Iran is currently confronting several predicaments such as a rise in poverty with an increasing number of citizens living below the poverty line, inflation rates surpassing 40%, a widening income inequality gap between the upper and lower income brackets and a significant contrast between the reactionary, outdated outlooks and the emergence of modern subcultures. The current circumstances have resulted in over 80% of the Iranian population being discontent and seeking a change. However, the Islamic Republic has responded by repression and resisted change by crackdowns, putting the country's existence at risk by perpetuating the status quo. In the light of this danger and the need for substantial alterations in the power structure, the revolutionary movement "Woman, Life, Freedom" has focused on transition from the Islamic Republic to the establishment of democracy. It is essential to note, however, that toppling the Islamic Republic does not necessarily lead to the establishment of democracy.
For democracy to take hold in Iran, a peaceful, non-violent transition from the Islamic Republic is a necessary precondition. However, to ensure the continuity of peaceful transition a political system must be established that is founded on the principles of democracy and equipped with mechanisms that prevent the resurgence of tyranny and authoritarianism. One of the major impediments to democracy in Iran, dating back to the constitutional movement, is the dogma which is rooted in the system of monarchy and religious authority (the ideology of representation of the hidden Imam on earth). The 1979 revolution demonstrated that simply opposing an authoritarian regime is insufficient and adherence to universal norms of human rights, citizenship rights, prohibition of discrimination and spirit of tolerance must be prioritized. Additionally, it is crucial to avoid totalitarian and supremacy-seeking policies and political methods that rely on repression and suppression of opposition.
We believe that, after enduring a chaotic period spanning more than a century and a half, the time has come for Iran to establish a republican system. The secular democratic republic model has the potential to resolve the ongoing issue of establishing a "national state" by introducing a novel plan based on the notion of State-Nation in the contemporary history of Iran.
For us “republic” is not only a political structure and form of government, but it is our strategic political goal and the basis of the future system of governance, which is based on the right of all citizens to choose and be elected freely and on the rule of the majority while respecting the right of minority. "Republic" does not recognize any other rights and privileges including hereditary and divine rights, is based on eliminating all type of discrimination and ensuring equal rights for all. All citizens of the country are equal before the law, regardless of their ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religion, belief, and lifestyle. We oppose any type of lifelong institution in the political system and advocate the periodic and continuous turnover of power in all official organs in a future government in Iran.
Our activities in the realm of secular democratic republicanism include actions such as “discourse of republicanism in the general political arena of Iran”, elucidation of its differences with religious government and the risks of efforts to rehabilitate the institution of monarchy. We emphasize the need for concourse and solidarity of the ranks of republican forces, strengthening of the republican block within the opposition and creation of a republican weight in the Iranian society. Our plan of action includes also cooperation with the republican forces inside the country, protection and strengthening of social movements, civil society forces and “street upsurges”. We pay active attention to the current political, economic, cultural and social problems of Iran and strive to offer solutions for the structural blockages and political deadlocks.
Opposition to hate-spreading and blind revenge-seeking, encouraging compromise and political reconciliation, commitment to non-violence both in the realm of theory and practice, are among the fundamental concepts of our politics. We believe that the rainbow of the Iranian society needs enhancement of individual and collective consciousness, patience towards different views and lifestyles, plurality in all political, social, religious and cultural areas. The observance of the universal human rights, right from the present time through to the process of transition and thereafter, administration of justice according to just legal procedure, protection of the rights of the accused, presumption of innocence principle, are all the bases for the formation of judicial and political system of Iran in future.
For the establishment of democracy in our country, we depend on the “Women, Life, Freedom” movement. We emphasize the non-violent political struggle, the strengthening of civil movements, the convergence of the social movements, continuity of the protest actions and strikes and their development into a national, organized and forceful protest action. We are opposed to alternative- making by foreign powers. We underline the pivotal role of the political, civil and social forces inside the country and a leadership arisen out of the people’s struggle. We believe that the establishment of a secular democratic republic is possible only by the free and healthy competition of political parties and through political discourse.
Being aware of the deteriorating conditions in Iran and the need for transition from the Islamic Republic to a secular democratic republic, the urgency of the formation of a coalition of democratic and secular republican forces, we, five political parties and organizations, bring hereby the fundamental principles of our coalition to the knowledge of the public. The Publication of “Fundamental Principles of Coalition” is meant to create, expand and strengthen a secular republican weight in the political scene of Iran.
Below are the ten articles of the fundamental principles of this coalition:
We advocate the governance system of democratic republic and we are against individual, hereditary, religious and ideological rule. We are for the separation of legislative, judicial, executive powers, the independence of mass media (press, publications, radio and television as well as social media), the principle of Alternation of power, electability of parliament and president, preservation of territorial integrity of Iran, decentralization, equal rights for members of all ethnic groups, separation of religion and state, political pluralism, cultural and ethnic diversity and consolidation of civil society. We strive for the political growth, for the establishment of a modern, secular, democratic, law-abiding and efficient government.
We advocate the equal rights of citizens, the diversity of lifestyles and the implementation of the Universal declaration of human rights and its additional protocols. Institutionalized discrimination is a serious issue in our country, the most important of which relates to women's rights, an issue which is at the center of our activities. We insist on the judicial security of citizens and we believe that all citizens without exception have equal rights before the law, no person is above the law and no person should be discriminated because of gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, faith, religious and political beliefs, or be deprived of his/her lifestyle rights as a citizen.
We reject and condemn torture, death punishment and political retribution.
Political and social freedoms, free activity of political parties, people's right to access information, academic freedoms and independence of universities, holding meetings, demonstrations, freedom of association and organization of social groups, freedom of opinion, expression, religion, art and literature, formation and the strengthening of labor unions, trade organizations including teachers, lawyers, artists and NGO’s are among the goals for which we strive. The capacity of these associations to solve social problems in parallel with government institutions should not be underestimated.
Respecting human rights and establishing democracy in the country requires elimination of any form of discrimination and ensuring equal rights for all. We are committed to guaranteeing the rights of women and LGBTQ people in the family and society and providing the necessary facilities for the development of their talents and abilities in the field of employment, education and other areas of personal and social life.
Our country needs a flourishing economy to ensure continuous growth and development. Economic development is possible through the growth of the productive sectors of the national economy, investment, application of new technology, environmental protection, universal social welfare, poverty alleviation, and implementation of international labor laws. Our economy must change from a consumption based, non-competitive, rent-seeking economy to one based on production, competition, modern science and technology and be connected to world economy.
The political system of the Islamic Republic is one of the most corrupt systems in the world. Unhealthy management and impunity of the corrupt functionaries are manifestations of its structural corruption. The ideological vision of the theocratic regime as regards the economy and prioritizing ideology to specialization and meritocracy has led to the formation of mafia bands and to the spreading of corruption in all organs of the government. We emphasize therefore the need to combat corruption and the widespread corrupt practices in the Islamic Republic. We struggle for political and economic transparency, monitoring of the economy by the media, trade unions, NGO’s and for the strengthening of civil society.
Freedom, social justice, economic development and political development are interconnected to each other. We plan to create social security and equal opportunity for everyone to access housing, health services, free education and amenities. Child labor should be banned. We insist on comprehensive and inclusive social security, including health insurance, unemployment benefits, disability pay, shoring up of low-income groups, the right to work based on human dignity and reducing the class gap.
Our country is facing a big environmental crisis and it needs fundamental measures to get out of this quagmire. On the one hand, we are faced with drought, indiscriminate construction of dams, reduction of underground water tables, soil erosion, drying up of wetlands, shrinking of lakes and agricultural bottlenecks, and on the other hand, we cope with all kinds of environmental pollution, especially air pollution. We emphasize on allocating the necessary budget to reduce pollution, revising the long-term policies of energy production and consumption of water resources and expanding regional and international cooperation in these areas.
The national solidarity of Iranians depends on securing and guaranteeing the equal rights of all segments of the Iranian society. Among the necessary conditions for Iran's transition to democracy, sustainable development and ensuring the territorial integrity of the country, is the elimination of all sorts of inequalities, religious, ethnic, gender-based and other types of discrimination. A policy of balanced distribution of power through delegation of local affairs from the village to the provincial and to national level, reducing the distance between the living standards of the people in the countryside and the center, can further strengthen the national solidarity and the democratic governance. We strive for the promotion and flourishing of all current languages in our country as being our common cultural heritage, national treasure and symbols of the national identity of the Iranian people. We recognize Persian (Farsi) as the common language of all Iranians throughout the country.
The foundations of our foreign policy are based on ensuring our national security and interests, political independence, conducting a foreign policy based on peace, friendship between nations, cooperation with neighbors, establishing normal relations with all countries including The U.S. and Israel, non-interference in internal affairs of other countries, withdrawal from critical areas of the region, opposition to political and military interference by foreign powers in Iran's internal affairs, combating any kind of dominance seeking policies in the region and defending the territorial integrity of the country. We find it of utmost importance to carry out the struggle for peace, for the destruction of weapons of mass destruction and prohibition of their production on regional and global level.
Union of Republicans of Iran
National Front of Iran-Europe
Left Party of Iran (People's Fedayeen)
Organizations of the National Front of Iran abroad
Union for Secular Republic and Human Rights In Iran
3 April 2023