To the courageous people of Iran who have marched and martyred themselves for the great cause of freedom and justice:

I am an American citizen who remembers well what a strong and good relationship there was 40 years ago between my country and the nation of Iran. I remember how your country stood with the United States as a bulwark against the expansionist evil of atheist communism. And I remember why you did – because I remember the shah of Iran, called Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi, and how he stood up against that threat while also boldly leading Iran’s great civilization toward the 21st century as a trusted partner in the modern era!

I remember your shah’s noble effort to maintain Iran’s faith while still raising up his people to better themselves through modernization, something well understood now by young Iranians who long for the technology and access they see in the outside world. They want the same freedom to fulfill their true potential.

Modernization back in the mid 20th century was a revolution for the good of the people – not the expansionist revolution Khomeini had in mind, which brutalized the people into submission, dispossessed of the human rights you now struggle to reclaim.

I remember the criticisms against the shah, which later proved to be nothing compared to the crimes Khomeini’s henchmen committed when they gained totalitarian power. How tragic it was to see a great people stifled by such tyranny with no hope for change! Please forgive America’s foolish leaders who thought Khomeini would raise up the people of Iran during that time of economic crisis for both our countries.

Please forgive this American who voted for those leaders. I’ve regretted it all my life as I’ve watch you suffer. How sorry I am to remember the death of your shah and to think about the Iranian future that died with him. But what joy I feel as I watch you now marching to revive it, marching to bring Iran back to life, marching for hope.

Since 70 percent of Iran’s population is under 30 years old, most of you reading this now are too young to remember what used to be. Thankfully, I know you’ve heard quiet stories from your elders who do remember the precious thing they lost. So I wish you great success in reclaiming it for your children – reclaiming a new hope for Iran and for the world you wish to join as partners in good!

Your civilization’s great 2,500-year history speaks to all the possibilities of freedom, a vision your shah understood. Yes, back then you were a nation struggling as all nations do to find the right balance with freedom. Certainly, America has struggled that way in our history, but through much pain and sacrifice – and resistance to tyranny – we became a great nation that seeks to do good. In the 1970s you also were on that noble path, led by a noble king who loved his people – and who loves them still I am sure through his son, Crown Prince Reza Pahlavi.

Khomeini’s henchmen seized power during the confusion of that economic crisis of 1979 because America’s leaders were weak and foolish and because the shah was too noble to allow fellow Iranians to be massacred in the streets. Your current leaders are not so noble. They forced your parents and grandparents into a false submission, and then your civilization so full of light fell into darkness. Now the world watches as you struggle to reclaim the light.

We Americans can change our country by electing the right people to lead us away from darkness – away from corruption, foolishness and abuse of power, all of which waste the wealth of nations. Of course, we make mistakes as we did in the 1970s, but we can correct them at the ballot box. Sadly, your votes do not have genuine power, so you must risk your lives and march for change as you do right now in cities across Iran. How inspiring to see Iranians march together, including Kurds, Arabs, Balouchis and the other minorities, people from all walks of life!

May your march shame the tyrants of Iran! May your noble stand expose their evil expansionist plans to all the world. May Iran soon be free to reclaim its great civilization for a good new age. May Iran spread the light of freedom to other nations. And may those people who also want peace and prosperity be inspired to end tyranny in their countries.

I am a regular American and not a scholar of Iran’s great history, but as a free citizen, my heart cries out to all of you in Iran who also love liberty and who choose to resist the injustice of tyranny so that together, you can build a prosperous and peaceful future.

Please allow me to dedicate the following words to the memory of Reza Shah and to the courage of the Iranian people who confront tyrants, demand freedom and seek their rightful place among good nations:

To the People of Iran who long for Liberty

To you who stand with courage against tyranny,
To you who march in the streets and call for justice,
To you, the true and rightful purpose of your country,
We your friends in liberty give you all honor and praise.

But how will you make a true republic that serves its citizens?
Who will unite you now in tireless action for your children’s sake?
Who can you trust to use Iran’s natural wealth rightly for its people?
Who will defend your great civilization and honor you as you deserve?

May you raise up such a leader to rebuke the tyrants of Iran,
One who speaks with true authority to declare them betrayers,
One to remind them that Iran’s power is for the good of her people,
One who will tell them that Iran’s great civilization is not theirs to own.

May all the free world listen to you, Iran’s true voice.
You remind us that liberty is not for the few but for everyone.
Your brave stand against tyrants shows the way to other Iranians.
You say to them, “Let us not threaten the world – let us inspire the world.”

We join you in your hope for a leader who will think about his people,
A leader who will live each day to improve the happiness of the country,
A leader who longs even now to create the great civilization his people seek,
A leader who rejects darkness and seeks the light of liberty for all of his people.

May it be so.

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