I strongly disagree with the thrust of the following declaration, but believe that it is important because it reflects the feelings of many Iranian opponents of the current Iranian government. I will post my thoughts on the matter on a separate page.
I’d like to thank Setareh Sabety and Mina Siegel for reviewing the translation and making valuable changes in it.
Declaration of over 175 Political, Civil, Student, University, and Journalist Activists for Actively Opposing War by Temporarily and Conditionally Suspending of Uranium Enrichment and a Complete Shut-down of the Military Aspects of the Nuclear Program
Dear compatriots and free Iranians:
The body of our dear homeland, exhausted from incessant blows by the tyrannical and oppressive Guardianship and the government which is void of legitimacy is now passing through difficult days. The government’s stubborn insistence on continuing its policies of hostility and ruining the interests of nation and homeland which has set before the people and the homeland a dark future of the iron fist, terrorization, and imposing a police atmosphere.
One of the government’s ruinous strategies during the past decade has been to fan the flames of crisis mongering in the international arena. It has placed the pursuit of the nuclear adventure at the center of these tension causing ا measures which, ignoring international laws and agreements, is pursuing a quixotic leveling policy on the world stage that can cover up its domestic difficulties.
By perpetuating the foreign crisis and hostage taking through strengthening centers which generate instability on the regional and world level, the government, transferring the danger to within the borders, is trying to prepare the means necessary to maintain its police state and keep the country in a state of anxiety.
The new publication of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) presents evidence that the government’s intention of diverting its nuclear program into a military course has entered into a decisive phase. The current rulers, with their hostile discourse and lack of cooperation with the IAEA, are increasing the danger of a military confrontation with Iran every day. While Iran’s neighbors are taking great strides towards economic development and increasing their people’s public welfare by strengthening economic relations with the furthest reaches of the world and attracting capital and state-of-the-art technology, it is putting Iran in an isolation which deepens by the day. The results of this isolation is visible and palpable in the daily lives of all the people of Iran and, should sanctions on the Central Bank go into effect, may raise them to an unbearable level.
The rulers who trampled on the people’s legitimate rights during the elections of 2009 and crushed their peaceful protests in blood consider the threats on the international level as a means to recover their domestic legitimacy and use the danger of a foreign attack to club the Iranian liberal activists more and more.
The totalitarian regime has disturbed the peace on the international level by providing misleading information, stalling, not providing full cooperation with the IAEA, deviating from the NPT accord, and avoiding the implementation of the UN’s declarations paralleling its domestic behavior.
Tolerance towards the world and revival of the rights of the Iranian citizen are intertwined. While demanding their fundamental rights, Iranian citizens must question their ruler’s lack of comprehension, preparedness, and willingness to resolve international disputes of this sort.
We hold that the government’s continuation of the current impasse, the nuclear ambitions, and empty saber-rattling is preparing the grounds for an increase of the likelihood of a military conflict in the future whose primary victims will definitely be the people of Iran in general and the children and the toiling social layers in particular. Of course, we must keep in mind that exaggerating the danger of war and fear-mongering, too, has negative consequences for Iranian social interests.
The destructive consequences of war and occupation require no explanation. But in our opinion, mere verbal and written condemnation of war and throwing the leaders of world militarism and those who fan the flames domestically cannot prevent military aggression. The international community’s anxieties have a different course from the division between nation and government in today’s Iran. The Islamic Republic does not only disturb the human rights and dignity of Iranian citizens, but is considered a threat against world peace and stability as well. This separation does not necessarily mean that one may not find common ground between domestic demands and legitimate international demands.
In our opinion, the duty of forces which believe in democracy and Iran’s national and territorial interests is to align foreign and domestic pressure. In the meantime, the search for moral purity and an ideological and passive approach is inappropriate. Indeed, one must, by preparing the way for a solution, show the world that the Iranian people’s democratic movement has the capacity not to allow the government’s incitement of tension to pass through the tolerance of international institutions. Along these lines, refraining from seeing international relations in black and white and basing oneself on the binaries of permanent friend and foe or devil and angel and axioms related to the age of the Cold War. A realistic view of the current condition of the country and the world serves as a warning about what happens when a widespread social movement which takes into account the world’s legitimate concerns does not exist inside the country, then the political forces of the opposition will not have any weight in the international decision-making arena.
Neglecting this matter and being captive of cliché understandings and classical anti-imperialist perspectives without taking the initiative in escaping from the crisis ultimately results in a complete parting of ways of international society and the Iranian people’s struggle for freedom. This division, considering the irreparable breech between nation and government in Iran and the passivity in the realm of action, will encourage the world powers to choose the military option with the aim of eliminating nuclear and military institutions. This is something which in its containable form the government’s extremist wing will welcome in order to both to strengthen its control over the veins of the economy and the sources of power and to legitimize itself by taking its place in the front ranks of the struggle of Islamic fundamentalism against the West.
An effective and responsible way to prevent war requires the organization of a powerful social movement which includes various tendencies and factions for the Iranian social mosaic which wants independence, pride, democracy, the observance of human rights, a lasting and humane peace, interaction and friendship with the world and has nothing to do with the peace of the grave, injustice, absolutism, and absolutist peace.
In the meantime, the existence of problems in the world system and some double standards, such as a lack of international objection to the military nuclear programs of Israel, India, and Pakistan should not result in ignoring the wrongs of the crisis-brewing government and, by seizing on the poisonous quality of foreign pressure, allow the government to have a free hand to take advantage of nationalist sentiment and the existence of the objectionable in the international sphere and the sacrificing of human relations at the feet of the interests of the world’s powerful countries in certain quarters, allow it to continue on its perilous way. One can also demand the elimination of nuclear weapons prioritizing the elimination of nuclear weapons from among the countries of the Middle East and totalitarian countries like North Korea as a step towards international nuclear weapon’s disarmament while opposing the destructive nuclear program of the current Iranian government.
Along these lines, one can, while defending the country’s independence, utilize the legitimate resources of the international community to promote democracy, human rights, and national government in Iran. Instead of issuing general and conclusive decisions in praise or denunciation of foreign support, it would be appropriate to hold a national conversation to specify the preconditions, limitations, criteria, and oversight apparatus to prevent individuals or groups from taking advantage in regard to the support of the international community and drive opportunists from the field and prevent dubious currents from making an alternative of themselves. The path to democracy in Iran passes through reliance on the nation’s inexhaustible strength and an effective and organized leadership.
The primary problem is to concentrate efforts on how to activate the democratic movement’s dormant forces. Foreign support presents a variety of difficulties. We defend the political support of the world community of the democratic demands of Iranians.
The international community, for its part, should be aware that any measures which result in a violation of Iran’s territorial integrity or national interests will increase the legitimacy of the repression of the freedom-loving forces in Iran and weaken the discourse of peace.
Any way we look at it the cause of the current international crisis, in the final analysis, it is the Islamic Republic’s system in general and its extremist wing which, through its miscalculations, will fan the flames of a probable war. To oppose war, one must make those in the government who create crises the primary target. Now that the consequences of the international economic recession have caught up with the Iranian economy as well and have exacerbated the economic difficulties resulting from the government’s mismanagement, no logical or human criterion can excuse the fact that the people of Iran, and particularly those who live below the poverty line, where never consulted over the nature and method of the nuclear program was implemented and who were so disrespectfully treated to pay the price for the saber-rattling of their prosperous and comfortable rulers!
And so full and transparent cooperation with the IAEA and a temporary and conditional cessation of uranium enrichment as a confidence-building measure within the framework of the convention against the proliferation of nuclear weapons [NPT?] and an immediate cessation of all military aspects of the nuclear program can be considered as one of the central demands of the Iranian people’s democratic movement in the realm of the search for peace. Including this demand alongside demands for observing human rights, fundamental freedoms, and democracy would mean a manifold increase in the potential for weakening the twins of absolutism and aggression and thus prevent war.