VANCOUVER, British Columbia, July 24, 2015 /PRNewswire/ --
Only a day after former Iranian president Hashemi Rafsanjani said in an interview with an Arab daily last week that the reopening of the US embassy in Tehran is a possibility, the supreme leader ayatollah Khamenei said that the recent nuclear deal between Iran and world powers does not mean an end to the hostilities between the Islamic republic and "the world arrogance led by America".
The Centre for a Democratic Iran, a non-profit organisation whose mission is to promote and pursue an independent, peaceful and democratic Iran, followed these events with great interest.
Khamenei even threatened that his regime's meddling in the affairs of Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Yemen and Bahrain will continue unabated, but he wrapped it up with the cover of "support for the oppressed people".
Centre for a Democratic Iran Founder, Behrooz Behbudi, offers his thoughts on the situation:
Clearly the political line that Khamenei and his close associates within Iran's intelligence organs and the Revolutionary Guard follow is based on antagonism with the US and its close allies (Israel and conservative Arab states), while the vast majority of the Iranian people have been the direct victims of this ideologically driven menace.
"From the outset, Iran's nuclear crisis was made out of the vicious and costly ambition of the rulers of the Islamic republic regime in an attempt to secure a safety buffer zone against their perceived enemies. In parallel it has demonstrated the militarization of the power structure of a regime at the cost of disregard for all civil and human rights of the Iranian people.
The Rouhani government is the voice of those within the clerical establishment opposed to this "radicalism", which has resulted in the devastation of Iran's economy through sanctions and an isolated country engulfed in corruption and numerous social ills.
Rafsanjani's comment therefore stems from the fact that after the recent nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers the era of hiding behind anti-Americanism for clinging to power in Iran is now over.
However, the international community will be wrong to assume that the Iranian regime is its main and only party to this agreement.
Now that the career diplomats and nuclear scientists have sorted out an agreement to hopefully stop the clerical regime in Tehran ever achieving a nuclear bomb, the key to success in the deal lies in its implementation, and that should be everyone's business. For this reason, negotiating governments must find ways to integrate civil society into the execution of the deal, and even build upon it, rather than just jumping on the bandwagon of entering the lucrative Iranian markets for Russian missiles and Chinese tanks, and close their eyes on the suppression of Iran's civil and human rights movement by the ruling regime.
To this end, Iran's civil society must flourish and world powers should throw their support behind this notion as it strongly supported the negotiations and the pursuit of a peaceful settlement to the long-running conflict.
In a June 2015 study by the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, prominent political and cultural figures in the country were interviewed on their views of the nuclear talks, and their support for a negotiated settlement was unanimous, even among political prisoners and dissidents whose rights had been severely violated by the Iranian government.
In this context, the Centre for a Democratic Iran, that for decades has promoted secular and democratic governance for Iran, along with other like-minded Iranian independent and democratic organisations, can play a major role in establishing democracy for Iran and securing peace for the Middle East.
The Iranian people's aspirations for democracy, peace and prosperity are in line with their desire to belong to the wider international community, as much as Khamenei's obsolete repressive rule belongs to history.
SOURCE The Centre for a Democratic Iran