Ali Negahban: Every now and then, occasions arise that I need to make a decision about whether or not to collaborate on an initiative involving “ex-reformists” or “Green Movementers”. It’s always a difficult decision; it always makes you rethink everything and be obsessive in your due diligence, to make sure you are not “being used” and your work is not going to benefit “the system”. Why?
Unfortunately, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to collaborate with them. They are stuck in a position, as it is much clearer now, that their priority is not democracy or human rights or justice, but to maintain [a version of] the ideology of Islamic Republic, which has Velayat-e Faqih at its core.
That is, they have shown that when there is a chance to choose between taking or supporting an action that could lead to greater democratic opportunities and more freedom at the cost of the Islamic tenets of the Islamic Republic, they suddenly dodge and side with the regime.
What does make it hard for Iranian pro-democracy, secular and independent actors, thinkers and activists to collaborate with Green-Movementers and present or ex-reformists? I have personally been concerned by following facts about them:
– They have been a formative part of the Islamic Republic, but they have never accepted any responsibility for their role.
– Despite the diversity that exists between them, they are highly committed to a cult-like manner of in-group / out-group dichotomy.
– They have shown no sign of true, verifiable change of ideology or world-view. The least sign of such change would be publishing honest accounts of what they know of the regime, in form of memoirs, etc.
– They don’t have, or refuse to draw, a clear vision of tomorrow. What are they truly seeking?
– They react only to what directly affects them, their group or their ideology. They have never bothered to show any support for their “out-groups”.