Declaration of a New Covenant

By H.I.M. Crown Prince Reza Pahlavi

My compatriots, the reason I am speaking with you today is to begin a conversation about a new covenant, which is in response to the innumerable messages of those of you worried about Iran and its future.

You know that each additional day of this Islamic regime only portends a darker future for us. Isolation, social collapse, discrimination, economic free fall, frustration, and hopelessness have been the only achievements of forty one years of the Islamic regime for the people of Iran. Let us for the final time, restate the lesson that we have learned from the last twenty years, and that today, even the most optimistic among us admit:

This regime is not reformable!

The reality is that you do not deserve the current circumstances, and they do not befit Iran’s name! My motivation for presenting this new covenant is not achieving political power. Rather, it is an effort to establish a system in which, power is never monopolized by one individual or group. Every Iranian across the country, irrespective of gender, ethnicity, religion, ideology, or lifestyle, must accept responsibility and share equally in decision making in their future and the country’s future.

One man rule and pyramidic power structures in today’s world are not sufficient in meeting the needs of a pioneering and dynamic society. Prosperity and progress in today’s world comes from establishment of a government based on collective wisdom, public participation, and civic responsibility.

My undertaking is to put the country on the right path, not to look for quick bandages that leave open the path for the recreation of tyranny and the monopolization of power. The first step in achieving these conditions is transitioning from the Islamic Republic, which is the symbol of the monopolization of wealth and power in the hands of a limited few.

Today we not only know what we want, but we also clearly know what we do want. We want a stable political structure based on the will of the people in which power is at the service of the people and the defense of national interests, not monopolized by a particular group. Our silence, neutrality, and inaction today, will result in even more catastrophic consequences for the country and future generations.

Those I’ll-willed apologists for the regime will ask you, “what is your alternative?” I say to you, the only acceptable alternative is the rule of the people of Iran! A system in which laws derived from the people’s votes are the government’s supreme guide. We must believe that no individual, group, or force, can save us on its own. We will either steer this storm-battered ship to safe shores together, or we will all drown separately.

I use the word “believe” instead of “hope”, and I believe that achieving freedom and prosperity is only possible if each and every one of us endeavors and accepts this national responsibility. This responsibility does not rest on the shoulders of one individual, group, or movement alone; rather, it rests on each of our shoulders.

Today, each and every one of you must, in your heart of hearts, answer this vital question:

On which side of this clear divide do you stand?

The side of darkness, destruction, corruption, and frustration? Or on the side of light, life, hope, progress, and prosperity? On which side will you stand? The side of the Islamic Republic? Or on the side of Iran? In order to save Iran, what are you willing to do?

To the political elite I ask: where do you stand? Do you want anything other than freedom and the rule of the people? Do you know any other path besides cooperation and collaboration to reclaim our country from the devil? Today is the day to decide.

To all the democratic political forces, irrespective of their pasts or political views, I extend a hand of friendship, and I beseech them to put aside their differences, self-aggrandizement and superiority in order to focus on one goal: Saving Iran.

History and future generations will judge you, for they will see, in the most critical days of this pure land, on which side do you stand.

To my compatriots in the army, I say; your responsibility, as soldiers of the nation, is to defend our nation’s territorial integrity, our nation which, with the zealous sacrifice of our most gallant youth has, until this moment, survived. Today, as the Islamic Republic in order to maintain power, auctions off our land and sea to foreigners and fires upon defenseless people, your responsibility, more than ever before, is the defense and protection of the Iranian nation, in the face of this oppressive regime.

From the ranks of the IRGC and Basseej, I ask: Do you not see that the so-called generals of the IRGC are only after generating wealth for themselves and their families through corruption and crime, and their wealth and power has been monopolized by a small group of thieving clerics and commanders? Don’t you see that the IRGC’s meddling in all aspects of people’s lives and all the nation’s affairs, has paralyzed the country and that the Basseej and IRGC have become forces opposed to the people and the nation?

Look into the eyes of your own children! See how their futures are being held hostage by the personal interests of a corrupt few. Your children ask you, on which side do you stand?

The path to victory is clear. We must connect strikes, protests, and civil disobedience, in various parts of the country to one another. In the workplace and in neighborhoods, we must form small protest circles and we must promote civil disobedience in all its forms. We must assist the families of strikers, political prisoners, and prisoners of conscience. Street level and middle level leaders, especially those who are currently imprisoned, must not be forgotten.

Iranians abroad, by sharing the message, and when possible, with financial support, must act on their patriotic duty. In forming this widespread protest network, the condition for our success, is tolerating the views and opinions of one another.

Tomorrow’s free Iran has room for everyone, and no one because of their beliefs, will be a second class citizen. In the free Iran which will be built by your capable hands, the rights of those in the minority will not be trampled upon by the rule of the majority. Let us endeavor that side by side with one another, we are innumerable, and we are more powerful than our oppressors. It is in this way that on a scale much larger than in the past, we can reclaim the streets from the oppressors. The most important power we have is the word, “We.” Know that today, the world is watching your movement, it hears your protest, and it is following your struggle.

My compatriots, my effort has always been, and will always be, to be the defender of your rights and freedom. On this path, I stand side by side, and in lock-step with your aspirations. I stand by your side because I don’t want to see Baloch children study in ramshackle tenements. I don’t want to see the women of my country, denied their most basic and human rights. I don’t want to see my Kurdish compatriots forced into back-breaking and life-threatening physical labor. I don’t want to see workers and retirees of my country live below the poverty line. I don’t want to see my country sold off to foreigners and have its wealth looted and spent abroad. I don’t want to see Iranian youth, because of all this discrimination and injustice, struggle with depression and hopelessness, the consequences of which are significant social decay, which we are witnessing today.

This new covenant which I referenced at the opening, is a pact between all the people. If we act on this new covenant, we can be assured of a bright future. A future in which our country is on the path to progress and development. The bright future that you deserve. There are many countries which, by committing to correct and just conditions, have succeeded in rapidly growing their economies, and improving standards of living for their people. For example, immediately after their liberation from the Soviet Union, the Baltic nations followed five principles in their economic agenda.

A transparent financial system.

A transparent government budget.

Welfare and security for workers.

The guarantee of rights for property owners and investors.

Independent impartial rules for arbitration of financial and commercial disputes.

Today, the verification of countries’ commitments to these conditions is the subject of the rules and criteria of five reputable international institutions. First, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). Second, the International Budget Partnership (IBP). Third, the Intetnational Labor Organization (ILO). Fourth, the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), and fifth, the Stockholm Arbitration Institute (SCC).

But where does Iran stand today? In terms of financial transparency, our country is on the FATF blacklist, which has resulted in tight restrictions and has imposed high costs for transactions for Iranian companies. In terms of budget transparency, Iran must emerge from today’s darkness to reach a score of 60 or higher. The pitiful state of workers’ and investors’ security, in addition to rapidly declining production, and diminishing buying power in today’s Iran is clear to all and does not require further explanation.

My compatriots, the path out of despair and hopelessness, out of poverty and oppression, is clearer than you think. Iran, with natural resources which far surpass those of the Baltic nations, by abiding by these five conditions, by attracting domestic and foreign investment, can bring state of the art technological know how and modern management principles to Iran, and with a flourishing economy, we can spur increased production and raise incomes.

Our young fallen heroes, from Neda to Pouya, from Sattar to Nikta, and all those brave souls who sacrificed their lives on the path to Iran’s freedom and greatness, await our acceptance of this covenant. Now, it is our responsibility to rise to the challenge. On this path, you are each a Kaveh, and Iran needs your dedication and valor. Kavehs are United in this new covenant for the liberation of the homeland, and the return of Iran’s greatness.

Long live Iran.

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Chef/Restaurateur/ Iranian opposition activist

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Sia Ayrom

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