English translation of Mousavi’s statement
Greetings to all workers and teachers of the country
I congratulate the Workers’ Day and the Teachers’ Day to all you dears. We are on the eve of these two very important days. The hard works and activities of workers and teachers are among the most important factors of our national authority. They are the producers of wealth and the producers of science, virtue and morality in our country and without their hard work achieving fundamental values is not possible in a system and after the formation of governments and nations the role of these two classes has become very important in the countries and therefore paying attention to their fate, tendencies, problems and issues is very important and that is why all countries try to pay special attention to these two classes.
The International Workers’ Day that is being celebrated all around the world and in our country is a sign of the attention to the work forces and their importance. From the early days of the revolution it was a tradition to pay attention to this day and also the Teachers’ Day that its importance is as much as the Worker’s Day. Here in this short message I would like to share with you the issues that are common between these two classes and all the people.
The truth is that we are getting close to these two important days in a situation that the country is in crisis and is having vast economical, political and social problems and each one of these problems has reflected in the fate and everyday lives of these two classes and has many effects.
The domestic market of the country has been handed out to the foreigners
We are witnessing the economical situation of the country. Inflation, the decrease in the rate of investments, corruption, the spread of lies and incompetence, the unpaid wages of the workers and their growing unemployment, the everyday shutdown of the factories or their operations in low capacities while our national markets have been filled with foreign goods and in reality we have handed out our entire domestic markets with respect to goods, services and investment to foreigners and we all aware how much this issue affects the fate of our nation, our independence, our freedom and in the fate of our workers.
The issues and the problems of workers and teachers is tied to the majority of the issues and problems of the country
On the other hand we have the restriction on the freedoms. We have the silencing of the people, shutting down the newspapers and filling the prisons as well as the limitations imposed on unions and political organisation and all these affect the fate of the workers and teachers. This is why it is very important that the workers and teachers realise (although I know they already do) that the problems and hardships they experience and feel in their everyday lives is related to the major issues and problems of the country and this is a direct relationship.
The demands of workers and teachers are the fundamental and main demands of the nation
The demand of a worker or a teacher if is said at the moment and is the natural demand of these two classes, we should pay attention that are the very fundamental and basic demands for the whole country. What does a worker or a teacher want? They want the country to develop. The development of the country is for their benefit. The lack of development of the country is harmful for the entire nation and the most would be harmful for the working class either in the industry of in service sectors; either in villages or anywhere else and also would be harmful for the teachers.
They (workers and teachers) want freedom, because freedom would make it possible for them to form unions and political groups and be active politically and find ways to solve their own problems and the problems of the nation. They are seeking justice, either in economy and everyday life or in assigning social dignity, this would make it possible for them to serve better and produce more wealth, they can defend country’s economy better and with their activities in industry and market defend the independence of the country, and in with their honoured dignity they will achieve a position that they can support the innovative and progressive ideas in country.
The dignity of teachers has been degraded in the eyes of the politicians but it has not been degraded in the eye of the nation
The revolution has stated with this idea. We should remember that most of the members of the parliament in the first term [after the revolution] were teachers. Martyrs Rajaii, Bahonar, Motahari were teachers. We know Shariyati as a teacher and he is a teacher.Being teacher was such that would make nation trust that person. I should add that if this dignity has been degraded in the eye of politicians but it has not in eye of the nation. When we say that we return to the reference groups we see that workers and teachers are still on the high levels of reference groups and are still trusted by the nation; but some events happened in the country that this statue is not honoured as it was on the early days of the revolution. This honoured statue made it possible for the teachers to create a bright and deep atmosphere among the nation and train a proud generation; and they themselves and many workers defended the country on the front lines [during the Iran-Iran war]. But on the contrary we see today that some of the teachers and workers are in prison and it is really bitter to talks about this issue on the eve of these two days.
It is for the benefit of workers and teachers that we have a balanced foreign policy
It is natural that if we pay attention with respect to freedom, justice, prosperity and development of the country or other aspects for instance these two classes are strongly against corruption. They know that it is harmful for them and their interests and is harmful for the national interest and national security of the country when the topic of huge oil revenues is brought up while the promises of bringing hundreds of millions of dollars that were supposed to be brought to their kitchen tables never happened and while instead they learn about the news of corruptions, incompetence and mismanagement in the economy of the country. Naturally, consciously and presently, it is for the benefit of teachers and workers that we have a balanced foreign policy. We should not create so much drama. We should not go on without a specific agenda. We should not endanger our national interests with creating so many ups and downs.
The reckless actions will have their effect on people’s quality of life
The security of the country is not going to be preserved with guns and military forces
These unwise actions immediately show its impact on people’s kitchen tables. The greatness of a country is in the hope and encouragement of that nation about their future; the view and hope that they have for their future. The security of a country cannot be preserved with only guns and armed forces. During the holy defence ear (Iran-Iraq war) we did not have [organised] army or Revolutionary Guards. They were created gradually. In fact the army was dissolved at the beginning of the revolution and was organised again; the Basij and Revolutionary Guards were also formed later. The reason of our resistance during that 8-year war that we did not give in even one centimetre of our land to the enemy for sure was not our many weapons! Our enemy had more weapons and support and had all the help from the world but our nation including these classes of workers and teachers could resist. This was due to the people’s hope about the future of the system. But when this trust is damaged, when cases of corruption are brought up and are not followed up and even would be raised in the parliament and yet nothing happens and suddenly the cases are closed and then from here and there news would be heard, it is natural that we would lose the hope and belief in the system.
The issues of workers and teachers are not separate
Dear workers and teachers know that your issues are the issues of our entire nation and are not separate.
If you have problems in forming independent unions and every action you take is answered with limitations and arrests and you are facing problems in your activities; when you go to the classroom with fear and concern because you don’t know if you can tell the right word and defend justice in front of your students, defend justice with your heads holding high and with pride; and testify to the brightness of the white and darkness of the black and don’t give up; and when you face fear and insecurity in these issue, it is natural that these concerns are national concerns and are the concerns of all of us!
The path that the Green Movement is taking with this regards is base on this fact that the solution to our problems depends on a series of activities. It is not that we solve this problem once with promises and once with charity, once with increasing or decreasing salaries, or for example when it gets close to elections we become active and jump from one branch to another. These will not resolve the problems of our teachers, workers, employers and entrepreneurs!
We have no other way than returning to the constitution
I believe that the only way is to return to the constitution. There is no other way for us other than returning to fulfill all of the constitution. This is the least costly way. This is the way to solve our problems in a national level; to solve the problems of our Islamic market so that they are not filled with low quality foreign-made goods. We can defend our national industries so that we can protect the rights of our workers to prevent them from losing their jobs and unpaid wages every day. So that we don’t get buried in the foreign markets and that our staffs don’t go wasted. By returning to the constitution we can prevent corruption and by reinstating people’s rights we can solve the problems. Except free, not pre-selected, competitive elections, freedom of press and freeing political prisoners and groups, there is no other way in front of us; and moving towards the constitution is in the benefit of the whole nation, in the benefit of all who are devoted to their people and seek prosperity of their nation.
We promised people to execute the constitution. The rights of people are the most forgotten parts of the constitution
This is our national covenant and the accord between the people and the government and any lessening of this covenant is a betrayal of people’s trust. People and the government signed that the government would execute the constitution without change. If we consider parts of it inefficient we should reform it. The constitution is not carved in stone but [even for that] we should act according to the constitution and we should honour the rights of people which are the most forgotten parts of the constitution so that problems get resolved one after the other and that way, God willing, the statures of teachers and workers in a way that is suitable of our country and society will be reinstated.
May you succeed and may both these days be happy for the entire nation.