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Zahra Calls for Yazdi's Resignation

Source: United For Iran

In response to the ban on women running for president of Iran, our virtual candidate Zahra is calling for the resignation of Mr. , a ranking member of the Council of Guardians - the 12-member body responsible for the vetting of presidential candidates.

Ayatollah Mohammad Yazdi

Mr. Yazdi, a former head of the Iranian judiciary, had previously stated that the "law does not approve" of a woman running for the presidency and that having a woman on the ballot is "not allowed."

In her call for resignation, Zahra is joined by prominent human and women's rights activists including Mehrangiz Kar and Roya Boroumand. Roughly a dozen members of the One Million Signature Campaign have also signed the letter.

Demand equal rights for women and all Iranian citizens. Join us by cosigning the letter asking for Yazdi to resign.

Sign the letter here.

Read the Persian version

Mr. Yazdi,

On May 16, 2013, you said that the "law does not approve" of a woman in the presidency and a woman on the ballot is "not allowed."

As an Iranian woman, and as the only virtual candidate in the 2013 presidential race, along with my supporters I call for your immediate resignation from the Council of Guardians.

There is no legal, moral or religious justification for the Council of Guardians to disqualify 30 female presidential candidates on the grounds that women lack the necessary qualifications to run for President of Iran.

May I remind you that the Council of Guardians is not an elected body. Its twelve members - aging clerics and jurists - are selected either directly or indirectly by one man - Iran's supreme leader, himself unelected. Your reasoning and consensus does not represent the values and beliefs of the Iranian people - a nation where 70% of the population is under age 35. Consequently, the Council's declarations about who is and who is not qualified to run for president - the disqualification of nearly seven hundred candidates, including the whole scale disqualificaiton of all women - are crude political acts.

I have pledged to stand by the principles of equality and dignity, humanity and justice that inspire and inform my entire platform. These principles are informed by the demands of Iran's women, student and labor movement for full equality of all Iranians - by which I mean ALL Iranians - under the law. They are inspired by the June 12th 2005 gathering of women and students outside Tehran University, a day that marked the emergence in Iran of the campaign for one million signatures aimed at changing discriminatory laws targeting women in all strata of society. Despite the arrest and imprisonment of many women's rights activists, nothing has been able to stop our demands for an end to discrimination: full equality for women under the law.

For you and the Council of Guardians to deny the Iranian people the right to choose woman as their president is violence. It is not only about disqualifying women, it is a way of denying millions of Iranians the right to vote for the most qualified, compassionate and capable of presidential candidates, regardless of gender. Whether as president, or virtual candidate, I have only one choice and that is to defend the dignity, accomplishments, and aspirations of all Iranian women. It is in their name that my campaign rejects discriminatory fatwas and rulings that promote prejudice, ignorance and violence against Iranian women.

Our brothers and sisters in Bangladesh, Pakistan and Indonesia - all Muslim nations - have all elected women to hold the highest political offices, whether as presidents or prime ministers. What leads you to believe that Iran's women lack the capabilities of their sisters in Bangladesh, Pakistan and Indonesia?

I have no doubt that millions of women, not only in Iran, but throughout the world will stand by our platform and fight for equal rights by rejecting the validity and legality of your discriminatory reasoning.

Mr. Yazdi, the world has changed. The Iranian people have entered the 21st century. Today, there is no doubt about what women can do. Women all over the world have demonstrated their capacity to reach the pinnacles of science and medicine, education and law, government, business and philanthropy, sports and the arts. The achievements of Iranian women over the past century have been dazzling in virtually every corner of this great country and beyond. You cannot wish progress and dynamism away out of the fear of change.

A hundred years ago, we were denied the right to education. We were told that women could not read and write. Today, regardless of the obstacles, 60% of our graduates from university are women. We flourish in every field and discipline around the world.

A hundred years ago, we were excluded from politics and denied the right to vote.We were told that women lacked intellect, discipline and judgment to hold seats in parliament, the judiciary and the cabinet. Despite Mr. Khamenei's recent expressions of regret and dismay about the progress and presence of women in government, today, Iranian women exercise the right to vote, and have served their nation in all branches of the government. I recognize that if I can stand tall and proud as an Iranian woman today, it is as a candidate who draws her strength and spirit from the presence and power of Iranian women and our sisters around the world. I am proud of each and every one of these women.

Mr. Yazdi, the age when you could tell the Iranian people what they cannot do is over. The future belongs to those who believe in what is possible, in everything that the Iranian people - women and men - can do and not those whose expertise is limited to what we, the people, cannot do.

Now, as we prepare to commemorate this June 12th, let me tell you what you can do for me, for my fellow presidential candidates and for the millions of women inside and outside Iran who support my campaign.

You can send us your letter of resignation.



Mehrangiz Kar
Aida Ghajar
Alib Abdi
Amir Rashidi
Amir Soltani
Ayda Abrufarakh
Azadeh Pourzand
Banafshe Jamali
Elham Gheytanchi
Firuzeh Mahmoudi
Masoomeh Zia
Nasim Sarabandi
Reza Ghazinouri
Roja Bandari
Roya Borourmand
Saghar Qyasi
Sahar Rezazadeh
Somayeh Rashidi
Soudeh Rad

... Payvand News - 06/12/13 ... --

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