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Political activist: Supporting democracy equals defending Iran's independence, sovereignty

Former deputy interior minister Mostafa Tajzadeh said in Tehran on Monday, "Today, supporting the cause of democracy in our society equals defending our national security and our territorial integrity," IRNA reported.

Member of the Central Committee of both the leading Islamic Iran Mosharekat (Participation) Front (IIMF) and the Islamic Revolution Mojahedin Organization (IRMO), who was speaking at Tehran University for a group of students on the occasion of the 61st anniversary of the establishment of Tehran University's Islamic Student Union, added, "promotion of democracy is, therefore, no more merely an intellectual motto."

Tajzadeh added, "Furthermore, promotion of democracy equals defending the international peace and security today."

He said, "On the contrary of what certain figures claim, the Iranian society has the full potential for embracing democracy and is by no means exhausted due to political and intellectual disputes, or fed up with them."

Tajzadeh added, "Our nation is fed up with too much humiliation, lies, and hypocrisy, and let me add that to the extent that pessimism grows abd takes roots in a society, the probability of totalitarianism, too, would increase proportionately."

The IIMF central committee member said, "The conservatives in Iran, due to their general strategy, cannot be the defenders of having a happy society, because a happy society is also a democratic one."

He added, "That was the reason why the May 23rd (presidential) elections created happiness for the Iranian society, but the February 20th (Majlis) election was not associated with happiness for the people."

Tajzadeh reiterated, "The most significant motto of the Islamic Republic since its establishment, up to February 20th, was (the late Imam Khomeini's famous sentence) 'The main meter stick is the nation's vote', but in recent elections, the only thing that mattered was achieving the desirable outcome."

He said, "Thus, the nation's participation was overshadowed by the outcome, and as a result, a large number of Iranians, particularly the middle class city dwellers did not take part in Majlis elections."

The political activist added, "Currently, a 15 percent minority have conquered two thirds of the parliament's seats, which means the majority in Majlis represents the minority in Iranian society and that is the sign of a huge gap between the manifestation of democracy -- Parliament -- and the citizens."

Tajzadeh said, "The conservatives had formerly assumed that the February 20th Majlis elections' outcome would be something quite identical to the City and Rural Councils' elections, but opinion polls during the past few months showed that the people's participation would be much higher, so they changed their tactic and that was the reason behind mass disqualification of hopefuls."

Elsewhere in his remarks, he said, "For those clinging to the power levers, no limits are recognized in elimination of those who criticize their conduct, and to the extent that people lose hope in reforms and become pessimists, the probability of the emergence of tyrant regimes, too, would increase."

Tajzadeh stressed, "The only factor that can harness power is a stronger power."

The IRMO central committee member added, "The problem today is not that a minority has conquered the majority of the parliament's seats. The main problem is that the said minority would soon start efforts aimed at creating a society with a single voice."

He said, "The conservatives tried to confiscate all mottoes chanted formerly by the reformists, which proves the fact that the reforms movement's dialogue has achieved a great victory, but they did not dare also to chant our major motto, 'Iran for all Iranians' because that would have serious aftermaths, including prohibition of pushing aside any political activist due to his or her beliefs from the elections' scene."

Tajzadeh added, "The conservatives quite intentionally made a vast majority of the Iranians lose hope and leave the elections scene, while the greatest pride of the reformists was convincing a vast majority who had never before voted to come to the election polls."

He said, "Although more than a fortnight passes since the Majlis elections, none of the conservative authorities have yet expressed regret over the absence of two thirds of the Tehrani citizens at the election polls."

Tajzadeh added, "We are still present at some parts of the power circles in the country and have this opportunity to urge the minority in a civil society to yield to the demands of the majority, since if they wont do so, they will eventually be forced to leave the scene totally.

He said, "Time for observing double standards at international scene is over now, so we cannot be agreed with a phenomenon at one situation, and simultaneously opposed to it elsewhere."

On Iran's student movement, he said, "The universities and university students have always been opposed to tyranny. University students and professors have also always played decisive roles in pushing forth the political and social movements, and that is why the political will to pacify the universities has been manifested in various forms.

Tajzadeh added, "Democracy is both quite complicated, and slippery. It is our deeds that provide the appropriate path for the growth, development, and emerging of democracy in our society."

He proposed that the university students would establish their own student parliament, through which they could voice their solid opinion and defend the rights of the Iranian citizens more systematically.

Tajzadeh concluded, "So long as the intellectual movement is alive, it also needs to be dynamic."

... Payvand News - 3/9/04 ... --

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