It is quite unusual for a group of senior Iranian politicos to get together voluntarily and apparently spontaneously and then to issue
such a clear, constructive and non-histrionic statement, without reference
to their own mistreatment by the regime. These are all people who have
had political differences with the Islamic Republic, which has led to
their exile. They have put that aside in the interest of seeking some
kind of progress on the nuclear issue. Clearly they believe that this is an important moment. I hope it can get maximum exposure — including drawing attention to the letter and its significance within the US government.
Gary Sick is an adjunct professor of Middle East politics at Columbia's School of International & Public Affairs. He was the principal White House aide for Iran during the Iranian Revolution and the subsequent hostage crisis.
His Excellency Seyed Ali Khamenei
Supreme Leader of Islamic Republic of Iran
His Excellency Barack Obama
President of the United States of America
Her Excellency Catherine Ashton
EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy
Following the recent U.S. presidential election, the peoples of the world long for peace and international security, and along with many politicians, who oppose war, they expect from you responsibility, prudence and more pragmatism regarding a de-escalation of tensions over Iran’s nuclear program.
Given the critically important timing of the negotiations, we the undersigned, former members of the Iranian Parliament, pursuant to our deeply held sense of duty and convictions, would like to underscore the following points:
• At this juncture, we believe transparent and bilateral dialogue between the U.S. and Iranian governments regarding Iran’s nuclear program would be beneficial and effective. We therefore support such a discussion. Furthermore, we believe continued direct talks without intermediaries could be elevated to the highest levels of both governments. By providing more guarantees in pursuit of a peaceful resolution to the conflict, the talks could create fertile ground for serious discussions on many outstanding and complicated problems between the two nations.
• The Iranian nuclear program is a vastly complex and controversial issue affected by international and regional problems including over three decades of hostile relations between the United States and Iran. In view of the abundance of goodwill between the peoples of both nations, we believe if the political leadership on both sides is resolute, finding a realistic and peaceful resolution of the problem is not beyond reach and will ensure success in the coming round of negotiations.
• A basic principle of any effective negotiation is to explicitly acknowledge the goal of the negotiations is a win-win outcome. To resolve the conflict, therefore, we believe the following points must be taken into account:
• According to international regulations and treaty obligations, Iran has a right to enrich uranium for peaceful purposes. This right must actually be explicitly recognized, which means Iran would be able to enrich uranium up to five percent.
• If the twenty percent enrichment of uranium is to be stopped, and 20 percent stock pile should be controlled by IAEA, a long-term guarantee should be given to Iran. This guarantee would provide the sufficient fuel to
research reactors, which has only scientific and medical functions.
• Iran should take the confidence-building step of accepting the implementation of the Additional Protocol. Moreover, its nuclear program must be subject to technical and legal, and certainly impartial, inspections by the IAEA. Such a step would provide sufficient oversight by the IAEA.
• Concurrent with the halting of twenty percent enrichment process, the P5+1 should create a specific timetable to lift international sanctions imposed by UNSC, EU, USA related to the nuclear program. It is obvious that the Iranian nuclear program dossier has become a chronic, complex issue that if not resolved sooner, may endanger international peace and the long-term interests of Iran, the United States, and European countries.
Former Members of the Islamic Iranian Parliament
Member of the 1st Parliament, Former Deputy Foreign Minister and residing in Paris, France
Hasan Yousefi Eshkevari
Member of the 1st Parliament and residing in Bonne, Germany
Member of the 6th Parliament and residing in Brussels, Belgium
Member of the 6th and 7th Parliaments and residing in Boston, U.S.A.
Esmaeel Gerami Moghaddam
Member of the 7th Parliament and residing in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Member of the 6th Parliament and residing in Boston, U.S.A.
Seyed Aliakbar Mousavi
Member of the 6th Parliament and residing in Maryland, U.S.A.
Photo courtesy of javarman.