of America we would like to express our concern at the news reports quoting Spokeswoman Brenda Greenberg.

In response to the recent news reports by the Associated Press posted 22:41 ET on Saturday 15 September, 2001 concerning the possibility of the membership of the Islamic Republic in the international coalition to fight terrorism, while we fully understand and sympathise with the injured pride of USA, we would like to draw your attention to the following points:


  1. April 2001 – The Department of State’s Report on patterns of Global Terrorism – 2000 published April 2001 names the Islamic Republic as ‘remaining the most active state sponsoring terrorism in 2000’.
  • It provided increasing support to numerous terrorist groups, including the Hezbollah and HAMAS.
  • Its involvement in terrorist-related activities remained focused on supporting ‘a variety of groups that use terrorism to pursue their goals’.
  • Its officials are ‘involved in the planning and the execution terrorist acts’.
  • They offer their support ‘with varying amounts of funding, safe haven, training, and weapons.’

Without any doubt this report, which is only five months old, was based on information and evidence gathered and must not be ignored.

  1. November 1979 – We respectfully remind you of the hostage taking of 52 US diplomats for 444 days in 1979 which demonstrated the way forward in the application of terrorist methods in forwarding the aims of the Islamic Republic and its lack of respect and observance of international laws and standards.

  2. We respectfully remind you of Islamic Republic’s list of terror and assassinations of its dissidents in and out of Iran. For example:
  • September 1992 – The assassination of the leaders of the Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan in Berlin-Germany (better known as the Mykonos trials) in 1992 that led to the conviction of the then Interior Minister Fallahian – an approved candidate in the June 2001 Presidential elections – and implicating the then President Rafsanjani, Foreign Secretary Velayati and the Supreme Spiritual Leader Ayatollah Khamenei.
  • November 1998 – The brutal assassination of Parvaneh and Darius Forouhar in their homes in Tehran followed by a chain of assassinations of intellectuals and dissidents during 1998/9. For the first time in the history of authoritarian regimes responsible officers of the government admitted to their part in the killings.


    1. May 1999 – We would like to respectfully draw your attention to the moderate and reformist President, Mr. Khatami’s visit to Syria in May 1999 where he met with Sheikh Hassan Nassrollah – the leader of Lebanese Hezbollah – and insisted on the importance of maintaining contact between Shi’a groups and Islamic Republic’s support for them.


    1. February 2000 – We would like to respectfully draw your attention to the conference held in Iran during February 2000 in which international terrorist organisations gathered under the title of ‘Freedom Fighters Organisations’. Mohamad Hossein Fazlolah and Sheikh Hassan Nassrollah leaders of the Lebanese Hezbollah were honoured at this gathering.


    1. April 2001 – We would like to respectfully draw your attention to the last gathering of the Hezbollah leaders in Tehran with the presence of Sheikh Hassan Nassrollah during April 2001 in which the full support of Hezbollah members was offered for the candidacy and re-election of President Khatami for a second term.


    1. April 2001 – We would like to respectfully draw your attention to the latest UNHCHR report by Maurice Copithorne, Special Representative on the situation of Human Rights in Iran (report E/CN.4/2001/39) in which despite the fact that he has not been invited to visit Islamic Republic since 1996, he talks of assassination, and other inhuman and degrading treatment of Iranian dissidents.


  1. September 2001 – We would like to respectfully draw your attention to the most recent and tragic events of last week and the reaction of the Islamic Republic. Despite the fact that Islamic Republic’s President, Mr. Khatami has expressed his sympathies and as Ms Greenberg states “the sentiments that they raise” are worth exploring, you must be aware that during his last term in office he personally repeatedly admitted to being powerless and incapable of carrying out his duties and promises due to the constitutional restraints on him. We are certain that you are also aware that the true sentiment was expressed at the Friday prayers in Tehran on September 14th by the right wing extremist Ayatollah Emami Kashani who expresses the views supported by the Supreme Spiritual Leader.

We respectfully request that in making retaliatory decisions, the heavy burden of the pain the people of USA does not become an excuse for future political and economic gain. Please bear in mind and do not forget the pain that the Iranian nation has suffered during the last twenty-two years of the Islamic regime, which is no less than the pain of our fellow human beings in USA.

To conclude, please keep in mind that the authorities of the Islamic Republic will not stop their state sponsorship of terrorism because of their presence in an international coalition to fight Global terrorism and will not turn against or stop international state sponsor terrorism and terrorist activities over night.

With Respect

Association of Iranian Researchers