Socio-Political thinking in Iran – ReportWritten by Jade in 11 February 95
Socio-Political thinking in Iran
on the threshold of Year 2000
This was to be one of the most sensitive yet gratifying conferences that ACI had successfully planned and organised. During the four days of the conference despite many historic and deep rooted disagreements amongst the speakers and audience alike, the atmosphere created by ACI resulted in a demonstration of unprecedented tolerance and understanding by everyone present. The most noted success of the conference was the participation of the speakers who in past had refused to sit down together. This set a precedent and has become a model to those interested in the future of Iran.
The Nationalist Movement
The examination of the history of nationalistic movement in Iran, the reasons for its conception, the formation of more serious actions in modern form in keeping with the time, reconciling national differences will all go a long way in establishing a long awaited civil society in Iran – these were amongst the topics addressed on this day. With this in mind an examination and acceptance of past actions and mistakes resulting in the present situation in Iran were considered. Suggestions were put forward for future moves.
The Leftist Movement
A wide group of republicans and representatives of the many leftist groups formed the second day of the conference. Although it was evident that there were many different interpretations of the leftist movement, the unifying message was a critical view of their past actions. This criticism referred to the wrong evaluation of the social issues by the leftist point of view in the past.
The necessity of re-evaluation of past models because of present understandings and situations of Iran and the rest of the world, insistence on the application of democratic values and the most important point agreed by all, honouring national culture and history of Iran formed over thousands of years. The belief in democracy, observance of human rights and benefiting form the descriptions stated in the bill and not accepting totalitarian systems were amongst the most important topics of discussion.
Constitutional Monarchist Movement
The third day was dedicated to independent speakers and those in favour of constitutional monarchy. Most of the day’s speakers referred to Iran’s long history of Monarchist rule and its unifying effect between the monarchy and the Iranian society.
The speakers pointed out the socio–economic progress as well as cultural growth of Iran, its foreign relations and finally the high position of Iran under the Pahlavi rule in the world.
Of course this did not stop the criticisms and discussion amongst the panel and audience regarding the mistakes and bad decision made for Iran.
The speakers stressed the importance and the need for the presence of a constitutional monarch as figure head due to Iran’s social structure. They used countries such as Britain, Spain and other constitutional monarchies as example. Their plan for the future of Iran was based on these arguments and talked of new plans, new thinking and new energy.
The Religious Movement
The last day was dedicated to discussions on the powerful role religion has continually played within the Iranian society. Despite the present situation in Iran the papers given addressed an academic, logical and realistic look at the relevant issues.
The Society’s need for Religion and the use and abuse of its power was one of the important topics discussed. The history of religion within Iranian society, the question of high ranking clergy as ‘point of reference’ for the masses and the development of this thought into the present dilemma of ‘Velayat Faghih’ – the absolute rule of appointed religious jurist deriving its legitimacy from God and not the people – created excitement in the auditorium.
ACI – February 1995