Mehriran.de - This is a lecture held by Dr. Azmayesh at the conference "Iran - country of diversities. Consequences of the Arab spring for Iran." from 18th February 2012 in Vienna, Austria
We will keep our contribution short and rather focus on a dialogue with our precious audience subsequently. There are many revolutions in the so called Arab world and their nature is totally different from what is going on in Iran. Nevertheless what came up as the so called "Arab spring" may have been inspired by the widespread protests after the presidential elections in Iran of 2009.
In the "Arab-world" it seems that large parts of the freedom movements like the Muslimbrothers seek for freedom in the frame of religion. In Iran the popular movement against the regime longs for freedom outside the limitations of religion. And there could be one strong guarantee for this freedom in Iran, which should be a juristic guarantee: the text of the constitution. Iran needs a constitution which is based on the reality of this countries diversities. It needs a new constitution which guarantees the fundamental rights to each individual in Iran.
The current constitution only mentions three religious groups (Jews, Zoroastrians and Christians), whereas for example Ahl-e-hagh or Sunnis are not recognized as they are not mentioned in the constitution.
I avoid using the term minorities because the statistics that are being provided by the regime on the numbers of various ethnic and religious groups are not at all trustable. If we want to talk about minorities we should know about any majority. Many Iranians hide their true beliefs for fear of persecution or various disadvantages and prejudices by the regime. The system is based on an interpretation of the Shiite Islam and therefore declares that its population is mainly Shiite.
Let's have two examples.
Mehdi Emadi wrote a book against Dervishes a few years ago with the approval of the Ministry of Islamic Guidance where you can read sentences like this: "If you don't convert to Shiism you should better be happy if you receive a passport to leave the country."
A preacher named Daneshmand recently said: "If a Sunni family has more than 2 children, they should not be granted an ID card."
So with this old constitution a future Iran can not be formed. It does not correspond to the reality of the diversities in Iran.
In the same time the old paradigm must be overcome which says: "I am right and I tolerate you." The new paradigm could say: "We are different from each other but we have equal rights."The necessity of the present time is to prepare for the time of the fall of the regime in Iran. If this step is not followed seriously the revolution of the citizens in Iran will fall into the lap of opportunists just for another time. One way to bring the possibility towards independence to the people in Iran is a popular referendum on the future system in Iran. It is the chance for all Iranians to work on the future of their country and to create a frame for the long time hope for freedom.