During the Islamic Republic era in Iran, the meaning of legal reform has reversed. Social realities, such as the high rate of educated and expert women inside Iran, as well as the economic conditions and present day demands of women in relation to the vast communication opportunities with the rest of the world is not the basis for legislation.
The pride and human dignity of these youth will be crushed if they are caught in an unequal war. Instead of building their pride, they will be caught in a slipping unequal war while the swords of other oil rich entities in the region watch. The pride will turn into defeat and this rich resource of the country will turn to depression.
Iran’s leader and his advisors have come to the conclusion that the problem lies with the only elected official at the executive level, i.e., the president. If the position were eliminated, it would not endanger the absolute authority in the country but would even provide relief to it.
I pull back the thick curtains of my hotel room. The sunshine of Cairo fills in the room. The constant sound of car honking their through the heavy traffic breaks the silence. I face a painting of Cairo; it is just like Tehran.
If it is indeed a difference of opinion and Iran deems it more appropriate to sentence children and adolescents to execution than to send them to rehabilitation centers, why did Iran sign the Convention on the Rights of the Child?
Siamak Pourzand’s repeated letters, and those of his family members, to the former president, current president, Mr. Sadegh Larijani and others are pieces of paper lying in a trash can and nobody cares to look into this man’s case who has been sentenced with espionage based on fake confessions derived under duress by judge Jaafar Saber Zafarghandi.
Besides the patent inequalities described above, a close look at the Constitution reveals serious legal impediments to the fulfillment of the necessary conditions for the freedom of opinion, religion, and sect. These are, of course, to add to the arbitrary decisions the authorities have at times applied to non-Muslims in order to restrict their freedom. Among the examples of such policies, we can refer to the right to ration books, university entrance, registration of marriages and employment with the result that a group of Iranians have been deprived of their religious and human rights.
The list may go on and on, but I think my point is clear enough about the fact that the notion of equal citizenship is seriously violated throughout the body of Iranian civil and criminal law. A comparable unequal treatment can be seen in discriminatory laws targeting non-Muslims. In fact, existing laws leave these minorities in a highly vulnerable position. To be sure, certain articles of the Constitution recognize equal rights for all citizens. Specifically, Article 19 of the Constitution states, “the people of Iran from any ethnic or tribal background enjoy equal rights and color, race, language and such likes do not entail any advantages.”
Judicial security and social equality are two prerequisites of any social or political development. The rights and duties of citizens are defined in the context of legislation and laws, while the relationship between the citizen and the state is a mutual one and must be upheld by both sides. In the modern world, the citizen’s confidence in the state is secured only if his or her capabilities and aspirations are encouraged and the individual citizen is convinced of equal rights with others. It is only then that the state is accepted or perceived as the most reliable protector of the citizen’s legal rights.
As a result of the stresses endured by cultural producers of Iran over the past ten years, their professional, social, and even physical existence has been at serious risk. Fortunately, opposition to freedom of thought in general and freedom of press in particular is not a commonly held position by all members of the Iranian state. As mentioned above, after the presidential elections of 1997, President Khatami appointed a number of his colleagues with similar views to run the important ministries of Culture and Islamic Guidance and Interior.