Manifesting the New Iran

Photo by the author.

Almost all Iranians have in one way or another imagined a New Iran, be it an unrealistic theocratic utopia or a liberal secular democracy. Given the momentum of the current uprising and lack of any formal presentation of the New Iran by any recognized organization this article will attempt to suggest a few basic features of the New Iran solely for the purpose of starting a debate for this important task.

A basic truth exists, if you don’t know where you are going any direction you choose is the right one. Simply toppling the Shah without working on what was to replace his regime has resulted in forty-three years of a religious dictatorship controlled by fake Muslims, traitors, and thieves. So, having a clear vision of the New Iran is critical, primarily to prevent more suffering for the Iranian people and avoiding the hijacking of this uprising.

Below is the outline of the New Iran through peaceful regime change:

One: End all clerical interference in Iranian society. This means abolishing the office of the Supreme Leader, the Experts Assembly, the Guardian Council, and Executive Council. End all financial support for clerics, religious schools and institutions. This means all mosques will have to be supported by private individuals from the local community and not be allowed to receive any funds from any other sources. All clerics currently linked to foundations, government companies or institutions, will end their activities. All clerical influence in government educational institutions will end, as will all references to religion within educational text books. All clerical interference with state run media organizations will end, plus end all broadcasting of religious programming. Mosques will stop their practice of using speakers to announce the start of prayer and will return to having an individual make the announcement. Any companies currently owned by a cleric will be nationalized. Any foundations controlled by clerics will be nationalized. All bank accounts controlled by a cleric will be audited and confiscated if the sum is above what an average wage earner would have received for the past five years. Any property or assets that a cleric controls outside of Iran will be confiscated through cooperation with foreign countries. All clerics that have held government posts will be audited and any property they or their family members own that is worth more than what an average Iranian owns will be confiscated. Basically, clerics will have to work for a living and no longer be freeloaders. Over the past 43 years they have proven that they are not qualified to run a country and it’s time for them to pack their bags and return to their mosques, or be forced to do so.

Two: All current members of the Parliament, and all other elected officials, will resign and new elections will take place. Plus, Iranians will elect their own provisional governors, mayors, police chiefs, and educational leaders. Decision making will be decentralized through a democratic process so that local problems will be solved locally.

Three: The Revolutionary Guard and Basij will be disbanded and members will be given the option of retiring or joining the regular military. All business enterprises controlled by the Revolutionary Guard will be nationalized.

Four: All state-controlled media outlets will be privatized except for three channels that will be publicly supported and one owned by the government. All media outlets will set aside the necessary airtime during election periods so that everybody has free and full access to the public airwaves.

Five: All newspapers, magazines and publishing houses will be privatized and any controlled or owned by a cleric will be confiscated.

Six: Iran will end all military and financial support for organizations outside of Iran, this includes Hezbollah of Lebanon.

Seven: Iran will enter negotiations with America so as to resolve all past differences and work towards normalization of relations. Iran will recognize the right of Israel to exist.

Eight: Iran will mothball all of its nuclear activities in return for the removal of all sanctions imposed by the United States and other countries. No new nuclear power plants will be built until a full and comprehensive review has been conducted. Any re-activation of nuclear activities will be for medical and peaceful purposes.

Nine: Any and all laws pertaining to designating women less than a man will be abolished. Women and men will be considered as equals within the judicial system.

Ten: All persecution of the Bahai will end as will any other forms of persecution of minorities. Generous compensation will be given for past persecutions and injustices.

Eleven: All political prisoners will be released and generously compensated. All protestors imprisoned or injured will be generously compensated. All family members of those killed at the hands of the current regime will be generously compensated.

Twelve: Freedom of speech, belief, and peaceful gathering will be fully recognized and honored through strictly enforced laws.

Thirteen: The rule of law will be established and fully enforced. The entire legal system and how it is currently administered will be revised, streamlined, and modernized. Iran will be governed through laws, not superstition.

Fourteen: Iran’s horrendous bureaucracy will be reviewed, modernized, and streamlined. This will be the hardest to accomplish but must happen if Iran is to meet its challenges.

Fifteen: Finding practical solutions to Iran’s dire environmental problems will be given top priority, especially the water crisis and air pollution.

Sixteen: All hybrid organizations and business enterprises will be audited and then privatized through the stock exchange.

Seventeen: All bank accounts of former government officials, managers of state organizations, and companies and foundations will be closed and audited, going back forty years.

Eighteen: Foreign governments will be asked to cooperate against capital flight by regime members and their families. This would include those that have stolen state funds and are living in foreign countries.

Nineteen: All companies that have been privatized during the past decades and are now in the hands of individuals connected to the regime will be audited and if necessary, will be nationalized.

Assuming Iranians were able to peacefully implement the above and a cleric decided to run for the office of the President, should he be allowed to do so? Of course he should be allowed to do so, and so should a female cleric.

Dariush X is the pen name for an Iranian living in Iran who due to the current conditions is not able to identify himself.