Don't worry son... he's just a molla.

Theocracy rejected

Open letter from Front Line, the monarchsit Constitutionalist Movement of Iran's Front Line (26 May, 1997); an open letter to President-elect Mohammad Khatami.

In the Name of the Great People of Iran

The elections on May 23 was a turning point in the destiny of a country and people who for years have been the subject of great abuse and injustice. It is without exaggeration if we claim that in reality this election was the very referendum which all freedom loving forces in Iran have insisted upon, and to which, the people's response was nothing less what had always been expected: A clear and unmistakable rejection of the current order in our country.

If, on the other hand, the Iranian people had been supportive of the current situation and had wished for its continuity, then they would have elected Mr. Nategh Nouri, who was the main candidate of the ruling establishment, having provided him with abundant financial and institutional backing to conduct his campaign. But the Iranian people did not vote for this option.

The people of Iran in fact rejected those who for the past 18 years, have had the audacity to allow themselves the right to interfere in every aspect of our people's private and social existence. They people of Iran have rejected those who have only thought about their own continuity and interest, while turning a blind eye to the destiny, peace of mind and above all, the national interest and well being of our nation.

You have to acknowledge the truth that the wide ranging support which the Iranian nation voiced in your favor, is in reality a continuation of the same campaign waged almost a century ago, by our forefathers during the Constitutional Revolution of 1906, as they initiated the struggle for the establishment of representative government. Thus, it should not in any way be interpreted as a sign of support for an order that has been in power during the past 18 years. This is the only interpretation which the outside world has given to the election result. It would be a serious folly on your part, were you to interpret it any differently.

All the responsible officials in the Islamic Republic, are themselves well aware of the fact that it is more than a few years since the regime has been confronted with a series of "dead locks" in dealing with a great number of important domestic and foreign policy issues. This deadlock has even prevailed in the regime's dealing with religious issues. Unfortunately, the sad consequence of the regime's failures in this respect, has had a profound effect on the life of our nation, having inflicted our society with great poverty, backwardness, lawlessness and insecurity, while preventing the progress of our people in attaining higher goals in modernization and civilization.

If the unmistakable message of the people of our country in rejecting the rule of monopolist clerics, has reached your ears, then you must believe it and you must come to accept it. It then fall s on you to initiate the types of meaningful steps that will tackle this crisis of the state, by finding a correct path for the transition that is required to create a civil society in Iran, in which the matters of state and religion are not allowed to mingle. You and all others must not allow for a situation, when it is too late to implement the types of necessary reforms and policies which this type of peaceful transition requires.

All freedom loving forces, both inside and outside the country, have always wanted nothing more than a restoration of sovereignty to the people of our country, while putting an end to any type of monopolization. Now, you have heard the clear and crisp message of disapproval and protest which has been voiced by the Iranian people against the continuation of clerical dominance and authoritarianism in Iran. You must believe this message and, prior to closing all doors, you must seek ways of ending this current deadlock, by paving the way for the creation of a civil society in which matters of state and religion are not intermixed. You and others, must not delay the implementation of this important task to a time when all peaceful paths for a transfer of power to the people of our country has been blocked and sealed before you.

The forces of freedom, both inside and outside, of our country have only sought to reestablish popular sovereignty and the rule of law in our country. The forces of freedom in Iran have always advocated that all political and economic bodies should be manned by able and educated managers as well as recognized experts, who have the ability of lifting the country from its current state of turmoil. Moreover, they are of the view that the time has now arrived to replace a whole array of useless slogans with truly constructive intentions for the development of our country. It is our view that the time has now come for your future government to take note of the recent successful examples - such as Mr. Gorbachev in the former Soviet Union and former President DeKlerk of former South Africa - in taking the appropriate steps required for a peaceful solution of our national crisis.

At the same token, it is perhaps important that we also remind you of the bitter recent experiences suffered by those who have failed to see such obvious realities, and here a case in point is the example of the terrible fate that has befallen on Mr. Mobutu of Zaire only weeks ago. Naturally, for your government to consider any movement in the direction of the people, it is essential that you start by acknowledging the concept of the sovereignty of the Iranian people, and thus respecting their individual, political, and economic rights, and by abolishing or removing all the arbitrary and repressive revolutionary institutions that have consistently acted above the law.

Mr. Khatami: It also important that you should not lose sight of the Iranian nation's experiences with the eight-year government of Mr. Rafsanjani. At the outset of his administration, the Iranian people were hopeful that he would be able to take the steps necessary to alleviate the political, social and economic problems which had come to leave plague our nation. But, the hopes and aspirations of our people soon turned to failure and despair. This experience, should serve as an important reminder for you not to submit to certain forces, irrespective of whose total opposition to your election, you have been able to secure this important victory.

The result of the May 23 elections, and the important way in which the Iranian public, notably the youth, women, as well as the usually silent majority - reacted with their participation, has set in motion a non-returnable trend towards the transfer of sovereignty to the people of Iran. You now have an exceptional but limited time frame to seek peaceful and rational ways of trying to end the crisis confronting our nation. It is important to understand that no one can turn the clock back.


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