Inspired by Czechoslovakia's Charter 77 of the 1970s and referring to this year, 1391 in the Persian calendar, Charter 91 declares, "To transit from dictatorship and despotism and reach democracy, we Iranians need to review and rebuilt our political culture."
The document offers a blueprint for a democratic Iran under which the rights of all minorities, religion is separated from the state, and freedom of speech is protected. Articles of the charter are dedicated to women's rights, natural resources, and the environment.
The charter also says that the judiciary should be independent and that justice should not lead to violence and revenge.
The driving force behind the document is prominent Iranian-Canadian philosopher Ramin Jahanbegloo, who has written extensively about the culture of nonviolence. He said:
Some, including myself and young people, were asking ourselves why Iranian society has been engaged in a culture of violence and revenge.
We have to believe that, in order to achieve a mighty society from a political point of view, we need to have strong moral principles and a civic culture. And behavior cannot be imposed from the top; society has to achieve it through a process. I hope this charter will be helpful.
The document has already been signed by about 100 Iranian intellectuals, human rights activists, and women's rights defenders based outside the country.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, a Tehran-based journalist and supporter of the opposition Green Movement describes the charter as a "very fine" document. However, the journalist said he believes it lacks a statement about Iran's territorial integrity, so he is unlikely to sign it: "All of those who have signed it are outside the country, which makes it difficult for me to sign it, even though they have my full sympathy."
1645 GMT: Currency Watch. Yesterday President Ahmadinejad held a three-hour meeting with Speaker of Parliament Ali Larijani and head of judiciary Sadegh Larijani, with the currency crisis at the top of the agenda. So what insight did Ahmadinejad offer when questioned afterwards by journalists?
He asked them what they had for lunch:
1525 GMT: Rafsanjani Watch. Former President Hashemi Rafsanjani has declared, “Free and open elections would solve many of the current problems of the country. In addition to building trust amongst the people, the supporters of the system, it will disappoint foreign enemies and disarm them in many ways.”
Rafsanjani also told an audience, “The exit path from the current situation is through measured and wise decisions and exploiting all human, managerial and resource potentials to protect and strengthen unity and refrain from extremism and scandal mongering.”
The U.N. atomic agency has received new and significant intelligence over the past month that Iran has moved further toward the ability to build a nuclear weapon, diplomats tell The Associated Press.
They say the intelligence shows that Iran has advanced its work on calculating the destructive power of an atomic warhead through a series of computer models that it ran sometime within the past three years.
The diplomats say the information comes from Israel, the United States and at least two other Western countries. The time-frame is significant because if the International Atomic Energy Agency decides that the intelligence is credible, it would strengthen its concerns that Iran has continued weapons work into the recent past --- and may be continuing to do so.
Because computer modeling work is normally accompanied by physical tests of the components that go into a nuclear weapons, it would also buttress IAEA fears outlined in detail in November that Tehran is advancing its weapons research on multiple fronts.
"You want to have a theoretical understanding of the working of a nuclear weapon that is then related to the experiments you do on the various components," said David Albright, whose Washington-based Institute for Science and International Security is a frequent go-to source on Iran for Congress and other U.S. government branches. "The two go hand-in-hand."
The supposed computer models do not appear in the IAEA's report of 30 August on Iran's nuclear programme.
1315 GMT: Currency Watch. Mesghal reports that the Iranian Rial, after a fall of 17% since Saturday morning, has recovered some more ground today. After a rise of 1.5% on Monday afternoon, the Rial regained more than 3% to 24520:1 vs. the US dollar.
The Rial hit a historic low of 25650:1 on Monday.
Meanwhile, senior lawmakers have criticised the Central Bank in a closed meeting in Parliament today.
"Most of the discussions of representatives was for the government to enter the exchange market as quickly as possible and inject currency," said Gholamreza Taj-Gardoun, the deputy of Parliament's Planning and Budget Committee. "So far the central bank has not intervened and this has created turmoil."
The Committee's influential chairman, Gholam-Reza Mesbahi Moghaddam, has been among those accusing the Central Bank of cutting off the supply of dollars at official rate --- 12260:1 vs. the US dollar --- to Iranian importers, describing it as "the biggest mistake in history".
The Iranian Students News Agency reported Qassemi's comments on Monday.
"All that has been published on negotiations being held for Egypt to buy Iranian oil is completely devoid of truth," Egyptian Oil Minister Osama Kamal said. "I can confirm that the Egyptian Petroleum Ministry has not entered into this type of negotiation before, and all that has been said on the matter is totally untrue."
The literature of sanctions is basically disrespectful and insulting, because all in the world need each other; and refraining from selling goods and services to another country in order to mount political pressure on that state so that it forgoes its rights is by no means logical and rational.
0735 GMT: Anniversary Watch. Fars marks the 11th anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon with pictures, videos, and this conclusion: "Scientists with highly scientific experiments have been successful in raising doubts about the authenticity of the event."
0641 GMT: All-Is-Well Alert. Both Fars and Press TV prefer not to speak of the "resistance economy" this morning. Instead they push the good-news statement from 1st Vice President Mohammad Reza Rahimi, during a visit by the chairman of the Chinese Congress, "The Islamic Republic of Iran is ready to increase its economic and trade ties with China to $100 billion."
China, the leading importer of Iranian oil, had sharply reduced its purchases this spring before returning to the levels of 2011 in June and July.0635 GMT: Currency Watch. The leading currency site Mesghal has not updated its Monday report of the Iranian Rial at 25350:1 vs. the US dollar.
The Rial fell more than 4% yesterday to an all-time low. At one point, it reached 25650:1.
0615 GMT: Mohsen Rezaei --- former head of the Revolutionary Guards, current Secretary of the Expediency Council, Presidential candidate in 2009 and probably in 2013 --- is the latest high-level official to trumpet the "resistance economy" proclaimed by the Supreme Leader amid US-led sanctions and economic tensions.
In an interview with Najmeh Bozorgmehr of the Financial Times, Rezaei explained, "A new economic system [is] being formulated...to renovate Iran’s economy....This is not going to be an austerity economy nor it will it be an underground economy, but an economy that will be within economic theories to address conditions under sanctions.”
Rezaei was careful to say that the US and Europe were not succeeding in their economic pressure. Instead, the West had given the Islamic Republic an opportunity: “If we had not faced sanctions, we would never have thought of [reducing our dependence on] oil. Sanctions are dragging us in that direction.”
That position, however, led to Rezaei's far more interesting --- if cautious --- criticism of the Ahmadinejad Government. Blaming a bloated bureaucracy as well as dependence on oil revenues for difficulties, Rezaie added that "correct predictions" could have eased the recent problems such as inflation.
At the same time, Rezaei emphasised that there were two Government committees, one under President Ahmadinejad and one under 1st Vice President Mohammad Reza Rahimi, dealing with sanctions.