Global Call to Action: Former World Leaders Unite to Support Iranian Uprising

Hamid Enayat
Washington, DC – October 22, 2022: Iranian Americans rallied near the US Capitol in support of and solidarity for the overthrow of the government in Iran in the aftermath killing of Mahsa Amini.

More than 100 former world leaders urge support for an uprising in Iran with practical steps. Two former Presidents of the European Commission and dozens of European leaders are among the signatories of the open letter

Belgium (Brussels Morning Newspaper) The international community must support Iran’s pro‐democracy protesters and blacklist the Revolutionary Guard (IRGC), more than 100 distinguished former world leaders representing 45 nations announced in a new global initiative. The call was made in a collective letter to the leaders of world powers on Tuesday, just days after the regime executed three protesters.

The three men were executed for taking part in the nationwide uprising that began last September. In the past three weeks, there has been an alarming surge in state‐sanctioned executions, exceeding a staggering count of 100 as the regime tries to suppress protests with impunity.

The collective letter by 107 former heads of state or government called on the leaders of Canada, the EU, UK, and US to hold the “leadership of the Islamic Republic of Iran to account for its crimes.”

“We encourage you to stand in solidarity with the people of Iran in their desire for a secular and democratic republic where no individual, regardless of religion or birthright, has any privilege over others. Through their slogans, the Iranian people have made it clear that they reject all forms of dictatorship, be it that of the deposed Shah or the current theocratic regime, and thus reject any association with either,” the open letter states.

The former leaders stipulated that the 10‐point plan for the future of Iran articulated by Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, President‐elect of the democratic coalition National Council of Resistance of Iran, deserves international support.

“We believe it is for the Iranian people to decide their future. However, we recognise that for four decades, the democratic coalition National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) has constantly and tirelessly pursued democratic change. In this respect, we believe the Ten‐Point Plan articulated by the NCRI President, Mrs.

Maryam Rajavi, deserves support. Its commitment to free elections, freedom of assembly and expression, abolition of the death penalty, gender equality, separation of religion and state, autonomy for Iran’s ethnicities, and a non‐nuclear Iran is in line with our own democratic values,” the former world leaders wrote.

Signatories to the letter include 50 former Presidents, 47 former Prime Ministers, one former Chancellor, and nine other former Heads of State from across the world. Two former Presidents of the European Commission and three Nobel Peace Prize laureates are among the signatories. 

European signatories to the letter include the former Prime Ministers of the UK, France, Italy, Poland, Spain, and Ukraine. In South America, signatories include the former Presidents of Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Costa

Rica, and Mexico and two former Secretaries–General of the Organization of American States (OAS). Other notable signatories include two former Prime Ministers from Canada.

Highlighting the crackdown on the “popular uprising in Iran,” which includes the death of some 750 protesters and the arrest of another 30,000, the former world leaders reiterated that the international community has a “responsibility” to support the Iranian people’s human rights.

“Decades of apparent silence and inaction by the international community have helped fuel a culture of impunity in Iran. Since the 1980s, the authorities in Iran have executed tens of thousands of protesters and political prisoners. Tragically, in the summer of 1988 alone, over 30,000 political prisoners ‐ the vast majority of whom were members of the opposition MEK ‐ were brutally massacred,” the letter said.

The signatories condemned the Iranian regime’s meddling in the Middle East and Europe, including its provision of drones to assist Russia’s war against Ukraine and its terrorist attempts and cyber‐attacks in


“We urge your nations to stand with the Iranian people in their quest for change and to take decisive steps against the current regime. This includes blacklisting the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) and holding regime officials accountable for their crimes against humanity,” the letter added.

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Hamid Enayat is an expert on Iran and a writer based in Paris. He is also a human rights activist and has been a frequent writer on Iranian and regional issues for thirty years. He has been writing passionately on secularism and fundamental freedoms, and his analysis sheds light on various geopolitics and complex issues concerning the Middle East and Iran.