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tv   Prime Interest  RT  June 13, 2013 5:29am-6:01am EDT

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hello and welcome to worlds apart iranians going to the polls today to elect their new president but before they even had a chance to make up their mind and did that candidate western observers describe it as a sham compared to other countries is arounds electoral system really sophomore or is it just another case of iran being out in and possibly high standard discover that i'm now joined by reza pahlavi the son of the last child and a project activist mr harvey thank you very much for being here on worlds apart correct me if i'm wrong but as far as i understand your position is that the iranian voters should really disregard the choice of the candidates that they're being offered today is that correct indeed the basic premise of the problem from day one was a regime that is making a mockery of what they call elections were none of the circumstances in which.
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universally recognized standards the initial free elections does not exist in our country but if mr britling why does the choice have to be sore start either free or fair elections or no elections at all not the position that we have as a council that is putting the campaign for the ability to conduct free elections in iran we basically refer to the narrative established by the into a parliamentary union which one hundred fifty fourth assembly document that describes circumstances that have to prevail in any country in order to be able to say that circumstances you know just naturally any can. if we really look around the world can you really find a single country that wouldn't ban a clip from improving its electoral system so we're not talking about the ideal system of course in iran but the question is really what they're being. current
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system as imperfect as it is can still afford the people some degree of choice as opposed to no choice at all reach in effect you are advocating by asking people to mail their ballots to foreign embassies and international organizations first of all let's not forget that iran is a signatory of the into parliamentary union isn't iran also a signatory to the n.p.t. or for that matter the charter of the united nations but it does violate human rights it does not respect its own signature to the n.p.t. it certainly doesn't recognize a signature to parliament to union i think you know what it is all i'm going to run from it. because the. they are pretty issue was highly politicized and as of now we still don't have any proof that iran is indeed violating that treaty as you pointed out there are suspicions by those steps that the suspicions have never been substantiated but back to the issue of elections where i really want to focus you you mansion that iran is really an outlier here but i when i look
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around the globe i can't find a single western country that have has fully transparent and free elections so why do you hold iran to sarge a high standard that no other country complies with. well look i cannot speak on behalf of other countries or the citizens of that country for that matter what is their degree of expectation for their respective governments what russia expects russians expect to have a great show or american expect to have in america or the french in france or the british in england i'm talking to you as an iranian and my expectation as in the iranian citizen who did the demands for first and foremost the sovereign right of iranian search citizens to self-determination and free choice that is my prerogative and i think it is my duty there are also many other iranians living air inside your country that consistently go to the polls and let me just say that they
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want to turn out in iran is consistently higher than in many of the western countries i think last time it was around eighty five percent compared to liking fifty seven percent in two thousand and twelve american elections so it does look like that many of the iranians disagree with you in your view that these elections are relevant because they certainly go to the polls the fact that the turnout does not for a minute legitimize the regime or proves that they actually believe in the process some of our compatriots all chorused literally blackmailed into voting for instance if you're a student and you don't get that stand of having voted you're deprived of continuing studies or if you're a government employee and if you do not participate in these so-called elections you would probably fired from your job this is pure blackmail do you think that means that people are curious the situation of course not but if they are reduced to a point whereby the have to choose between the lesser of evils which has been routinely
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what has happened in iran that doesn't mean for a minute the actual process is legitimate that it is fair that it is free by the world's standards the world standards would be extremely difficult to define and you know many of the western observers have already said that these eight candidates that are vying for the president. we'll see there represent pretty much the same ideology and. i would like to explore that issue a little bit in more detail. first i would like to play you something that saeed jalili one of the most hard line candidates have to say on his vision of iranian future. we've said time and time again that we want to expand the power of islam in the world and diminish the influence of arrogant powers that's the classic iranian rhetoric that people are used to in the west but i also would like to play a sound bite from mohammad the idea of who is more liberal leaning reformist
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candidate. which will establish very good relations with the world and drawing on those good relations we can pressure the worst of the specially america to resolve the nuclear issue. what we can see here is. pretty different views than i think they're also expressed in a somewhat different style and it is the randian people who will ultimately choose which one of these two or maybe other candidates will run their country for the next four years having forgotten that the regime is prescreening and filtering the candidates and all that remains to that filtering body loyal opposition who are there to prove. to preserve the system and i don't this is absolutely. going to remain there is candidates are representing pretty different views you can't really claim that they are all the same they have a show quite a divergence when it comes to that vision of the future of iran and how iran has to
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deal with foreign powers so again there is a choice there a limited choice i agree with you but still a choice who do you think makes the firm decision. in that country i hope the iranian leader isn't it mr coleman the real reason why this regime is continuing destroyed is because you could too clearly due to missing in the eye of the international community. to the fact that we have elections here they understand you correctly that the main thing that prevents us from calling these elections free and fair is the existence of the vetting process is that right it's one of the obstacles of course but if you look at the constitution of this regime the fact that there is no instance through that are those through legislation or through elections or through candidates that could in fact challenge the very system it serves and all of this is impeach blocked screened. refuse it doesn't move
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through for any possibility of change from within let's try to be impartial here and if we look at the american system for example and the reason i bring up of the american system because as far as i understand your reside in the united states there is this their ability of the u.s. presidential candidates to challenge the american system is close to zero and mind you that the united states too has its vetting process through the primaries through the electoral college system which can override the popular vote so if we accept that the for example the electoral college system in the united states is this outdated. american peculiarity why should we recognize the existence of the guardian council as an iranian peculiarity. i don't think it's a question or peculiarities a question of the definition of self-determination and free thinking and free voting and fielding for candidates are not going to compare
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a system with one another the electoral process is indeed different in france in comparison to perhaps return or perhaps russia or in fact to the united states as you saw those but what are the safeguards in society you mention the united states supreme court how about the constitution constitutionality of this or that process will do is to lead to a process order process and i think if you can look if there is a round in the united states you can see that constitutional a constitution the american constitution is very of violated in the united states with no checks and balances implied and to that regard i would like to quote something from the new york times which ran a story a couple of days ago about iranian elections and the fact that many of the candidates have to pay a visit to the city of qom reaches home to some of iran's most influential clerics and the new york times noted quote candidates in the iranian election seek the
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blast things of high ranking clerics that way american presidential candidates who are wealthy donors and that's not really a revolutionary statement i mean even americans recognize the influence of big corporations on their elections but. having clerics influence the choice is not necessarily much worse than having you know big corporations well we're going to give that concentration to the wrong in people and the best thing we can do is to hear their true voice which we cannot under the current regime there's no freedom of expression there's no freedom of the press or political prisoners so therefore why speculate you haven't been to your own country in iran i'm in thirty five years so if you accuse me of speculation i wonder how you are sars the mood on the ground big. is i don't. have speculated to the contrary all i'm telling you is none of us can in fact claim that we know what the people want because the instrument to
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measure that opinion does not exist but i think a lot of. it sound bites and a lot of reports that we are getting from iran these days is about iranians being excited to go to the polls sure they suffer economically from sanctions and they're looking forward to see a likely candidate who will be able to deal with those issues let me just tell you one thing there's a committee for free elections in iran where most of the true presented thieves are currently in jail we have lawyers that are supposed to defend political prisoners who are also thrown in jail we have journalists who are trying to cry father was also thrown in jail you tell me in what way can society express itself i think this is. me being in your own or not i think he said this has something to do with being . with you being a member of your family because this similar criticism was levied against your own father the abundance of political prisoners the secret police the inability of
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people to protest freely and the brutal suppression of the protests but let's come back to that point right after this break. wealthy british soil. right. around the.
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welcome back to worlds apart where we are discussing iran's electoral system with reza pahlavi the son of the last shah of iran and a pro-democracy activist mr brock levy just before the break we mentioned some of the difficult legacy ofheo father your father with the help of documented help of british and american security and intelligence services really did away with many of the indigenous democratic institutions in iran and here i have to imagine not only of the nine hundred fifty three that ousted the democratically elected prime minister but also the abolition of the. multiparty system in nine hundred seventy five the brutal suppression of protests large number of political prisoners pervasive and highly fear is secret police well it's not that your criticism of the current iranian authorities is not legitimate but when it's coupled with your owns
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family's legacy in iran it's sort of heart supro says i mean ad hominem arguments almost immediately come to mind the understand what i mean. of course and i think a lot of the wrong is today including many of the harsh or points of the previous regime will tell you that in the balance there were some positive aspects as well as the negative aspects i don't deny the fact that my father son and my grandfather's grandson but i have not genetically inherited their policies or circumstances of that one i think today what are you criticizing i want to reveal some of the main mistakes committed by your father what are some of the issues there regrets you have to keep in mind moving forward the question of a unique unique party i think was a big mistake because. cannot be expressed through one single voice
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or structure there wasn't enough time and effort invested into liberalization in the political sense parallel to the economic progress of the country was going through mind you and you should be among those who should realize that we were at the time faced with these so-called called war. or neighbor at the time the soviet union is not what russia is today and the circumstances of that era was very very different but i think you know your analysis especially your historic analysis you forgot to mention of one country that i think had an a man's influence on the fairest. in iran and that would be the united states and i think what's interesting to me is that your can ization the national council of iran is actively seeking support of western governments in building a more democratic society and. but democratic governments are not on all of them on this is in the words how about south korea or japan or australia but let's be
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saying about. mission you shop around see what is where you're going there is of course but you know that many iranians perceive these western interference especially american into interference into that parents with a great degree of her still it and even if they even if iranians were to believe that you know you are really genuine in your motives to. bring about a change for good in iran to reach out i think some people would doubt but even if they were take your motives in the basque positive light they have absolutely no reason to believe that the united states has the best interest of iranians at heart especially given the the history of american interference in your country why would you seek the alliance with the party that has such a tarnished reputation in your own country and has such a. tarnished track record when it comes to democratic changes and pushing democracy around the world let me take you back about three years ago three and
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a half years ago i mean the last cycle of so-called elections two thousand and nine degree movement. the images you saw in iran the signs that people were holding in the streets to the my latest recollection they were written either in english or maybe sometimes in french certainly probably not in chinese or russian i don't know why but you can ask people why but it was certainly in the language to send a message to the outside world i don't think people into on the streets of tehran or response shows were trying to practice their linguistic skills doubles the director how ready are sent here or was that something in tarzan king live milian our school even though iran asking. not to be indifferent to their plight if people didn't want to have any kind of foreign assistance or involvement of some form there would not help bother to do that speed. for themselves we all have already here it is not so ubiquitous you know sometimes the united states and the west in
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general make a decision to listen to what the street in any given country has to say and sometimes they simply ignore what of what those people have to say and back to the point of difference in the case of egypt do listen in the case of syria do this in the case of the world and look at the results not sequences really really fun because young people are going to be closer to that democratic ideals than they were say three years ago i haven't said that because what you're looking at here is what feels the vacuum to this point first of all let me tell you two things a lot of these countries in the middle east have yet to experiment with religious governance iran has and iran people have suffered for it for thirty three years and counting number one iran is coming out of the tunnel and we certainly do not want to become the next libya or egypt. true iranians have a long history a track record of political evolution in the sense of a variety of events that occurred so why wouldn't you. reference financially
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challenged why do you need to lose the support of western governments just engage with the iranian society as it is with the iranian authorities try to build goodwill why do you need the involvement of the western governments here the governments that never did anything good really for their for the people of iran they all their history of intervention was very strong. in terms of. realism and objective analysis i think confidence building has a lot to do with transparency and sticking to your commitments whether it is signature to treaties or principles or in fact in your behavior don't you think that the world has given this regime for enough chances to come clean to come transparent but. if you really look historically the regime of the islamic republic and i'm not the spokesperson for for that regime but if you try to look at
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it well to some of it some degree of objectivity it has never been really given a food chance to develop because from the very onset the regime was very have a pressure external pressure are there for a war or from sanctions so if we look historically around the world external pressure always leads to radicalization of both the political elites and the population so why do you continue applying that very having pressure try different tactic i mean these strategy hasn't worked in thirty years as you just pointed out why not to try something else try to reach out and maybe it would produce a different result i'm not here to solve the problem of the islamic republic has a regime. i'm here to solve the problem of the iranian people in achieving freedom and liberty for themselves this is a regime that is willing to support. the nexts. in
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syria but that's not transparent and you know any little thing i'm not. going to intervention in terms of even perhaps the disintegration of our country my concern is the national interest of iran and if the or in fact in this world governments. process are not calling it an interference talking about standing to principles while coming back to the democratic procedure as the human rights and all the issues that you just mentioned in two thousand the new york times published a leaked cia document detailing. to fifty three cool and among the tactics that the cia operatives used at the time to rock the boat in iran they mansion for example threatening muslim leaders to create the impression that the prime minister at the time who were they were trying to unseat was cracking down on protesters
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they were also on the record paying tribesman to engineer public protest so my point here is that all these democratic activities that we take as an expression of people's will as an expression of people democratic aspirations they were cynically used by the americans to achieve their own geo political goals when we are talking about the protest in iran in two thousand and nine or you know there are some people who are hoping that these elections will result in massive protests why would we trust the americans not to try to employ those tactics again and why should we trust that it would be a true and genuine expression of what people in iran want rather than you know somebody paid being paid to show up at some public protest and hold this sign written in english rather than in farsi. well again i go back to my point irrespective of from whose parallax or prism you're looking at it be it the
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viewpoint from moscow or from london or from washington i think it should be the same common denominator of how can we measure what the iranian people want and the only way to measure what the iranian people ultimately want is to give them the ability to exercise their right to free elections and whatever that means and feeling to return to their own as related to that's the hollywood i don't think it sounds to me like you're so obsessed with america that you forget the forest and you're looking at the trees let me ask you the question in return forget about america for instance what is russia willing to do while russia prepared to take in terms of policy rather has one of the class not interfering in the crisis there is a rational strategy right and you know people are emancipated enough to take the decisions about their own country into their own hands and that they can be at the forefront of reforming that society from within rather than a lot of a lot of artists who are going to do you think hold on you also or they are you
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just you just said that the iranian people take matters into their own hands absolutely right yeah absolutely how can they do that but i have for example if he preaches i don't process. being involved in that of that region that prescreen scandi there it's of this regime that eliminates ninety percent of anyone who want to be feel that that has if you can't then even if you know how many financial process morning with the remaining how are certain national mourning well again i think it's a legitimization of the regime so much for noninterference you are in fact slapping the iranian people in the face by saying well no no you surprise me realize running out that i would venture a lot of back to your latest point i think the iranian regime is considered as a legitimate internationally of whether you like it or not but let me ask you the final question again i think that. the demands of the iranian people like the demands of the syrian people i believe in people or people in any our other country
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to have a better representation to have a more open democratic system are totally legitimate but the question is whether you understand the cost of those demands those very legitimate demands utilized by other powers in the region or globally. what could happen that because obviously we all want better democracy but do we want to pay for that with the war at our doorstep do we want to pay for that with. major. upheaval in the society do you understand that this is also a possible outcome of bringing those international powers into how. the growing iranian democracy do you understand the costs what it is precisely because the costs could be more more dire if other scenarios evolve that i'm in fact proposing this scenario that this council is proposing because it is the world will be the most legitimate and the least costly to see change in iran can you cite
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a single positive example of the democratic concerns of the people being assisted by western powers in goodwill can you give a single example from your own neighborhood if a regime is on a willing to concede to a very legitimate of society by volunteer lee. avoiding this clash then we have no choice but to overthrow this regime by means of civil disobedience or nonviolence in order to achieve those circumstances of freedom in iran if you want to compare other scenarios we can i think the one we propose is the most suitable least costly to the nation and all we are seeing today is for iranian citizens to in fact exercise their right as citizens but demand free elections one will learn to live. green with later on today when the figures for the turnout. how many but i'm fortunately we have to leave it here please join us again same place same time
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here in a while to part. live play.
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play. live. preparations for the first woman cause when it was strictly classified. even her own mother knew nothing of the imminent extraterrestrial voyage during his second
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which there was a terrifying and unexpected emergency. one wrong move and the segal may never have returned. she laid some of the regulars lee survived an assassination attempt and you can find right at my side of the cot nine bullets were found under my seat valentino to go to sea go in space on aussie.
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turkish standoff riot police break up large crowds of protesters in ankara with tear gas after prime minister aired a want to urges an end to ongoing protests within twenty four hours. on flood but undefeated mass drugs and rallies held in greece against the shutdown of the state broadcaster to cut costs with journalists continuing programming online. as iranians ready to head to the polls on friday we look at how the presidential race in the islamic republic is different from the rest of the world. to be in moscow i match reza good to have you with us here on r t.


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