The following letter, written by 74 prominent Iranians representing many spheres of civil society, urges members of the U. S. Congress to support nuclear agreement with Iran. The signers of the text hold diverse views on sociopolitical issues but identify themselves as critics of the Iranian regime. They include academics, professionals, peace and human rights prizewinners, lawyers, political activists and civil society advocates. Some are former political prisoners and many have been forced into exile as a result of challenging the practices of the Islamic Republic.
The view presented in their letter mirrors the findings of a study on Iranian civil society’s views on the Nuclear Accord published by the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran in July 2015. That study, High Hopes, Tempered Expectations: Views from Iran on the Nuclear Negotiations, found that prominent members of Iranian civil society unequivocally and strongly supported the negotiations and the peaceful resolution of the conflict over Iran’s nuclear program.
Letter to the Congress of the United States
We, the undersigned, are Iranian dissidents living abroad. Many of us have been forced into exile because of our criticism of the Islamic Republic’s autocratic practices and violation of human rights. We advocate democratic pluralism, diplomatic resolution of Iran’s conflicts with the United States, peaceful relations with all nations and strict adherence to the Non-Proliferation Treaty. We are writing to urge you to approve the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) because the agreement, in addition to resolving a dangerous dispute, has the potential to energize the struggle for democracy in Iran. Normal trade relations between Iran and Western countries may lead, however gradually, to a tangible relaxation of tension in Iran’s relations with America and Europe. It can also help the resolution of crises in the Persian Gulf region.
We believe such developments should encourage Western governments to include serious support for human rights as they engage Iran in trade and investment negotiations. Movement toward normalization of Iran’s international relations could make the naming and shaming of the regime’s mistreatment of political dissidents, civil society forces (women in particular) and religious/ethnic minorities more effective. At least it has a relatively better prospect in comparison to the continuation of the nuclear confrontation. Furthermore, the JCPOA has considerable Capacity to meet the proliferation concern of P5+1 (or US congress) via its provisions to close all paths towards militarization of nuclear program of the IRI under IAEA comprehensive supervision.
The unanimous passage of Resolution 2231 by the United Nations Security Council endorsing JCPOA demonstrates strong and widespread international support for the agreement. This unanimity of international support for the initiative has created a new hope across the world that dangerous conflicts among sovereign nations can be resolved through negotiations and diplomacy.
In the absence of an agreement, the threat of a military “solution” may become a reality. The current Israeli government is depicting such an option as the “last resort.” An attack on Iran, even in the absence of visible Israeli participation, would be a tragedy for both Iran and Israel. Iranians who expect to live in post-Islamist Iran do not see Israel as an adversary. Military action against Iran would change this perspective and plant the seeds of unprecedented animosity between the two countries. U. S. policy makers who care about the security of Israel must cool down the rhetoric of military option and devote serious attention to resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
We urge you to resist the kind of pressure from those who seem to have learned nothing from the tragic events of the past. We urge you to adopt a new approach to security challenges of the Middle East by casting a vote for JCPOA and announcing your approval of the United Nations Security Council Resolution 2231. Such a move will constitute a precedent setting contribution to the resolution of international disputes through dialogue and diplomacy. The irrational animosity between Iran and the United States is a disservice to both nations and a major hindrance to the struggle for democracy in Iran.
List of signers alphabetically arranged:
Mahboubeh Abbasgholizadeh, CEO & President of Zanan TV and NGO Training Center
Frieda Afary, Producer of “Iranian Progressives in Translation,” and librarian in Los Angeles
Janet Afary, Ph.D., Professor of History and Feminist Studies, University of California, Santa Barbara
Reza Afshari, Ph.D., Professor of History, Pace University
Ali Afshari, Ph.D. candidate in George Washington University, and former member of the central committee of the Students Solidarity Association in Iran
Mehdi Aghadam, Political Activist
Kazem Alamdari, Ph.D., Retired Sociology Faculty of California State University
Mehrdad Amanat, Ph.D., Author and independent scholar
Farid Ashkan, Political Activist
Kazem Attaran, Ph.D., Retired Chief Economist, California Dept. of Transportation.
Maziar Bahari, Author and documentary filmmaker
Mehran Barati, Ph.D. Political Analyst, Future Trends. Berlin, Germany
Behrooz Bayat, Ph.D., Physicist, Expert and Analyst in Nuclear Issues
Soheyla Chahkar, Retired Professional of United Nations Development Program
Mehrdad Darvishpour, Ph.D., Professor of Sociology, Malardelan University, Sweden
Shirin Ebadi, Nobel Laureate for Peace and Human Rights Defense Lawyer
Maryam Elahi, Human rights lawyer
Hassan Yusefi Eshkevari, Scholar of Islamic Studies and former deputy of Majlis (Parliament)
Soraya Fallah, Doctoral Student in Educational Leadership & Policy Studies, California State University, Northridge
Mohsen Farhang, Businessman
Mansour Farhang, Ph.D., Retired Professor of Political Science and holder of Catherine Osgood Chair of Distinguished Teaching, Bennington College
Farzaneh Fathi, Software Engineer- Management, Vienna, Austria
Masoud Fathi, Political activist and publicist, Vienna, Austria
Kambiz Ghaemmagham, National Front activist
Mohsen Ghaemmagham: M.D, National Front activist
Reza Goharzad, Journalist / Radio& TV political show producer and host
Fatemeh Haghighatjoo, Ph.D., Former Deputy of Majlis (parliament), and CEO of Nonviolent Initiative for Democracy, Inc.
Mehrdad Hariri, D.V.M., Toronto, Canada
Nader Hashemi, Ph.D., Director of Center for Middle East Studies, University of Denver
Ata Hoodashtian, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Management Institute of Canada, Montreal
Abdee Kalantari, Freelance writer and critic
Mehrangiz Kar, Author and Human Rights Lawyer
Kazem Kardavani, Ph.D., Sociologist, former professor and director of the Iranian Writers Association
Ahmad Karimi-Hakkak, Ph.D., Professor of Persian Literature and Founding Director, the Roshan Institute for Persian Studies, University of Maryland.
Mahmood Karimi-Hakkak, Ph.D., Professor of Creative Arts, Siena College
Farideh Kioumehr, Ph.D., Founder & Executive Director, International Health & Epidemiology Research Center
Hamid Kowsari, Director of Education, New Technology Training Institute
Mehri Jafari: Human Rights Lawyer
Reza Jafarian, Political activist
Ramin Jahanbegloo, Ph.D., Professor of Philosophy, York University, Canada
Jaleh Lackner-Gohari, M.D. and Human Rights Activist
Abdol-Karim Lahidji, Lawyer and President of FIDH – International Federation for Human Rights
Ali Akbar Mahdi, Ph.D., Department of Sociology, California State University, Northridge
Peyman Malaz, Adjunct Lecturer of Diplomacy and World Affairs Department, Occidental College
Abbas Milani, Ph.D., Director of Iranian Studies Program, Stanford University, Research Fellow, Hoover Institution
Ziba Mir-Hosseini, Ph.D., Centre for Islamic and Middle Eastern Law, SOAS, University of London
Ali Mirsepasi, Ph.D., Professor of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies, New York University.
Ghafoor Mirzai, Writer and Poet, Los Angeles.
Valentine M. Moghadam, Ph.D., M. Moghadam, Professor and Director of International Affairs Program, Director of Middle East Studies Program, Northeastern University, Boston
Bijan Moshaver, Ph.D, Senior Medical Scientist, City Councilor for Dutch Green Party in Netherlands, Chairman Radio Zamaneh
Mani Mostofi, Human Rights Lawyer and Activist
Aliakbar Mousavie, former deputy of Majlis (parliament), and Visiting Fellow at Virginia Tech University.
Majid Naficy, Ph. D, Poet and former editor of the journal of Iranian Writers’ Association in Exile
Shahrir Nowakhtar, CPA, Human Rights Activist, Los Angeles, CA
Saeed Paivandi, Ph.D., Professeur – Département de Sciences de l’éducation, Université de Lorraine, Paris
Behrooz Parhami, Ph.D., Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of California, Santa Barbara
Kourosh Parsa, Ph.D., President, Parsa Wireless Communications, LLC
Misagh Parsa, Ph.D., Professor of Sociology, Dartmouth College
Noradin Pirmoazen, M. D., former reformist deputy of Majlis (parliament)
Bijan Pirzadeh, M.S. Civil Engineer and Human Rights Activist
Lily Pourzand, LL.M., College Instructor and Women’s Center Manager
Azadah Pourzand, Co-founder and Executive Director, Siamak Pourzand Foundation
Ahmad Sadri, Ph.D., Professor of Sociology and James Gorter Chair of Islamic World Studies, Lake Forest College
Saeed Sanjabi, Political Analyst
Ahmad Salamatian, Former Majlis (parliament) deputy and frequent commentator on BBC/Persian and news media in France
Mahdokht Sanati, President of Iranian Children’s Rights Association.
Hassan Shariatmadari, Scholar in Political and Religious Fields
Ali Taghipour, Political Activist
Mohamad Tavakoli-Targhi, Ph.D., Professor of History, University of Toronto
Nayereh Tohidi, Ph.D., Professor of Gender & Women’s Studies; Director of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies at California State University, Northridge
Farzin Vahdat, Ph.D., Sociologist, Boston, Massachusetts
Hamid Zanganeh, Ph.D., Professor of Economics, Widener University
Arsalan Ziazie, Writer, residing in Los Angel
May 01, 2015 Comments Off on Iranian Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Shirin Ebadi on Nuclear Deal, Islamic State, Women’s Rights
Feb 12, 2018 Comments Off on Iranian intellectuals call for a UN sponsored referendum to choose a new system of governance
Jan 12, 2018 Comments Off on FOUR NOBEL PEACE LAUREATES URGE IRAN TO RESPECT THE RIGHTS OF PROTESTERS
Oct 24, 2017 Comments Off on Spring 2018 American Physical Society Prizes and Awards Announced
Jul 18, 2017 Comments Off on The Day of Iranian Mothers in Prison,let’s protect women’s rights
Feb 14, 2018 Comments Off on The Guardian: Iranian intellectuals call for referendum amid political unrestSaeed Kamali Dehghan Iran correspondent Wed 14 Feb 2018 A group of prominent Iranian intellectuals have said they have lost hope that the Islamic Republic can reform, and have called for a referendum to establish whether the ruling establishment is still backed by a majority. A day after Iran’s president, Hassan Rouhani, touted the idea […]
Feb 12, 2018 Comments Off on Iranian intellectuals call for a UN sponsored referendum to choose a new system of governanceFifteen Iranian public intellectuals dismayed by four decades of the Islamic Republic rule, in a statement released on Sunday to coincide with the 39th anniversary of the Iranian Revolution of 1979, call for a UN-sponsored referendum for Iranians to choose a new political system for their country. The group of intellectuals which include internationally renowned […]
Feb 05, 2018 Comments Off on Iran protests are fire under ashesLONDON, United Kingdom (Kurdistan 24) – After heavy government crackdown, the seemingly spontaneous nation-wide protests in Iran have been silenced, but a Nobel Peace Prize winner says the rage is ever present and will flame up at the next chance. Late in December 2017, Iranians took to the streets to protest the sluggish economy. The […]
Jan 12, 2018 Comments Off on FOUR NOBEL PEACE LAUREATES URGE IRAN TO RESPECT THE RIGHTS OF PROTESTERSOttawa – January 11, 2018 Nobel Peace Laureates Shirin Ebadi, Jody Williams, Leymah Gbowee and Tawakkol Karman, urge the Islamic Republic of Iran to conduct credible independent investigations into the use of violence, especially lethal violence, and mass arrests in reaction to protests held in 75 cities across the country, beginning on December 28, 2017. […]
Jul 08, 2017 Comments Off on Report by the Centre for Defenders of Human Rights to the UN Human Rights Special Rapporteur regarding the inspection of Evin Prison by foreign ambassadorsFriday 7 July 2017 – 16 Tir 1396 In the wake of the publication of the news about the visit to Evin Prison by 50 ambassadors of different countries, the Centre for Defenders of Human Rights has sent a letter to the UN Human Rights Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the […]
Apr 13, 2016 Comments Off on Guidelines for a transparent and merit-based system for the appointment of high level judgeFor the full report in English click below link: Guidelines for a transparent and merit based system for the appointment of high level judge
Apr 07, 2018 Comments Off on Human rights situation in Iran from 20 February to 20 March 2018The Centre for the Defenders of Human Rights has reviewed the situation of human rights in Iran during the month of Esfand 1396 [20 February to 20 March 2018]: “The only way to save the country is to hear the voices of the protesters and respond to their long-awaited demands” In continuation of its monthly […]
Jun 27, 2017 Comments Off on The Centre for the Defenders of Human Rights: Avoid expressing anarchy-inspiring remarksTuesday- 6th of Tir 1396- 27 June 2017 In continuation of its monthly reports, the Centre for the Defenders of Human Rights has reviewed the situation of human rights in Iran during the month of Khordad 1396 [Iranian month corresponding to 22 May to 21 June 2017] The Centre for the Defenders of Human Rights, […]
Jul 21, 2016 Comments Off on Why won’t my fellow Nobelist Aung San Suu Kyi help a Muslim minority?