Seyed Mohammad Khatami - "Extremists who make a living creating tension should be dismissed from influencing the social arena."
A number of families of imprisoned journalists met with Seyed Mohammad Khatemi, former president, yesterday (Sunday) to express their concerns, amongst other things regarding the large number of reporters arrested and the harsh indictments against them. This particularly as according to claims by Mohammad Javad Larijani, head of the Judiciary's Committee for Human Rights, no journalist is in prison in the Islamic Republic as a result of attending protests.
Opposition leaders Mir Hossein Mousavi (center) and Mohammad Khatami (right) appeared
at a memorial for Iran-Iraq war heroes (the Bakeri brothers) last week
During this meeting the former president of Iran reiterated "We
will never compromise what we believe and feel to be the desires of the people
because of false assumptions and premises." He went on to thank all those who
are marched peacefully on the 22nd of Bahman and are demanding the release of
political prisoners, particularly imprisoned journalists.
He noted: "Of course calm does not mean that there is no disagreement or that those who want to express themselves are not allowed to do so. What we are saying is that tension and conflict are not suitable."
The head of Baran Foundation stated: "In essence what we
reformers have requested and continue to request is that everyone needs to live
and abide by constitution's framework." He continued to note: "Of course living
within the framework of the constitution does not mean not having the ability to
criticize the laws, as these laws are defined by humans and are not divine.
Nevertheless, we must all have respect for and act in accordance to the
He reiterated "The boundaries associated with freedom are delicate. Our constitution has many golden articles. Article 56 The Right of National Sovereignty given by God to all people is a very important one. Another article states that freedom and security are equal in rank."
Khatami added: "In the course of history, sometimes we have truly forfeited our security as a pretext for freedom. By security I don't just mean that of the rulers, but our national security and the security of our entire society. Often security has been trampled upon as a pretext for freedom. However, our constitution states that no one can use security as an excuse to destroy the freedoms that belong to the entire society such as social, intellectual and political freedom. It also states that no on can use freedom as an excuse to harm our national interests and security."
He continued: "Worst than the aforementioned, is the role of the media that instead of promoting our culture, defending our legitimate freedoms and our right to exist, acts against our freedom and national security. They lie comfortably, they insult and they are protected, without anyone being aware of who their protectors are."
Our former president noted :"This year those who were sympathetic to our country, even if they were protesting or had issues they wanted to express, were all present on the 22nd of Bahman and said that this revolution belongs to everyone and everyone should participate and that inappropriate slogans are unacceptable. They didn't want to provide excuses to anyone and in all honesty, they all came and remained peaceful."
Khatami continued: "They beat people, insulted, vilified and committed many other unacceptable acts. To investigate and identify those who have committed such heinous acts is not a difficult thing. Is it not possible to find out who did such things? I was there and so were many others. Every where we went, even when we were passing by in a car we were greeted with kindness from all those present. Everywhere we went, in limited numbers they were insulting people and attacking them with batons and sticks."
He added: "If we were to compare, would it be obvious who the majority was? Of course this majority was asked to come to the streets poised and peaceful, even though they were treated unfairly, degraded and insulted. The truth is our people showed how mature they are and we find it very unfortunate that so many of our men and women were injured by these violent seeking thugs."
He added "We would like to thank every single person in our country. We thank those who are not in agreement with us but came out peacefully. We thank those who had problems and objections but behaved in a poised manner, enduring insults and beating without giving excuses to anyone for bad behavior. We thank all those who said we support Iran and the rule of law and if we have any objections we will present them at the right time and place, because we believe in returning to the standards defined by our constitution and our revolution."
Khatami reiterated "One of our main concerns has been that the
Islamic Republic support the people's right to determine their own destiny and
who they want to vote for in the same manner that it supports Islamic beliefs.
Elections are a very important element of our society. We need to work together
to adopt mechanisms, practices and procedures so that elections do not become
the source of rumor and discussion in our society and to ensure free and healthy
elections that further attract the society, particularly the elite to the
Islamic Republic. We also need to create a free and happy environment based on
the foundations of our constitution, honoring people's freedom. This will
He reiterated: "We all want a powerful and progressive regime, particularly one that people feel respected in. We have always expressed our opinions and will continue to do so. This includes the fact that we should not forgo people's rights. Our people should never get the feeling that they are insignificant or that attention is not being paid to them. Our goal is to defend the reasonable demands and rights of our people and rest assured that we will achieve this goal."
Seyed Mohammad Khatami noted: "Defending people's rights, our national interests and honoring people's right to freedom, is our doing. We will never compromise what we believe and feel to be the desires of the people because of false assumptions and premises. At the same time, we believe that we must look for solutions that benefit everyone."
Ayatollah Bayat-Zanjani:Power Not Used to Defend Rights Is Illegitimate
Grand Ayatollah Bayat-Zanjani, one of the senior religious figures, in a meeting with a group of reformist youth after listening to their remarks in response to their questions thanked them for caring about the country and said: "Power is a tool to defend people's rights and if rights cannot be defended based on that power then that power will lose its legitimacy even if some would try to make up legitimacy for it."
He added: "The reason that today in our society those who
genuinely criticise government's shortcoming are being treated as enemy is
clear; it is because for them the power is the goal not the religious teachings
and employing them. Therefore for reaching their goal they are suppressing their
critics who have stepped forward out of care and justify this in any way
possible. This is not a news issue and throughout the history there are many
Grand Ayatollah Bayat-Zanjani regarding the term "absolute" used in describing the power for the Supreme Leader said that there has been wrong interpretations regarding this term and it does not mean that Supreme Leader's power is above the law and the lawmakers did not have such intentions but rather it means that although it is the highest power of the establishment but still it should be within the boundaries of the law.
Grand Ayatollah Bayat-Zanjani stressed that the biased interpretations of the constitution has created the current crisis in the country and emphasised that most of the problems were created because of these wrong interpretations and the most pronounced example of that is the unconditional oversight of the appointed bodies on the most important affairs of the country like the domination of the Guardian Council on the most important issues like the elections. He added that those taking advantage of these kind of unjust powers are responsible in front of God and in the eyes of the nation and on the judgment day they will be held accountable for their actions and violating people's rights.
... Payvand News - 02/28/10 ... --