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Iran: Five Expatriate Intellectuals Issue "The Demands of the Green Movement"

IRAN DEMOS AZADIFive Iranian intellectuals living overseas --- Abdolkarim Soroush, Akbar Ganji, Mohsen Kadivar, Abdolali Bazargan, and Ataollah Mohajerani --- have followed Mir Hossein Mousavi's recent 5-point statement with a declaration of 10 demands to be met by the Iranian Government:

1. Resignation of Mr. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, renewal of the election under the supervision of the independant organs. Cancellation of the Guardian Council's oversight and establishment of an independant election

The Latest from Iran (4 January): Watching and Debating

2. Release of all political prisoners and prisoners of conscience. Prosecution of those involved in murders and torture of recent months in a public court of law with retribution to the victims and their families.

3. Freedom of press and all audio-visual media. Cancellation of censorship, banning of newspapers, filtering of internet. Expansion of satellite services and acceptance of private TV channels. Expulsion of those who
put out fraudulent lies over recent events.

4. Recognition of the activities of political parties, student movement, women's movement, non-government organisations and civil society, and labor unions, with the right to assembly.

5. Independence of universities and their administrations. Expulsion of military forces from the campuses. Purge of the illegal Cultural Revolution Council.

6. Persecution of torturers and murderers for recent crimes.

7. Independence of the judiciary, with its head an elected official. Cancellation of all illegal special courts.

8. Expulsion of all military forces and law enforcement from the political, economic, and cultural scene.

9. Independence of the religious establishment from the government and administration.

10. All high level positions in the country to be elected by the people, with term limits and accountability.

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    EA WorldView - Archives: January 2010 - Iran: Five Expatriate Intellectuals Issue "The Demands of the Green Movement"
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    EA WorldView - Archives: January 2010 - Iran: Five Expatriate Intellectuals Issue "The Demands of the Green Movement"
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    EA WorldView - Archives: January 2010 - Iran: Five Expatriate Intellectuals Issue "The Demands of the Green Movement"
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    EA WorldView - Archives: January 2010 - Iran: Five Expatriate Intellectuals Issue "The Demands of the Green Movement"
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    EA WorldView - Archives: January 2010 - Iran: Five Expatriate Intellectuals Issue "The Demands of the Green Movement"

Reader Comments (41)

Neither this manifesto nor Mousavi's can possibly be accepted by the regime. That is obvious here (the last item is obviously not compatible with their, um, understanding of velayat-e-fagih), but it is no less true of Mousavi's proposal. If Iran allowed free speech everyone would know how widely hated Khamenei, the Pasdaran, and the Baseej are; if it allowed free assembly millions of Greens would clog Tehran in an instant. Even if Mousavi dropped the demand for a re-vote, people would both _know_ A'jad lost, and _say_ he lost, even if Mousavi didn't. They can cling to power while allowing their opponents free expression? Not remotely, and they know it. Positive noises from the 'principleists' are nothing but the doomed hope that the Green movement will accept some meaningless 'compromise' that changes nothing.

The least the Greens can accept is more than the regime can give. The zero-sum is here to stay.

January 4, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJohn

[...] in pochi punti è stato diffuso da cinque intellettuali iraniani residenti all’estero. Su questo blog brit-americano trovate il testo. Ci sono alcune cose facilmente realizzabili anche da questo regime – [...]

January 4, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAmerica2012 » Iran, le r

These guys as well as Mousavi have missed the 2 most important points people are demanding:

1. Dissolution of Islamic Republic as form of government including but not limited to elimination of Velayat-e- faghih, assembly of experts, expediency council, etc.

2. Nullification of constitution of Islamic republic and draft of a new constitution by legal experts and its ratification by people, one person one vote.

January 4, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMegan


I do not think either Mousavi or this group is presenting their points or demands for negotiation purpose. This, as I see it, a shout to the regime that it is time to go quietly into the dust of history. And if you do that people may spare your life.

They know darned well that regime will laugh at them but they also know that sooner or later people will have the last laugh.

I saw Mousavi’s 5 points as a way of distancing himself from Green Movement. He really cannot handle what the movement has become. Mousavi was looking for another Khatami or Rafsanjani era and he soon learned people saying “did that and done with it.” Furthermore, he saw the brutality of this regime up-close and personal by assassination of his nephew. Regime sent him a message and he got it. In my view his 5 points was a graceful departure from the battle he cannot lead to victory.

January 4, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMegan

Megan, I believe this is what Iranian expats are demanding. People's demands within Iran are more pragmatic.

January 4, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnthony


I am listening to Iranians in Iran every day. Sorry, I cannot agree with your assessment.

January 4, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMegan

Fully agree...

January 4, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAfshin

Very interesting. Before commenting on substance, surely someone could kindly provide a verifiable link to the actual statement? (in farsi and/or english) Thanks.

January 4, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterpicard

[...] Demands of the Green Movement Iran: Five Expatriate Intellectuals Issue “The Demands of the Green Movement” | Enduring... Abdolkarim Soroush, Akbar Ganji, Mohsen Kadivar, Abdolali Bazargan, and Ataollah Mohajerani — [...]

Hmmmm..... pardon my doubts here, but this seems too sloppy and not exactly the eloquence we'd expect from the likes of the K, S, M, .... e.g., note #2 -- that'd be "prosecution," not "persecution." Quite different from the Musavi statement. Again, anybody have a verifiable original -- say, from any of the five author's websites? Or is EA and/or TB somehow the originating source -- and we're to take yr word for it?

January 4, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterpicard

Hmmmm..... pardon my doubts here, but this seems bit ragged, not exactly the eloquence we'd expect from the likes of K, S, M, .... e.g., note #2 -- that'd be "prosecution," not "persecution." Maybe this is just a bad summary translation. On substance, seems rather different from the Musavi statement -- which does have much room for "creative" solutions.

January 4, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterpicard

Well, it appears Sahimi provides a fuller translation of the demand list via pbs/tb here: (pardon the long link)

Alas, he too does not tell us if he too is just giving us (longer) excerpts, or where to find the original.

January 4, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterpicard


I think your reading of the Green movement is way off. you seem to be seeing things in their demands that YOU want rather than what THEY have shown they want.

its ok though - that is the point of debate and analysis... we get to have a civil discussion and disagree.

There is no doubt that we here in the west want to see a secular Iran w/o VF and w/o Islam in the driver's seat ASAP... but as others have said, the movment and its leaders are FAR more realistic and pragmatic than that.

as for these five leaders - each of them have more clout, support, and respect inside the Green movement than any dozen 'external opposition' intellectuals and figures combined.

as for your question about the VF... Kadivar and Mohajerani have called for a term-limited or elected VF for a while now... and though that does not sit well with you or me, we have to keep in mind that at the very least 20 to 30% of the Iranian people are arch-conservative religionists... and that even if the Green movement comes to power in some fashion- it will depend on many of the same people inside IRGC, Basij, and Government that form the core of the beuracracy to continue 'serving' the country.

THAT is the essence of a democratic system... to allow people who disagree with you a seat at the table... but under an umbrella of 'core' principles (outlined by these 10 demands and Mousavi's 5 points).

anyways - just wanted to say that though I share your dreams for a future Iran, in my opinion, your prescription is not one that is shared by the majority of actual people on the ground.

January 4, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAn activist Green Lurker

I agree with Green Lurker. This movement is about establishing civil & human rights and the rule of law. The constitution and institutions will evolve from that. For the 1st time in our history it's not about any one individual but about rights

January 4, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterPic


Did you by any chance post comments on EA with different name in the past? For example as "Somebody"?

January 4, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMegan

I agree with Pic, this is about establishing human rights for all Iranians. Once that is in place, form of government and rule of justice spring from that free expression. Both Mousavi and the Expat Intellectuals have made good points in their respective statements. May more voices be heard.

January 4, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDust-e iran

9. Independence of the religious establishment from the government and administration.

The blog iran unfiltered makes a good point about the list of these demands which I hope many realize (and I am very hopeful Iran will end up being) a country where Iran is just a republic, and there is a separation of religion and governance. Thus demand number 9 would be the end of Velayte Fagih (rightfully so in my opinion). Such would even mean that even a term limited version of VF should not be implemented as well - since"religious establishment" would still not be independent of governance and administration"

January 4, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterPayom


Apologies for basic error in forgetting to post link to original. Now corrected.


January 4, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterScott Lucas

The two declarations are steps in the good direction.
What Iranians have to deal with is no velvet revolution, because the regime is fighting to its last. The regime is somewhere between Ceausescu and Hitler, I hope closer to the first.
Therefore, there is small chance of a centralized uprising (revolution), because the repression is too harsh. The revolution organization(s) have to have horizontal structures, as those are more resilient. For horizontal structures, a programmatic document is vital, for everyone to have the same worksheet.
These documents are incomplete, but they are steps in the right direction.

A too efficient repression is a recipe for a violent revolution, as Ceausescu and the Czar proved. What Mousavi basically tells the government is: negotiate with us because the next ones won't, the same thing Walesa told Jaruzelski. Alas, Khamenei and Ahmadinejad are more alike to Ceausecu and sooner or later they may enjoy his fate...
It the regime will crush the revolution, it will use the natural resources of Iran to dominate and "purify" the country, poisoning it and ruining it. It will eventually then reach the dustbin like all of its kind did, but after destroying a magnificent culture in the process...

January 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterX_escu

I would add two points to this statement

1 The set up of a "Truth and Reconciliation" commission, like in post-apartheid South Africa

2 The abolition of death penalty

January 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGloumdalclitch

Rezvan, I'm not disputing your point but I want to clarify your historic exemplw. After 1789 the French instituted an empire (Napoleon) in 1800, followed by a monarchy in 1815, then a different dynasty in 1830, then a 2nd republic in 1848,then a 2nd empire in 1852 and finally back to a republic in 1870. There can be terrible republics and democratic monarchies, or vice versa. What's important is for people to be able to vote for their regime and constitution of choice.

January 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterPic

To those who think my post at 12:06 was my personal desire and was not reflecting desire of those in Iran.

May be you can explain the meaning of "estghlal, azadi, Jomhori Irani" (independence, freedom, Republic of Iran) chants in streets of Iran. Are people not asking for a different form of government that does not include Velayet-e- Faghih or elimination of clerics from government business??? Are they not saying the current system of government, Jomhori Islami (Islamic Republic), is flawed and must be scrapped? If not, then can some please explain to me what do people in Iran mean when they say Jomhori Irani?????????????????

January 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMegan

Why is it that every time we run out of argument or we disagree with a point of view we label people as “Expat”? Well, who are the expats? Do they not care for the country once they called home? Do they not want their countrymen and women in Iran enjoy the same freedom they enjoy and have the same opportunities they have, and live without fear of persecution and prosecution? Does an expat wish ill for those he/she left behind? Aren’t Expats smart and educated (many to the hill)? Can they not contribute to the future of a country they did not want to abandon? Then why in the world we try to exclude them at this very sensitive time in history?

Lastly, I find it ironic that repressed Iranians in Iran have more guts than many of us who live in the free world. Iranians in Iran look the bullet in the eye and shout “Jomhori Irani” and “marg bar dictator”. We on the other hand concoct all kind of justifications why tweaking a broken system just a bit or replacing Dictator A with Dictator B or Mullah X with Mullah Y or Mr. C with Mr.D will be a whole lot better than scrapping the system and starting all over again.

I can hear you guys wanting to convince me that I just do not get it. Yes, you are right I do not get it because you said it, I am an “Expat”.

January 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMegan

Dust-e iran,

How can civil rights and human rights be resorted when there are no constitutional and legal provisions for them? And even with the constitutional provisions, how could civil rights and human rights be observed if you have a police state or a fascist government that does not operate within the law? Are we not looking upside down at this picture?

January 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMegan

You said in post 6 that you listen to Iranians in Iran everyday. I think that got lost in the shuffle. You're one of the EA readers who regularly listens to the Iranian callers on, right? Maybe you have other contacts thereas well. Can you tell us a bit more about who you listen/talk to in Iran - what kind of people they are, where they live, what social-economic class they belong to, their age, etc. ?

January 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCatherine

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