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May 23 is the Presidential election day in Iran. The fundemental right of the Iranian people to elect their President is violated by the Guardian Council.

The Guardian Council is acting as the Guardian of the People not the constitution.

Take a small step in defending everyone's right to freely cast their vote and elect their favorite President rather than Guardian council's favorite President.

Please sign this letter by sending an email to dni@glue.umd.edu and filling the following form:


On May 8, 1997, the Guardian Council of Iran, rejected candidacy of 234 out of 238 Presidential candidates in Iran based on some discriminatory criteria. This act violates Artilces 2 and 21 of the UDHR. The Islamic Republic of Iran is a signatory of this Declaration.

We, the undersigned, are calling for Free Elections in Iran. We strongly object to the Guardian Council's screening role in the election process in Iran. We find this role undemocratic, and against the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which states: "The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government; this will shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret vote or by equivalent free voting procedures". "Everyone has the right to take part in the government of his country, directly or through freely chosen representatives". [Artilce 21].

Furthermore, we believe that the Election laws are discriminatory and flawed. We strongly believe that revision of these laws such as article 115 is a strong pre-requisite for Free Elections in Iran. Artilce 115 of the Islamic Republic constitution states: "The President must be elected from among religious and political personalities [rijal], possessing the following qualifications: Iranian origin; Iranian nationality; administrative capacity and resourcefulness; a good past-record; trustworthiness and piety; convinced belief in the fundamental principles of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the official madhhab of the country." A Free Election will require revision of this law which is discriminatory against: non-religious Moslems [secular], Women, non-Moslems, athiests, non-belivers in the fundemental principles of the Islamic Republic of Iran [clerical rule and Velayate Faghih] and non-Shia' Moslems. IRI is a signatory to UDHR which states: "Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status" [Article 2]. Removal of [May 8, 1997] Azam Taleghani, a woman candidate, Sahabi, Dr. Yazdi, Dr. Payman, non-governmental religious-political and "liberal" Personalities and other religious non-governmental candidates such as Rajaee Khorassanee and H. Tabarzadi from the upcoming Presidential Elections by the Guardian Council is evidence of such discriminatory behaviour. It is the removal of 234 out of 238 Presidential candidates that amplifies and highlights the severity of the undemocractic nature of Guardian Council's role in the election process.

Last but not least, most of the existing [banned or tolerated] secular Opposition parties have boycotted the elections on the grounds that pre-requisites for Free and Fair Elections are not satisfied. National Front of Iran, The Union of National Forces [Nation's Party, People's Party, Movement for Freedom in Iran, Nation's Toilers Party of Iran] which operate inside of Iran have boycotted the elections. The Exile Opposition forces have also boycotted the elections. The secular groups are barred by the constitution [article 115] to compete for the Presidential Office.

We, as Iranian professionals and intellectuals in exile are deeply concerned about contineous violation of Human Rights by the Islamic Republic of Iran and specially non-conformances with Artilces 2 and 21 which are related to free and genuine Elections. We have identified the following steps as pre-requisites for Free Elections in Iran and would like to bring it to the Iranian people and international human rights organization's attention:

  1. Provision of Freedom of Expression, Press, Assembly, formation and activity of all political Parties [including the secular and non-religious ones].
  2. Elimination of the Guardian Council's screening role in the elections process in Iran.
  3. Revision of laws that promote discrimination based on religion, political belief, ideology, ethnicity and gender.
  4. Fair and equitable access to government owned media in the Election Process.

  1. Zard Sarty, M.Arch., M.C.D., Researcher, Canada
  2. Dr. Kourosh Parsa, Electrical Engineer, New York, USA
  3. Dr. Asghar Abdi, Physician, UK
  4. Dr. L.R. Barlett, Physician, UK
  5. Behdad Forghani, Electrical Engineer, Montreal, Canada
  6. Ali Shahidi, MIS Director, Los Angeles, USA
  7. Bahar Khorram, Electrical Engineer, USA
  8. Dr. Ghavam Shahidi, New York, USA
  9. Dr. Kaveh Khoshnood, Epidemiologist, New Haven, Connecticut, USA
  10. Mehran Sam, Ph.D. Student, Toronto, Canada
  11. Dr. Morteza Abdollahi, Computer Scientist, New Jersey,USA
  12. Behzad Sadeghi, Electrical Engineer, CA, USA
  13. Steven Samimi, Student, Hobart, Australia
  14. Dr. Mansour Farhang, Political Scientist, VT, USA
  15. Dariush Anooshfar, Mathematician, CA, USA Trita Parsi, student, Uppsala, Sweden
  16. Farhad Abdolian, HW Design Engineer, Stockholm, Sweden
  17. Alberto xxx, informatica, Vic, Catalonia
  18. Sam Shahoveisi, dentistry student, Willow Grove, PA, USA
  19. Dr. Saied KazemiNejad, Electrical Engineer, TX, USA
  20. Dr. Amir Hossein GanjBakhsh, Physicist, Washington DC, USA

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Plese send your comments and suggestions to Farhad A.