Global Viewpoint Media
By Robin Wright
The signatories, all Iranians living outside the country, also include dissident cleric Mohsen Kadivar; former parliamentarian and Islamic Guidance Minister Ataollah Mohajerani; investigative journalist Akbar Ganji; and Abdolali Bazargan, an Islamic thinker and son of a former prime minister.
Q: Why did you decide to issue a manifesto now?
A: The Green Movement is into its seventh month now, and I and my friends have been following events very closely and have been in touch with some of our friends in Iran. After [the protests on] Ashura on Dec 27, we came to realize that it was a real turning point. It was at that time that the regime decided to crack down on the Green Movement. In one instance, the regime rolled over a protester and killed him. It was a very severe message to all the protesters and defenders and supporters of the Green Movement that it intends to crush the movement harshly.
On the other hand, we have also individually been frequently asked by our friends: What are the real demands of the Green Movement, because the Green Movement was something that jumped on the scene? There was no planning for it. The election was the beginning, and it just evolved and evolved. As it evolved, some demands had emerged, but there was nothing that showed what was in the minds of the leaders of the movement.
We know there are many more demands, many more than these. Maybe in the next stage, they may demand redrafting the constitution. But for now, they would like to work within the framework of the constitution, and we were careful not to trespass those limits.
If they accept one of these 10 demands -- and not the rest -- it will revolutionize the whole country. Maybe release the prisoners; so many competent people are in prison. Any one of these would revolutionize the atmosphere.