For a Free and Democratic Iran

OUR NATIONAL RESPONSIBILITY IN THE CURRENT CRISIS

 
SPEECH GIVEN BY :

 
H.I.M. REZA PAHLAVI

 
November 10, 1995

 
San Antonio, Texas

 
I feel privileged to have this opportunity to address my fellow compatriots and discuss some of the dire responsibilities which rests upon our shoulders in these trying times.

Unfortunately, the plague of the clerics' rule which affected our nation is worsening by the day. This crisis is not limited to certain areas. Its dimensions are such that patriotic Iranians can no longer bear to see the further decay of their nation.

The cause of this calamity and thus the blame lies solely with the Islamic Republic, its near sighted policies, and with its incompetent leadership. Neither the people of Iran, nor the conspiracy and the machination of the super powers are the culprit.

The leadership clique in Iran which condemns everyone else for its disastrous failures is the same one who 16 years ago, inherited a prosperous nation, an abundant treasury, and a fully trained and sophisticated Armed Forces.

Lies and deception, enabled these clerics to control the fate of millions of Iranians, who in mere decades, managed to rid themselves of their shortcomings and regained their international dignity. They are mismanaging a nation which not long ago had a vast pool of trained professionals along with tremendously rich natural resources. A nation which had friendly relations with its neighbors and enjoyed benevolent ties with all the progressive and civilized nations of the world, is now one of the most isolated countries in the globe.

No one, not even the most ardent foreign enemies of Iran, throughout its long history, have been able to impart such wounds to its dignity and potential, as carried out by the short-sighted policies and aims of the current regime. This is not a mere platitude remark. The dimensions of this catastrophe are vividly evident if one objectively resorts to historic and social records of Iran. That is why I say that the shameful report card of the Islamic Republic, is unprecedented in our history.

In this short period, I can only mention briefly the obvious and striking consequences of the clerics' rule. To delve into notions such as unemployment, inflation, industrial deterioration, the shortages in essential products and needs, vanishing of the oil revenues, the lowering of the educational standards, the escape of the professional human resources, the numerous detriments of the eight year war, the corruption of the leadership clique, and the rampant use of drugs among the youth, require hours if not days. Even then, the latter could only partially cover the harm imparted on Iran and Iranians. The numerous lost opportunities, the immeasurable moral detriments, are a discourse in and of themselves. How is one to guage the sorrow and the loss of millions of men and women in an unavoidable war? How would one calculate the moral impact of defeat from a small neighboring nation? Indeed the disappointment and dis-heartening of millions of young Iranians, the loss of Iran's international dignity and the barbaric treatment of its women along with the execution of any voice of dissent are immeasurable yet catastrophic notions. What type of justice could objectively deal with the total, persistent and violent disregard of the human rights of more than 60 million people?

Without a doubt, better than any reporter, researcher or statistician the people of Iran have learned, felt and realized the scope of the atrocities imparted on them by the current regime.

An aftermath of such repressive measures, is the widening of dissent, discontent and riots which are now rampant all over Iran and are in essence mutually independent of any social class or regional affiliations. They include the majority of Iranians, who have discovered the hedious face and the fallacy in the ideology of the "Velayate Faqih - The Governance of the Supreme Theologian" during the past 6000 days. Those who have not yet felt the unpopularity of the so-called Islamic Republic, need only look and listen objectively to the outcries of the writers, artists, and various other intellectuals and their aspirations to rid themselves of the yokes, chains and tortures of the clerics' regime.

The combatants, are the university students, whose voice in opposing tyranny and despotism gets louder and louder by the day.

The combatants are the teachers, who impart the lessons of patriotism and liberty despite the whims of the regime.

The combatants are the factory workers and the government employees which their tough and unbearable situation today has been the aftermath of the clerics' rule.

The combatants are the pious religious leaders who could not bear to see the moral decay of the people and the murderous acts of the current regime under the pretext of religion.

The combatants are millions of Iranian youth; who have no prospects of entering the universities, obtaining a dignified occupation or finding adequate and affordable housing in order to start a family.

These are the noble and brave combatants against the regime, who have gained valuable experience in the past 16 years in opposing the brutal nature of the current leadership, and have unswervingly and fearlessly intensified their activity.

The opposition outside of Iran, constitutes a small segment of these combatants, and could play an important factor in shaping the pattern of this political resistance if they pursue a common goal which entails unity of purpose and abandoning the dogmatic differences. They ought to realize that single-handedness and isolation is detrimental in achieving any worthy goal as we have experienced in the past.

Undoubtedly, the world community is aware of the savage nature of the regime in Iran, although the scope of discontent among the Iranians is yet to be objectively portrayed and conveyed. The extent and the levels of damage to the Iranian standard of life along with the benevolent and peaceful aspirations of the Iranians have not been thoroughly disclosed and voiced outside of Iran. Nonetheless, there should not be any doubt that once such hurdles are overcome, the peace-loving people of the world would not hesitate to aid the noble people of our nation. The only group who tend to ignore these outcries are the ruthless leaders in Iran who see force and fear tactics as the only path for the prolongation of their rule.

On one hand they talk about the free nature of the upcoming elections and on the other, they devise and legislate so-called laws to further suppress any form of dissent. They have no response for the legitimate aspirations of the people other than brute force which incidentally is quintessential to their policies and ideology. These leaders are so ill-intent and incompetent that they would not embark on any reform. They realize that each step in retreat causes two in advancement by the people. The list of aspirations of a nation who has suffered for more than 6000 days under one the most belligerent regimes in its history, is not a brief one. To expect anything in the right direction, from a group of people who are amongst the most corrupt and have been the primary element in the immiseration of Iran, is not only futile but its mere wishful thinking. They ought to be reminded and reminded daily that the path of tyranny leads to nowhere, as it has been fruitless for all other despots. They must learn to yield to the will of the people. The time has arrived for them to realize that their lies and deceptions have lost their impact and they ought to refrain from concocting new and empty promises.

As I mentioned earlier, I intend to discuss the scope and nature of our responsibilities in reference to the crisis we are all facing today. It is evident that our compatriots inside Iran do not and cannot rest from their struggle against the despotism of the regime. These struggles each have their own identity and structure. Everyone based on their capacity and capability strives to un-do the ill policies and the vile aims of the clerics' rule. Resistance, dissent, workers' strikes, massive demonstrations, and blowing the whistle, are all effective and persistent ways which are intended to uproot and replace the tight yoke placed by the current leaders on the general public.

We ought not miss any opportunity in supporting the people's will and if they could not openly express it, we must not have any doubt that it centers around deciding their own future and destiny. Their eventual wish is the separation of state and religion and the establishment of a democratic system. In this regard, we must remember the final destiny of our nation is and will be in the hands of millions of brave Iranians who struggle inside Iran. Those who have not had the honor of participating in this noble arena, bear a difficult and great responsibility. Today, the territorial integrity of our nation is seriously at stake. Throughout its history, the frailness of the government has always provoked foreign incursions over the borders of Iran. One cannot find an equal to the current regime in Iranian history insofar as its incompetence, frailness, isolation from the people, and its ignorance from world affairs. The path in freeing the nation from such dire detriments lies only in detecting and concentrating on such elements that create an unswerving bond among all the democratically structured opposition groups. More than ever, we ought to broadcast the vicious crimes of the current regime in violating the basic rights of the noble people of Iran. Our world today is much smaller and our communication capabilities are much more sophisticated for a despotic regime like the Islamic Republic to disregard and ignore the judgments of the international community. To see this goal come to fruition, the unity and co-operation of all democratic forces is of essence. The first condition is to set the national aspirations above personal and individual whims, and to realize that the people of Iran, even without the aid and moral support of their compatriots in exile and the world community, will eventually overcome the current tyranny, albeit through a more exhaustive and tiring path.

However, I have an indestructible belief in the fact that all of us, hand in hand, by extending our unconditional support for one another, and by accepting and realizing our grave national responsibility, could shorten this path of victory for our people in Iran, hence breaking the shackles of tyranny which have for 6000 days been laid upon the noble men and women of our nation.

LONG LIVE IRAN


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