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Iranian students gather at Tehran's Amirkabir university to defend Republicanism

Representative of Tehrani people in parliament Mohsen Armin said on Tuesday that the sit-in protest by members of parliament was in reaction to the attempts underway to undermine the republican aspect of the Islamic Republic not merely at the wholesale disqualification of the applicants, IRNA reported from Tehran.

photo: ISNA

Delivering a speech titled 'Advocating the Republic' at Amir Kabir University, he said that the crisis set off by the mass disqualification of representatives of the people is something different from banning publications, arresting several students and political activists and summoning several MPs for questioning. "Because, today the national sovereignty right is going to be ignored."

Speaking to about 500 students, he said that the reform movement is a long term project. "Up to now, the reformists believed that they could thwart any threat to reform by their presence in the parliament, but, under the current circumstances, presence in the pre-arranged parliament cannot help defend the rights of the people and the freedom loving people can no longer stay there.

photo: ISNA

"The goal of all reformists taking part in the sit-in protest is to defend the aspirations of the Islamic Revolution. If we replace the Islam the public understood with Islam of an individual or several individuals, it is stripping the Islamic Republic of the republican requirement and therefore in fact the Islamic aspect also weakens," Armin said.

"The Islamic Revolution took place with the Islam propagated by Ali Shariati, late Ayatollah Morteza Motahari and the late Imam Khomeini. If we replace it with the Islam of the dignitaries, we will face the situation we are facing right now," he said.

"Islam in the Islamic Republic comes from the hearts of the people which is separate from the Fiqh-oriented Islam," he said in reference to the democratic applicability of Islam.

Representative of people of Ahvaz Mohammad Kianoush-Rad said that if officials of the country were not elected by votes of people, rule over the people would be illegitimate.

"In the modern world, politics have different aspects: One, representing the people. It means that no one represents God and all the administrative affairs are being done on the basis of people's votes. And two, dividing power to others to forge a balance.

"We believe that despite certain difficulties, we have a Constitution which dictates a democratic system of government. But, if we interpret it from position of power, sooner or later, there will be a shift of Constitution just like any other law which may differ in application.

"On the other hand, just like the process through which the people gave votes to legitimize the Islamic Republic, they can take their votes back and change the system of government," Kianoush-Rad said.

"Today the Constitution is being interpreted in a way giving the impression of religious despotism and several people have trampled on rights of people through their different attitude toward the Constitution," the MP from Ahvaz said.

"The Guardian Council, the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) and the Judiciary have stood against all those who are advocating freedom and the reform movement," Kianoush-Rad said.

The reform movement will not go forward unless those organs undergo restructuring, he said.

photo: ISNA

Representative of people of Sanandaj Baha-eddin Adab said, "I swear by my faith that the sit-in protest of the MPs did not follow personal interest and was not for their disqualification.

"I, as the representative of the people demand the votes of the people be respected and that the democratic election not to be replaced with indirect appointment and the society not to go under black despotism," Adab said.

Representative of people of Tehran Ali Akbar Mousavi Khoeini also was the third speaker who criticized the Guardian Council's wholesale disqualification and said that the Guardian Council disqualified the MPs because they spared no effort to criticize the state of affairs.

"If some people have decided to restore despotism on Iran they should know that it will be very minor period," Khoeini said.

... Payvand News - 2/4/04 ... --

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