Green Party of Iran Platform

A. Ecological and environmental issues:

1. Forest conservation:

The unrestrained destruction of forests has caused widespread erosion and desertification in Iran. Likewise, deforestation of land near rivers and over-grazing has lead to extensive flooding in some parts of the country. Wise forest management is necessary to preserve Iran’s forest resources for future generations and to maintain species diversity while providing essential wood products.

2. Water contamination:

Iranian citizens and wildlife may be exposed to toxins and biological diseases if a strong environmental strategy is not established to protect water ecosystems, to improve drinking water quality, and to support water conservation initiatives.

3. Air pollution:

An unpolluted atmosphere is essential for maintaining human, animal and plant health. As a result of rapid urban population growth, massive deforestation, refinery operations, and high levels of automobile and industrial fossil fuel emissions, huge quantities of carbon dioxide and carcinogenic toxins are released into the Iranian atmosphere, directly threatening human and animal health. For example, it is estimated that 3,000 tons of carbon monoxide, 450 tons of hydrocarbons, 30 tons of sulfur and two tons of lead emission are emitted into Tehran’s atmosphere every day. This is one of the highest levels in the world. As a result, the number of urban residents who die from air pollution related diseases is increasing every year. The Green Party of Iran demands strong regulations to counter these dangers.

4. Petrochemical and mineral resources:

Iran has the second largest oil and gas reserves in the world. In fact, the petrochemical industry is its most important economic sector, earning over 90% of Iran’s export revenues. Iran is also rich in mineral deposits, including the world’s largest zinc reserves and second-largest reserves of copper. It also has important reserves of iron, uranium, lead, chromate, manganese, coal and gold. The current regime is actively encouraging exploration and development in these profitable sectors. However, these industries have not always acted in the best interests of Iranian citizens or the environment. For example, the Persian Gulf, Indian Ocean and Caspian Sea have diverse marine environments and are a primary source of drinking water. The effects of a major oil spill could permanently damage these ecosystems and present a considerable threat to the well being of local populations. In addition, current mining practices, such as open pit mining, diverting rivers and draining lakes, reflect total disregard for the habitat. The impact of mining on the environment must be minimized to protect wildlife habitats, population health and aesthetic values.

The Green Party of Iran rejects the unlimited consumption of these are non-renewable resources. It also supports renewable energy source programs and resource exploitation strategies that minimize environmental impacts.

5. Nuclear, chemical and biological weapons:

Iran is currently constructing nuclear power reactors in Bushehr with Russian assistance and has plans to construct 15 nuclear power reactors and two nuclear research reactors. This is a step the Green Party of Iran strongly opposes because of concerns that the current regime is operating a parallel clandestine nuclear weapons program. Although Iran does not currently have nuclear weapons, estimates are that they could develop a nuclear device by 2005. In fact, it is generally believed that Iran’s efforts are focused on uranium enrichment, which they claim is to establish a complete nuclear fuel cycle to support a civilian energy program, but this same fuel cycle would be applicable for a nuclear weapons development program. During the Iran-Iraq war, Tehran established biological and chemical warfare programs and used chemical weapons against Iraq on several occasions. Presently, Iran has one of the largest stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons in the world, as well as the means of delivering these weapons. It is believed that Iran’s stockpile includes several thousand tons of chemical weapon agents, including sulfur mustard, phosgene and cyanide. It is also believed Iran has produced biological warfare agents and has armed a small quantity of weapons with these agents. Although Iran has ratified international chemical and biological non-proliferation treaties, it continues to upgrade and expand its chemical and biological warfare production infrastructure and munitions arsenal.

The Green Party of Iran demands the abolishment and dismantling of all nuclear, chemical and biological weapon programs currently supported by the Iranian regime. Furthermore, we urge that countries cease supplying nuclear technological equipment and expertise to the Iranian regime.

6. Energy:

The Green Party of Iran opposes the current government’s fossil fuel-based energy policies. We propose to reduce the amount of fossil fuels used as energy sources by encouraging the development of renewable sources such as solar heating and cooling systems, solar water heating, solar electricity, ocean, wind and small scale hydro. The Green Party of Iran is also committed to a non-nuclear future for Iran. The large number of earthquakes in Iran increases the potential for catastrophic meltdowns and reduces the number of safe storage sites for radioactive wastes.

7. Agriculture:

In Iran, agricultural production accounts for about 20% of the gross domestic product. Although, the principal products include wheat, rice, other grains, sugar beets, fruits, nuts, cotton, dairy products, wool, and caviar, the country is not self-sufficient in food production. In addition, the quality of food is decreasing due to heavy chemical pesticide and fertilizer use, mono cropping, over processing, and long distance transportation. Furthermore, fertile topsoil is rapidly eroding due to poor conservation practices. The Green Party of Iran proposes that chemical-free farming be encouraged by rewarding farmers for converting from chemical to ecological methods of farming. We also intend to encourage the consumption of natural foods requiring little processing, no irradiation and no artificial additives or substitutes.

8. Wildlife preservation:

The Green Party of Iran believes that all species have the intrinsic right to exist without regard to their usefulness to humankind and that humans must share the environment with all other species so that biological diversity is sustained. Unfortunately, the progressive destruction of animal and plant habitats in Iran threatens an ever-growing number of species with extinction. For this reason, we emphasize the importance of protecting endangered species and their habitats. The Green Party of Iran advocates the introduction of an endangered species act and of a wilderness-based conservation strategy that sets aside large tracts of land as wilderness, free from permanent human habitation and resource exploitation. Furthermore, we believe that animal farming must be practiced in an ethically and environmentally responsible way, that animal experimentation must be banned, and that recreational hunting should be strictly legislated.

9. Corporate responsibility:

Corporations must be socially and environmentally responsible to their communities by complying with environmental regulations. The Green Party of Iran believes that a regulatory body should be set up to carry out environmental inspections and that corporations be legally liable, criminally and in civil court for the environmental harm they cause.

10. Citizen rights:

The Green Party of Iran considers that all citizens of Iran must have access at all times to every environmental report.

B. Greening of of the economy:

1. Fair distribution of wealth:

The Green Party of Iran believes that the economic system should be based on the fair distribution of wealth. The system should also be a self-sufficient system to strengthen national, regional and local economies.

2. Economic system:

The economic system proposed by the Green Party of Iran is neither a free market nor command based system since both are based on unlimited economic expansion and consumption. We believe that a new economic system should be created – one that is in harmony with the environment in addition to working for the social well being of people. Since economies grow while ecosystems do not, a growing economy is a threat to the long-term health and well being of a society. In fact, in industrialized countries, large corporations seeking increased revenues are often the main perpetrators of environmental destruction.

Although Iranian economic growth is less than growth in industrialized countries, Iran is still faced with difficult problems because of its fundamentalist regime. In fact, in addition to environmental destruction caused by profit seeking corporations, the ineffectiveness and corruption of the reactionary Islamic regime has caused much of the ecological devastation plaguing Iran today.

3. Population control:

Controlling the current population explosion (e.g. 6.33 children born per woman in 1994) is an absolute necessity for Iran since it is a main cause of Iran’s economic and environmental problems. Family planning and educational programs based on projects successfully executed in other countries should be implemented to reduce the Iranian population growth rate.

4. Economic development:

Economic development should never be used as an excuse to harm the environment. A system should therefore be designed to promote economic development that does not destroy the ecosystem. The Green Party of Iran’s opinion is that a stable democratic political system is the first step towards a sustainable economy.

C. Foreign policy:

In last two decades, Iran has experienced increased levels of poverty, misery, homelessness, prostitution and inflation, and has seen a general reduction in the quality of life and in the strength of the economy as a result of its bloody eight-year war with Iraq and of its interference in the internal struggles of foreign countries.

1. Peace:

An Iranian foreign policy must have as its primary objective the goal of maintaining peaceful relations with its neighbors. The current Iranian regime’s arrogant attitudes, its interference in the internal affairs of other countries, and its participation in the politics of regional blocs, have caused endless wars and regional disturbances. The Green Party of Iran maintains that a foreign policy of non-engagement is a solid basis for lasting and permanent peace, not only for Iran but also at a worldwide level.

2. War:

The Green Party of Iran believes that engaging in war with another country is never acceptable. Disagreements, whether political or border disputes, that can not be resolved diplomatically, must be resolved by competent international organizations.

3. Weapons:

The Green Party of Iran would ensure that all nuclear, chemical and biological weapon programs be stopped and that and nuclear reactors and factories capable of producing nuclear, chemical and biological agents would be dismantled under the supervision of the proper international regulatory bodies.

D. Democracy and social-political freedom:

Except for a very short period of history, democracy and freedom of expression has not existed in Iran. The Green Party of Iran believes that establishing democracy in Iran will be the foundation for any progress in the state of the economy, environment and living conditions. It is for this reason that the Green Party of Iran advocates:

1. Right to a clean environment:

Every Iranian citizen has the right to live in a healthy environment and to protest the destruction of the environment. Every person also bears the responsibility of protecting the environment for its generation as well as for future generations.

2. Equal rights:

Every Iranian citizen is equal by law, regardless of gender, age, race, nationality, religion, marital status, sexual orientation, or political beliefs.

3. Separation of state and religion

4. Right to organize:

Labor unions, syndicates and councils must be legalized. Also, students, teachers, farmers, businessmen and merchants to must be given the right to organize.

5. Decentralization of power:

The decentralization of political power by forming city councils and other social organizations is required to increase democratic political awareness throughout the country.

6. Elimination of the military draft:

Every individual has the right to join the military or not as he or she wishes. Soldiers must work on a volunteer basis and must be paid a sufficient wage for their services.

7. Referendums:

Citizens have the right to request public referendums to resolve national political or social issues.

8. Human rights:

Equal human rights for all people is an absolute priority. Capital punishment and torture under any name, form, or excuse must be banned. Systems to educate the public about the horrors of torture must be instituted to free Iran from centuries of torture carried out in its jails. Freedom of expression, speech, and thought, of press, film, television, and Internet, and of religion and ideology must be unconditionally respected by the state, regardless of the government’s beliefs.

9. Free social services:

Free health care, education and social welfare services are required to increase the standard of living.

10. Refugee rights:

Iran must guarantee refugee and asylum rights for non-Iranians. People seeking refuge for any legitimate reason must, after due process, be given full Iranian citizenship including all its associated rights and freedoms.

E. Women’s rights

Women in Iran have historically been under increased cultural, religious, and economic pressures. For this reason, the Green Party of Iran believes that the following recommendations are necessary to create equal conditions for women in Iran:

1. Repeal anti-women’s laws:

All political, economic and religious laws that discriminate against women must be annulled and replaced by laws supporting women’s rights.

2. Affirmative action:

Participation in social, political and economic organizations by women must be increased by affirmative action projects.

3. Right to organize:

Women must have the freedom to form feminist organizations and should be encouraged to participate in independent women activities.

4. Abortion rights:

Women have the right to decide to have an abortion and no woman should be prosecuted for obtaining one. Green Party of Iran also believes that educational programs be made available to women so that they can make the best possible choice. To avoid abortions caused by a lack of social and economic support, the government must provide universal child care services.

F. What kind of political system?

The Green Party of Iran believes that the current Islamic Republic of Iran and its undemocratically elected government is unable to solve the mounting problems facing the country today such as its devastated ecology, faltering economy, the reduction in the standard of living, and the lack of freedom of speech and of human rights. The Green Party of Iran believes that in order to correct these problems, the removal of the present regime of the Islamic Republic of Iran is necessary and inevitable.

The citizens of Iran must be given the right to democratically choose representatives who will work together to write a constitution and propose a political system for the country. Subsequently, a representative government must be elected through free democratic elections.