By Elahe Boghrat

Since the publication of its first issue in exile in 1983, Kayhan London has consistently opposed the Islamic Republic. The paper was also against the Iran-Iraq War (1980-88). The unwavering opposition to the Iranian regime and similar ruling systems is not motivated by politics alone, but rather stems from a deep commitment to speaking out against anything that threatens humanity, peace, progress, and the common good.

Kayhan London covered the war and reported on the crippling sanctions that have plagued the country and the nation since the Islamic Republic came to power in Iran. At the core of the severe crisis that has paralyzed the country and brought it to the brink of complete collapse is the Islamic Republic, whose true nature is deeply rooted in the country’s Constitution, legal system and government policies.

The Islamic Republic is not a typical governing system. Although it shares some characteristics with similar regimes from past eras, it differs vastly from them in all other aspects. Its unique nature has made it one of the most malicious and despotic regimes in the world. It exploits both the spiritual and the material worlds equally to its own advantage. The regime claims to be God’s instrument on earth, but uses any worldly means to ensure its survival and maintain power. Meanwhile, the public takes part in supervised, staged elections, which only serve to perpetuate the existence of useless state institutions. People have to live with the threat of war, cope with the dire consequences of sanctions, and suffer the violation of their human, legal, and civil rights.

The country will return to normal only if we oppose both the Islamic Republic and war, which could break out as the direct result of the regime’s actions. Those who are waiting for the U.S. to change the regime through military intervention are in an entirely different camp. We have nothing to discuss with them. Irrespective of how a war might break out, it is ultimately the Islamic Republic that will exploit it to its advantage.

Pro-democracy groups do not support a war but need peace and calm to advance their key policies effectively. Democracy cannot be established through harmful measures, including the corrupt actions of the Islamic Republic. During any period of change and development, those groups which are well organized and enjoy the most support inside and outside the country could fill the power vacuum. We are witnessing the formation of a pro-democracy movement in Iran. War, however, will shift the situation in favor of the reactionary and monopolist forces which will stop at nothing to gain and keep power.  

No solution has been found to the Iranian problem after all these years: The Islamic Republic is responsible for the sanctions and prospect of war which loom over the country. The overthrow of the Islamic Republic through popular movements and by pro-democracy groups will avert war and will cause the lifting of sanctions. However, there will be less impetus to change the regime and weaken its hold on the country if a war were to break out. Besides, war could trigger a series of unpredictable and disastrous incidents at various locations and facilities, including nuclear, military, and missile sites. The only way to topple the regime is through popular resistance and international support — two developments that the Islamic Republic fears more than a war, which it has a long history of inflaming, given a chance.

[Translated from Persian by Fardine Hamidi]