Iran News ...


06/13/12

Tajzadeh's Letter to the Supreme Leader: Mr. Khamenei, You Are Responsible, You Must Respond

By Arash Bahmani, Rooz Online


Mostafa Tajzadeh

On the third anniversary of Iran’s disputed presidential election of 2009, the imprisoned member of the Hezbe Mosharekat (Participation Party) and the Sazemane Mojahedin Enghelab Eslami (Revolutionary Mojahedin of the Islamic Revolution) seyed Mostafa Tajzadeh has written yet another letter to the supreme leader of the Islamic regime in which he holds the ayatollah responsible for the events that shook the country after the 2009 presidential vote and asks him to be accountable and to respond to those protests.

Tajzadeh writes that his purpose in writing the letter - an unusually bold undertaking in the Islamic republic especially if written from inside the prison where Tajzadeh is still being held - was to “raise the issues (that exist in the country) in simple and clear terms.” Tajzadeh stresses on the correctness of the views of his co-thinkers regarding the “electoral coup” of 2009 and presents his questions to ayatollah Khamenei under seven headings.

Tajzadeh was the deputy minister of the interior under Mohammad Khatami’s first reformist government in the 1980s. Here are the excerpts of the letter.

“Official speakers and propagandists know better than you and I that their presentation of events and the problem, which revolve primarily around the official claim that protestors wanted to topple the regime and that they were or are affiliated to foreign intelligence agencies, have no basis. Even if these propagandists are not part of this scheme, they would have had no choice but to defend these claims. If they did not accuse the protestors of striving to overthrow the regime and having links with foreigners how could they justify the blood that was shed, the human considerations and principles that were trampled on, and the damage that was done to the country because of the decisions of the country’s senior authorities? And perhaps most importantly, how could they justify the silencing of the voices and the despotism that we are experiencing now?”

Tajzadeh was arrested after the 2009 protests and his close associates say that rather than serving his prison term in a general ward, this political activist is serving his prison term in a quarantine space. They also say that he is now on a political strike.

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei
Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei

 

In his letter, he makes a reference to the sermon and speech that ayatollah Khamenei gave on the first Friday congregational prayer in Tehran after the 2009 elections and questions the leader’s usage of the term “street ganging” for the protestors. He writes, “One question that has never been answered is that throughout the years between 2009 and 2011 groups called Ansare Hezbollah freely poured into the streets on the pretext of an article that appeared in a student newsletter with a circulation of 500 copies or the usage of a word in a book or in protest to a legal gathering, etc and attacked demonstrators whom they beat up and in some cases even burned public and private buildings of newspapers. They burned bookstores and cinema houses but never during the last 18 years have you even once protested against this street ganging and violence against the public and did not want these illegal gangs to be identified and punished on security and legal grounds. Are street protests illegal and undesired only for protestors and not for other groups?”

Tajzadeh has written other critical letters and articles from the prison. In one of them titled “Father and Mother, we continue to be accused” he criticized the actions and silence of reformists in the 1980s. When his wife Fakhralsadat Mohtashamipour was being tried in a revolutionary court, he wrote an open public letter to ayatollah Khamenei and charged that the Islamic republic was rapidly going down in ethics and spiritually and that the ideals and values of the revolution were being openly violated under the watch of ayatollah Khamenei.

In his latest letter, Tajzadeh references the criticism that Mir-Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karoubi, leaders of the reformist Green Movement who are both under house arrest, have raised about the lack of trust in state institutions, and asks, “Have state and official authorities behaved in a manner that would create trust and hope that the legal protests, violations and political fraud committed during the 2009 presidential elections would be investigated and looked into?”

In his letter, the former vice-minister also mentions the voting count issues that came up in the US presidential elections in Florida and in Afghanistan, but points out that none of them resulted in a crisis in their countries, and adds, “The roots of public mistrust in officials and legal investigations must be found in the unfulfilled promises of these authorities and institutions.”

Tajzadeh also uses the issues that came up in the latest round of elections in Russia - a key ally of the Islamic republic - and asks Khamenei, “Why do Iranian rulers not act like those in the Kremlin where protestors to the election results were allowed to hold their demonstrations. Why do they not try to act like Putin and stress the rights of the citizens rather than suppressing the protestors?” Is the right to protest an accepted democratic right if not then why does the Islamic republic itself support public groups in other countries that protests their government’s actions?”

He also points to Bahrain where an official fact finding investigation was launched after anti-government protests and asks why is a similar independent investigation not undertaken in Iran to look into the protests of 13 million people, as attested by state officials. He writes that the crises in Bahrain began because a small minority wants to revive a despotic regressive regime while the majority of the people there are resisting this.

Tajzadeh ends his letter by saying that supporters and opponents of the rulers of Iran agree that a change in the current situation and a change in the treatment of dissidents depends on the decision of the supreme leader and nobody else. “This alone indicates another reality which is that the way dissidents were treated was based on the leader’s decision.”

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