Five major figures in Iran’s reform movement issued a manifesto (reproduced below) Sunday, Jan. 3, calling for the resignation of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the abolition of clerical control of the voting system and candidate selection.
Journalist Robin Wright interviewed for Global Viewpoint one of the signatories, reform-movement founder and scholar Abdolkarim Soroush, about the manifesto, which also calls for the recognition of law-abiding political, student, non-governmental and women’s groups; labor unions; freedom for all means of mass communication; and an independent judiciary, including popular election of the judicial chief.
The signatories, all Iranians living outside the country, also include dissident cleric Mohsen Kadivar; former parliamentarian and Islamic Guidance Minister Ataollah Mohajerani; investigative journalist Akbar Ganji; and Abdolali Bazargan, an Islamic thinker and son of a former prime minister.
Robin Wright, a former diplomatic correspondent for the Washington Post and author of four books on Iran since 1973, is now a senior fellow at the US Institute for Peace in Washington.
Q: Why did you decide to issue a manifesto now?
A: The Green Movement is into its seventh month now, and I and my friends have been following events very closely and have been in touch with some of our friends in Iran. After [the protests on] Ashura on Dec 27, we came to realize that it was a real turning point. It was at that t… >>>