In Iran, 40 Former Political Prisoners Ask for “National Reconciliation”

By Alex Vatanka | Senior Fellow - Middle East Institute | Jan 13, 2017
In Iran, 40 Former Political Prisoners Ask for “National Reconciliation”

In an open letter, 40 formerly imprisoned political activists affiliated with the Green opposition movement have asked the Iranian authorities to reconsider their policies. The signatories of the letter urged the authorities to utilize the recent passing of Ayatollah Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani as “an opportunity for dialogue and national reconciliation.”

Ayatollah Rafsanjani was someone who in 2009 came out in support of the Green reformist protestors who came out in the millions against voter fraud that kept Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in power for a second term. While he was not a reformist himself, Rafsanjani’s position resulted in him falling out with Iran’s hardliners that control the security and intelligence agencies.

Some of those who have signed the letter are among the most prominent reformist voices in Iran today, including Mohsen Aminzadeh, Emaeddin Baghi and Mostafa Tajzadeh. All these political activists, however, are former members of the Iranian regime but have over the years fallen out of the regime tent as they began to oppose the most repressive policies of the ruling authorities in Tehran.

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