Akbar Ganji

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Dear Mr Ban Ki-moon

Evidence shows that in the Islamic republic of Iran elections are not free, competitive or fair, and they never lead to a real transformation in the country's political structure. Several reasons exist for this:

Article 110 of the constitution of the Islamic republic of Iran places most of the power in the hands of the supreme leader (rahbar) and institutions that are directly under his control. Article 57 of the constitution places all three branches of the government – namely the executive, legislative and the judicial branches – "under the purview of the absolute [divine] rule and [divine] leadership" of the supreme leader.…  Seguir leyendo »

There has been a lot of misunderstanding as to why Iranian pro- democracy forces oppose the $75 million the U.S. government provides to aid civil society in their country [" A Lever of Change in Iran," op-ed, Oct. 19]. Allow me, as someone who spent six years in Tehran's Evin Prison on a bogus charge of endangering national security, to clarify what we oppose and what we favor.

The threat of war looms over us. But Iran and the West need to have friendly and peaceful relations.

Peace is a product of democracy. Despotic states are furtive and untrustworthy. The Iranian people want a secular, democratic state that is committed to respecting human rights.…  Seguir leyendo »