در مراسم گشایش
members of the Italian Parliament and senate
On behalf of the
Federal-Democratic Movement of Azerbaijan
and as a member of Congress of Nationalities for a Federal Iran , I wish to express my appreciations to UNPO which gives us an opportunity to highlight
and discuss the obstacles preventing the transition of the Iranian society to a
democratic system. In my speech, I will point out the main reasons behind these
obstacles and our strategies to overcome them.
obvious reason for the lack of democracy in Iran is the rule of an
authoritarian religious dictatorship in the country. For more than 30 years,
the country has been governed by so-called theocratic leaders. In Iran,
the state is said to be governed by divine guidance or by officials who are
regarded as divinely guided.
the backbone of the ruling system in Iran, therefore the state not
only prevents any attempt towards
progress and innovation, but also it forbids the freedom of thought,
conscience, expression, opinion and above all, is against everything democracy
constitution of the Islamic republic
of Iran mandates that the official
religion of Iran
is Islam with clear preference given to the shi’a. By
this means it has annihilated the solidarity of Iranians. It rejects the equal
civil rights of the Iranians clearly and classifies them as first and second
class citizens. This constitution denies non Farsi nationalities, Sunni
Muslims, women and religious minorities.
major indication for the lack of democracy is the absence of the non Persian
Iranians from political landscape of the country. For instance, although
Iranian Turks are the largest nation in Iran, they are not involved in
The Islamic republic of Iran has continued to practice the
Pahlavi tradition of assimilating non Farsi nationalities that by the beginning
of the twentieth century through a long-lasting political plan had forbidden
the using of their language and the practice of their cultural tradition. The
oppressive Islamic regime not only continued, but strengthened the assimilation
policies of the shah. The intention was to curtail and weaken the development
of the non Farsi nationalities and marginalize their role in Iranian society.
non-Farsi nationalities the right to use their mother tongue in education has
not only guaranteed the monopolization of power, knowledge and domination by
the ruling authorities, it has also caused the restriction of the ability of
critical and analytical thinking, discussing, questioning and
interrogation. Paulo Freire,
an acclaimed Brazilian educator and influential theorist of critical pedagogy,
has called this procedure the” violation of the structure of thinking”.
development of non Farsi regions in Iran
have also been negatively influenced by this policy .For example the rate of
investment in Kerman province has been about 300
times more than in Azerbaijan.
Islamic revolution in 1979 South Azerbaijan
was the second-highest industrially developed province in the country. A few
years later, it dropped to 17th place.
is the founder of the modern educational system and schooling in the country.
The second university in Iran
as well as the first newspaper was also initially originated in that province.
However, at the moment the rate of the literacy has dropped to 20th
crucial obstacle that prevents any democratic change in Iran is the repression of the
women’s rights in the country. Since the establishment of the Islamic republic
there exists a sexual apartheid in Iran. The constitution of the
of Iran considers the
women as the second class citizens. Additionally after the establishment of
Islamic Republic in January 1979, some restrictions such as the enforcement of
compulsory Hijab and the exclusion of women from
employment of certain occupations, for example working as judges, were imposed
And now what
are our strategies:
1-In our opinion
to change the Iranian regime to a laic and democratic system it is crucial that
the women movement, nationalities, the labor movement and the freedom movement
2- We are
opposed the military invasion of external forces and believe that these kinds
of foreign interventions only strengthen the power of the ruling authorities in
using them as excuses for suppressing the opposition. The security and military
regime would use them to consolidate its reign and further destroy the critical
3- We agree with
the sanctions adopted by the UN Security Council and the newly suggested ones
by European Foreign Ministers. We believe that the sanctions could be an
effective tool to put severe pressure on the Islamic republic.
sanctions should be directed directly against the Iranian government and should
not harm the innocent public.
4- In our opinion one of the main reasons of the
longevity of the dictatorship in Iran
has been the focus of all political power in Tehran. Therefore, we support a
decentralization of the system where power and influence would be divided among
the provinces. We believe that a federal system would restrict and eventually
monopoly on power.
We suggest the
ethnic (national) federalism for Iran.
of Iran ought to be
established by the voluntary unity of Iranian nationalities and ethnic groups.
It ought to be based on a democratic and national federal system and with two
Houses of parliament. This ethnic federalism would be totally appropriate to
Iranian national and linguistic reality.
5- We believe that only that constitution is able
to unite the people living in the political geography of Iran that guarantees laicism, equal rights for
all citizens and accepts the multinationality of Iran
and the language of all the nationalities that live in this country and
replaces the present political structure with ethnic federalism.