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Since Iran’s world-changing 1979 revolution, the Iranian mullahcracy has been at the forefront of Islamic terror against the West. Thumbing its nose at the disapproval of an impotent international community, it has proceeded full-bore to acquire the ultimate tool of terror: nuclear weapons capability. Iran’s imminent success in this regard would mean, at best, a disastrous reversal of the balance of power in the Middle East, and at worst, Iran’s promised destruction of Israel and an apocalyptic threat to the United States as well.
In the shadow of this impending menace, the Clarion Fund has released Iranium, an hour-long documentary highlighting the danger of a nuclear-armed Iranian regime. I attended a packed screening of the film in Los Angeles last month, and afterward the busy filmmakers agreed to discuss the project. Producer Raphael Shore is Clarion’s founder. Director Alex Traiman is a journalist and former radio personality covering news in the Middle East. He has also worked in marketing, and public relations.
MT: Raphael, let’s begin with the origin and mission of the Clarion Fund, the organization behind Iranium.
RS: Clarion Fund was founded in 2006 and is a non-profit organization that educates Americans about issues of national security. To that end, the Clarion Fund produces and distributes documentaries on the urgent and growing threats of radical Islam and now Iran. As well, we run the website www.radicalislam.org, which has about 50,000 members who receive our regular updates. Our advisory board includes Walid Phares, Frank Gaffney Jr., Zuhdi Jasser, Daniel Pipes, Clare Lopez, and others.
In 2006, Clarion released the award-winning documentary Obsession: Radical Islam’s War Against the West about the global threat of radical Islam, and it was seen by about 30 million Americans. In 2008, Clarion released the well-received documentary, The Third Jihad: Radical Islam’s Vision for America, which focuses on the strategies of radical Islam in America and the risk it poses to western freedoms.
MT: Those previous films stirred quite a bit of controversy – especially Obsession, which far Left commentators like MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann (who called it “neocon pornography”) went into overdrive to demonize and discredit. Why do you think the Left objects so vehemently to Clarion’s message, and do you anticipate that Iranium will arouse that kind of opposition?
RS: I do not believe that “the Left” “so vehemently” objects to our message; in fact, much of our support comes from Democrats. We believe that this issue, the threat of Radical Islam to America and the West, is not a partisan issue and deserves the concern from both liberals and conservatives – that is why we feature authorities from both sides in our films. The potential dangers should Iran indeed acquire nuclear weapons pose a significant threat to all of us – regardless of political views.
The heated opposition to our work comes primarily from what we might call the extreme or far left. Most opposition has come from CAIR [the Council on American-Islamic Relations] and some other so-called moderate Muslim groups. CAIR is an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land trial, they have links to the terrorist group Hamas, and encourage people to not speak to the FBI and not to cooperate with the U.S. government. Such groups use the sometimes naïve media to characterize all forms of criticism as “Islamophobia”, and are obsessed with condemning, disparaging and silencing all who dare to warn of the problems with radical Islam. I expect that these groups will criticize Iranium as well, as it exposes the brutal violence and hatred employed by the radical Islamic Iranian regime to its own citizens as well as to the rest of the world.
MT: Alex, tell us about your own background, and how you came to be the director of Iranium.
AT: I’ve spent time as a journalist in the U.S. and Israel. I had heard the repeated prognostications regarding Iran’s nuclear ambitions and development timetables along with the rhetoric about America and Israel coming out of the mouth of [President] Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
So I started to read about Iran. And I quickly realized that it is not just rhetoric. The Islamic Republic of Iran is founded upon extreme principles that are canonized in Iran’s revolutionary constitution. The constitution calls for the establishment of a universal holy government and the downfall of all others, and references Imam Khomeini’s plot against the American conspiracy.
Iran has been a leading sponsor of terror attacks through proxies since the taking of the US embassy in Tehran in 1979. Sixty-three hostages were held for 444 days. Vicious attacks occurred throughout the Middle East and even into South America at the order of Tehran. Iranian citizens have suffered worst of all. The progress they were making under the Shah [Reza Pahlavi] has turned into three decades of regression.
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