Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Iran: Reformists call for pragmatism on Rouhani administration - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
Select Page
Iranian President elect Hasan Rouhani, stands in front of a portrait of the late revolutionary founder Ayatollah Khomeini, during visit of his shrine, just outside Tehran, Iran, Sunday, June 16, 2013. .(AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi)

Iranian President elect Hasan Rouhani, stands in front of a portrait of the late revolutionary founder Ayatollah Khomeini, during visit of his shrine, just outside Tehran, Iran, Sunday, June 16, 2013. .(AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi)

London, Asharq Al-Awsat—Mostafa Tajzadeh, a prominent Iranian reformist and infamous political prisoner, has written a letter from inside Evin Prison outlining a change in the reformist movement’s framework following the election of Hassan Rouhani, according to the pro-reform website Kalameh.

Tajzadeh, who served as deputy interior minister during Khatami’s presidency, was arrested in the aftermath of the unrest that followed Iran’s disputed 2009 presidential elections.

In his letter, Tajzadeh emphasizes that the only way forward is the comprehensive implementation of Iran’s constitution, in particular Chapter 3, which highlights the nation’s rights.

“Both internal and external warmongers are upset by the June 12 election and are trying to escalate the situation by making the enthusiastic supporters of the president-elect feel disappointed and hopeless by blocking major promises made by Rouhani,” said Tajzadeh.

Tajzadeh said that the new reformist policy should be based on supporting Rouhani without demanding too much from him, particularly as he is not the main figure in charge and thus is unable to resolve all demands.

“Since our participation in the elections was not conditional on our being released from prison, our support for Rouhani to implement his plans is not subject to his ability to secure our release,” he said.

Warning the young generation to be vigilant, Tajzadeh told them to be aware of the fact that “all the problems society is facing are the result of incompetent and authoritarian government.” He also called on the youth to remain supportive of the comprehensive implementation of the Islamic Republic of Iran’s constitution, and to remember that the full implementation of the constitution is the main policy of opposition leaders Mir-Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi.

While he stressed that Rouhani must not be held accountable if the release of opposition leaders Mir-Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi cannot be secured, Tajzadeh reiterated that their release remains one of the reformist camp’s major objectives.

Tajzadeh said that if the two reformist leaders remain under arrest, this can only be blamed on the authoritarian forces that remain very powerful and who do not wish the president to succeed in fulfilling his election pledges.

This latest letter from the former minister is interesting because of of its reconciliatory tone and explicit acknowledgment of the validity of the current constitution, in which the Supreme Guide is the ultimate power. Over the last four years, many reformists lost hope in Iran’s political and legal mechanisms, demanding a referendum on rewriting the constitution.

Since Rouhani’s victory in the recent elections, some prominent hardliners have warned the president-elect of the consequences of pressing ahead with his reformist policies or appointing reformists and technocrats as government ministers.