Supervisor Elham AbolFateh
Editor in Chief Mohamed Wadie

Former World Leaders Demand Accountability and Support for Pro-Democracy Movement in Iran: Op-ed

Tue 23 May 2023 | 10:38 PM
By: Jalal Arani

In a joint letter addressed to world powers, 107 former world leaders from 45 nations have united to call for accountability in Iran and express their support for the country's pro-democracy protesters. The letter comes in the wake of the execution of three protesters and a surge in state-sanctioned executions, totaling over 100 in recent weeks. The former leaders are urging the international community to take action against the Iranian regime and stand in solidarity with the Iranian people in their pursuit of a secular and democratic republic.

The collective letter emphasizes the need for world leaders to hold the leadership of the Islamic Republic of Iran accountable for its crimes. Quoting from the letter, the former world leaders state, "We encourage you to stand in solidarity with the people of Iran in their desire for a secular and democratic republic where no individual, regardless of religion or birthright, has any privilege over others." They reject all forms of dictatorship and call for an end to any association with either the deposed Shah or the current theocratic regime.

The former world leaders recognize the efforts of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) in pursuing democratic change over the past four decades. They express support for the Ten-Point Plan articulated by NCRI President Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, which includes commitments to free elections, freedom of assembly and expression, abolition of the death penalty, gender equality, separation of religion and state, autonomy for Iran's ethnicities, and a non-nuclear Iran. The signatories believe that the Iranian people should ultimately decide their future, but they lend their endorsement to the democratic values and aspirations put forth by the NCRI.

The letter bears the signatures of 50 former Presidents, 47 former Prime Ministers, one former Chancellor, and nine other former Heads of State from around the world. Notable signatories include former European Prime Ministers and Presidents, as well as Nobel Peace Prize laureates. The European signatories comprise former leaders from the UK, France, Italy, Poland, Spain, and Ukraine, while South American signatories include former Presidents of Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, and Mexico. The letter also gains support from former Prime Ministers in Canada and former Secretaries-General of the Organization of American States (OAS).

The former world leaders condemn the crackdown on the pro-democracy uprising in Iran, highlighting the deaths of around 750 protesters and the arrest of 30,000 individuals. They assert that the international community has a responsibility to support the human rights of the Iranian people. Quoting the letter, the signatories state, "Decades of apparent silence and inaction by the international community have helped fuel a culture of impunity in Iran." They draw attention to the authorities' execution of tens of thousands of protesters and political prisoners since the 1980s, including the tragic massacre of over 30,000 political prisoners, primarily members of the opposition MEK, in the summer of 1988.

The former world leaders also express concerns about the Iranian regime's meddling in the Middle East and Europe, such as its provision of drones in Russia's war against Ukraine, terrorist attempts, and cyber-attacks in Albania. They call upon nations to take decisive steps against the current regime, including blacklisting the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) and holding regime officials accountable for their crimes against humanity.

The joint letter signed by 107 former world leaders serves as a powerful plea for accountability and support for the pro-democracy movement in Iran. It demands that world powers take action against the Iranian regime's human.

Jalal Arani is a Muslim UK-based Iran Analyst and Researcher, with extensive experience in Iranian politics and the Middle East. He offers insightful analysis of the complex issues facing Iran today. He is an active member of the Iranian opposition diaspora and well-connected to the opposition leaders in the UK and Europe.