Des opposants en exil tentent de s’organiser

Untitled

Au sous-sol d’un anonyme hôtel international de Prague, un simple sigle est affiché sur la porte : UDI, pour Unity for Democracy in Iran. Entre deux séminaires d’entreprises percent les échos lancinants du persan. Les 17 et 18 novembre s’est tenue, dans la capitale tchèque, la troisième conférence de cette nouvelle organisation encore peu connue sur la scène de l’opposition iranienne en exil.

Fondée officiellement en février 2012 à Stockholm, l’Union pour la démocratie en Iran s’est déjà réunie en juillet à Bruxelles. Difficile de définir ce qu’est l’UDI. Pas un parti ni une coalition : elle n’est pas assez organisée et hiérarchisée. Pas non plus un think tank ou un forum, mais plutôt une plateforme de réflexion et d’action. C’est un “parapluie”, disent ses organisateurs, un lieu de rencontre destiné à dégager des consensus au sein d’une opposition qui a toujours été handicapée par ses divisions et des ambitions concurrentes.

Mais, en cette fin d’année, l’humeur est à l’optimisme parmi les participants à la réunion. “Les sanctions occidentales commencent à faire mal au régime. Lapopulation souffre et l’on sait que les Iraniens rejettent le régime depuis les manifestations de 2009. Avec ce qui se passe en Syrie et dans le monde arabe, tout est possible aujourd’hui en Iran”, résume Mohsen Sazgara, 58 ans, l’une des têtes pensantes de l’UDI, en exil depuis 2004.

M. Sazgara connaît bien le régime, il en a été un farouche supporter – il a fondé les Gardiens de la révolution (pasdarans) – avant de prendre ses distances et de partir aux Etats-Unis, où il travaille pour la Fondation George W. Bush. “Nous devons utiliser la prochaine présidentielle pour gagner les classes populaires à la cause de la démocratie.”

“LE MOUVEMENT POUR LA DÉMOCRATIE SE PROPAGE”

Pour Mohsen Sazgara, l’une des principales faiblesses du “mouvement vert”, qui avait suivi la réélection contestée de Mahmoud Ahmadinejad en juin 2009, était de n’avoir pas su rallier les classes populaires et de n’être pas sorti des grandes villes. Malgré la chape de plomb et les dizaines de milliers d’emprisonnements, M. Sazgara est convaincu qu’“Ali Khamenei a été délégitimé et le mouvement pour la démocratie se propage sous la peau de la société”.

Tout en redoutant une guerre aux effets désastreux, les participants à la conférence de l’UDI – 120 personnes venues de toute l’Europe, des Etats-Unis et de Turquie – parlent ouvertement d’un possible effondrement du régime, sous la pression conjuguée de l’Occident et du mécontentement socialintérieur. Ils veulent en voir les signes avant-coureurs dans la multiplication des grèves et des dissensions au sommet de l’Etat, où chacun se rejette la faute du fiasco économique et de l’isolement diplomatique.

“Il est de notre responsabilité de nous tenir prêts, explique Djavad Khadem, un autre organisateur, proche de l’ancien premier ministre assassiné, Chapour BakhtiarNous devons réfléchir à ce que sera la transition afin que le pays ne sombre pas dans le chaos. Nous essayons de dégager des points de consensus.”

L’UDI n’a ni charte ni instances. C’est un rassemblement informel, dont les participants, militants politiques ou intellectuels sans étiquette, sont invités àtitre personnel. De fait, presque toutes les sensibilités politiques sont représentées, à l’exception des royalistes purs et durs, des Moudjahidine du peuple et de la branche radicale du Parti communiste.

DES NATIONALISTES AUX KURDES, DES SOCIALISTES AUX LIBÉRAUX

Un tel éventail, qui s’étend des nationalistes aux Kurdes, des libéraux aux réformateurs, des capitalistes aux socialistes, est sans précédent dans les annales de l’opposition iranienne en exil, qui continue de se déchirer sur trois points essentiels : le niveau de centralisme de l’Etat, le degré de libéralisme ou de dirigisme dans l’économie et la place du religieux dans la politique.

“Si on ne se met pas d’accord sur les règles d’un dialogue, ces désaccords risquent de nous tuer, met en garde Shariar Ahy, l’un des fondateurs de l’UDI.En 2005, les Irakiens ont eu des élections totalement libres, cela ne les a pas empêchés de se massacrer ensuite.”

“Il y a ici des gens qui ne se parlaient pas il y a dix ans”, souligne la journaliste Sharan Tabari. Ainsi, Nasser Iranpour, un intellectuel kurde vivant enAllemagne, a exposé son projet d’Etat fédéral. A la sortie, un conférencier l’aborde : “Pour moi, le fédéralisme a toujours été synonyme de séparatisme. Aujourd’hui, je viens de comprendre que non.” “Seul le fédéralisme sauvera l’Iran”, renchérit Iranpour.

La question des minorités – Turcomans, Azéris, Arabes, Baloutches et Kurdes – est l’une des plus épineuses. Sans compter les cultes non reconnus par l’islam comme les bahaïs ou les yarsanis, qui s’estiment eux-mêmes opprimés par les nationalistes kurdes.

L’on a donc beaucoup discuté, au sein de studieux petits groupes de travail, de réformes constitutionnelles, de décentralisation et de fédéralisme, de politique économique et de statut de la femme, ou encore de la place de la culture et de la religion.

L’UDI VEUT SE METTRE EN MOUVEMENT AVANT LA PRÉSIDENTIELLE

Mais l’UDI ne veut pas seulement réfléchir à l’avenir, elle travaille à changer le présent en réfléchissant, par exemple, à la création d’une chaîne d’information par satellite sur le modèle d’Al-Jazira ou encore aux moyens de contourner la “grande muraille” que le régime tente de mettre en place pour isoler Internet. Des formations à l’action non violente sont envisagées.

Ces groupes de travail donnent parfois lieu à d’intéressants affrontements générationnels. “Quand j’entends des intellectuels remettre en question l’économie de marché, j’ai l’impression d’être face à des fossiles”, s’esclaffeAhmad Eshghyar, un jeune militant de 29 ans qui a participé à la campagne deMir Hossein Moussavi, candidat malheureux à la dernière présidentielle.

L’arrivée en exil de milliers de ces jeunes issus du “mouvement vert” a donné un second souffle à la diaspora politique tout en la bousculant. L’amalgame prendra-t-il ? L’UDI s’est fixé pour objectif de publier une charte et de se mettreen mouvement en février 2013, avant la présidentielle. Il faudra évidemment des moyens. Pour l’instant, la seule aide étrangère revendiquée par l’UDI provient du centre Olaf-Palme, en Suède.

Quand on fait remarquer aux organisateurs que l’opposition en exil n’a jamais eu beaucoup d’influence sur le cours de choses en Iran, M. Ahy répond du tac au tac : “Khomeiny venait bien de l’étranger quand il a pris le pouvoir !”

Signe que le régime de Téhéran commence à prendre l’UDI au sérieux, il a accusé ses participants, au lendemain de la réunion de Prague, d’être “des agents à la solde du Mossad et de la CIA”.

Advertisements

The final communique

The Third Conference of the Unity for Democracy for Iran (UDI) held in Prague ended in the afternoon of 18th November 2012. The resolutions of the Conference were read and adopted by a majority of the participants.

The final communique read:

Iran is one of the few ancient civilizations that still remains firm in spite of various events. Throughout history, however, its geographical borders, inhabitants, religions and languages have changed. The country has also been repeatedly invaded but has not lost its independence.

Any of the above-mentioned incidents could alone send a nation to the pages of history forever. In this regards, the secret of Iran’s endurance is nothing but the civilization and the pluralistic culture of this ancient land. The quality of this civilization and its culture is the secret of the continuity of our history and its richness is the reason for our survival. Iran is today in one of its most critical historical phases. The ruling regime is characterised by excesses against the Iranian nation, hostility with our heritage and civilisation, dangerous foreign policies and adventurism, as well as cruelty, financial corruption and lack of management, all of which have put a dark future before us. It is predictable however that sooner or later the regime’s inability to control the economy will increase dissatisfaction and frustration in most parts of the society, and our national culture, will help us find a civilized manner of transition towards democracy.

We should beware that in these crucial days, it is possible that warmongers and believers in violence, both within the regime and the society, could succeed in exciting emotions and provoking anger and feelings of revenge that can lead to  conflict.

The awareness of men and women in our society of this deadly danger is a great source of inspiration. Reliance needs to be placed on the non-violent and peaceful aspects of our culture. Each of us has to responsibly struggle to determine our fate through dialogue and ballot boxes, and not in the fields of war or by killing compatriots.

We deserve to have the choice of tolerance against violence and reason against inhuman instincts and blind feelings. We have to try not to make mistakes once again in the path of transition to democracy in Iran. The future is ours and our culture will illuminate the way. We have to keep this light blazing before us so as not to lose our way.

Abedin, Karim  – Ahangari, Kawe – Ahmadi, Fereidon – Ahmadi, Ramin – Ahy, Shahriar – Akbarein, Mohammad J. – Alavi, Hossein – Alizadeh, Hossein – Alyar, Bakhtiar – Amiri, Jamshid – Amiri, Nooshabeh – Amirlatifi, Roya – Asadi, Houshang – Asadi, Jamshid – Askary , Hooman – Babak, Soheila – Bagherzadeh, Hossein – Bahardoost     , Shahla – Bahmani, Arash – Bahmani, Nahid – Bahrami, Esmat – Balidei, Nasser – Bandoei, Rahim – Barati, Mehran – Barlas, Faria – Bayazidi, Hamzeh – Behrang, Kamiar – Bouresh, Juma – Chalangi, Jamshid – Dejban, Samad – Ellian, Afshin – Emadi, Farhnaz – Eshghyar, Ahmad – Family, Shirin – Fari, Reza – Farid , Shahla – Fotovatti, Ali – Ghajar, Aida – Ghajar, Aria – Gharakhani, Nahid – Ghasemi, Akhtar – Ghasemi, Parvin – Hazeghazam, Mehdi – Heidary, Farhad – Hessaami, Aram – Hosseini, Nahid – Hosseini, Shaho – Hosseinbor, Reza – Hosseini nejad, Lida – Iranpour, Naser – Jahanbin, Roya – Javanmardi, Rahman – Jilow, Asghar – Kahen, Mojgan – Katami, Mohsen – Karimian, Akbar – Kazemi, Alireza – Khadem, Djavad – Khanjani, Bahman – Kharrazi , Mehadi – Khonjosh, Jamshid – Khosravi , Zagros – Khosrobeik , Maziar – Maghsoudnia, Manoocher – Massali, Hassan – Mehtari, Ebrahim – Mohammadi, Majid – Mohamadi, Mohamad – Mohamadi, Nasrin – Mohebbi, Fariba – Mohtadi, Abdulla – Mohtadi, Ali – Moradian, Azad – Mostafaei, Mohammad – Nekuee , Shervin – Nemati, Jamshid – Nourizadeh, Alireza – Parham, Ramin – Parviz , Mehdi – Pooraghaee, Sepideh – Qoraishy, Kawe – Rafat, Ahmad – Rafian, Dilan – Rashedan, Nima – Rezaei, Alireza – Riahi, Amin – Sadrolashrafi, Zia – Sajim, Faramarz – Salehzade, Ali – Salimi, Giti – Salimi, Mashalla – Saremi, Behnam – Sazgara, Mohsen – Sehati, Kourosh – Shohadei , Yazdan – Shahbazi, Susan – Shambaiati, Karim – Sharafi , Hassan – Sharafkandi, Golaleh – Shariatmadari, Hassan – Shirzad, Kaveh – Soleimani , Monireh – Tabari, Shahran – Taghizadeh, Reza – Taheripour, Jamshid – Talee, Javad – Tavakoli, Kianosh – Tavakoli , Zhale – Waziri , Mehdi – Waziri , Shahrokh – Zakeri, Mohsen – Zare zadeh, Ardeshir – Zarkesh, Fathie – Zolfaghari, Mehdi

Economic situation in Iran and the outcome of current procedures

The last panel of Prague Conference was held by the title of “economic situation in Iran and the outcome of current procedures: collapse or…?” dealing with economy. In this panel, moderated by Shahrokh Vaziri, the speakers were Reza Taghizadeh, Shahriyar Ahi, and Jamshid Asadi.

Shahriyar Ahi was the first lecturer of the last panel. In his opinion, the policy which leads to improve the economy is an appropriate policy. He said that the fluctuations of the legitimacy of the regime are equivalent to the fluctuations in economic diagram. He believes that the most important problem in inspiring confidence for investment is the fluctuations of economic indexes.

Reza Taghizadeh, the second lecturer, said that according to the non-official statistics, the industrial productions in Iran have reduced about 30%. The rate of inflation is about 25% as regards the non-official information, but in reality it reaches 50%. According to many observers, the current situation in Iran is equivalent to an “economic collapse”. He says that the regime still believes in a policy of “resistance economy”, but at the time when it feels the imminence of the economic collapse, it will certainly reconcile with the occidental countries, as happened in the resolution of 598.

Jamshid Asadi was the third and the last lecturer of this panel. He said that the lack of attention towards economy is one of the faults within the opposition. In his opinion, the economic decline of the Islamic regime had begun before the sanctions. He also said that the oil industry is the pillar of Iran’s economy, but at the moment, Iran’s production of oil is less than before the revolution.

The lecturers’ speeches will be later published in details.

Predefined speeches

On the second and last day of Prague Conference, some of the audience delivered predefined speeches. In the first speech, Kaveh Ahangari said that pluralism is one of the characteristics of Iran and requires its own administration. In his opinion, there is no balance of power among the ethnic communities in Iran. He believed that establishing democracy must be considered as strategy, not the elections. The collapse of the regime and holding free elections won’t necessarily lead to establishing democracy. It depends on the nature of individuals. When people are not democratic in nature, they cannot be united.

Majid Mohammadi, as the second speaker, pointed out that the regime has a crisis of confidence and the opposition has the same crisis but of another type. He believes that there is no ideology or political aspect that could inspire confidence in people. He said that people ask what program of improvement of real life the opposition has for them. He said that we can create think-tanks in this regard without any ideological orientations.

Mohsen Khatami, as the third speaker, talked about the high probability of war against Iran and said that the opposition doesn’t take it very seriously. He believes that if Khamenei continues the nuclear program, the war will certainly occur.

Alireza Noorizadeh, the fourth speaker, pointed out that the Islamic regime had thought that Arab Spring was the continuity of its revolution, but when it heard the anti-Shia slogans in Tahrir Square, it realized that the process of change begun in the region was totally different.

Mohammad Javad Akbarein, the fifth speaker, said that we think of establishing democracy because of the absence of a democratic regime and the sense of responsibility that we have. He enumerated some arguments that enforced the probability of war. He believes that the regime will eventually agree to negotiate with occidental countries to survive.

Golaleh Sharafkandi, as the sixth speaker, talked about the obstacles for the participation of women in political activities. She believes that the number of women participants will increase if we remove these obstacles.

Hossein Alizadeh, the seventh speaker, pointed out that the start point of the evolutions in the region was the post-election movement in Iran in 2009. But at the time that they are in Arab Spring, we are in Iranian Winter. The events in Iran had first influenced the events in Arab countries and now the current events in these countries are influencing Iran. He believes that the fourth wave of democracy has begun and we have to reach a unity to realize it.

The eighth speaker, Nasrin Mohammadi, a s the representative of Ahl-e Haqq, said that they, as a part of Kurd people, believe in having a common country as Iran. She also talked about this fact that women’s rights are defined by their loyalty to their families.

The lecturers’ speeches will be later published in details.

Finding solutions and presenting approaches for ethnic-national issues

The title of the third panel of the first day was “Finding solutions and presenting approaches for ethnic-national issues“. In this panel moderated by Shahla Farid, the lecturers were Hasan Sharafi, Mehran Barati, Abdollah Mohtadi, and Mashallah Salimi.

Shahla Farid insisted on “Iranian identity” and said that there are economic discriminations in different parts of Iran and we need approaches to fight against them.

Hasan Sharafi as the first lecturer said that the first and the most important question is to believe in democracy. He suggested that in holding free elections, there is no dialogue, but inviting one to accept the ideas of the other. He believed that Iran belongs to all Iranians and the diversity of ethnic groups is the structure of Iran.

The second lecturer of the third panel, Mehran Barati, said that the ethnic and national issues are very vast and there are many ambiguities that should be clarified.

Abdollah Mohtadi suggested a solution to create a political, democratic and secular system which will also be diffuse all around the country. He said there were discriminations and oppressions that have caused many direct victims among different ethnic communities. He added that there are many reasons who have contributed to the appearance of tyranny and weakening of democracy. And oppression has been one of these reasons.

Mashallah Salimi, the last speaker of this panel, said that apart from being trapped in the claws of a despotic religious regime, the country is also facing with other problems which have remained from the former regimes. The question of ethnic groups is the most important key to have a society without any violence and establish democracy in Iran.

The lecturers’ speeches will be later published in details.

The national dialogue, free elections and convergence of opposition forces

The title of the second panel of the first day of Prague Conference was “the national dialogue, free elections and convergence of opposition forces“. In this panel moderated by Nooshabeh Amiri, the lecturers were Hasan Shariatmadari, Shahryar Ahi, and Fereydoon Ahmadi.

Nooshabeh Amiri, as a journalist, paid tribute to journalist prisoners at the beginning of the talks.

The first lecturer, Hasan Shariatmadari, said that free elections as a requirement movement is different from free elections as a transition strategy. He added that the former one is in accordance with domestic rules, whereas the latter one is based on international laws and standards.

Shahriyar Ahi, the second lecturer, said that the discussion as a strategy for free elections is an important one. He added that the national dialogue is prior and more important than just holding free elections.

Fereydoon Ahmadi as the last lecturer of the second plan pointed out that the gathering of such a large spectrum of opposition is a step forward. He added that we have to reflect our voices in different Persian and occidental media. And we should also consider some ways to have relation with inside the country and not to be separate from it.

This panel was followed by questions and answers. Mohammad Mostafaie, an Iranian human rights lawyer, asked about the changes that constitution should undergo and said that no changes would be predictable on the basis of the current constitution. Hasan Shariatmadari replied that it will certainly be necessary that jurists and juridical elites compile a new constitution regarding the national values and historical backgrounds.

The lecturers’ speeches will be later published in details.

the perspective of political evolutions in Iran and the peaceful transition to democracy

The first panel of the first day of Prague Conference was held as “the perspective of political evolutions in Iran and the peaceful transition to democracy“. In this panel moderated by Shahran Tabari, the lecturers were Mohsen Sazgara, Hossein Alavi and Ahmad Eshghyar.

Mohsen Sazgara gave an image of the current crisis the country is facing with and pointed out the ways used by the Islamic regime to show that it will survive. He then enumerated the actions that the unity for democracy can take in order to attract the world’s attention and regarded the role of the media as essential.

Hossein Alavi began his speech by paying tribute to Sattar Beheshti, the last person killed for liberty of expression and all political and opinion prisoners in Iran. He said that the Islamic regime is trying to reach a consensus with International community as regards the nuclear program, because of the regime’s interests. He also added that there is a competition within the regime that which person could eventually begin the negotiations with the United States. He said that the social movements are the foundation of democratic ones.

Ahmad Eshghyar was the third lecturer of the first panel. He said that Iran is in difficult conditions that may be unprecedented after the 8-year war. In one hand, the regime violates more and more people’s obvious freedoms by the aid of its suppression apparatus. But on the other hand, there could be a historical occasion to change the structure of the Islamic Republic. He added that Ali Khamenei is now in his inconstant moments of political life. He suggested that the best moments for structure change are the periods just before and after the presidential elections by the presence of a candidate.

Shahran Tabari, the moderator of the first panel, said that in the last 34 years the Iranian people did know what they didn’t want, but they didn’t know what they wanted. We and all the political forces should try to clarify the demands and the wishes.

The lecturers’ speeches will be later published in details.