June 26, 2021
On June 24, 2021, AMCD members met with Shahram Homayoun, founder and owner of Channel One which broadcasts into Iran daily via satellite from Los Angeles.
He sees the election of the brutal ideologue, Ebrahim Raisi, as part of the effort to maintain the regime and that Raisi may wind up succeeding the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khameini. The faction in favor of negotiating with the US has been swept aside. He believes the military has made an agreement with Raisi and that he expects there to be more bloodletting as this transition occurs. He believes the position of Supreme Leader will change within four years.
Mr Homayoun also believes that the goal of Saudi Arabia is to break up Iran and specifically to separate the oil- and gas-rich southern Khozestan region. He argued that when one compares the progress of the Gulf States to Iran over the past 40 years, the Saudis argue that they could help turn that area into another Dubai. Then there is the Kurdish region of Iran which abuts the Kurdish region of Iraq. The Iraqi Kurds are doing better than the Kurds in Iran, so they also have an interest in breaking away and forming a united Kurdistan. The Azeris in the north might also join Azerbaijan and Iran could disintegrate like Yugoslavia. Iranians in exile do not want to see this happen.
Mr. Homayoun was pressed by our members about allowing pro-Islamic Republic voices to come on his channel. He explained that when Khomeini came to power no one really knew what the country was in for because his writings were banned in Iran. He wants people to understand all sides and for those opposed to the regime to become angry enough to do something about it.
He also sees some policies, like not allowing Iran to sell oil, as helping the US and Saudi Arabia’s oil industry. Also the fact that so many intelligent people continually leave Iran redounds to the benefit of American and Europe.
Like elsewhere in the Middle East, Iran was once divided into pro-America and pro-Russia factions. China is a new factor. Mr. Homayoun thinks that China is destroying Iran by over-exploiting its fishing and mineral rights and will seek to dominate Iran at the expense of both America and Russia.
He does not think the people of Iran want their country to pursue nuclear weapons. They would rather have a quiet and prosperous life. Mr. Homayoun maintains Iran is run by a clique of a few thousand people and this clique always wins in any conflict with those outside it and that that is the basic political divide. He believes there are hidden hands working against the current Supreme Leader and that he will not last much longer. The transition, he warns, could be very treacherous and bloody.
Some of our members believe that the Prince Reza Pahlavi should be promoted as an alternative as he is especially popular with the young. Mr. Homayoun remains committed to bring all Iranian voices to the people of Iran as they will ultimately have to decide their fate.