More than two dozen Iranian academics and scientists in the diaspora have publicly lent their support to the Iranian opposition – the so-called ‘Green Movement’ – and its de facto leader Mir-Hossein Mousavi, in a statement circulated by email (see signatories and full text below). The move comes on the eve of the 31st anniversary of the Islamic Revolution on 11 February, and expressed the academics’ solidarity with the Iranian people on a day which is expected to witness renewed protests in Iran.
“Notwithstanding the diversity of thought of the millions of Iranians in Diaspora, especially among the tens of thousands of intellectuals, academics and scholars abroad, there has indeed emerged a consensus of unequivocal support for the Green Movement,” reads the statement, adding that they and many of their compatriots inside Iran, “reaffirm their irrevocable commitment to the much anticipated realization of civil and constitutional rights and the enactment of the rule of law, justice and democracy in Iran through non-violent civil disobedience”.
For some of Nature’s past coverage of events in Iran see:
“We are all Iranians”, 2 July 2009
Iranian academics fear more killings, 19 January 2010
Plagiarism scandal grows in Iran, 9 December 2009
Iran presidential candidate speaks out, 8 July 2009
Iran diaspora responds to protests, 24 June 2009
The full text of the statement, and signatories, is below the fold.
Global Solidarity with the IRAN Green Movement
Mir-Hossein Mousavi’s unprecedented interview on the 2nd of February 2010, carried on the website Kalameh, is the clearest indication that the sustainable struggle for democracy in Iran, 150 years in the making, is entering a new phase and going forward. Unquestionably, the Green Movement and its active member Mousavi bravely and openly demonstrate the great sense of deep frustration, concern and resentment towards the current state of affairs in Iran. Mr. Mousavi believes that the pivotal aspirations and objectives of the 1979 revolution which were freedom, economic programs and social justice, equality, and the rule of law have not been fulfilled. This is the first time, since the infamous June 2009 presidential election, that Mr. Mousavi has sharply criticized the regime of the Islamic Republic and in particular, its judiciary under Mr. Sadeq Larijani. Having called for an independent judicial system, Mr. Mousavi now believes that the lack of independent press and freedom of assembly, imprisonment of political persons of conscience, torture and executions of dissidents (two have been recently executed, with nine more convicted), flagrant violations of basic human rights and the political upheaval inflicted on Iran are due to Iran’s history of despotism. He went so far as to suggest that the situation is only comparable to the era before the Pahlavi regime, a remark indicating the severity of the despotic rule, i.e., Velayat e Faqih.
Unlike the 1906 constitutional and the 1979 revolutions, when only the intellectuals and elites were moving the agenda forward, the current movement in Iran is being moved by the majority of Iranians, who are not only knowledgeable about their history and the region, but also well versed with modern technological and communications media.
“Despotism in the name of religion is more dangerous than any other form of despotism, [as] we have lost total confidence in the judicial system” declared Mr. Mousavi. He stressed that the Islamic Constitution “is not cast in stone and is changeable subject to the needs of the society and the nation.” Most importantly, he announced that “if we do not respect people’s [legitimate] rights and the ballot box which are indivisible elements of the Constitution, this will lead to the annulment of this all important contract between the people and the state.”
Mr. Mousavi, referring to himself as an ordinary man among tens of millions, emphasized that the Green Movement belongs to all strands of the Iranian nation and invited people from all walks of life to march peacefully on the 22nd of Bahman 2010 (11th of February 2010). He also asked all Iranians including the security services, police, Basij, and Sepah and all Iranians to respect each other and to refrain from violence as the international community is closely watching the development in Iran. Mr. Mousavi further stated that he had no representative abroad; however, he also added that, “The resilience of being in the Green Movement is that everyone is expressing their views in an atmosphere of contemplation and calm wherein I also express my views in our shared destiny.”
Irrespective of differences of opinion among Iranians, they are staunchly united in deploring any unilateral military intervention and/or political meddling in Iran. Notwithstanding the diversity of thought of the millions of Iranians in Diaspora, especially among the tens of thousands of intellectuals, academics and scholars abroad, there has indeed emerged a consensus of unequivocal support for the Green Movement and Mr. Mir-Hossein Mousavi’s latest statement of the 2nd of February 2010. Most Iranians abroad, as well as their compatriots in the millions inside the Country believe that religious despotism is the root cause of Iran’s current dilemma, and that it needs to be eradicated collectively and responsibly from within. They further reaffirm their irrevocable commitment to the much anticipated realization of civil and constitutional rights and the enactment of the rule of law, justice and democracy in Iran through non-violent civil disobedience. The Iranian community in Diaspora expresses their solidarity with the people of Iran and joins them in solidarity on the 11th of February 2010, the day that marks the 31st anniversary of the Iranian revolution, in the major cities of Iran, especially Tehran, and in major cities around the world and wherever Iranians reside.
Distinguished Professor;Baruch College, City University of New York, USA
Professor of Neuroscience Research and Neurophysiology; Munster University, Germany
Howard Baskerville Professor in the history of Iran and the Persianate World University of California, Irvine, CA, USA
Visiting Scholar, Center for Women in Politics and Public Policy, University of Massachusetts Boston, MA, USA
Assistant Professor of Middle East and Islamic Politics, Josef Korbel School of International Studies, University of Denver, CO, USA
Professor Department of Creative Arts, Siena College, New York, Artistic Director, Mahak International Artists Inc, Albany, New York of Theatre, NY, USA
Professor and Chair, Asian & Near Eastern Languages and Literatures Washington University in St. Louis, IN, USA
Professeur de sociologie, Directrice du CEDREF Université Paris-Diderot-Paris, France
Mahdavi, Pardis Assistant Professor, Pomona College, USA
Mahdi Akbar, Professor of Sociology, Ohio Wesleyan university, OH, USA
Associate Professor of Sociology, Naugatuck Valley Community, College, CT, USA
Associate Professor of Education & Technology, Herzing University, Educational Consultant to Depts. at Virginia Commonwealth University, University of IL at Chicago, Hunter College of NY, NY, USA
Hamid and Christina Moghadam Director of Iranian Studies Stanford University, CA, USA
Professor, London Middle East Institute, SOAS, University of London, UK
Moaddel, Mansoor Professor of Sociology, Eastern Michigan University, MI, USA
Visiting Scholar in Stony Brook Institute for Global Studies, NY, USA
Associate Professor, Dept. of International Relations, San Francisco State University, CA, USA
BSc (Hons) MSc CED MBCS, Senior Lecturer Programme Director Foundation Degree in Computing, Canterbury Kent, United Kingdom
Assistant Professor, Religion and Philosophy, Moravian College, PA, USA
Navab , Mohamad
Professor, Project Leader, Cardiology, University of California, Los Angeles, CA, USA
Rahni, Davood N.
Professor of Chemistry, Pace University New York, NY, USA
Professor of Sociology and James P. Gorter Chair of Islamic World Studies, Lake Forest College, IL, USA
Sadri, Mahmoud Professor of Sociology, Texas Woman’s University, TX, USA
Professor of Religious, Social Justice & Peace Studies King’s University College at The University of Western Ontario Canada
Vahdat, Farzin Research Associate, Vassar College, NY, USA
Jahangir and Eleanor Amuzegar Chair in Iranian Studies, Director of Iranian Studies, Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures, UCLA, CA, USA