Complete Text of Khatami’s meeting with members of the central committee of Islamic Association of Medical Society
Date: Tuesday, November 25, 2009
Former president [Seyed Mohammad Khatami ] in a meeting with members of the central committee of Islamic association of medical society said: “ any act of conduct that keeps humans from governing their own destinies or undermines this [self] government or results in confiscation of this [right] from them is against our way of thinking and the Islamic revolution. Such an act and conduct is perversion and against the will of God and the way of thinking that Islam or divine religions have regarding humans.
“Zel-Hajjah  is a significant month in which great ceremonies of Haj [ pilgrimage] – a pilgrimage where the center and the axis is Kaaba – are carried out. It is interesting that the most important and distinguished house of worship [in Islam] is Kaaba and Masjid al-Haram [Grand Mosque]. But God recognizes it as the first house built for people ( and not only the faithful) which has been a source of benediction throughout history and a sort of connection between the divine and the earth and means of descent of blessings on human society”.
“ This goes to show that people have a high value in God ’s understanding. Haj and the religious duties that are carried out during pilgrimage require removing all privileges and credits one has in society. So that one becomes the servant of God only and pays attention only to him. This is reflected in Haj and demonstrates the humanist understanding of Islam and monolithic religion and also the dignity that humans have.”
Khatami then reminded: “I have said many times and I emphasize again that one of the golden articles of the Constitution is the Article 56 which recognizes that human beings are in charge of their own destinies. Consequently, its requirements such as Freedom, the effort towards comprehensive growth of human beings and providing social justice in the society are not only naturals right but also divine rights.”
The President of the reformist government continued:”Acts or means that prevent human being from being in charge of their destiny such that it tarnishes their control or it is taken away by groups or individuals, is against our visions and the Islamic Revolution. These behaviors are contrary to divine providence and the thinking that Islam and divine religions have on human beings.”
While mentioning that” The reflection of this article[of the Constitution] in the society is the rule of the people” he said:”People choose their government and in reality they are responsible. This fact has requirements such as free elections, and proving means for an election where the rule of people is clearly demonstrated. Anything that goes against this path is in contrary to the Islamic thinking.”
He regarded Hajj as a place for clear demonstration of a free and unconstrained human beings and continued:”Such human beings will never bow down to anyone or anything except the Almighty and All-knowing God . Nothing will ever rule them other than the divine providence.”
He mentioned that it was his pleasure to be with the audience in the first days of Zel-Hajjahand said:” You are great servants of God who have tried to be servants of people and you have provided a great service especially to public health and other social issues with the highest motives. Your backgrounds are clear; faithful human beings who have served the Revolution and sacrificed in the Holy Defense era. You are the admirers of this revolution and system.”
“ If there is dissatisfaction with the current issues, we believe, it is not a crime to express it. These days, honest and innocent individuals have been subject to tyranny. We all make mistakes but it is regrettable that sincere and devoted people and their families have faced injustice. These conducts will possibly damage the revolution and the system that we believe in. Certain actions that take place – which are wrong – more or less happen in other parts of the world as well but the larger problem is that here these [actions ] are carried out in the name of Islam and the Revolution. If we are concerned, it is because of this. “
“ What was discussed in this meeting regarding the state of public health policy management and welfare is not just talk. People who discussed these issues [here] have been part of the previous administrations. Sadly comparing the situation before with the current situation shows that we are not in a good position. The same is true for industry, agriculture, foreign relations and other public policy areas. I have no doubt that if we look without bias, we will observe that all benchmarks have fallen or at least in most cases, in particular relative to the fourth development program – which is one of the most scientific and realistic programs developed in the reformist government using expert’s advice- we have not made progress and we have fallen behind the benchmarks”.
“ I have repeatedly told higher officials and I stress here again that we have defined a roadmap for the country which consists of the 20-year outlook development plan and we marked the objectives , now not only we have not made any progress toward those objectives but also we have faltered and fallen behind the starting point . This is unfortunate and regretful”.
Regarding the discussion about social unity Khatami said “our criterion in this regard is not unreasonable. It is the constitution, the 20-year development plan and the general policies that have been devised. If there are deviations [from these policies] in certain areas we should all try to remove the obstacles and deviations with unity. What we say is that our status in different areas was better before than today. Of course we do not claim there were no shortcomings or flaws. At least we had chosen the right path based on experience and expertise and we were taking steps forward. But things did not stay on this course and unfortunately it is being implied that what is currently undergoing is correct and according to the principles of the revolution and in the interest of people. We believe [what is happening ] is none of these.”
“Does not the fact that a group of individuals care for the revolution , [feel] connected to it and care for interests of people and the country and feel that the current course is diverted and should be changed , make them revolutionaries? Does not this show the very notion of commitment to revolution principles and standards by these individuals? On the opposite when some people deviate from these courses, is not that a sign of deviating from revolutionary principles? Is not this opposing the revolution that when some say this current situation needs to change according to the articles of the constitution, they are accused of undermining and overthrowing the system? and on the contrary the conduct of those who we believe the result of their actions – in recent days or years – has been disappointing , is considered according to the [principles of ] the revolution. This is opposing the revolution that if someone said something or showed a solution or desired positive change in accordance with revolutionary principles, he will pay the expense and be subject to all sorts of accusation that we see these days. In addition to insults and accusations, these days we are witnessing sneer campaigns against people who are valuable assets of revolution by unknown groups who freely carry out these accusations.”
Khatami referred to arrests, convictions and restrictions imposed [on political activists] and said “ Are the people who care for this revolution free to speak in universities or other gatherings? Or it will have consequences for them ? the issue is not only the accusations but increasing the costs for those who sympathize with this revolution and people.
The head of Baran organization said: “we are proud of supporting freedom, we are proud of supporting free election, we our proud of criticizing the issues with this election.” He emphasized: “we continue our way for people ‘s interest, for [Islamic] revolution visions, and for realization of article 56 of the constitution, because we believe that our people deserve freedom, progress, improvement, development, and justice. If we see that there is any obstacle or deviation we comment on it, we talk about it, because if some problems arise in the name of Islam and revolution, first and foremost it will damage the system.”
He reminded: “Our people support their revolution because they feel it gave them respect and dignity. It freed energies to be used to make this country a progressive country, a model in the region ad in the world, a country where freedom, justice, and progress meet ethics and spirituality. If, god forbid, somebody wants to oppose these characteristics in the name of revolution and Islam, people will object.
He added: “we defend people by defending their freedom. Supporting a free and healthy election is in fact defending the values, for which there was a revolution, there was blood, there was frustration, and there was a high price that was paid.” Khatami reminded: “These days, unfortunately, we see that theorized violence becomes practiced and it is being used against the forces who are supporter of the revolution and Imam [Khomeini].”
He also added: “It’s a fact that there are people living in this country who do not approve of this system but they are willing to live in the boundaries of the constitution. We are proud of defending their right and we don’t oppress them. They are citizens and they have civil right as all the other citizens do. Although, our support doesn’t include those , who as Imam [Khomeini] put it, are involved in conspiracy and extermination [against the system].
He explained: “Violent [supporters of the system] say that only one specific way, taste, and method is in line with revolution and Islam. They say if somebody doesn’t think like us, s/he doesn’t have the right to live, to be part of government, even to talk freely. It becomes worse when they try to justify their actions and policies. They pretend that whatever is not in their own way, is anti-revolution, whoever who doesn’t accept their way is exterminated and should face penalty. These are the causes of our problems.”
Khatami — in regard to the people who have the above noted views and thoughts– said: “these are people with the history of opposition toward revolution and Imam [Khomeini], people with no care for the revolution. Unfortunately they had the opportunity to penetrate to the foundations and organizations –which have been of the great service – and use them as means of elimination and repression.”
The ex head of reformist government emphasized: “revolutionary guard and basij came to existence from and because of the revolution” and reminded: “For the revolutionary guard, which created so many glories along side the army, and Basij members, who resisted great powers with almost empty hands and guarded people’s dignity, it’s more respectful to stay with people and not in front of them.”
He said: “creating an atmosphere of heavy security based on incorrect analysis and practicing incorrect methods first and foremost will harm the system and people. Not only all people feel that their legitimate freedom is being restricted but also those, who are less fortunate, feel that they are further deprived. I am worried that in a near future the political dissatisfaction, which has been emerged in parts of our society, will be accompanied by social dissatisfaction, especially when the promises made by the government are being broken.”
He mentioned that “by pressuring, intimidating, and increasing the cost of speaking out, being free and living freely, no problems will be solved and [political] divisions will be more substantial”. He continued: “Our movement in this country has 150 years of history and its climax has been in the Islamic Revolution and still continues today and will continue in future. A movement that has authentic roots in our history and society will never be eradicated. However, digressions are possible if there are wrong behaviors. For instance we see that some issues are raised in reactions that you and I do not find them pleasant. However, those who have initiated the causes [of these issues] are at fault here.”
The president of the International Institute for Dialogue Among Civilizations and Cultures emphasized: “We have to let the regime proceed in its own correct path such that the main criteria of [prosperity] be the dominant, i.e. Human beings should be respected in it. The foundations for prosperity of the society should be provided. The management of the society should be sincere and efficient. People are not to be told lies and unethical behaviors are not to be tolerated as breaching the ethical codes of conduct is an important problem. This is important because when slandering becomes common in politics such that the slanderers become revolutionary and expressing the issues becomes a crime, then in the society there will be a pessimistic view towards the slanderers and the violators of ethical conducts. This pessimistic view is then transmitted to the roots of the regime which then there will be a great tragedy.”
He continued: “Let us all hold our hands together and stop the current security and militaristic ambiance and the justifications for it which is dominating our society. Let us ease the current atmosphere so that people can express themselves freely and feel that the establishment listens to them and is not against them. Then you will see that the society will become passionate and enthusiastic once again.
The President of Baran Foundation reiterated that “the mistakes made should not be made again” and “in the next elections people should be able to vote freely. They should be guarantied that results that are reported are the results that people want. If there was an atmosphere of trust [in the last election] the people who have voted otherwise would not have objected. The solution is not to answer protests with violence because it results in the loss of trust between the government and people which is the biggest misfortune for the establishment.” He continued: “We have to be sincere towards the Revolution and reconsider the current options. Our establishment and our government has to understand that the current way of doing things is not in the expedience of the society and will not reach anywhere. The current way is against our revolutionary principles that people were looking for. Rationality and God-consciousness dictates that if a way of doing things is wrong, we have to bravely correct it with each others’ help so that an ambiance of freedom and prosperity is reached.” In the end, with a glare of hope he mentioned that “We shall be in a better situation in the future” and “I hope the competent and oppressed individuals who are in prison become free and return to their society, the psychological mood of the society changes and expedience prevails.”
In that meeting, the issues of socializing cultural institutes, incidents that occur in the name of Islam and Revolution, leadership of green movement, disappointment and hopelessness of people, violation of ethical codes, and a comparison of the current and previous health situation of the country was also raised.
 The final month in the Arabic lunar calendar which is the time for Hajj ceremony.