Abdorrahman Boroumand Center

for Human Rights in Iran

Promoting tolerance and justice through knowledge and understanding
Pro-Democracy Opposition Since 1979

Iran Democratic Front's Protest Letter to President Ahmadi Nejad

Iran Democratic Front/Translated by ABF
Abdorrahman Boroumand Foundation
September 25, 2008

Mr. Ahmadinejad,

First, allow us to clearly announce our views and say that we did not vote for you, though mentioning the very fact that we boycotted the Islamic Republic’s elections is considered a crime according to the security-oriented Islamic regime. Mr. Ahmadinejad, we, like the majority of the Iranian people, did not participate in the election on May 24, 2005. We did not vote for you, because in the Islamic Republic, no elections are free and fair. The reality is that no independent monitors observe the election process. Even your main rival, Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, who sees himself as the true heir of the regime, protested the lack of fairness in the election. Therefore, one must accept the fact that you were elected in an undemocratic process thanks to the support of Basij [paramilitary group], followers of the Leader, and a military faction. After the elections, you appointed many of the Revolutionary Guards’ commanders to critical positions to express gratitude to those military and paramilitary groups for filling the ballot boxes for you (…).

Thus, we have the right not to recognize you as the legitimate president of the Iranian people. Instead, we believe that the Islamic Regime holds to power through force. That said, not recognizing your legitimacy does not mean that we cannot object to some of your actions; because, even though you are not the legal and real president of Iran, you have seized this position by force and, unfortunately, you speak on behalf of the Iranian nation in various international forums.

Mr. Ahmadinejad,

From the early days of your presidency, you have clearly stated the official policy of the Islamic Republic with regards to Israel, the one that was initiated by Ayatollah Khomeini. You have demanded that Israel be wiped from the map of the world.…No member of the UN can ask for the elimination of another member and, for this, the Islamic Republic is guilty. You implemented the policy of the Islamic Republic and, in this framework, denied the holocaust. Not only is this a crime from the standpoint of the law and of humanity, but it is a major blow to Iran’s national interest. By doing so you have supported the main policies of a regime that has become an imposed burden upon the Iranian people.

You, like your religious masters, can skillfully play with words. Recently, you declared, "We want a referendum under the supervision of the international community to take place in Palestinian-occupied territories, in order to determine the government and the rulers of the Palestinian people." Very well, Mr. Ahmadinejad, We can accept your idea, which has been expressed over and over again by Ayatollah Khamenei, the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic. However, allow us to mention a few points:

In his latest speech … Ayatollah Khamenei announced that he does not recognize the Israeli people and that they are just occupiers, military, and tools in the hands of Zionists. In accordance with the Leader's views on this matter, during the past 30 years, each time an Israeli citizen is killed by Iran-supported Palestinian military forces, the propaganda machine of the regime announces that a Zionist is killed. By doing so, it implies in fact that there are no citizens of a country named Israel. (…) Our question is: why do those, who have claims to fundamentalism, morality and spirituality, lie so flatly to the world?

Mr. Ahmadinejad,

what does a referendum mean when the leaders of the Islamic Republic do not recognize the Israeli people and consider them as occupiers? Would the Palestinians be the only people allowed to participate in the referendum? (...)

Mr. Ahmadinejad,

why do the leaders of the Islamic Republic make such a contradictory statement? On the one hand, you talk about a referendum under international supervision in the occupied territories as a legal and necessary condition for the Palestinians’ self determination. On the other hand, when the idea of a free referendum in Iran is mentioned by your opponents, you use your oppressive security forces to suppress them. Let us forget about the idea of a free and fair referendum to determine our destiny, yet you don't even tolerate the idea that international organizations supervise your unfree and unfair elections, and you accuse anyone suggesting it of being a xenophile and a coward (…)

Mr. Ahmadinejad, you referred to a "yes" or "no" vote that took place [in Iran] 30 years ago to say that today 98% of the Iranian people approve of the Islamic Republic. Is this your understanding of morality and religion? (…) Would the hidden Imam you care about so much, calumniate and insult the Iranians before the world community? Mr. Ahmadinejad, if you believe in what you say, let a free and fair referendum take place under the supervision of the international community so the Iranian people can express their views on the Islamic Republic.

Mr. Ahmadinejad,

you have clearly stated that there is an absolute freedom of expression in Iran. This is such a big lie that we are convinced those who are in charge of censorship and oppression in the military and intelligence organizations must laugh at it.

Mr. Ahmadinejad,

in a country where, in the decade since July 9, 1999, thousands of students have been thrown into the dungeons by your security forces solely for expressing their views through publications, speeches, web logs, and peaceful and un-armed demonstrations, isn’t making such a claim not only an insult to the Iranian nation, but to the humanity's conscience as well.

Your Excellency, Dr. Ahmadinejad,

during the past decade, especially since you took office three years ago, thousands of women’s rights activists, teachers, minority rights’ activists, and others have been imprisoned just because they expressed their views; hundreds of publications were closed and hundreds of students were black listed. The Islamic regime uses an oppressive machine composed of the Revolutionary Court, Tehran’s Public Prosecutor Office, the Intelligence Ministry, Security Forces Intelligence Office, Protection of the Revolutionary Guards Intelligence Office, Basij, and tens of other oppressive institutions in order to silence those who criticize or think differently; and all [the components of this machine] share a zero tolerance policy for any opponent or critic. (…) Therefore, why do you feel compelled to preaching morality, justice and spirituality to the whole world on the one hand, and repeatedly lie on the other hand? Are you promoting the religion of liars? Do you expect the free and developed world to embrace the religion of liars? Is it not enough to persecute and oppress us? Must we also tolerate your lies?

Mr. Ahmadinejad, if the Islamic Republic, for any reason, was a popular regime 30 years ago, it has now become a oppressive security-oriented regime. It responds to any opposition, criticism, and objection with accusations of acting against the national security. It looks at every citizen with suspicion. We have been victims of the regime’s security-oriented scrutiny with regard to independent and free organizations and parties. This regime does not tolerate independent workers union or the mere gathering of a few teachers. Why should you tell such an obvious lie? Do you know how many innocent human beings are imprisoned for expressing their beliefs right now?

Mr. Ahmadinejad,

You have clearly stated that people rule in Iran, that the leader, president, representatives of the parliament, members of the Assembly of Experts [who elect the Supreme Leader], and representatives of city councils are all designated directly or indirectly by people (...) Allow me to tell you and the world again, that this claim is also a complete fallacy (…) The Islamic Republic has adopted elections in form but has corrupted their content. The Islamic Republic denies the right to run for presidency not only to women or Sunnis but, thanks to its laws and practices, neither women nor laymen have the right to be candidates for the Assembly of Experts. Therefore, the presidency is monopolized by Shiite men, the Assembly of Experts as well as the leadership position, which is held for life, are the monopoly of Shiite clerics. Thus, the most important positions, leadership, presidency, and membership in the Assembly of Experts are exclusively the prerogative of a few and the public’s only right is to vote for them. In the case of the leader, people are even deprived of their voting right, because the leader is chosen only by the members of the Assembly of Experts for life. Aren’t the ruling Islamists in Iran making a mockery of the people's vote and distorting the nature of democracy?

Anyone who knows about the candidates' vetting process knows about its incompatibility with people's sovereignty and democracy. In Iran, nobody has the right to become a candidate for president or the Assembly of Experts unless approved by the Guardian Council and the Interior Ministry. The condition for their approval is accepting the absolute guardianship of the Islamic Jurist. The fact is that one man holds absolute power and his will is above the law. Therefore, neither ordinary people nor anyone among the political figures, , dissidents, and the opposition can run for elections in Iran. Even among the ruling factions, only those supported by the Leader , the Guardian Council ( …) will ultimately win the elections.

(…)We are resigned to see a minority of Islamists rule over the country; and now your government, backed by military and intelligence forces, is engaged in a power struggle with the ruling clergy and founding fathers of the regime. In this power struggle the Iranian people take no sides and have no say (…). But, we do not accept that you lie in the name of the Iranian nation and in our name as Iranians. Even though you have devastated all of us, we declare aloud to the whole world that the Islamic Republic’s regime and you, Mr. Ahmadinejad, do not represent the Iranian nation and that your claims are obvious lies!