Date: February 3, 2010
In the name of God, most gracious, most merciful
[To the] great and proud people Of Iran,
We are close to 22th of Bahman [February 11th] , the anniversary of the victory of the glorious Islamic revolution under Imam [Khomeini]’s leadership. I want to commemorate this day and express my respect to the martyrs who wanted freedom and independence as well as an Islamic Republic and, as a servant of the people who has been actively present during the ups and downs of the last half-century, put forward some issues with you, who are the main possessors of the revolution, establishment, and country. I hope that those who are currently in charge would take note of these issues rationally, justly, and without taking political inclinations and commitment to various groups, parties, and branches into account. Particularly considering that Mehdi Karroubi has now reached an age where his actions cannot be dismissed on the account of underlying political intentions and as an attempt at acquiring political power and material benefits. If I were after that, I would have sought a peaceful life, let go the reins of the wild camel of Iranian politics, and said nothing of people’s rights and struggles; I would have happily, comforting myself with treasonable memories of the past, sold all the fifty years of my Islamic, revolutionary, and popular [experiences and] reputation for a life of peace and tranquility and respect from those in power. But this would have been far from chivalry and what a true Muslim should do, and I have devoted my life to Islam, Iran and the people. My greatest honor is that I have been and will be a servant of God, a one of the children of Ira , and a soldier for my people. Thus, I see silence, separating oneself from the masses, and ignoring our national interests as tyranny. Furthermore, I have deafened the Islamic and legal rights and legitimate freedoms [of the people], all while emphasizing our religious values and the great aspirations of our people and the late Imam [Khomeini] that are materialized in our constitution. This is an unbreakable promise that Mehdi Karroubi gives to the people of Iran. Below I shall bring to your attention a few important issues.
1- Let’s all participate together, peacefully and steadfastly, in the 22th of Bahman protests, in a day that reminds us of the manifestation of the religious beliefs and national determination of the dignified people of Iran. This day does not belong to any particular group, it is a day of pride and dignity for all Iranians. We shall demand the heartwarming achievements and aspirations of our people, some of which have been forgotten or deviated from their course, patiently, steadfastly, and [while] abstaining from physical and verbal violence.
The 22th of Bahman belongs to the people. Martyr Ayatollah Modarres says eloquently about the contract between the nation and the government: in our time the way [politics] is , the leader is [chosen ] from the nation, his duty is to obey the orders given by the nation, any order regarding the country and its public The constitution is the orders the nation gives to the ruler and if he does not follow it, he is oppressive and unjust and must be removed.
2 – While welcoming this year’s anniversary of 22th of Bahman, the two pillars of the Islamic republic – Islamic nature and republic nature of it – have come under question. The presidential election was followed by engineering of the votes. A violent response to question of people in their peaceful demonstration on Khordad -where is my vote?- tore down the wall of trust between the people and the state.
This formed the greatest challenge for the Legacy of Imam Khomeini and the martyrs in the last three decades. People know well and officials must also know that the crises cannot be resolved with violence. They must take people serious in their demands and rights and move with them towards reaching their aspirations.
Repression, detention and imprisonment of political activists and journalists and students, the show trials, execution, and heavy sentences and also creating a security atmosphere is not the appropriate solution for what has happened and is happening. Deference to the public demands and recognition of their rights is the way out of crisis.
I demand the great religious authorities and leaders and [religious] schools and all social, political and cultural figures as well as great leaders, to rationally provide realistic solutions while avoiding verbal disputes, to help Islam and people before it is too late.
Respectable authorities know that what is going on in this country today, whether we want it or not, is happening in the name of Islam, the Shia and the clergies. So as everyone should defend Islam’s dignity and people’s rights, the state leaders may change their manners and know that not our silence and retreat nor their threats, intimidation and violence will resolve this crisis.
3 – In these days that our people, true owners of revolution, are living in hardship due to various economic, political and security issues, especially concerns with ignorance of their rights as citizens. Whatever you want to label our current situation, whether you call it a plot [against the establishment] or a crisis, denial of the situation would not change the reality and what we actually face today. One of the biggest problems of the country is taking shelter under these denials and thinking that re-labeling the problems would solve it. The ‘honorable’ people in charge not only choose to ignore the problems and deny them, but also try to convey a different picture from the bitter realities that we face today, a picture that is merely an unprofessional and childish simulation of the reality. As such they make no move toward actually solving the problems. While they are powerless in running the simplest affairs of the country, they make claims to control on running the affairs of the whole world. Increasing economic, cultural, political and social problems has even irritated a parliament that used to be fully supportive of them. Despite the messages that they advertise, like justice or kindness [towards people] or service to people, waves of inequality and discrimination have taken over the society. Discrimination and corruption within the ranks of governments has reached levels that based on international statistics our country has for obvious reasons fallen to the rank of 168 in the world.
4. Unfortunately, despite the teachings of Islam, fakery, flattery, and dishonesty have become common place in the society. Bootlickers of position and power from one side, and dishonorable radicals from another have made life difficult for scholars, intellectuals, and the perceptive. Libel and damaging citizens’ reputation have become so common that even the founding members of the revolution and the Islamic Republic, and very close confidants of Imam Khomeini are not safe from such insults. Nameless fools, with eyes shut to the world and mouths wide open and ready speak, are shamelessly and in total immunity prostituting themselves in flattery while slandering and making life difficult for the innocent – one can only seek help from God for betterment of this situation. I remember the Imam of this nation [Imam Khomeini]; not only did he protect the right and reputation of all, he also would ignore the flattery of the high ranking officials. He was quick to remind them that the human soul is rebellious and subversive. Do not praise or applaud me lest I believe your flattery and be seduced by it. If we are looking for a principled solution, we must:
– The obedient flatterers should be condemned. The hand, tongue and pen of the violence seekers should be controlled and constrained. Abusing the religion and monopoly [of power] rejected.
– All principles of the constitution should be implemented. The rights of participants and candidates in all elections such as Expediency Council, Parliament and presidential , should be respected. The inappropriate interpretations and innovations by Guardian Council based on which it disqualifies large number of Iranians including known figures [from running for elections ] should be stopped. The measure [ of election success] is vote of people not selection and engineering of public votes based on interests of certain individuals. I have no doubts that respected people of Iran, considering the religious atmosphere, will choose righteous, uncorrupted, knowledgeable and faithful candidates.
– Political prisoners should be released unconditionally.
– Freedom of press should be guaranteed , criticism [of state] allowed and recognized and universities should enjoy a peaceful atmosphere
– The environment of fear and security atmosphere should change. There is no context for cooperation and unity in such a situation.
And of course there are things that the protest movement- which has been quiet in this regard because of the injustices it has faced – should pay attention to: warning that the totalitarian [forces] will force you to surpass the frame work of the constitution . This is what they – those who oppose your peaceful movement – desire. Engaging in violence, or getting involved in situations they have created in your name which will result in illegal and inappropriate behaviors is what the illogical forces of oppression desire. Be aware that informers or outsiders could infiltrate your ranks and disrespect religious, ethical and national values. I officially [re]emphasize that our friends and supporters had questioned the presidential election and the fate of their votes. They requested their legal and religious rights peacefully with emphasis on Islam , [maintaining] the system and national interests. Executive and supervisory officials, security forces, police and their affiliated media , should be questioned on the outcome of their actions and how we ended up with this [crisis]. Have you looked into the future to see if these behaviors and actions continue what awaits [the country ]?
As the last point, it is important that the dear public particularly among the educated and young class consider that the protest movement currently unfolding in the society does not have a broad ideology with a clear cut definitions and boundaries, such that a selected group of individuals participate in the movement according to the guidelines of that ideology and take responsibility for the actions of all others. This movement is not to defend a political and religious belief or ideology. The individuals who are part of this movement have various opinions and beliefs that we might support or oppose. The common ground of this movement [ however ] is to obtain the right to vote, free elections, free press, unconditional release of political prisoners, reforming the means of governing , respecting the law and citizen rights. Without doubt, elevating the demands above these goals or deviating from [demanding] them will be an excuse for violent suppression of this movement. Therefore as an old father I tell to our dear youth, and as an experienced brother who has nothing to lose I advise middle aged and older [participant in the movement] that bringing up [demands] other than legal and justified ones is deviating from the course. Those who are against this movement desire this and in some occasions it is fabricated by themselves or others who have infiltrated the movement. I hope that one day the rulers and those with power will summon reason , justice and fairness to their aid and make people of Iran satisfied by recognizing their rights.