Sunday, July 12, 2009

Open letter of Basiji veterans of Iran-Iraq war to Khamenei

source: various places, but I translate from here because I realized the previous letter I translated from a Basiji was twittered hundreds of times in less than a few hours; and I received messages asking for translation of this letter, which I had linked before.

In my opinion, there is a genuine wish in the heart of people to cut this fiasco short and to unite the country and to punish those who are tarnishing the reputation of the security establishments of the country, by using them against Iranians! (No Basijis are NOT and have never been very popular amongst the "westernized", but this letter makes you realize why. However, they were INSTRUMENTAL in defending us against Saddam.)

Voila the letter:

In the name of God
To His eminence, the supreme leader of the Islamic Revolution, Ayatollah Khamenei 
With greetings and due respect,

Our understanding of "Velayat-e Faghih", at least based on our learnings from Imam Khomeini's lessons as well as your own statements and the Constitution, has been that it is the governance of a just and moderating individual who earns leadership based on his qualifications, and based on public approval which is mediated through the Assembly of Experts.  Because of this principle, we differentiate a regime based on "Velayat-e Faghih" from an oligarchic dictatorship. Therefore, when we speak to you in your leadership role, we consider you as one of the god servants who has dedicated himself to serving the people. It is because of this understanding of your role that we, who have served this revolution in fencing off the invading enemies of the revolution, are allowing ourselves to speak to you, as otherwise we would have been scrutinized for exceeding our lot in criticizing the highest position of the regime. Of course, if that were the case, then we would not have been addressing an Islamic establishment, but a despotic oligarchy.

At the same time, if there was an opportunity for people like us to speak to you directly without becoming a target of harassment of a group of opportunist bootlickers, we would have preferred to speak to you in private so our complaints would not be abused by the enemies. Nevertheless, speaking out at this critical situation is better than silence. 

The legacy of the 10th presidential election, which was one of the rarest of the political events of the Islamic revolution, which was applauded as magnificent both by friends and foes, has now fallen victim to conflicts that could have been wisely prevented. Presently, we are facing a situation that at least half of the society is in shock that these events have led to militarization and a healthy competition is replaced by hatred and animosity, and worse than all the blood of several muslim Iranians is spilled.

Now, for us Basijis who had battled the invading enemies for years in the war  plains, there is nothing more painful than to be associated with hired baton- and gun-holders who are ready to oppress the protesters to the election results, in exchange for a salary and benefits.

We don't forget those years that Basijis were bid heart-felt farewell by the people of cities and villages who considered them their eyes and lights. 

We won't forget those years that Basij was a symbol of defense and sacrifice for revolution. And while they were brave lions who attacked the enemy, in presence of the people they were humble as dust, and many even hid their bravery in the battle front, alas they be accused of opportunism and deception.

And now, in the current situation, the sacred name of Basij is equalled with Shah's "baton-holders"[chomagh be dastan, the gangsters who assisted in 1953 coup] and "monafegh's" militia [refereing to Mujahedin-e Khalgh who raised arm against Iranians together with Saddam!]. Now, the well intending children of Basij are pulled into a scene which they have not created, but they are paying the price for a situation in which they have had no role but obeying orders. And Your Eminence knows better than us that the spiritual damage is not easily repairable.

We expected of you, as someone who in 20 years had well conducted and managed the country through several critical junctures and had put the interests of the establishment ahead of political factions, to have handled this situation such that nothing but shame would remain on the face of our enemies. We don't understand why this didn't happen; and why the security forces confronted the people and happened what should not have.

This is our question: why unlike previous years that you left specialists and trustees to handle conflicts, you have personally gotten involved in such a manner that the sanctity of your position is now under assault?

This is our question: why despite your emphasis that the conflicts would be addressed via the Constitution, on Saturday 23 Khordad [June 13, the day after election] while the results of election had not been fully accounted yet, and the Guardian Council had not yet validated the results, you congratulated Mr Ahmadinejad.

This is our question: why after demonstration of more than two million in Tehran, and meeting with the representatives of the candidates where you promised addressing the complaints through legal channels, on Friday Prayer of 29 Khordad [June 19th], before the Guardian Council finished its investigation, you stated with certainty that an 11-million vote fraud is impossible. This is while you knew that other than Mr Ahmadinejad's supporters, other candidate's supporters were expecting their claims to be addressed. Even if you were certain that there was no fraud, would it not have been better of you allowed the certification of the election come through the Guardian Council so that it wouldn't make it look like you didn't keep your word?

Double approval of the results of election on 23 and 29 of Khordad [June 13 and 19], before finishing the investigation of the Guardian council raised the serious question of what this rush was all about? If we interpret your statement of June 13 as your provision for putting a cap on potential later conflicts, and if you expected people to accept your judgment, then why didn't you pay attention to large waves of protesters in Tehran and other cities, who made it clear they didn't accept your verdict? Was confronting 14 million, who constitute about half of the population in our interest?

This is our question: why in a situation that in the world view it seemed that the supreme leadership was biased towards Mr Ahmadinejad, and hence had rushed to approve his presidency prior to the Guardian Council's validation, you expressed special affection to Mr Ahmadinejad in the Friday Prayers of June 19, to an extent that you considered him closer to you than Mr Hashemi?

In a situation that different factions are expecting you to act like a judge, didn't the position of judgement require you to regards different sides of the conflict impartially?

Here, the discussion is not about Mr Mousavi, because he has not been around for many years and he may not be around after this. Rather, our discussion is about people who have voted for him and who will be present in the society after this. Don't you think that this confrontation consolidated a portion of the society to join in the protests of June 14th?

We witnessed that during the campaign, and even in protests before June 14th no one insulted you and the supporters of different candidates were prudent to not cross the red lines of the establishment. They even marched in protest in total silence. However after the Friday Prayer of 29 Khordad (June 19_ barriers were broken. And they said what they wouldn't have, reasoning that the leadership wanted this person to be president irrespective of the results of investigation, and that not only he [the leader] doesn't address our complaints, but also threatens us to death if we protest again!!

In practice, what have we seen? Thousands came to face off the security forces, and tens of people were killed and injured only to say that we cannot ignore them. And this is while your practice in the past 20 years was not to ignore people and even yourself said on June 19 that if people's trust vanishes the establishment cannot stand.

This is our question: why with that history [of yours] we should have ended up here? How can this 10th government be effective in this atmosphere of grudge and distrust?

This is our question: why despite emphasizing that all four candidates where personally approved by you, the election had to turn into the scene of life or death of the regime to such extent that retracting from any position would would be considered as the death of each faction and the death of the establishment?

That we wish groups closer to revolutionary values take the power is undoubtable and the polls of the interior ministry attest to that. But, when a situation happened that the opposite group doubted the election, why before sealing the results of the election with your approval, you didn't allow independent observers recount all the votes? When the Ministry of Interior can count the votes in less than 24 hours, why didn't recount be the first on the list of task force, instead of all the tension and blood spillage that ensued? In a situation that you do not want a large section of the supporters of the establishment be isolated from it, shouldn't appeasement have been given priority?

In conflicts, it is always expected of the wise party to control the situation. Worse came to worse, after the recount, the vote would have been annulled and a new election would have been held. Was an election worth breaking apart the society and the sacred Islamic Republic establishment?

From the onset of revolution, we have had several conflicts with the opponents of the establishment and the revolution and we have won at the end. But this time, we were not confronting the enemy but a large portion of the society whose ignoring, especially in Tehran, is as if we are a small island surrounded by a big sea. This is an abrasive situation, which will be exacerbated as heavy waves of this sea smash the shores of the island, making the situation more grave unless we seek a logical solution.

This is our question: why is the position of Supreme Leader spending such a heavy price for the winning of one of the candidates, while you had said that all four belonged to the family of establishment? In the extreme, someone like Mr Khatami would have taken the executive office [in Iran there are three independent bodies of government: Executive, Judiciary and Parliamentary; Of course the fourth one is the military which is independent of the three above and is directly under the supreme leader.] In a situation that you controlled him for 8 years, what did we fear in others who didn't even have Khatami's social stature?[!!! here's when Basij show its real face?!!?] Of course, this would have been the worse case scenario[!!!], because considering the care taken during the election, a total recount could have proven that you had not in vain insisted on the validity of the election.   

In any case, after a total recount, whether the election was validated or annulled [:) inha yeki be nal yeki be mikh mizanan!] your management would have become paramount. Your flexibility would not have diminished your principles but would have shown that Islamic governance is significantly different from oligarchic manners against which you had fought for a life. But the events unfolded otherwise and now, we who have spent part of our lives to promote the islamic revolution are having hard days and nights. We wish we had fallen in our blood during the sacred defense [referring to the war] but had not witnessed the falling in blood of those who came to election boots on your invitation, and even worse had not faced this heavy silence of a large portion of the society who is now in a destructive doubt about you and the Islamic establishment.

With wishes for salvage of Islamic Iran,
A group of veterans of the 8-year sacred defense
15 Tir 1388, 6 July 2009


Anonymous said...

Khamenei the world has seen your brutal and cruel ways,and you call yourself supreme? I think you are primative and stupid!I know many others do so too! Really Axing your own people!You have no morals and should not be running a country. The Iran people are wonderful people who deserve alot of respect going up against your brutal regime.It is unreal to me that one would treat their people that way.Your not God!Some day you will find that the saying treat others as you would want to be treated,is more important than thought! It all comes back on you!

David said...

This is a very powerful statement! The real Basij are standing up to confront the mercenary thugs who have brought shame to their name. They are also calling out Khamenei and reprimanding him for behavior that is beneath the dignity of his office. They are demanding that justice be served by their government and that the will of the people be respected.

This is an encouraging development and strong evidence that a large segment of Iranian society has lost confidence in its government. I think there is hope for reforming the regime as more and more people stand up and speak their minds.

Naj said...


I can still not fathom what Khamenei was thinking when he said what he did on Friday! He must have been drugged; or he must have been tied up in his unnameable parts and someone else pulling the strings!

Assholes are just making it worse, by arresting more people!

HOWEVER, the press is NOT as silent as one may assume. In fact Karoubi's paper Etemad Meli and a few other "schizophrenic" ones are operating and are getting out quite impressive articles! So, it is not THAT dark and scary. BUT, prisoners deserve ALL of our attention. Democracy can come later: prisoners FIRST, Mousavi's party NEXT, and a re-election Third. And only THEN, we can (and should) sit down and negotiate with uncle sam!

Amir H. Bakhtiary said...

could we have the original text please?

Naj said...

AMir Bakhtiyari:

please see the top of this post, I have given the persian source there.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for this post. The paragraph explaining your blog is such an important one. If I can be of help in getting our people to walk the line of self-discipline towards peace, please let me know how.