Summary of speech made by Mr.

Jahanguir Laghai
At the Conference on Election in Iran May 24, 2013 At the outset, I would like to express my appreciation to the Iranian Solidarity Congress and the Iranian Democratic Front for their tremendous efforts to organize this session in such a prestigious hall. I am also grateful to you, ladies and gentlemen, for your participation in this meeting. I would like to begin with a quote from the German philosopher Hegel. He says: “When a satiric event occurs for the first time, it is a comedy, but if the same event is repeated many times, it becomes a tragedy.” The same holds true for elections in the Islamic Republic of Iran. The first election, in which Iranians were asked to vote “yes” or “no” to the Islamic Republic Regime, was indeed a satiric show. But since then this show of elections has been repeated so many times that it has become a tragedy. This tragic process has been perpetuated due to the existence of a group named “Reformists” Many countries have adopted “reforms” to eliminate poverty and underdevelopment, and promote welfare and advancement in the second half of the twentieth century. South Korea, Chile, Argentina, Turkey, Brazil, and China are good examples. The facts show that all these countries began with economic development and then after a few years concentrated on social development, and finally on political development, meaning freedom and democracy. For instance, in Indonesia in 1976, 46% of its population was living under the poverty line, whereas in 2005 this figure decreased to only 9%. Or in China in 1976 per capita income was $40, whereas in 2010 it increased to $ 8600. Now let’s look at the Islamic Republic of Iran and see what it has achieved since its inception some 34 years ago. When the Islamic Republic came to power in 1979, one US dollar was equivalent to 70 Rials ( basic monetary unit of Iran). Today, one US dollar is equivalent to

35,000 Rials. This means Iranian currency has devaluated 500 times since 1979. The inflation rate during those years was approximately 0.5% whereas today the rate is between 100% to 110%. Before 1979, Iran did not have any problems with unemployment among the educated, technocrats and specialists in every field. We were even faced with some shortages in human resources and had to bring in help from the outside. Today the unemployment rate has reached 35%. These are the results of the economic reforms instituted by the Islamic Republic Regime. As for its social developments, the Regime has severely restricted all individual and social freedoms, and to a large extent has violated the basic human rights of all Iranians, regardless of gender, age, religion, ethnicity, or diversity. Women and youth in particular have been explicit targets of the barbaric violence of the Regime. Equality of rights between men and women does not exist. Women do not even enjoy the freedom of dress. The government controls what people can or cannot wear, eat, and drink. It seems that the Regime looks upon people as slaves or second- class subjects. The truth of the matter is that the Islamic Republic is a regime of anti-human and anti-humanitarian values. Therefore, how one can expect free elections to be carried out by such a regime? What is happening under the rubric of elections in the Islamic Republic has no similarity at all to normal elections in any free and secular society. Participation in such elections in Iran means supporting the regime and therefore elections are boycotted by those who struggle for freedom and democracy. In fact, the election conditions in the Islamic Republic derive from the regime’s totalitarian characteristics. The Islamic Republic is an ideological, fundamentally religious, and Fascist regime. Ideologist regimes may believe in different ideologies, but in practice they all follow the same patterns, both internally in dealing with their peoples and externally in conducting their foreign relations with other countries. Like the other ideologist regimes, the despotic Islamic Republic has brutally murdered thousands of intellectuals, technocrats, and other innocent freedom seekers, imprisoned hundreds of thousands of those whose opinions

differed from theirs, and forcefully exiled millions of Iranians who opposed the regime. The illegitimate regime of the Islamic Republic tried to export its Islamic revolution to others, particularly to neighboring countries, and spared no attempts in committing any crime to expand its illegal influence in those countries. So what can and should be done today? It is absolutely imperative that all the forces who believe in toppling and removing the entirety of the Islamic Republic and establishing a democratic and secular regime--- one that is derived from national Iranian sovereignty and integrity, and is based on the principles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights---join forces in one united front, in which all democratic visions and perspectives are represented so that they can jointly carry out struggle for freedom and democracy in Iran.