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Iran Document: Nourizad's Last Letter to Supreme Leader "The 10 Grievances"

Since the disputed 2009 election, journalist and filmmaker Mohammad Nourizad has written a series of letters to the Supreme Leader. One of those letters, asking Ayatollah Khamenei to apologise for the suppression of post-election protest, contributed to Nourizad's arrest in November 2009; however, he continued to write the Supreme Leader from prison. In April 2010, he was sentenced to 3 1/2 years for the open letters to Khamenei and to the head of Iran's judiciary, Sadegh Larijani.

This week the "sixth and last" letter from Nourizad, who is currently free on bail while his sentence is appealed, to Khamenei appeared. (Note that the filmmaker does not address the Supreme Leader as "Ayatollah" but as "Seyed", a lower religious title.) Translation by Persian2English:

Death shall inevitably arrive and swallow you and I. We, the lost and the unknown, will soon be obliterated from memory, but you have played a role in making part of the history of this land and it will be talked about for a long time. Despite all that we do not have and all that you have, a common destiny joins us, and that [destiny] is dying and rotting and will be held accountable on Judgment Day.

They will have us and you stand on Judgement Day so that those who were happy and those who were discontent may voice their grievances. Not many people will know us, but you will have many content friends and discontent complainants.

Your friends and followers will talk about your virtues: Oh God, we witnessed that Seyed Ali Khamenei was a courageous, brave, and influential orator. He would always call us to piety. He gathered no worldly possessions and single-handedly clashed with the U.S.A. and Israel. He led our country through labyrinths of sedition, and on every occasion, warned us against the enemies who are in ambush . During his long leadership, although our country was struggling in deep-rooted poverty and corruption, we accomplished stem-cell research, Shahab missiles, uranium enrichment, the launch of Omid Satellite, and even gained victory of Hezbollah over Israel in the 33-day war.

Dear leader,

….Aside from your friends and followers who are mostly those who are profiting from your leadership, there will be those who will voice their grievances. Out of friendship, and since I wish you a good future, I will repeat some of these grievances….Perhaps your friends who have closed their eyes and who serve in the judicial and security system will be enraged at the questions that I have posed here and will do to me what they have done to hundreds of innocent people.

On Judgment Day, your complainants will carry grievances from you to God and say:

1) Oh God, Seyed Ali Khamenei, aside from the virtues that he should have had and did have and the good deeds he had to perform and did perform, he beat on the drums of schism from the beginning of his leadership. He raised the flag of ”those who belong to the inner circle of the regime” and “those who do not belong to the inner circle”, and thus society was led down the path of division and fission…Oh God, why did those who selected and vetted on his behalf deny our civil and social dignity and respect?

2) Oh God…during the years of his leadership, some groups of people faced imprisonment and torture for the smallest protest and the slightest criticism of senior officials who imposed on them. These groups of people were subjected to great psychological and social harms.

3) During his rule, the law and observing the rule of law by officials was looked down upon and belittled….An unknown miserable person would be sent to prison for owing $1000, while the leader’s favourite President, the Vice President, some of the ministers, and his government officials were involved in multi-million dollar embezzlements and extortions. They would compete in a marathon of demagoguery and mock the people and the law. This very law has become the carpet on which the coward deputies of parliament walk. It is slaughtered by the scared and corrupt judges. It was skinned and devoured by a group of Ministry of Intelligence agents. And the the law was finally pillaged and looted out of its content by the Revolutionary Guards who pretended to be acting within its frame, but instead painted it and portrayed it as they wished.

4) ….During his reign, addiction, unemployment, and consumerism became the main parts of society. The country’s reputation on the world stage was damaged and deteriorated….

5) During the time of Seyed Ali Khamenei, hypocrisy, flattery, deception, and the lack of accountability on people and officials became the common trend and (anti) culture. The officials constantly lied and took the wrong path, and the people, by looking at them, learned and followed suit. In a place where an unbalanced person such as the president tells lies, takes away the people’s money, and burns opportunities, why would the people not do the same?

6) The experts and the elite had no choice but to take refuge in foreign lands because those who held no merit and did not deserve were at the helm. They took refuge because the rule of law was not observed…puerile management based on oil money indicated that shallow words were not the drive for the non-petroleum based economy…the country was run by those who had no expertise and knowledge. Consequently, the wealth and resources of the nation were wasted.

7) In the time of Seyed Ali Khamenei, especially in the last years of his life, people, who according to the law are entitled to criticize, protest, and launch strikes, were never given the chance to express their demands. The slightest attempt to dissent and protest was deemed as an act of hostility, espionage, and an attempt to overthrow the regime…all the protesters were subjected to torture, prison, and solitary confinement. And in ludicrous verdicts, they would receive predetermined sentences of imprisonment and execution.

8) Oh Lord, did you see how Khamenei, next to his virtues, introduced and institutionalized a concept called “seeking the approval and piety of candidates by the council of religious jurisprudence”…lest an independent and free thinker deputy be elected to the Parliament and protest against the leader’s mistakes?...This resulted in the leader to be wrapped in a halo of sanctity and made Seyyed Ali inaccessible to the people….The absolute power he built for himself does not allow anyone or any movement to engage in benevolent pathology of leadership, and as a result, corruption infiltrated the pillars of society….The country, year after year, descended into the trash of contemptible tribal ties….

9) ….State television and radio resorted to the most violent lies…and other media turned into a pump which would suck sewage instead of clean water from the well….

10) Oh God, Seyed Ali entered the arena in defense of a dim-wit like Ahmadinejad and damaged the image of an impartial leader….Khamenei shut down the roads to any change so that he could continue to control the power.

Our dear leader,

I wish you would leave a good name after your death and right the wrongs…so that tomorrow people could say: “Khamenei was a wise and enlightened leader…Although toward the end of his rule, he lost control and some harms were done…he, like Nelson Mandela, gave up key posts and paved the way for the rule of law."

If you ask where you can start, I shall answer: with one noble order from you, all the innocent prisoners can return to the arms of their loved ones….

Reader Comments (2)

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[...] Mohammad Nourizads letzter Brief an Khamenei: Die 10 Klagen [...]

August 18, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterNews vom 18. August « Ar

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