February 22, 2018

NCPDA Statement – February 17, 2004

NCPDA supports House Resolution 501

We are a group of distinguished scholars and intellectuals, democracy and human rights activists, and concerned students and individuals united to promote democracy, human rights, and socio-economic justice in Iran.

Parliamentary elections are scheduled to take place in Iran on Friday, February 20th. This exercise, however, is far from being democratic, free and fair. The dominant faction within the clerical hierarchy has barred even its partners of the past quarter century from running.

Some 2,500 candidates were disqualified by the watchdog vetting body, the Guardian Council, which is comprised of 12 unelected clerics and jurists whose allegiance lies with the Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. Unfortunately, contrary to his earlier pledges that he would not stand for an election that is “neither free nor fair,” Mohammad Khatami capitulated and, oddly enough, is urging Iranians to cast their ballots in a practice that lacks any semblance of the electoral process. Even his own brother, a deputy Majlis speaker was disqualified.

The fact is that for the vast majority of the Iranian people, change will come about not from within the regime, but from outside the ruling establishment. That is why over the past two years, students, young people and women have on different occasions demanded the holding of an internationally monitored referendum for regime change.

Congressman Tom Tancredo has initiated a resolution that addresses this issue. We and many in the Iranian Diaspora in the United States fully support his efforts. We urge you to join this initiative. For it will send a strong message to the Iranian regime that it cannot trample upon the most fundamental rights of the Iranian people with impunity.