The leading science journal ‘Nature’ interviewed Iran’s former presidential candidate Mostafa Moin for this month’s publication. Moin was a former political advisor and close friend of Iran’s former president Ayatollah Khatami. He was the reformer candidate that finished 4th during Iran’s 2005 presidential elections.
In a previous interview with Nature in 2006, Moin argued that building a stronger civil and democratic society in Iran was key to the country’s scientific development and it becoming a knowledge-based society. In the new interview Moin addressed the recent demonstrations in Iran and the results of the elections by stating:

“There can be no grounds for a national reconciliation in an atmosphere of public distrust. Trust and transparency must first be established by proper examination of the complaints of the presidential candidates. In any case, it seems inevitable that Iran must move towards a political system based on democracy, justice and moderation.”

He also criticized Ahmadinejad’s stance on science and academic freedom by stating that:

“Scientific activity has stagnated. Students and young scientists have been discouraged. Pressure has been exerted on scientific forums and centers, and academic freedom restricted. The brain drain of elites has worsened. Administrations have been massively populated with people from the military and the security forces. We have an economic recession; destruction of ethical norms and public culture; and the scientific, political and cultural isolation of Iran in the international community. These are among the achievements of Ahmadinejad.”

Moin is a strong believer that the international academic community can help pave the way to strengthen Iran’s academic and democratic institutions.

“Prominent universities and scientists worldwide can help through legitimate criticism of the Iranian government’s treatment of students, academics, scientists and the people of Iran; its violations of citizens’ constitutional rights and academic freedom.”

Moin’s recent interview with Nature is also mentioned on Khatami’s facebook page.

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