My dear compatriots, I salute each and every one of you,
Today, I am addressing you, the free-spirited women of Iran – who have never surrendered after 22 years of confronting inequalities, extortion, or obscurantism.
It is no wonder that the pages of our long-standing history, from time immemorial, have repeatedly witnessed your diligence, perseverance and self-sacrifice. You have not spared any effort in gaining your fundamental rights.
In a not so distant past, before decadence and disgrace was brought to our society by the theocratic regime, Iranian women had a dignified status. You women of Iran, shoulder to shoulder to men, and at times, as forerunners, were striving on the path of honor and grace for your motherland.
From the private sector, to high-ranking military officers, as ambassadors and ministers, you, as the other half of Iran, and because of your talents and genius, were working hard to place your nation amongst the most progressive and prosperous countries of the world.
38 years ago, these efforts, your perseverance and your quests – based upon a culture which is the birthplace of the most graceful thoughts -reached a plateau wherein you gained your right to suffrage and became equal partners with men in determining the future of your nation. You marked such victories in the annals of your struggles where women in more than 45 other nations had not yet gained the same suffrage rights.
My dear compatriots,
A revolution which 22 years ago shook the foundation of our society, and the regime which grabbed the helms of power, imparted a tremendous blow to your achievements and proud accomplishments.
The rights of all Iranians have been violated and trampled on during these years, but the damage to your soul, psyche and to your pride is indeed unprecedented in our history. This anti-Iranian regime, which resorts to demagogical slogans, in practice has instituted polygamy, the marriage of children and stoning in the social laws of a nation which more than 25 centuries ago was the birthplace to the first declaration of human rights.
Today our nation is imprisoned by a clique which boasts about a “civil society” but in reality, has taken away the most basic right away from you – namely the right to choose your own garment. The “parochial democracy” which they propagate, considers your testimony half as valuable as that of men, in their courts of injustice. Indeed, they know not the difference between male chauvinism and democracy.
In these years, we Iranians, both the current generation and the older one, women and men alike, have gained numerous yet painful experiences from this dark era.
The true spring of liberty will only come to our Iran when our social laws are written apart from obscurantism and an archaic psyche, and with full utilization of women’s ideas and with their unconditional participation in determining their own rights.
Filing away negative mentalities towards the individual rights and liberties of women, in essence removing the obstacles in the path for regaining women’s lost rights, ought to be one of the priorities of the Iran of tomorrow – An Iran wherein its government, instituted with a popular vote, would replace the current anti-woman regime.
I see an Iran in the horizon, where prejudice, has no place in it, regardless of its shape or form. Equality in front of law necessitates that no citizen should ever feel isolated or unprotected, nor should he ever hanker to regain his/her god-given rights. Laws that reduce you Iranian women to the level of second-class citizens are neither agreeable with the Iranian spirit nor have any place in our national culture.
In peace and tranquility, women and men in Iran, ought to be able to institute laws without the fear of excommunication or the accusation of “fighting the Almighty” – laws which are compatible with the International Declaration of Human Rights, laws which are both embedded in our national culture and are befitting a nation wherein the terms “woman” and “life” are of the same root.
In the Iran, which I envision, the citizens of the society, regardless of their status and position, would not oppress their brethren under the pretense of their gender, race, religion or color. It is an Iran, which guarantees the judicial safety of the women so its court system, instead of disregarding and trampling the rights of women, would feel responsible to safeguard it.
Women of Iran!
In these 22 years, no group or crowd has ever felt the torment of inequality, the pain of privation, and the misery of discrimination like you have endured it.
Today in no progressive nation – under no government that claims to be a patron of “civil society” – will the law-making process find a gender based foundation nor will the inequality between men and women become an accepted and “legal” rite. A theocratic regime, wherein the individual and social safety of women, in vital issues, is legally violated, is not capable of reform.
On the other hand, I envision an Iran where the full participation of you women in Iran, would redress the pains of inequality and in regaining your fundamental rights namely, forever removing the obstacles from your path.
I envision a future wherein gender, like religion or creed or political ideology would never become a gauge for service, competence or capability – an Iran where not only religion and spirituality are respected but its contemporary and progressive laws guarantee the individual and social freedoms of its citizenry.
Such a society is achievable, but in order to get there our beloved Iran needs a system wherein the populace is NOT regarded as incompetent – in need of a guardian – wherein our people will decide their own destiny without the interference of the Supreme Leader, and where in complete political freedom, in social and economic prosperity the maladies and the shortcomings are redressed.
I invite you to stay the course and just like the past, persist in your peaceful quests and look beyond the psyche, which deems you as invisible citizens. It is only then that shoulder-to-shoulder with the other half of Iran, who knows full well of your agonies, you’ll turn into effective participants in the political, social and economical scenes of the Iran of tomorrow.
Today, many patriots from all the various layers of the society in Iran, contact me and with all their sincerity, express their support for a referendum, a free plebiscite, conducted beyond this anti-Iranian anti-woman regime.
You free spirited women of Iran should know that many of the political, religious and military operatives of the regime, with regret and remorse from their past, are ready to pay their dues to their motherland.
The resistance and diligence you women have shown in confronting the inhumane laws and the restrictive regulations of these despots in these 22 years, should not only be a model for other freedom lovers but it reiterates my resolve in believing in a dignified and free Iran of tomorrow.
With all the agonies you have endured, because I believe in your free spirited psyche, because I am certain of your perseverance, I see a bright and fruitful future in the horizon of Iran – a future where with your effort and resilience – apart from archaic thoughts and inequalities – take control of our own future and destiny so we could build an Iran more dignified and more powerful than ever; This will be an Iran which will utilize the talents and skills of all its citizenry.
I envision a day where the voice for liberty by women, from the borders of the Aras river and the Moghan field, to the warm plateau of Zabol and Zahedan, from the shores of Karoon and Arvand River to the palm-groves of Ahwaz and Khoram-Shahr to the gardens of Birjand and Neyshaboor and the heights of Binalood mountains, from the rice fields and forests in Astara and Gorgan to the desert towns of Yazd and Ardakan, from the slopes of Alborz, Sahand and Sabalan mountains to the ever Iranian shores of the Persian Gulf, will embrace every corner of my birthplace so the true spring of freedom may return to our beloved Iran.
That day is not far because equality is indeed your right,
May the Almighty protect Iran!