A Referendum for
The Islamic Regime of Iran knows well
that it is not wanted by the majority of the Iranian people. It is true
that it has survived for twenty six years by repression and help of the
interest-driven Iranians and western power. But, in spite of all these
obstacles, the freedom-loving Iranians have resisted and have not
allowed this brutal regime to stabilize. The Iranian people are still
resisting, and that is why we are witnessing daily imprisonments,
tortures and executions by the Islamic Regime. This regime knows better
than anybody else that is hated by the people and will never yield to a
referendum request expressed by some of the so-called “reformists.”
Of course, referendum can be used as a
challenge to the Islamic Regime of Iran (IRI) and all those who consider
any legitimacy for it. When
we claim that IRI has no legitimacy and does not represent the majority
of Iranians, we can qualify our claim by challenging those who think
otherwise to an internationally monitored referendum.
To avoid any misunderstanding, we also
need to emphasize that IRI will never dare to accept such challenge. At
this stage, referendum is just a tactic and nothing more.
type of referendum that is introduced by Sazgara, et al, is not of this
nature. Sazgara, the main architects of the referendum, was a close ally
of Khomeini and an advocate of the 1979 Islamic Revolution. He was one
of the founders of the Islamic regime's Elite guard , and a former
candidate of the Islamic presidency. In recent years he has turned to a
critic of the hardliners and was arrested in June 2003, during a wave of
student unrest in
At first, he and others proposed the “referendum” as a means of changing the Iranian constitution. It was argued that this referendum would be an alternative to violent actions. When the obvious question was raised as to how this bloody regime would yield to the will of the people expressed by internet clicking, the architects of this referendum and other supporters resorted to contradicting arguments and finally ended up saying that we just want to have a “dialog about referendum.”
Proposing a referendum, as a practical alternative to violent action and reducing it to dialog, has the dangerous potential of diverting the attentions from the real alternative, which is civil disobedience. In fact, such diversion could be the only outcome of this referendum.
Considering the above argument, it should not be surprising that the main architects of this deadly project are people like Sazgara, Maleki, and those from the Unity Consolidation Office (the real name is Office for Consolidation among students and shia’ clerics). At best, and even if we assume that they have been “reformed”, what they are seeking is a watered-down Islamic regime. They have articulated their wish for transformation of present theocracy to a “good” one in many writings and interviews as I have referenced in my recent Persian articles.
And, as to the
supporters of referendum outside
supporters of referendum have been left isolated and people inside
Contrary to what
some people have suggested, I don’t believe that President George Bush
should endorse this referendum to demonstrate his sincerity about real
· Acknowledge the fact that the freedom-loving Iranians want a secular democratic regime and are against the entirety of the Islamic Regime, its constitution, and any form or shape of the interference of religion in state.
Impose a smart sanction against
the Islamic Regime of Iran. This sanction should be a real one and not
of the type that would exclude 200 American companies such as
Halliburton and General Electric.
A sanction that does not have any loopholes and does not allow
Halliburton or GE to stay in
· Reduce the diplomatic relations with the Islamic Regime to the lowest possible level.
· Apply the U.S. Anti-Terrorism Act indiscriminately and do not allow the IRI lobby groups such as AIC and individuals like Senator Biden to legitimize a terrorist regime.
As Gene Sharp, the pre-eminent authority on strategic nonviolent struggle articulated in an interview that I had with him last week, referendum, at best, falls within the category of negotiation. And negotiation can never persuade this monstrous regime to abdicate its power. So let us start from where we all know the referendum will stop and stage a real fight. It is a hard one but Iranians can do it.
Parvin is an adjunct professor at the
Original Source: http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/ReadArticle.asp?ID=17094