Statement of Academics
09 Jun 2009 19:08
8 June 2009
By Professor Ervand Abrahamian, City University of New York | Dr Arshin Adib-Moghaddam, School of African and Oriental Studies | Professor Haleh Afshar, University of York | Professor Mohammad Ala, Persian Gulf Task Force | Professor Hamid Dabashi, Columbia University | Professor Abbas Edalat, Imperial College London | Ali Fathollah-Nejad, School of African and Oriental Studies | Dr Mehri Honarbin, Canterbury Christ Church University | Dr Farhang Jahanpour, University of Oxford | Mohammad Kamaali, Campaign Against Sanctions and Military Intervention in Iran | Professor Mahmoud Karimi-Hakkak, Siena College, New York | Professor Fatemeh Keshavarz, Washington University in St. Louis. | Dr Ziba Mir-Hosseini, School of African and Oriental Studies | Professor Pirouz Mojtahedzadeh, Tarbiyat Modarres University | Professor Davood Nabi-Rahni, Pace University in New York | Professor Azam Niroomand-Rad, Georgetown University | Dr Ali Rastbeen, International Institute of Strategic Studies Paris | Dr Elaheh Rostami, School of African and Oriental Studies | Professor Nader Sadeghi, George Washington University Hospital | Shirin Saeidi, University of Cambridge | Professor Muhammad Sahimi, University of Southern California | Leila Zand, Fellowship of Reconciliation
We are a group of Iranian academic and antiwar activists in Europe and the United States who, in the past few years, have consistently defended Iran's national interests in all areas including its right to develop peaceful nuclear technology. Our varied activities in the face of anti-Iran propaganda by the neoconservatives in the West have included organizing press conferences, taking part in radio and TV debates, creating antiwar websites, publishing bulletins and newsletters, writing opinion pieces and letters to editors, attending national and international antiwar conferences and petitioning and lobbying western politicians and parliamentarians.
We have campaigned against the policies of the United States and its Western allies which have unjustifiably targeted Iran - including sending Iran's nuclear dossier to the United Nations Security Council, issuing UNSC resolutions against Iran, secret and public efforts to provoke strife in Iran and destabilize the country, and threats by the United States and Israel for military intervention and bombing of Iran's nuclear facilities.
As we approach Iran's presidential elections, we are duty bound to share the lessons of our antiwar activities and highlight what national policies can defend Iran's interests effectively in the international arena without isolating it or enduring U.N. sanctions.
In order to safeguard Iran's national rights successfully, we think Iran's president elect must give priority to the following policies in his programs and plans:
(1) Questioning the Holocaust, which has greatly aided the hawks in the West, must be discarded and replaced with a constructive foreign policy devoid of any provocative rhetoric.
(2) Releasing all political prisoners, freedom of press, organizations and political parties, as well as peaceful meetings and gatherings. Recognizing the right of all citizens to run for election without any political vetting.
(3) Abolishing medieval punishments, such as stoning and cutting limbs, public executions, and execution of minors.
(4) Recognizing full and unconditional equality in all areas for women and ethnic minorities. Recognizing the full citizenship and civic rights of official and unofficial religious minorities.
Disregarding these tasks will seriously hinder the social and political development of the country, and will divide the Iranian people in their resistance against the unwarranted neo-colonial pressure and double standards of the Western powers. It will also provide powerful propaganda tools to hawks and their allies in mainstream media for isolating Iran and denying its fundamental rights in international organizations.
Taking steps to carry out these measures, on the other hand, will put our country on a fast track to progress, will unite Iranians of all walks of life, and disarm the neoconservatives in their aggressive propaganda against Iran.