By Abbas Djavadi – Could you imagine a Saudi Arabia where you have a parliament with elected representatives of the people elected by the people who select a government to run the country… with a king who just represents the country and keeps it together, but a head of government negotiating with foreign leaders oil production and the Middle East policy?
Or an Iran where Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei could be unelected in a free election and replaced by a liberal democrat.. and a Supreme Leader who congratulates the winner and resigns and retires and returns to the city of Ghom to perform his purely religious duties as late Ayatollah Khomeini promised in Paris before his victorious return to Tehran?
Could you imagine a Syria or Azerbaijan where the president of the republic is not necessarily the son of the late president who monopolizes the whole power structure of the country and makes the presidency to a de facto-monarchy inherited from father? Where the ruling family doesn’t cling to power with all means including suppressing every sort of opposition and constantly changing the constitution to adjust it to the clan’s private needs?
A Turkey, an Israel that elect a Kurdish or an Arab citizen, respectively, as prime minister?
Our rulers claim we are different. Sure, we are different. Our culture is different. Everybody’s conditions are different. And we don’t have that history and tradition of democracy that today, on January 20, all of us, and not only in the Middle East, once again learn from the United States of America that men and women, regardless of their race, sex, ethnicity, religion, and political thoughts must have the freedom of freely changing and electing their leaders and governments. And that anybody, regardless of his or her race, sex, ethnicity, religion, or political thoughts has the right to be elected to all positions of government. And that transition of power must be free and peaceful.
Everybody is different but these fundamental rights are, or, rather, must become, universal.
Thank you, America! Thank you for the model and idea you yourself fought so hard and long to make to a model and idea that we all can also hope for.
Thank you, President Barack Obama, for leading this great struggle to its successful and historic culmination!
Yes, we hope we can, too!