IRANIAN REGIME CRITIC MOHSEN KADIVAR ‘This Iranian Form of Theocracy Has Failed’


In a SPIEGEL interview, Iranian theologian and philosopher Mohsen Kadivar discusses Tehran’s path towards a military dictatorship, how the country’s religious leaders abuse Islam and opportunities for reform.

SPIEGEL: Ayatollah Kadivar, we are meeting you here at Duke University in the US State of North Carolina, 7,500 miles away from your home. Are you not needed more urgently in Iran now?

Kadivar: Believe me, in these dramatic hours I would much rather be in my homeland. Within the next two weeks, the future of Iran will be decided. Almost all my friends, 95 percent of them, are now in prison; and I am barely able to contact my family, the phones are almost dead.

SPIEGEL: You are said to be the co-author of the most recent declarations of opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi.

Kadivar: That is not right. Although I enjoyed his statements, they are not mine. I published my declarations separately, although I support Mousavi strongly. We have found means to communicate with each other. Via the Internet and via third parties, I am in constant contact with my homeland. Every day I receive about 100 messages.

SPIEGEL: Tehran appears quiet at the moment, at least compared with the mass protests of the week before last. Are we currently seeing the beginning of the end of the resistance — or the end of the Iranian regime?

Kadivar: This Iranian form of theocracy has failed. The rights of the Iranian peoples are trampled upon and my homeland is heading towards a military dictatorship. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad behaves like an Iranian Taliban. The supreme leader, Mr. Ali Khamenei, has tied his fate to that of Ahmadinejad, a great moral, but also political mistake.

SPIEGEL: What has your counsel been for opposition leader Mousavi in recent days? Is he truly the undisputed head of the movement?

Kadivar: Yes, he is the leader. All reformists now support Mousavi, my friend from our days at Tarbiat Modares University in Tehran. He was a professor of political science and I was professor of philosophy and theology. I believe he should insist on new elections and continue calling for non-violent protests …

View the interview on Speigel website

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