DoctorZin Note: The following is an important statement by the son of the former Shah of Iran regarding the current effort inside of Iran to hold an referendum on the Iranian constitution.
A message regarding a call for a National referendumReza Pahlavi
January 7th, 2005
The liberal democratic paradigm that emerged after the cold war has brought down autocracies across the world through the ballot box. It was within this time frame and paradigm that the Islamic Republic of Iran held its 7th parliamentary elections. I called the elections an inflection point in the life of the regime because it made clear to all that placing the ballot box within the antidemocratic legal and ideological confines of the IR was a futile act.
Since then, the light of liberty and human rights has re-emerged in our national struggle for freedom, leading to the call for a referendum by a group of my compatriots inside Iran. It is the national duty of all patriotic and freedom-loving Iranians to help those who struggle for liberty.
The recent student movement supported by groups of human rights and political activists petitioning support for the conduct of a national referendum, has been supported by a wide spectrum of organizations, political parties and personalities whose unity of direction seemed unlikely prior to the failure of regimes vow to reform itself.
A national referendum with the free participation of the Iranian people, under the observation of the appropriate international institutions, for drafting a new constitution based on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, can be a democratic path out of the limitations of a regime which does not have the capacity to respond to the peoples minimum demands.
However, it is evident that the current regime's nature and rule prevent the realization of the necessary preconditions for holding a referendum, which is acceptable only when all political prisoners and prisoners of conscience are freed, freedom of press is guaranteed and all groups, political parties and proponents of all ideologies have the right to organize, freely engage in political activity, and enjoy freedom of speech and equitable access to the media.
Mobilizing the public and organizing resistance in all directions, in order to force the regime to yield to the nations demands and the creation of the aforementioned conditions comes with great risks and dangers. Calls for violence and unrealistic slogans are but a few of such dangers that will only lead to further violence by the regime. Similarly, insisting on a particular form or structure for the future political order will only breed disunity and benefit the ruling regime.
Shoulder to shoulder with my fellow patriotic Iranians, I ask all of our compatriots to use their critical ability and alert presence in the referendum movement, in order to safeguard the indubitable right of all Iranians to cast their vote in freedom; and, thereby, bring to non-violent end the rule of a regime that has trampled on their rights in all of these years and by violating the equality rights of men and women, religious minorities and ethnic groups, it has formalized cultural and social inequality.
With unity and strength of purpose, I am certain that we the people of Iran can end theocratic tyranny and amalgamation of church and state, and ensure liberty and respect for human rights in a free and democratic order, which would build a proud and progressive country, so that the star of providence will shine in the Iranian sky once again.
May God Bless Iran