We gladly share with you a brief note written to update a number of activists who have aided Iran over the past 8 years and are at times bewildered by the changing reactions and constellations.
This is my attempt at simplifying our intricate responses and reactions. Iran is an Islamic Republic, the legal code of which is partly based on Sharia. For many decades there have also been attempts at redefining Sharia according to modern conditions and developments. Not only conservatives within but also those forces which oppose Iran’s development (and these are countries such as UAE and Qatar which have profited greatly from our underdevelopment, Saudi Arabia which fears our young population’s quest for democracy and their own citizens eventually demanding the same, Israel which uses the threats of the Islamic Republic to justify its policies and currently is aiming for a “greater Israel” and those in the US who absolutely do not believe in nation-building and these days are in power to seek new resources for their national oil and gas companies) have through the years sought to hinder this reform of Islam in Iran and thus the Islamic Republic.
At the same time some of us believe in the separation of religion and state. However, we cannot know what the majority of Iranians want and believe in until we allow Iran to develop from within and more and more hold freer elections. We cannot even know what the outcome of a referendum would be were it to be held next month, as we do not know the amount of lies and propaganda many sides may feed the population with (examples, Brexit & Trump’s win) and alone the fear of Daesh can influence many voters.
In 2009, the ultra-conservatives within tried to build on their progressive control of the economy which had begun during Mr. Khatami’s second term and to gain absolute power over all the ruling organs of the country. This led to the use of great violence against the people and brought many forces to unite and resist and as is the way to use all media outlets and stories to get our message across.
Even then, many groups which were united in and about the Green Movement had various concerns and priorities.
Over the years some of us were heard within and our reasoning started to aid shape wiser, saner policies in some spheres. Thus the 5 + 1 was agreed upon, the economy started to shift and set new priorities and a more moderate government managed by some specialists was formed and eventually also re-elected (and this by an even greater margin than many are aware of).
Also, the potential of Iran for economic development started to make our adversaries in the region fearful and thus a coalition was formed against us. This coalition that has much influence in today’s Washington – seeking new resources in order to become more competitive in an intricate world and to make up for the country’s deficit – has increasingly shown many of us that it targets Iran as a whole and its natural development – and this to such a degree that it has come to name MKO as the real representative of the Iranian people and to even push Reza Pahlavi aside into a mere “symbolic role”. Yet more alarming is this coalition’s aim of dividing up Iran by fostering local “uprisings”.
Human rights organizations give out their data and pieces. Their stories are one aspect of any given country and not the whole. The media may at any time choose to concentrate on this aspect to force change of behaviour or change of regime; depending on what the powers behind the media plan. In 2009 we all collectively used – also – the human rights violations in Iran to hinder the ultra-conservatives from gaining total control and yet even then many of us who chose to do so understood that millions were living their daily normal lives in this very same Iran.
Today, far more of us understand that despite some human rights violations and many other problems which must find their natural solutions via Iran’s development, we cannot aid those forces which have united to vilify Iran and the Iranian people and need to throw light on the diversity and potential of the country and its people.