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Center for Middle East Studies

Open Letter to the People of the United States

Open Letter to the American People from Iranian Civil Society Activists and Intellectuals on the Nuclear Deal
August 2015

 

We are a group of Iranian civil society activists, intellectuals, journalists, lawyers, university professors, scholars of religion, senior members of political parties, and reformists. We are writing to you at this historic moment in the relations between our two countries to make an appeal for your support of the nuclear agreement known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

We have long been committed to upholding the values of tolerance, pluralism, human rights, and the peaceful relations between nations. We deeply believe that a just and reasonable solution for international disputes is achieved through negotiation, not by the right of power and the imposing of unilateral views on others. We strongly believe that if this nuclear agreement is approved and implemented, it holds the promise of the gradual realization of such universal values within Iran, along with the possibility of better relations between our two nations.

We are deeply concerned about the consequences that might result from the rejection of this nuclear agreement. Economic sanctions against Iran would increase, as would the likelihood of war. This would be a catastrophe for the Middle East. Another war in this region would strengthen the forces of extremism and undermine the forces that work for nonviolence, peace and reconciliation; the ripple effects of another war would be felt far and wide, and would destabilize the international system for years to come.

For all these reasons, we appeal to you at this critical juncture in history. We urge you to seize this unique opportunity and to impress upon your elected representatives in Congress the importance of supporting this nuclear agreement. Another opportunity of this magnitude may not present itself again in our lifetime. We owe it to future generations of Iranians, Americans, and Middle Easterners to raise our collective voices in support of peace and diplomacy.

We look forward to a day in the future when Iranians no longer have to write open letters to Americans but can meet face to face with mutual respect and dignity based on shared values that bind us together as citizens of this planet.

Sincerely,

Masoud Adib, professor of philosophy

Alireza Alavitabar, professor of political science

Hussein Ansari-Rad, former member of parliament

Faizullah Arabsorkhi, political activist, senior member of Mojahedin of the Islamic Revolution Organization, former deputy minister of commerce

Ebrahim Asgharzadeh, secretary general of the Solidarity Party (Hambastegi Party)

Mustafa Badkoubehei, poet

Emadeddin Baghi, founder and director, Committee for the Defense of Prisoners’ Rights

Hossein Bani-Asadi, deputy prime minister of the provisional government, political activist, senior member of Freedom Movement of Iran

Abolfazl Bazargan, deputy prime minister, political activist, senior member of Freedom Movement of Iran 

Safa Bitaraf, political activist

S.M.A. Dadkhah, lawyer, senior expert in international law

Mohammad Davari, senior member of Teachers Association of Iran

Ghaffar Farzadi, professor of mathematics, senior member of Freedom Movement of Iran

A.A. Gharavi, political activist and scholar of religion

Farideh Gheirat, lawyer, former vice president of Iranian Bar Association

Mohammad Ghouchani, journalist and chief editor, Mehrnameh magazine, senior member of Kargozaran Party

Hadi Hadizadeh, university professor of physics, senior member of Freedom Movement of Iran

Jamshid Haghgoo, former head of Iran-Italy Chamber of Commerce, political activist

S.S. Haghighat, professor of political science

Ali Mohammad Hazeri, professor of sociology

Gholamhossein Karbaschi, secretary general, Kargozaran Party, former mayor of Tehran

Hossein Kashefi, political activist, senior member of Unity of Islamic Iran Party

Mohammad-Reza Khatami, M.D., professor, former member of parliament, former deputy minister of health

Mohammad Kianoush Rad, political activist, former member of parliament

Asghar Kimiaee, scholar of religion

Hamidreza Reza Jalaeipour, professor of sociology

Lotfollah Meisami, journalist, chief editor, and publisher of Cheshmandaz magazine

Seyyed Ali Mir-Mousavi, professor of political science

Mostafa Moeen, M.D., professor, former minister of science and reformist presidential candidate

Badressadat Mofidi, journalist

Abdullah Momeni, former leader of Islamic Students Association 

Ahmad Montazeri, scholar of religion

Minoo Mortazi, member, Mothers for Peace

Movaheddi Savouji, professor of Qur’anic interpretation

Javad Mozaffar, author and publisher of Kavir Publications

Mohammad Naeemipor, former member of parliament, political activist

Ali Nazary, journalist, publisher, and chief editor, Paytakht Kohan magazine, former member of parliament

Saleh Nikbakht, lawyer

Abdullah Nouri, former minister of interior

Jafar Panahi, film director

Ahad Rezaei, political activist, senior member of Freedom Movement of Iran

Hashem Sabbaghian, former deputy prime minister and minister of interior of the provisional government, senior member of Freedom Movement of Iran

Hamed Sahabi, political activist, publisher and chief editor, Iran-Farda magazine

Kayone Samimi, journalist, political activist

Mashaallah Shamsolvaezin, journalist

Mahmoud Alizadeh Tabatabaee, lawyer, member of Tehran Bar Association, professor of law

Azam Taleghani, secretary general of Society of Islamic Revolution Women of Iran, publisher and chief editor of Payam-e Ibrahim magazine

Mohammad Tavassoli, former mayor of Tehran, senior member of Freedom Movement of Iran

Gholam Abbas Tavassoli, professor of social sciences, senior member of Freedom Movement of Iran

Ebrahim Yazdi, former deputy prime minister and minister of foreign affairs, secretary general of Freedom Movement of Iran

Parviz Zandi-Nia, professor of technology, senior member of Freedom Movement of Iran

Sadegh Zibakalam, professor of political science

The Boston Review also published the Open Letter here