January 14, 2010

NIAC Urges Iranian Government to Abandon the Path of Violence and Oppression

Washington, DC – The National Iranian American Council calls on the Iranian government to heed the productive proposals of leading opposition figures and abandon the path of violence and oppression.

In the last two weeks, Mir Hossein Moussavi, Mehdi Karroubi, and leading Iranian intellectuals and opposition leaders abroad (Abdolali Bazargan, Akbar Ganji, Mohsen Kadivar, Ataollah Mohajerani, Abdol Karim Soroush) have all issued proposals that aim to end the country’s political crisis peacefully by opening a pathway that would restore the Iranian people’s civil, political, economic, social, and cultural rights.

The National Iranian American Council has been steadfast in its calls for Iran to end the campaign of brutal force and repression being waged against the Iranian people. As a signatory to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Iranian government is obligated under domestic and international law to protect the universal human rights of its citizens.


However, it is clear that the Iranian government is either unwilling or unable to end the violence against it citizens and to respect its human rights obligations. Not only has Iran’s government failed to uphold its most basic duty to protect its own citizens, it has been complicit in the country’s destabilization and its people’s suffering. The Iranian government has in fact been the source of the crushing burdens imposed on the Iranian people and the fomenter of tensions that have engulfed Iran.


The three proposals for reform and reconciliation that have been offered each provide promising paths forward for a nation in serious crisis. Though the proposals are not identical, they share a unified call for the government to restore the human rights of the Iranian people by ending its campaign of violence against dissidents, renouncing the oppressive policies used to deny the Iranian people their freedoms, eliminate restrictions on the press, hold accountable all individuals who have committed abuses against Iranians, and undertake significant political and social reforms.


The Iranian government would be unwise to dismiss these proposals and continue down an unyielding trajectory of violence and oppression. The National Iranian American Council calls on Iran to respond positively to the constructive proposals that have been put forward as a first step toward upholding its international human rights obligations and addressing the legitimate democratic demands of its people.




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