Persian American Civic Action Network
Mr. Taheri’s Interview
Amir Taheri, Senior Journalist: Under the current system, reform cannot be achieved through elections because there is no mechanism for it. The alternative to ballot box is returning to the Constitutional tradition and creating a transitional system and a constituent assembly.
Host: I think if Mr. Zibakalam were here tonight, he would ask you this question, but since he has brought up this in some part of his letter, I would ask you that. In the same letter, he says to Mr. Khatami that he really has no answer for people about this inefficiency, however, Mr. Zibakalam is written in the letter that no one has yet answered what alternative can be to this promotion and delay in the ballot box. There are a lot of people saying no to the vote anyway .... what about you as someone who does not support the ballot box in the Islamic Republic... what is an alternative, Mr. Zibakalam asks.
Guest:I am very sorry that Professor Zibakalam is not here. I would be very happy if he were here to comment on the opinion of the Islamic Republic or at least some part of the Islamic Republic. I think that in the context of the current system, reforms cannot be achieved through elections, even if there were an agenda for reform which does not exist and also there are regimes that cannot be reformed because if they had a mechanism for reform, everyone would support it. The alternative that I have is that the people of Iran, who are very energetic and are a sensational nation and are well aware of political opinion ... I mean we are very political now ... You know, we were politically immature before the revolution. . I mean, let’s say for example, if I went to Boroujerd, I could not have a political debate with anyone ..... but now it is a tragedy of Iran, we have made a great political progress in terms of political thinking and knowledge, but we don’t get an opportunity to use them. We have leaders who lack political knowledge, like Mr. Rouhani or Mr. Khatami, these are below the Iranian nation .... it is a big problem ... so I believe that we should unite…..
Host: He wants an alternative ... Mr. Zibakalam, he asks, what is the alternative if we all believe that the ballot box is not working?
Guest: The alternative is going back to our own constitutional tradition that we have; we can establish a transitional system to form a constituent assembly. Constituent assembly will make decision for the future of Iran with participation of all parties, left, right, Islamic, non-Islamic, monarchists, and republic supporters, all kinds meaning to open up Iran's political environment -- this is our alternative.
Host: Holding a so called free election again?
Guest: Later, it is important that we come out of this impasse, when we come out of this impasse -- I was recently in Moscow, they say Russia is very much with the Islamic Republic, I tell you that the Russians are extremely worried about the future of Iran. They have no confidence that this regime can continue to survive, they only say, who will run Iran. They do not understand that we have forces in Iran who can run it, not you and I, only in Iran itself but they are not given any chances to do so. These people who are in charge in Iran, Mr. Larijani, I don’t know, Raiesi, that guy Yazdi, Rohani and so on. They need to go, when they are swept away, a passionate Iran, a scientific Iran, a wise Iran, and a moderate Iran will come out for the benefit of all Iranians, Russia, and the whole world.