Aims and Objectives
Why we do what we do?
ACI was established in Paris in 1992, soon after the end of the eight-year Iran-Iraq war. Many Iranians were privately expressing concern at the time that the Islamic Republic was not capable of governing Iran effectively. Iran’s reserves and resources were exhausted, the country was experiencing a dangerous population explosion with little social planning, and the future seemed bleak and out of control. Against this background, ACI was borne out of a desire to offer educated expert solutions and alternative plans for the future of Iran.
Our concern was that the changing world, and the speed with which change was occurring, were going to overtake us and leave Iran standing still. The communications revolution, the collapse of the Soviet Union, the events in South Africa, as well as the new emerging geopolitics of the world, all meant that a new and innovative approach needed to be found to secure the future of Iran. Yet, the Islamic rulers of Iran were set to drag the country back by 1400 years.
Iran’s own unique geopolitical position, and its rich oil and mineral fields mean that Iran has never been free from outside interest. While understanding the importance of globalisation, we believe in Iran’s right to national sovereignty, maintaining its territorial integrity and independence, in the globalised sense of the word.
Fear, distrust, and apathy have been the worst enemies of progress. Our first conference, organised in Paris in 1992, was attended by over 1000 people anxious for the future of their country, and excited at the prospect of an impartial organisation bringing together all schools of thought for the first time. ACI has worked tirelessly with Iranians to promote self-belief and confidence, to believe that we can bring about change, but we need to work together for this change to occur. Therefore, much of our work is based on developing networks and facilitating processes that encourage the rebuilding of trust amongst individuals and groups.
Our belief is that by acting together we can
bring about change to establish the democracy, equality, and justice
we have been fighting for since the Constitutional Revolution of 1906.
ACI maintains an impartial and an unprejudiced approach to all its activities and respects all schools of thought. We work actively with colleagues from all over the world, and hope to contribute towards a better future for Iran. We welcome and invite the participation of all those interested in the future of Iran.
ACI is an intellectual forum that aims to offer a framework for the future of a democratic Iran. Our work centres on social, political, cultural, and economic planning. To this end, ACI :
works to identify problems concerning Iran and Iranians worldwide;
offers well-informed and expert solutions to improve and overcome them.
An integral part of our work is to disseminate our findings to the most important international public and private decision-makers, as well as to the public. We do this by organising regular international conferences, publishing our findings, issuing press releases and policy briefings, and providing experts for media coverage.
Because of the ideological style of government in Iran, it is difficult to study and research free from bias and prejudice. Therefore, a group of Iranians world-wide with different points of view, expertise and experience have come together with the single unifying aim of ‘creating a positive future for Iran’. The experts and scholars invited from Iran and the rest of the world come together in our conferences to discuss and examine issues with the hope of offering constructive solutions.
With this in mind the symbolic title of ‘Iran on the threshold of year 2000’ was chosen to cover the activities of ACI. This was to emphasise the look to the future by understanding where we are today, where we hope to be and how best to get there. This has now changed to ‘Iran in the 21st Century’.
Association of Iranian Researchers has organised fifty international conferences and published eleven books in the last sixteen years with papers presented by over seven hundred experts and scholars.