In a Wednesday address to the US House of Representatives, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson had noted that he would help elements inside Iran to effect a regime change in the country.
In reaction, a group of Iranian political activists, including journalists, lecturers, former lawmakers, and senior officials at the former Iranian President Mohammad Khatami’s administration, most of whom are reformists, in a letter with nearly 70 signatures, denounced the interventionist remarks.
Among those signing the letter are activists and officials who used to be imprisoned on charge of ‘acting against national security’, but have already served part of their prison terms, have been bailed out or are on probation.
The full text of the letter is as follows:
“Everybody is well aware of the bitter reality that the situation in countries in the Middle East and North Africa is more critical than that of other world nations. Moreover, this is the first time in the region’s history that we are witnessing such a serious crisis. Although a great part of the crisis is rooted in local problems and emanates from weak governance and a lack of democratic and free governments in the region, a key contributor to the crisis is interference in the region by foreign countries, especially the United States.
Contrary to its claim of supporting human rights, the US is backing the most reactionary country in the region simply to serve its own interests, so much so that one can say extremism in the region and in the world is somehow rooted in Washington’s actions.
Rather than helping promote peace and tranquility in the region, the current US administration seeks to further destabilise the region by supporting Saudi Arabia’s reactionary regime, and to spread that instability to countries like Iran which enjoy stability.
US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Washington’s policy on Iran is to roll back its “hegemony” and superiority and contain what he called Tehran’s ability to produce nuclear weapons and to support elements inside Iran that could bring about a peaceful transition of government. Tillerson added those elements are present in Iran. His comments are provocative and against international and legal principles and will have no result except further instability in the region and expansion of conflict and terrorism.
These remarks are made at a time when an overwhelming majority of Iranian people are expressing their opinions in polling stations and at the same time the White House is supporting countries with authoritarian rules in order to plunder the Middle East’s oil revenues.
Accordingly, we, the undersigned, categorically condemn remarks by US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and ask all political players and Iranian as well as global intellectuals to denounce such comments and not allow more salt to be rubbed on the region’s wounds. If necessary measures are not adopted, the regional crisis will not remain restricted to the Middle East and will affect all of us, including the American people.”
Mostafa Tajzadeh, a senior political activist and former deputy interior minister under Khatami’s presidency, was one of the reformist figures who signed the letter.
In addition to signing the letter of condemnation, he also addressed US President Donald Trump in a post in his Twitter account.
“Trump! We Iranian seekers of peace and democracy are, in the first place, defenders of Iran’s independence, unity, and security, and will stand against any foreign interference, threat, and sanction,” Tajzadeh said in a Farsi tweet.
He also posted an English tweet to condemn Tillerson’s comments, “Iranians have shown time and again that they do not want US interference in Iranian affairs. How many times should we repeat that?”