Israel's Former Ambassador to Iran: 'The Iranian People Are the Only Agent Which Can Change the Regime in Tehran'

Washington, D.C. (December 9, 2010)

Uri Lubrani, Israel’s former ambassador to Iran, told an audience at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies’ annual Washington Forum that the United States should support Iran’s political opposition.

“We, the West, have one big ally in Iran, and that's the Iranian people,” said Mr. Lubrani at the event at the Ritz-Carlton in Washington, D.C. on Thursday. “The Iranian people are the only agent which can change the regime in Tehran.”

Lubrani spoke at the morning session of the event, which continues tomorrow with remarks from Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA), and Dr. Gary Samore, White House coordinator for weapons of mass destruction, counterterrorism and arms control.

“The Iranian people are ripe, mature, able to do the job. You've got to give them heart. To give them the feeling that they have allies outside,” Lubrani continued. “This has not been done by the United States, certainly not by Europe...in the Soviet Union, the dissidents were in the same position, perhaps even worse.”

“I've been wrong on many things,” Lubrani noted with a smile. “On the matter of Iran, with all possible humility, I haven't been wrong. I went to see my foreign minister in '78 to tell him that there was going to be a mind-boggling revolution in Iran. He didn’t believe me. Neither did [the U.S.] ambassador to Iran…That was three months before the demonstrations began.”

“My feeling is that the Green Movement is mature, it's ripe, it ought to be helped, and it's going to do the job.”

With Tehran having refused to discuss its ongoing nuclear program in the latest round of negotiations with Western powers in Geneva, U.S. and European leaders are once again struggling to manage Iranian recalcitrance. Recognizing the urgency of the situation, FDD has devoted its annual Washington Forum to Countering the Iranian Threat. The event brings together senior U.S. policymakers, members of Congress, European and Israeli diplomats, intelligence specialists, military officials, and proliferation experts to discuss the nature of the Iranian regime, and the policy options available to confront it. More information about Washington Forum is available here.

To book an interview or for more information on the Foundation for Defense of Democracies please contact Judy Mayka at (202) 621-3948 or Judy@DefendDemocracy.org.

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The Foundation for Defense of Democracies is a non-profit, non-partisan policy institute dedicated exclusively to promoting pluralism, defending democratic values, and fighting the ideologies that drive terrorism. Founded shortly after the attacks of 9/11, FDD combines policy research, democracy and counterterrorism education, strategic communications, and investigative journalism in support of its mission. For more information, please visit www.defenddemocracy.org.