And the significance of this great organization, gentlemen? It consists in this, that innocent persons are accused of guilt, and senseless proceedings are put in motion against them — Franz Kafka, The Trial
BBC news reported on August 30 that Ramin Jahanbegloo, Iranian writer and university lecturer had been released from prison. He was kept behind bars for four months without ever being charged. It went on to say that ‘A senior Iranian official from within the judiciary had been quoted as saying earlier in August that Mr Jahanbegloo had confessed to attempting to undermine Iran's system of clerical rule, and had made an apology’.
Reading that report I asked myself that given immunity from prosecution, what intelligent Iranian could be found who would not put his or her signature under this confession? If Mr Jahanbegloo’s attempt to put an end to the rule of the mullahs is a crime, then this crime is universal amongst all those Iranians who love their country and care for its future.
Accordingly, it occurred to me to write my own confession and I would also like to suggest to my dear compatriots to sit down and make a disclosure of their political stance right now so if and when the time comes for their Evinization, they have one less thing to worry about. Moreover, as we all know, the overwhelming atmosphere of that infamous penitentiary is not conducive to expressing one’s true convictions and beliefs. One is exposed to a kind of hospitality there that makes one confess to non-existent wrongdoings out of obligation to one’s host.
Mr Jahanbegloo, like many of his predecessors has performed the due customary leave-taking ritual. In an interview with Iranian Students News Agency (ISNA) he followed the script his jailers handed to him and swapped – at least for now – that smaller prison in northern Tehran for a much bigger one holding 68.8 million inmates.
Mr Jahanbegloo has confessed to having undermined the clerical rule. The Concise Oxford Dictionary defines ‘undermine’ as: ‘Damage or weaken, especially gradually or insidiously’. Today, when we look at many valiant Iranians struggling to bring about a democratic transformation in our homeland, we see that rather than trying to weaken and damage the clerical rule gradually or insidiously, they have for years worked openly with whatever peaceful means at their disposal to effectuate its demise as thoroughly and rapidly as possible.
I confess that I identify with an ever-increasing group of Iranians who work towards the downfall of the clerical regime as their foremost national responsibility. Albeit peacefully, they go about this task with the same determination as any French nationalist must have felt in damaging and weakening the Vichy government in the 1940s or with the same spirit as any conscientious citizen of South Africa up to 12 years ago was moved to uproot the apartheid regime.
In their perilous strife against the dictatorial regime, Iranian patriots are heartened by the belief that when eventually their efforts succeed in putting an end to the present political nightmare, the national joy caused by this victory would be unprecedented in the history of our country. The genuine forces of change oppose the clerical rule in order to preserve the true interests of the Iranian nation, believing wholeheartedly that these interests are diametrically opposed to the survival of the present system.
I for one confess that I am not an agent of any foreign government. I have never received a penny or been duped into accepting any assistance in any shape or form from any person or country for my political activities. I believe that the regime in Iran brands any thought that are not in agreement with its own fanatical ideology as sponsored by foreign governments.
I believe that the great mistake of many patriotic Iranians since the 1979 revolution has been to let the regime survive for fear of jeopardising Iran’s national independence. We have let the mullahs rule over our country because we have been scared to death of foreign intervention. The relentless crisis-manufacturing machine of the clerical regime has produced international confrontations around the clock forcing Iranians to postpone their liberty in favour of other national priorities.
We have been brainwashed into the moral resignation that a third choice is not on the cards. This either/or scenario promoted by the regime has been reinforced in the Iranian consciousness by the behaviour of those bogus political activists who have looked up to the United States for their bread and butter and the delivery of their self-important pipe dreams. Iranians feel themselves squeezed between a ruling tyranny and a lusting after power villainy.
A great many Iranians today have reached the political maturity to realize that they do not have to choose between living under the yoke of the mullahs or selling their country to the foreigners and their autochthonous agents. We need again to dream of liberty instead of abandoning our souls to tyranny and despair. The history of mankind provides us with ample evidence that the cumulative dream of individuals eventually congeals into a national reality. Dreaming of liberty elevates our souls to a height that does not allow us to be in any foreign power’s pocket, and at the same time provides us with the confidence to live in peace and mutual cooperation, with the rest of the world.
I confess that no matter how many times I have to go through what Ramin Jahanbegloo and many others have gone through, or even face tragic experiences of patriots such as Akbar Mohammadi, I am unable to cease my struggle for an Iran that is free, independent, peaceful and prosperous. I am not boasting of any extraordinary courage, but merely owning up to a human instinct that is inextinguishable. Borrowing from Sir Thomas More’s words in a letter written to his daughter Margaret from the Tower of London, I confess to endeavour to be my country’s true citizen. I do none harm. I say none harm. I think none harm. And if this be not enough to keep a man alive, then in good faith, I long not to live…