Saturday, June 04, 2005

Reza Pahlavi's Press Conference in Paris

Reza Pahlavi, Iran va Jahan:
Translation of Reza Pahlavi's speech (Audio)

Two weeks from now the Islamic Republic of Iran holds its 9th presidential elections. Across the political spectrum, virtually every group, party and persuasion has declared their intent to boycott, not wanting to take part in the elections, realizing that in a theocracy elections are meaningless.

True, there are many countries that cheat in elections, disrespect their own laws and systematically violate rights of their citizens. But there is only one in the entire world whose written constitution, specifically denies that sovereignty belongs to its citizens, instead it awards it to representatives of “God on Earth” who can do with their people and on behalf of their people what ever they please – oppression at home and terrorism abroad. That is why today in Iran, inspite of the aspiration it 50 million youth, the clerical leadership talks about the actual use of a nuclear weapon against another country while its economy nose-dives and social indicators enter the zone of utter desperation.

But, as a Persian proverb says, “There is light at the end of the dark nigh.” (Payane shabe siyah sepideh ast.)

Since the massive disqualification of “reformist” candidates from the 7th Islamic Majles, some 15 months ago, there has been a gathering of political forces, from republicans to constitutional monarchists, from the “left” to the “right” of the Iranian political spectrum to agree on the process whereby Iran can transition from Theocracy to Democracy, from a threat to international peace and security to a contributing partner of free nations.

We will succeed because it is the will of the Iranian people.

However, our request from you, the people of the free world is not to ignore our cry for freedom as you sit down at the negotiating table with our brutal oppressors. We are anxious to see whether, true to your ideals, you emphasize human rights and democracy in Iran or you are content to down grade those ideals as you cut deals on arms and trade.

We will watch, learn and remember. READ MORE