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The Next Step Is to Abolish Iran’s Guardian Council and Hold Free Elections

The Next Step Is to Abolish Iran’s Guardian Council and Hold Free Elections

Wednesday, 7 December, 2022 - 17:15
Camelia Entekhabifard
Editor-in-chief of the Independent Persian.

In recent weeks, we’ve seen state murders, summons, interrogation, kidnapping, torture and deaths; none of which is new to the Iranian nation. What’s different is how common this has become and the oppressors can’t hide it anymore.  


Now, instead of executing people in prison, they execute them on the streets with bullets of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and Basij. More than 400 people have been killed on the streets and we worry for the life of citizens who are being cruelly massacred in the open.  


The repression that started in the first months and years of the revolution, and the mass executions they accompanied, never stopped. Believing that they were controlling the nation, they expanded intelligence and security bodies and continued their silent monitoring along with executions, arrests and threats.  


In all these years, they kidnapped and killed people from inside and outside Iran. They sent people to prison, exile, lashing and death. But as Iran’s Queen Farah repeatedly says, the mythical Phoenix of Iran has risen from the ashes. 


In Taliban-ruled Afghanistan, people are being literally slaughtered with knives. Comparatively, under the mullahs' rule in Iran, people are killed with methods that are seemingly more modern: with batons and bullets.  


Taliban equal the most brutal type of animals who lack the capacity to think. The murderers ruling over Iran are no different from those portrayed in ancient mythologies of Iran: the blood-thirsty and imposing figures of Ferdowsi’s Shahnameh or the cruelest characters in the story of Amir Arsalan who had to fight thousands of monsters and evil species. 


We know that reading of Shahname has become implicitly banned in Iran. We know that stories of Saadi are deleted from schoolbooks and the same has happened to Hafez and Rumi.  


This plan to counter the great Persianate poets and sages is partly based on their logic for opposing their message of awakening and their caution against ignorance, darkness and religious obscurantism and their promotion of free thinking. More importantly, it is because this criminal sect is anti-Iranian.  


The great Ferdowsi suffered a lot to write his great masterpiece, Shahname, to safeguard the language and thoughts of Iranians and express the glorious history of this land. Banning the reading of Shahname is done to cut the spiritual and intellectual connection of the Iranian nation with its past.  


The occupiers of this land, in order to reach their goal of forming their desired Islamic Ummah, must damage the identity and nationalism of Iranians and their links to their own history and civilization. A nation that doesn’t know its own past and loses its links with its roots will became a mere instrument, without its own agency, who will resort to the ruling caste for a vague glory.  


We can see this in the regime ruling over the Republic of Azerbaijan which attempts to create a new identity for itself by denying its common history with the Iranian nation; an identity based on individuality which could change as the heads of governments change.   


Rumi starts his Masnavi with such profoundly strong verses:  


“Listen to this reed how it complains, telling a tale of separations…   


Everyone who is left far from his source wishes back the time when he was united with it.”  


For the Iranian people, this being “left far from the source” didn’t take more than 43 years and despite the lack of information amongst the young generation of Shahname myths (since it’s forbidden in the Islamic Republic), people continue to seek to their roots; so much so that they’ve stunned the world. When they speak and write of Zahak and the snakes on his shoulders and how this evil force victimized the Iranian youth, they show the depth of their awakening and knowledge. 


When Arabs attacked Iran 1,400 years ago, a large part of Iranian history in the Sassanian period was forgotten as they dominated and occupied the country. Much turbulence followed and destruction of much historical, artistic and cultural evidence didn’t allow a restoration. It was possible during the Constitutional Revolution of 1905 and the rise of the Iranian nation of the rule of law and affirmation of national identity. 


The rule of Reza Shah was one of fighting ignorance, disease and bringing Iranians out of feudal conditions. It was a period in which the nation was given an individual identity: those without a family name now had to pick one and get an ID card. Previously, having a family name only belonged to elite families in society and everybody else only had a first name. 


Eradicating cholera, polio and other infected diseases; urban plumbing; building a railway and many, many more measures all took place during this period. It was once more a Western conspiracy and occupation of Iran that stopped it.  


After the Second World War, Iran’s young crown prince who became Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi went on to develop culture, review cultural and historical roots of Iran and also develop social services. But conspiracies and abuses of the reactionary clerical class didn’t allow the late Shah to bring Iran back to the same credit and glory of the Sassanian period. 


An unread part of Iranian history during Iran’s occupation by Arabs is about how they dominated Iranian homes to change their culture. They forced Iranians to marry their occupiers so that they would be obedient and accept the new religion and refuse to revolt.  


A caste of clerics who are called “seyed” and claim to be descendants of the Prophet Mohammad have created opportunities for themselves by abusing the name of the prophet. Their “Seyed” status doesn’t mean they descend from the prophet. Although, even if they were, this would be no reason for superiority.  


In the Arabic language, “seyed” means “Mr” and “seyedah” is used to address women. Thus, the adding of this suffix to names of some Iranian men and women doesn’t certify that they are related to the Prophet. History tells us that in the first century of Iran’s occupation, Iranian people called their occupiers as “seyed” and “seyedah” in their own language. This means that they addressed Arabs in the Arabic language and thus this title was also used for these people’s children who were born in Iran.   


In expressing this historical reality, I don’t mean to disrespect some Iranian clerics. I am just aiming to clarify a truth that has not been expressed for centuries out of fear. Nations intermixing with each other is an accepted thing and their marriage to each other is beautiful.  


Iranians passed through that dark and difficult historical period and today think of a union that has kept them up for thousands of years despite repression by ethnicities, various occupiers and conspiracies of Westerners.   


For me and thousands more, it is shocking to hear that people would dig up the grave of their loved ones to bury them in a place of their choosing, out of reach of the agents of the criminal sect. It is unbelievably painful to hear that someone would steal a corpse from a morgue so that the Zahak agents could not get to it. It is shocking to hear that a mother would put ice on the corpse of her killed son to keep him away from the child-killing monsters. 


But this behavior, which breaks our hearts and shakes the world, carries a secret. It shows that the people of Iran have abandoned fear and will now do things that are hard to imagine for the ruling class.  


The mullahs have failed to change the history of the nation. They failed to erase it. They failed to export their Shiite revolution and the people of Iran and countries of the region did not convert to their sect. 


The solution to ending the protests of the Iranian people lies in getting rid of the ruling class. They have to acknowledge their Iranianness.  


If they have discontinued the Guidance Patrol (agent of oppression and humiliation for Iranian women and men), they should now abolish the Guardian Council and hold free elections to form an interim popular government based on the constitution of the Constitutional Revolution.  


The people of Iran don’t want the Islamic Republic and if the current rulers who act like occupiers have a modicum of wisdom, they should accept free choice. It will then be proven that the people don’t want them. The constitutional revolution is the result of the blood of tens of thousands of martyrs. It is the biggest achievement of the Iranian nation in previous centuries. 


And ultimately, the new Shahname that the Iranian nation is creating will have a bad end not for the people but for the occupiers of Iran. 


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