Iranian opposition announces launch of ‘transitional movement’ at UK conference
Members of the Iranian opposition have announced the launch of an opposition movement, which they said will be the nucleus of an alternative transitional government to the current regime in Tehran.
During a two-day conference that began on Saturday in London, Iranian dissidents and opposition parties said that the council will aim to manage a transitional period in Iran under the slogan “crossing over from an Islamic Republic to a democracy in Iran.”
The spokesman for the movement, Shahriar Ahy told Asharq al-Awsat newspaper that it aims to create “a national council that has some legitimacy so that it can be an alternative if a power vacuum does emerge.”
Political activist Hassan Shariatmadari, who is spearheading the movement, stressed the need to work toward removing the current regime, calling on Iranians to unify in protests against the regime and “break their chains.”
“We are late [in organizing against the regime], and we want to be the voice of the Iranians. We want to tell them [the Iranian people] to cross over and link with us to fight the regime, so you [the people] can succeed in overcoming this political regime, Shariatmadari told Asharq al-Awsat.
Shariatmadari explained that the transitional management will follow a policy of managing “civil resistance, and communicating with Iranians,” on top of communicating with international parties through a specialized department.
“Between the option of maximum pressure and the option of war, the main option on the table was forgotten, which is recognizing the Iranian people,” Shariatmadari said.
“This needs to be taken into consideration, because the Iranian people can get rid of the regime on the condition that this integral part be included in your [international parties’] policies, and that you support and recognize the Iranian people’s representatives and their voices,” he added.
Shariatmadari added that Iranians are apprehensive when it comes to changing the current regime, which has isolated the people and kept them from progress and democracy.
Spokesman Ahy stated that “the transitional council opens its doors to Iranian opposition parties to work on a project that will bring the Iranian regime to its knees.”
He stated that the council is currently made up of ten departments, 11 secretaries, and a management committee comprised of 35 activists, 14 of whom are inside Iran.
“The world should know that the weakness of the regime is not in Syria, Lebanon and Yemen, but in [the international community] coordinating with the struggle of the Iranian people, whose numbers exceed the Islamic Republic and the [regime’s] Revolutionary Guards, but are currently dispersed,” Ahy said.
The council’s spokesman said that consultations over its creation began a year and a half ago, before it was officially announced this week, and insisted it was not partisan.
The conference’s organizers stated that the Iranian embassy in the UK put “diplomatic pressure” on the Royal Institution of Great Britain to prevent the opposition groups from using their venue.