UNITY OF PURPOSE: THE KEY TO FREEDOM AND DEMOCRACY IN IRAN
OUR PURPOSE, OUR BELIEF, OUR IDEOLOGY - April 1995
"A man is master of his liberty"
The most common questions we have
been asked by our readers is, tbemt our ideology, our political
objectives, altd tile political system we envisage for t free
Iran. We are devoting this ' issue to answering briefly these
very basic questions, and setting the record straight.
'faking the present situation in Iran in consideration, our sole
objective is the deliverance of Our country , and the termination
of the subjugation of the Iranian people by the despotic regintc
of the self serving clerics. This we believe is the objective
of the greater majority, if not all, of the Iranian people. This
very profound but simple objective needs no ideology- it needs
only the unity of those cotntnitted Ict freedom. Once this objective
has been achieved, and Iran has been rid of the entrenched rule
of the radical clerics, there %vill he enough time and freedom
for the people to decide freely what is best for the country.
'Today, we believe it is the moral and national duty of every
, Iranian to unite against the clerical regime of °Velayate
Fagih" - .a regime that does not recognize an} . basic rights
lot - the people bCCJUSC it claims to have a (tvine t tmidate
to ndc, tnd considers am OppOSitic,n apostasy. The ideology
of A'clavate Fagih" (the rule of the lurisprudent) has caused
the ruination of Iran. The follonving points suttnnarize the results
of the rule by the -Juri.sprudent" in the past sixteen years:
I. The ideology and philosophy of the ruling clerics does not
coincide with Iranian national interests.
2. The policies of the clerical regime, the mismanagement of national
affairs, an(] the gross corruption and outright thievery of the
rulers and openttives of the regintc has brought the Iranian economy
and society to the verge of collapse.
1. Gross violation of the rights of the people, violent repression,
primitive torture, and nundless executions have been rampant,
and are the means by which the regintc is trying to prolong its
4. The so-called Islamic regime, with its rttisinterpretation
of the religion, IMS caused great and irreparable damage to the
reputation of Iran and Islam. 5. The foreign policy based on the
ideology of "Velayate Fagih" promotes `revolutionary
Islam' throughout the world, is against regional peace and stability,
and allows the usage of any means including the financing and
support of international terrorism to achieve its goals. Such
policies and actions have led to the isolation of Iran front the
6. Even though personal differences and rivalries over control
and power may exist among the ruling clerics, they are united
in their outlook and goals: 'they are unanimous in their views
about maintaining absolute power, the disenfranchisement of the
people, the promotion of revolutionary Islam. They agree on the
use of domestic as well as international terrorism as a means
for regulating domestic and foreign policy, and they actively
pursue the destabilization of governments of other Islamic countries
in order to help bring to power radical regimes like their own.
One can logically conclude that a united effort to bring .tl,out
the downfall Of the clerical regintc in Iran, and to replace it
with a democratic, moderate and popular regime is of utmost importance,
and should be undertaken with utmost urgency, lest tune runs out
and it is too latc.'fhis is the desire of the Iranian people,
and this needs no ideology - it needs consensus and unity between
the Iranians in Iran and the expatriates abroad. TO borrow from
Thomas Carlyle, the author of The History of the French Revolution,
we must say what Iran needs today is not theory but courage and
We Believe in Cultural Nationalism
Azadegan is a movement dedicated to the liberation of Iran. We
believe in a nationalism based on the history and culture of the
Iranian people, but not on any particular ideology. This nationalism
incorporates the love of f reedotn, democratic ideals, moderation,tolerance
and ethical conduct based on the history and traditions of the
Iranian people before and after Islam, reinvigorated with the
doctrine of Ferdowsi, our epic poet. Ferdowsi has called the Iranians
the "Azadegan"thus the name of our movement.
This Iranian nationalists has no ideological shape or form, but
since time immemorial, has been the strategic defense weapon of
the Iranian people. It has enabled them to survive in tunes of
turmoil, and progress in times of prosperity. It is this cultural
heritage that has moderated Iranian political behavior. This heritage
explains why the Iranians, rarely if ever, used force to propagate
religion. In fact, history hears witness to the opposite. As referred
to in the Bible, Cyrus the Great liberated the Jews from the Babylonian
servitude, and financed the reconstruction of their temple in
Jerusalem. While etnbodying this cultural nationalism, we believe
in the prese .rv.iticm of the Iranian identity, the strengthening
of Iranian culture, language and philosophy. We are against the
concentration of power and absolutists. We are for the freedom
and equality of all Iranians regardless of sex, creed or ideology.
We strongly believe in the separation of state and religion. In
foreign policy, we support regional stability and peace in the
Middle East, and are vehemently opposed to terrorists in any -,vav,
shape or forts. We believe that progress is achieved through peace
and cooperation, not adversity.
We support a free market economy compatible with our national
character, with special emphasis on the well being and economic
srcurity of the people. We recognize the urgency of economic reform,
and support the expeditious rebuilding of the industrial and agrarian
sectors. To help achieve these goals, a modern and progressive
management system trust be organized and pill in place.
We support the re-organization of the Armed Forces into an effective
defensive deterrent force, compatible with the strategic needs
of the nation.
Finally, and once again, we believe that Iran trust be liberated
first. Once the dust has settled, we believe that the Iranian
people, having endured great pain and pressure, have gained snore
than enough experience, knowledge and sophistication to be capable
of deciding for themselves the type and make-up of the government
they desire. A hatullul Of Iranians abroad have no mandate or
ant11OrlIV I() 'choose' the system for the 66 million Iranians
living in Iran.
We Believe in a World of Knowledge not Ideology
We live in a world of knowledge, information and technology. This
is :a dynamic age which is in a state of perpetual change. It
is said than progress in the past fifty years is equivalent to
that of the past 5000 years. Ideology does not play a basic role
in this age. Ideology has lost its luster because in the past,
it has generally caused the rule of the minority over the majority.
Historically, we have seen the results of comtnunistn in the Soviet
Union, Nazism in Germany, Fascists in Italy, and now Khonteinistn
in Iran, and the great human tragedy they each caused.
Ideology, being innhrently uncompromising, cannot keep pace with
the speed of change in the world today. Moreover, there has been
a funclanacnt:al change in the basis of the competition and struggle
antcng nations. The late President, Richard Nixon is quoted as
saying, shortly before he passed away, that the third world war
had already begun. In this era, the struggle is for in fort nation,
knowledge and technology.
The Ideology of the Islamic Republic
As was discussed in the fourth issue of Focus on Iran, the Islamic
Republic is a theocracy espousing Khrnaeinistn, which is the embodiment
of the ideology of "Velayate Fagih," the rule of thc
.JuriSprudent, whose founder was Ayatollah Khcrtncini. The clerics
who inherited power, under the dual leadership of Ayatollah Khantcnei
and Hoiat-ol-Islam Ralsanjani, have carried out the same political
goals as originally espoused by their founder. The primary objective
of the regime is to spread radical Islam first throntghout the
I,Lats1C world, and second, throughout the rest of the world.
The\- have cmitinurd undcnttinin wlwr l"latitiC
the hope of bringing to power radical regimes similar to their
own. They have continued to support international terrorism as
a means towards this nefarious end. They have sacrificed tile
present and the future of the entire nation in the pursuit of
a false ideology based oil the misinterpretation of a religion
whose first and last word is 'peace.'
This ideology is diametrically opposed to the needs of the Iranian
people and the national security interests of the country. As
a matter of fact, it is enaly a very small minority of the people
and the clerics that support theocracy in Iran. Many of tile most
renowned and respected religious leaders reject outright the ideology
as well as the actions of tile clerical regime. Religious leaders
such as Grand Ayatollah Tabatabai Ghonai and Ayatollah Sadegh
Rouhani have denounced "Velayate Fagih," and have been
under virtual house arrest for SOUK time now. There hats I,ecll
SO much OppOSili(n front the moderate clerical circles, tltat,
according tot 1)r. Mclldt Hacri the rencnvncd religious leader
residing ill Germany, the clerical government has had to convene
a special court in Choln to deal with the opposition clergy. According
to a letter dated December 3, 1994, AAddressed to Mr. 13outros-Ghall,
the Secretary General of the United N;ltlOlls, 1)r. Hacri wrote
that so far aver six hundred clerics have been condemned let death
by this special court, ;in(] Over one thousand have been defrocked,
and over one thousand have been imprisoned.
The so-called Islamic regime, l)CClUSC of such actions, is even
detested by the majority of the religious devotees and moderate
clergy. So far the clerical regime has managed to alienate over
ninety-five percent of the Iranian peOplc, I1aS caused intntcasurable
damage to Iranian culture and society, has brought the economy
the v('r;;c Of c )ll.ll)sc, 11:15 violently OpprcSS(cd tits I)cethle'
and rule(] with brute lorce Io>r sixteen years, and all this
in the ante of ideology. yVc believe what is required now is
the pursuit of a nationalistic approach to righting .111 these
wrongs. We need to collie together and unite
very fast to avert catastrophe. We need to devise 11 correct economic
policy in order to bring security and Ceri11101"t 10 ~)ill
- suffering people. We need to create ;in atllxlsphere in which
Our specialists, managers and
technocrats can serve to ill( , best Of their ability.
Forcing the Clerics from Power needs no Ideology
Halving endured sixteen years of oppressive clerical rule, il
l(- Iranian people have conclude(] that this regime is incapable
elf relortning itself and solving the crtornIOUS national problems.
As a (natter of fact, they see the con Lintlaticrn of the carne
irresponsible policies that arc Only exacerbating the already
hopeless conditions. The Iranian Nation has decided that it is
tittle to conlront the ruling clerical minority, in(] put an end
tO their .~trOCitics. Tot tills end, they noel ne> ld(e)lOgy.
The. need support. And tlu-y recd unit\,. And ;in) , distraction
front this purpOSC would only lie self defeating.
Discussions and arguments :shout the future system or make-up
off the government are at best friVOIOUS At this Stage. First
elf all they cause discord [)(,cause every opposition group will
have t<, Make a stand for its own ideology or system it espouses.
The main Objective, i.e. the removal of the clerical regime becomes
overshadowed 1ty petty bickering, ;is it ltas in the past 16 \,ears.
Secondly, no persons or groups have the mandate, or can give themselves
the right to try tcl determine the svsteln or the (bake-up of
government for the 66 million Iranians living in Iran, and claim
to he democratic at the Sallle tulle.
The people have decided to nuke a stand, and in the past two
years, tile\' have COUragCOusly faced down the
government in Sllir:rr, Arak, Mashad, I1.Slaltalt, and Gllazvin.
We have seen numerous Srllless acts elf heroism, many ending in
sulnlnary execution or slow painltd death, as in the case elf
the late writer Mr. Saudi Sitjani. We have also seen the Arlned
Forces, including certain sections of the Revolutionary Guard,
not take part in quelling the demonstrations.
But of course, the undeniable truth is that the reginuI still
depends oil the loyal factions Of the Revolutionary Guard, particularly
the Bassij which is the 'Red Guard' of the regime, to prop it
in power. And here is where the Iranian expatriates can play all
The Role of Iranian Expatriates
The 3 million strong Iranian expatriate contlnunity throughout
the world, particularly in F.uropc and the United States, )List
act as the anlpliller Of the voices Of the Iranian people enduring
oppression in Iran. We lust make sure that tile western &II)OCI-AlIC
C01111111.1 [lit ICS stay constantly aware of the struggle elf
the Iranian people. The need for a free and democratic Iran must
be brought tO the attention of the UtaSS media, the international
human rights Organizations, the governments, and the officials.
The voice Of the Iranian people must he made heard in the Congress
o11 the United States, the White House, the State Department,
the Defense Department and all other relevant government agencies.
This is the tinge to influence world public Opinion.'1'llis is
the time to focus the world's attention on the Iranian struggle
for freedom and democracy. We must neutralize the remnants of
the Revolutionary Guard and the l3asslj by focusing world public
opinion On them. It given one hour of freedom tO act, Our people
will put an end to this 16 year nightmare.
In this struggle, one facsimile machine is as powerful as an
armored tank. It is up to us to use all available resources to
get the message across. In Iran, the people must collie to believe
that we care, and the world cares. Thr\, must he entpoNvered and
energized tee take tills national struggle for survival to its
The Four Main Sources of Support
1. The Youth
Fully one half of the sixty-six million Iranian population is
under the age of seventeen, and twos-thirds of the population
- that is some forty-lour million - is under thirty. The majority
of the youth are unemployed Or under-employed. Today, they have
no future. The misguided policies of the regime have all but made
the situation completely hopeless for them. The suicide statistics
paint a bleak picture of desperation and defeat artlong the youth.
Here is the force of a volcano ready tot erupt. This force Ulust
be guided and cltatutcled correctly. This is the power that will
make the future of the nation. In short this force is the future
of the irati"n.
2. The Power of the Iranian Expatriates
This is a very potent, influential and wealthy group. It is one
of the most educated and able of the ethnic communities both in
the United States and Europe. If united in word and deed, the
inertia will turn to a torrent of dynaniisin that will ensure
the successful return of freedom to Iran. The Iranian expatriate
community has a moral and national duty to stop bickering over
non-pertinent and spurious issues, and unite inunediately. It
is the future of Iran that is at stake.
3. The Iranian Anned Forces
The Iranian Armed Forces - The Regular Ariny/Navy/Airforce, the
Revolutionary Guards, and even the Bassij, have proven their fidelity
and allegiance to the Iranian nation by sacrificing themselves
to defend the territorial integrity of their land against the
Iraqi Invasion. Oil a number of occasions, especially in the recent
past, they have re-affirmed their allegiance to the people and
not to the small bunch of self-serving clerics in power.
In Ghazvin, we Nvitnessed the refusal of the Ariny as well as
the Revolutionary Guard to participate in . the repression of
the people. We have also seen the statements of Brigadier General
Aziz A[nir-Rallinli, foriner Commander of the Military Police,
and long a supporter of the revolution, in which he warns the
clerics to turn over power to a government of national salvation
and return to the mosque before it is taxi late. We are quite
sure that when the people make their final trove, the Armed Forces
will police themselves so as not to interfere with destiny. We
are sure that the elements within the Bassij and possibly among
the Pasclaran, still faithful to the clerics, will he neutralized
by the Arnied Forces, so as to prevent hloodshecl. The Iranian
Armed Forces are guardians of ;t long tradition, history and culture.
Thev fully realize their special responsibility at a
Mile when the very existence of the Iranian identity is in danger.
They must be instrumental in ensuring a smooth transition of power
from the despotic clerics to the people.
4. The World Public Opinion
We have already discussed the importance iif inlluencing world
public opinion. It is obvious that the civilized world is wary
of the policies of the clerical regime. It is no secret that the
clerics are the primary financier. (,f international terrorism.
It Is a well known fact that the clerics do not support the peace
process iii the Middle Fast, and have done everything in their
power to create instability in the region.
If we can unite, and pursue a correct strategy, we can ask for
and gain the backing of the US and European governments and people.
We can attract world public opinion to our cause. The role of
public opinion today, is crucial in politics.
Let us not miss this Opportunity
Today, we have the best opportunity tip help the Iranan people
regain freedom. We have strength - popular, social and economic.
We have access to the world's most advanced teleconununications
technologies. We have access to the most potent inass media. Until
now, Iranian opposition groups have not followed a concerted,
logical strategy to face off the clerics. They IMVC [lot been
able tti inlroelucc a viable alternative to the clerical regime.
Now it is time to unite. It is ()ill- 11.111011,11 and moral
duty to unite.
We believe that Iran can only be rescued by the Irani.uts themselves,
and only with Iranian money and ingenuity. Of course we will need
the moral and political support of the democratic people and governments
of the world as well. But it is only the Iranian people living
in Iran who, with our support, can be capable of lorcin., the
clerical regiine from power.