Iran’s Path Towards Liberal Governance: A Perspective
27 August 2016
The Iranian experience of the last thirty-seven years demonstrates that the Islamist theocracy, which has destroyed notions of secular and tolerant forces, coupled with the ruthless forces of repression have backfired. Many Iranians feel deep distaste for the regime that has become the largest terrorist organization financier in the world. This track record has provoked an atmosphere that is the worst nightmare of the Islamic Republic. The very propaganda that identifies the U.S. and Israel as chief devils has turned this regime into the chief devil in the eyes of Iranians. Since when has Iranian culture and tradition come anything short of religious tolerance, freedom of expression and interethnic harmony? This un-Iranian regime has never represented the tradition of Iranian governance, one that has provided so much culture and inspiration for the entire world to admire.
While the Islamic Republic has successfully resisted forces of change for almost four decades, the time has never been so ripe for unity in action against this devilish regime. Shifting Middle Eastern geopolitics and alliance structures in addition to a morally bankrupt regime has quietly created a most favorable atmosphere, one which must be grasped as a window for change. As Robert D. Kaplan puts it in his Revenge of Geography, “the prospect of peaceful regime change - or evolution - in Iran… is still greater now than in the Soviet Union during most of the Cold War.”
Only faith in our forthcoming success can propel our movement to worldwide notice. In times such as these, our movement must be united and proud, we must champion the secular forces of freedom, and we must emphasize the devil that we so fervently reject that is the Islamic Republic. Never must we put each other down or complain that our mission for victory against the Islamic Republic has taken too long. For we are wise enough to understand that change and victory take time and determined unity. It is this very faith that we have in Iran and her breathtaking beauty which we devote our cause.
As we continue our path towards freedom, I would like to emphasize Prince Reza Pahlavi’s importance to our movement. No one knows Iran and its politics or contemporary Iranian international relations in the modern era better than him. He is the emblem of the rich Iranian tradition, which we are so proud of and must not neglect. In providing a symbol for our movement, we have one figure who embodies our cause and our hope more than any other. He is a treasure in our movement and must be embraced as such. While we approach our most victorious hour, we must not make careless mistakes that can fracture our movement. All too often we have expressed despair or have gone our separate ways. Unity is our path towards victory and hope is our agent of change. We must unite together and we must embrace a key member of our movement, Prince Reza Pahlavi. No more should we doubt his senseful and wise approach, one which results from an unparalleled experience in the front row of modern world politics. We must admire his expertise and trust his strategic and calculated plan.
Very soon our movement will attract much attention as our people inside Iran throw all their weight behind us. The free world will support the forces of liberalism and liberty and will look for a figure and its supporters to promote. As we all know, Prince Reza Pahlavi undoubtedly sits far ahead any of his compatriots as the most qualified and polished movement leader. Let us bring a halt to a questioning of his strategy and a self-indulgent distrust of his determination. Support for the Prince and unification behind his leadership is our most certain path towards success.
Dr. Saeed Ganji
National Union For Democracy in Iran