Former Presidential Candidate Mehdi Karroubi Demands Open Trial, Calls Out Ruling Elite's Repression, Corruption

Mehdi Karroubi Poster

In the name of God, Most Gracious and Merciful

To My Dear Brother Mr. Rouhani, Hojatoleslam and Honorable President of Islamic Republic of Iran:

Greetings and warm wishes.

It will first be necessary for me to give thanks to my honorable colleagues, particularly for the attentions of Dr. Ghazizadeh Hashemi, Minister of Health, Medicine, and Medical Education, as well as to your honorable brethren.

You know my story: after representing the people for four terms in the Majles, leading the third and sixth congresses, establishing and managing such institutions as the Relief Committee and Martyr’s Foundation, exercising power of attorney over the estate of the founder of the Islamic Republic, supervising Iranian pilgrims, and becoming a member of the Constitutional Review Council and the Imam’s representative in Lorestan, I (at the suggestion of a group of Reformist friends, and of my own inclination) twice stood as a candidate for the Presidency in the 2005 and 2009 elections. In both cases, unfortunately, the rights of our proud nation and I myself were trampled by the intervention of forces from the Sepah, Basij, and Ministry of Intelligence. A certain individual - a schemer and a liar who ascribed impermissible things to Shi’ism and all that is holy – was forced upon the country and our people, birthing the most corrupt government since the 1907 Constitution, in the name of the Islamic Revolution.

In this miserable time, grave injuries were visited upon the nation. Plunder of public funds, the wasting of 700 billion dollars of oil and tax revenue, cronyist giveaways, the sale of public lands and recreation sites from Pardisan Park to Qeshm and Kish islands, capital transfers of 22 billion dollars to Dubai and Turkey, the loss of oil derricks and unregistered boats: even if it is possible decades from now to compensate for these and other material adversities, it will doubtlessly be much more difficult to make up for the moral injuries of quagmired ethics, the gulf of distrust between the people and the state and clerics, and (more significantly) the damage done to Shi’ism and the Twelfth Imam. Emphasizing the selfishness, ambition, and lust for power of certain figures, the agents of the enemy (who imagine themselves to have the destiny of other Muslim nations and countries of the region under their fist) deliberately ensnared the country in sanctions. On the one hand they destroyed our national wealth with plunder and reckless giveaways; on the other, they grabbed at the people’s billfold, leading Iran to the edge of a cliff with poverty, displacement, and distress. Had it not been for the special attention of the Lord, the alertness of various social strata, and the mediation of the government and a few great people, the nuclear adventurism would have dragged the country into oblivion.

Unfortunately, blind ambition and power so absorbed some that they failed to recognize any limit to their passion, sacrificing the nation’s wealth and children to their greed and crazed schemes for the region.

Fortunately, the resistance and perseverance from various parts of society (especially the students and political and human rights activists) and the alertness of the free press during the events of 2009 taught a great lesson to those who, contrary to the aims of the martyrs of revolution and war and the thoughts of the Imam, regard the people’s vote as a mere ornament – individuals who desired to tamper with the fate of elections in the people’s name but for their own benefit. I thank the Almighty that the people brought their own pressure to bear in the 2013 and 2015 elections, delivering a decisive response to these totalitarians and booting some of the ruling class darlings from the political stage. They’ve also keenly protested the instrumentalization of the Guardian Council which has been the focus of its head – a trend which, when rightly understood, is a parable in its own right. At the ballot box, the people still yet seek reform for the structure of the regime.

The Guardian Council has, unfortunately, strayed from its essential duties, exercising a supervisory authority larger than any foreseen in the wildest dreams of the framers of our constitution. It has become a tool in the hands of the ruling clique. Thus we witness during elections that the Council impugns the honor of respectable persons and violates the rights of the people, working to secure the rule of one political tendency and toward the elimination of the other. One day, for purposes of sowing discord among the Reformists, the Council will certify some individuals’ qualifications for the office of the presidency (one of various responsibilities they bear according to article 115 of the Constitution) as they did in the 2005 contest; another day they disqualify the same individuals as Majles candidates (as happened in 2015). The Council’s regressions have gone so far as to deny a victorious candidate elected by the people of Isfahan entry to the Majles on the pretext of a strange and ridiculous new rule, thus ignoring the popular vote. Any secondary investigation of an elected candidate’s qualifications following primary confirmation and the proper setup of elections is a dangerous jerry-rigged innovation. The government and Majles should certainly not acquiesce to such illegal activity, for the confirmation of an incoming representative is the responsibility of the sitting representatives, not the Guardian Council!

Honorable Mr. President:

In 2009, alert to the government’s internal issues, I entered the public square. In debate after debate I spoke of these obstacles and difficulties, knowing my resistance was a service to the Almighty. After the announcement of the ridiculous official 2009 election results, I stood up against this dangerous trend (which was rooted in the 2005 election and had no other objective than the destruction of the republican and Islamic qualities of the regime) saying at the time: “This is just the beginning of the story.” I did so because I knew that silence in the face of absolutism of the power elites would be tantamount to cooperation in the process of de-Islamifying and de-republicanizing the political system. Knowing there’d be a heavy price to pay, I remained by the people’s side. With God’s help I will remain here. Resistance and perseverance in the face of tyrannical attitudes is the only way to reform and return to the path of law. I have not been frightened, and am not now frightened, by the threats, libel, curses, and abuses. For the crime of exposing secrets and advocating for the rights and freedoms of the people, they’ve often wrecked my house and home. I have been physically assaulted, and all those close to me pressured. They even arrested one of my children and beat him within inches of his life.

With great difficulty I accepted these indignities, saying that neither my child Ahmad nor my own voice would be throttled. A past corrupt regime used Shaban Jafari for the dirty work of August 19, 1953 and June 5, 1963; the present ruling clique uses this class of thugs every day all over the country to raid the houses of the Maraji, residences of religious and political dissidents, embassies, and centers of learning and art in the name of “values.” For the sake of their political whims they smash up shrines and mosques, recognizing no limit to such desperate behavior. Thus self-censorship is forced upon some of our greatest people. A great Marja of Qom no longer publishing his own opinions has remarked: “I was tired of them breaking my windows.”

Dear Mr. Rouhani:

From early 2011 through early 2014, I was transferred from place to place under great restriction. Since early 2014 I’ve been unlawfully confined to house arrest in my personal residence with the presence of agents of the security forces. For years now I’ve been denied the right to defend myself against the charges levelled against me and the aspersions of the national media, the press dependent on public funds, and other public figures. The irony here is that those who laid our material and spiritual wealth at the feet of a great deceiver, the results of whose “foresight” are now plain for all to see, are now treated as noble visionaries, while those who sounded the alarm and predicted these days years ago are called indecent and made to bear arrest and confinement for their Reformist efforts. How pathetic, the delusions of these power elite who think that the fortunes of God’s servants are under their control. The order of the day is to speak out and resist these outlaws. A culture of selflessness and bearing witness has taught the great nation of Iran to do battle with injustice. No one should, on the pretext of expediency, follow along with injustice, nor should one be silent in its face. Let us not interpret what is personally expedient for us as expedient for the country. One must resist the kind of thought which seeks univocal government with an unaccountable monopoly on power. Let us not doubt that the delays and shortcomings of our present elite will incur a heavy cost for our country and people in the future.

I am not petitioning you for an end to my arrest, nor do I think such an act is in your authority. I do, however, request that you heed the duty appointed you by the Constitution and the people. In accordance with clause 168 of the Constitution, you should request that this tyrannical ruling clique form a public court (albeit of a composition chosen by the power elite) for my case. With the help of the Almighty and the concurrence of my counsel, the reading of the indictment will allow me to bring to public attention my own arguments concerning the 2005 presidential election fraud, the machinations of the 2009 presidential contest, and the fate of Iran’s sons and daughters in prisons both legal and illegal. The judgment issued by the court will finally determine who among the parties to the 2009 dispute has strayed indecently from the Revolution’s path, and who has nobly stayed its course. “For you and I, God is a sufficient witness.” I stress that I will accept the court’s verdict with all my heart and soul, and shall welcome it with no eye to appeal. For the world is God’s domain, and the people rule this earth in His stead – and what judge could be better than God and the people?

And finally: Praise to the Almighty, Lord of Worlds.

 

Mehdi Karroubi

Jamraan, Tehran – April 9, 2016

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