Referendum -- or else
People of Iran might seek foreign help for freedom
April 30, 2003
Statement from Heshmat Tabarzadi, a secular, pro-democracy
activist in Iran who has been imprisoned several times in recent
years. This English translation was distributed today on the Iran
Peace mailing list. Edited for grammar and clarity.
In the name of the God of Existence and Wisdom
Great Nation of Iran,
I would like to wish you a happy and prosperous year on behalf
of students, imprisoned journalists and activists and all those
who are struggling for freedom. I would like to extend my appreciation
for your political victories last year over the inhuman and cruel
Last year on May 1 the workers, and on May 2 the teachers and students,
as informed members of society, revealed the unpopularity and inhumanity
of the regime.
The expansion and popularity of demonstrations on July 9, the anniversary
of the vicious attack on Tehran University in 1999, forced the regime
to mobilize all its police and even military forces to crush a peaceful
In the early hours of that day, I was arrested and beaten. I spent
the next 10 months in solitary confinement. Just like July 9th of
1999, 2000 and 2001. I hope July 9th of 2003 will be the day of
freedom, the breaking of the chains of injustice, and the end of
corruption and poverty for the nation.
On November 1 of last year, on a memorial day for two leaders of
freedom, our beloved Dariush and Parvaneh Foroohar, who were brutally
murdered by the regime, the Islamic Republic's thugs attacked people
who were peacefully singing the freedom anthem. Shame on those who
once talked about justice, culture, and freedom of speech but now
that they are in power, their logic is stoning people to death,
cutting limbs, torture and terror.
The death sentence handed down on a scholar [Hashem Aghajari] and
the reaction of the students aginst it, once again showed that the
third force representing secular elements, the youth and the student
movement, is still leading the movement for freedom in our nation.
Last Decemebr 7th -- the anniversary of the killing of three students
by the Shah's regime -- was the height of the student movement against
the ignorance of the Talibanists ruling Iran. Those who had pride
before the 1979 revolution and were followers of students, now that
they are in power, are so terrified of this movement that they are
uttering dirty insults against our noble children of Iran.
Last February 28, the boycott of the council elections was a great
victory for the third force in Tehran, Tabriz, Isfahan and other
major cities, and a great defeat for both wings of the regime.
We hope the world and the European Community has heard the message
of the Iranian people for a referendum under UN observation in the
absence of a coalition council that could lead the nation for democracy
on behalf of imprisoned leaders.
The observance of Chaar Shanbeh Soori before the Persian
New Year last month, was another bright day for Iran. In a great
celebration, people showed their harted for this regime, despite
its religious propaganda against this ancient tradition.
The people, with their political understanding, have moved ahead
of the opposition that is based abroad -- the opposition that has
many financial, political and media recourses but is yet unable
to form a coalition council to support the freedom movement in Iran.
Activists and freedom-lovers fighting this fascist and armed-to-the-teeth
regime have no political, financial, legal or media support.
The fact is Iranian Talibanists won't listen to any advice or words
of wisdom regarding a peaceful transfer of power. They would like
to take the same path as the Taliban in Afghanistan or the Ba'th
Party in Iraq. So what they are saying is that if they go down,
they would take the country with them down the path of destruction.
The reformists in power have two major problems. First, they lack
of strategy and second they are too weak in getting their message
across the land and delivering their non-democratic agenda. In last
5 years they have disappointed the nation and now there is a split
among them. In order to stay in power, some of them compete or compromise
with the conservatives.
Also some reformists have fallen in the direction of the third
force and realized that the only way out of this deadend is a referendum.
Therefore the Iran Democratic Front (IDF)
proposes a coalition council to support the nation's struggle for
freedom, details of which will be presented later.
Also the IDF encourages all figures, parties, groups and media
outlets that want to submit this regime to a referendum, to invite
people to take the first major step with peaceful demonstrations
nationwide on July 9 at 7 p.m.
The coalition council can mobilize all its financial, political,
media and other resources and act as the only legitimate representative
of the nation in the international community. It can play a major
role and be a model for utilizing the peaceful transfer of power,
holding a referendum and drawing a new constitution for a secular
and democratic Iran.
We invite non-governmental reformists, constitutional monarchists,
religious-nationalists, socialists and all freedom lovers who understand
the necessity of unity, to join us in the only alternative for liberty
without bloodshed. Otherwise the oppressed people of Iran might
seek other ways to escape cruelty, corruption, injustice and poverty
and ask foreigners for freedom -- like in Afghanistan and Iraq.
We hope to achieve freedom
and justice for the nation through a peaceful and democratic revolution.
This is the goal and legitimate demand of all activists, political
prisoners and students in Iran.
April 16, 2003
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