"GLOBAL DIALOGUE" or "REFORMISTS" DIAL-UP

A Lost Opportunity For: A Real"GLOBAL DIALOGUE ON THE FUTURE OF IRAN"

May 15, 2013

Ms. Janice Stein Director Munk School of Global Affairs j.stein@utoronto.ca

Ms. Janice Stein,

As Canadian-Iranian activists, deeply involved in struggle for a free, democratic and secular Iran, we would like to praise the Munk School of Global Affairs for facilitating an “International Dialogue” about the future of Iran.

However, we are deeply concerned that only, for the benefit of window-dressing, an insignificant number of invitees were from the opposition which are closely linked to the struggle for democratic movement in Iran.

It is extremely disappointing to see that Munk School, for an unknown reason/s, chose to exclude the opposition groups instead inviting the pro-regime “Reformists”.

As you may be aware there are opposition groups, with divers political perspectives, who have been deeply involved in the struggle to end the tyranny of Islamic regime - in order to bring about a form of freely and democratically elected governance that respects freedom, Human Rights and the will of people. We truly believe that the insight of these organizations, which have supporters in Iran and representatives in Canada and in other Western countries, would have been extremely beneficial in any type of dialogue dealing with the future of Iran.

As the Islamic regime's "Presidential [s]election" fast approaches, it would have been not only important but very relevant for the Munk School of Global Affairs, to provide a venue to the Iranian opposition. It is extremely concerning and disappointing that this opportunity was not granted.

It is our great concern that many invitees in the, so called, “Global Dialogue on the Future of Iran” were individuals who either have been part of the Islamic regime (i.e. Mojtaba Vahedi) or the pro-regime “reformists” chapter (i.e. Mehrangiz Kar), or “cultural attaché” (i.e. Mehrdad Aiannejad) and of course "academic elites" (i.e. Ramin Jahanbegloo) in favour of "Dialogue" with the regime.

We were particularly disgusted with the presentation of Bahman Kalbasi and Mehrangiz Kar under the pretext of “moderators” with agenda in promoting the Islamic regime and its anti-Human Rights “Constitution”.

Sadly, the only person, Ms. Shiva Mahboubi, who really alluded to the subject of ending the Islamic dictatorship, was subjected to gagging by the moderator/dominator, pro-regime reformist, Ms. Mehrangiz Kar.

It should be noted that the “Future” begins today; unfortunately, there was no discussion on how to overcome the obstacle of today - Islamic dictatorship - and to arrive at the presumed "Future". In addition, during the two-day sessions, none of the selected topics or questions dealt with the subject of facilitation of ending the tyranny of “Islamic Republic” in Iran – with a free democratic secular government.

Please note that in the eyes of the Iranian people, neither the Islamic regime, the regime of: rape, torture and execution, has any legitimacy nor do individuals who persistently insist to promote a different version of Islam in an attempt to salvage the “Islamic Republic”.

Unfortunately, this was a lost opportunity to have a real "GLOBAL DIALOGUE ON THE FUTURE OF IRAN" - a dialogue which includes Iranian opposition, individuals, and groups opposing the totality of the Islamic regime in Iran. However, we are hopeful that the Munk School of Global Affairs will be more inclusive in its future events; and in addition, more transparent in demonstrating its stance with and its support for the people of Iran in their struggle for freedom.

In conclusion, we would like to inform you that for the people of Iran, one of the significant factors in their struggle - for ending the Islamic dictatorship and quest for freedom and democracy - is “memory and remembrance”.

Yours truly,

Sayeh Hassan Canadian-Iranian lawyer, pro-democracy activist and blogger Sayehhassan30@gmail.com, shiro-khorshid-forever.blogspot.com

Faramarz Shiravand Canadian-Iranian investigative reporter and political activist Shiravand_mf@yahoo.com

CC: John Baird, Minister of Foreign Affairs

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