The Issues


Dr. Amirahmadi’s political philosophy is one of inclusion and accommodation. He believes that Iranians are diverse in their backgrounds and needs. Broadly, there are upper, middle and base social classes with respective economic growth, political reform and social justice needs.

“Before a better future can be achieved, a better approach to change must first be adopted.”

Dr. Amirahmadi’s campaign, recognizing these needs, will appeal to the ambitious urban middle classes, the aspiring youth and the next generation of this great country without comprising on tradition, culture and freedom. That is, his campaign will be inclusive and accommodative. But he will also speak for the women, youth and minorities, as well as for such reference groups as the clergies, the state functionaries, armed forces, academic community, ethnic groups, professionals and capitalists (including the bazaar).

The campaign will articulate the specific needs of these reference groups, beyond their social class needs and include those needs in its plans and programs. Dr. Amirahmadi believes that given the tension with the outside world, the armed forces of the nation must be given not patriotic support but added resources to strengthen their defensive capabilities.



Adopting a win-win foreign policy

Peace within and among nations is the most basic condition of human existence; peace is also the foundation on which social and economic cooperation and development can flourish. There is no alternative to a foreign policy that makes peace with other nations its top priority; and Iranian nationism must be globalist and integrationist, not parochial and isolationist. Dr. Amirahmadi’s foreign policy will be based on normal relations with non-aggressive nations, irrespective of their economic, political and ideological orientations. The United Nations’ charter will form the basis for Iran’s international policy. Respect for territorial integrity and reverence for national sovereignty and independence of all nations will be the guiding principles of Iran’s foreign policy. According to Dr. Amirahmadi’s nationism, all nations have public interests and territorial interests; those interests cannot be tampered with and national interests can best be served within a framework of win-win rather than win-lose international policy. While Iran will strengthen its ‘hard power,’ it will increasingly rely on the ‘soft power’ of its people to build its national power. Not just Iran’s national security but also the human security of its people will be advanced by creating a strong Iran; and a strong Iran can play a leading role in maintaining regional and global stability. To this end, efforts on behalf of world peace and active participation in international institutions will be significantly increased. The first step in this direction will be building trust with the U.N. and the global community, reversing Iran’s isolation, and normalizing relations with the West, particularly the U.S.


Building respectful diplomatic and commercial relations

Iran’s current foreign policy calls for an eastward orientation, focusing on strategic cooperation with Russia and China, maintaining good relations with its neighbors, expanding ties with Muslim nations, reducing tensions with Europe and confronting the U.S., the U.K. and Israel. In Dr. Amirahmadi’s opinion, Iran’s policy needs to be altered in relation to these three countries and modified with respect to Europe and Saudi Arabia. The time for a confrontational approach to international relations passed with the thawing of the Cold War. Even detente is no longer an acceptable foreign policy stance. Iran must build cooperative relations with every nation in the global community – even with those from whom it wishes to remain aloof. U.S.-Iran relations are the key to Iran’s relations with the West and a fundamental obstacle to closing the U.S.-Iran diplomatic gap is Iran’s nuclear enrichment programs. Mutual distrust is at the heart of the U.S.-Iran standoff, itself a product of real differences but also of misperceptions and misanalyses


Participating in multilateral institutions and forums

While the building blocks of our world remain nation-states, other units like large businesses and NGOs are effectively competing with states for influence. Meanwhile, the world is no longer one of nations but global issues, such as terrorism, nuclear proliferation, human rights, drug trafficking, disease, poverty and environmental degradation, to name but a few. Then there is the force of globalization that has spread to every human function. This trend towards integration through what Dr. Amirahmadi has called the ‘world-integrative forces’ is confronted by an opposite trend towards disintegration by the ‘world-disintegrative forces’. The result is a continuous tension between chaos and order, co-existence and conflict. Iran must find its proper place in this complex and chaotic world and help promote inter-state and world peace. It must chart a responsible path for itself towards selective integration as it avoids disintegrative behaviors and forces. Iran must share inputs and partake of the global management of new forces and issues. This will require a strong and active presence on the world scene through membership in all relevant multilateral institutions and participation in international and regional forums. To begin in this direction, Iran must first and foremost mend relations with the United Nations. It is only unfortunate that the Security Council should view Iran as a nation threatening world peace and pass several resolutions against the country. Iran must take serious and immediate steps to relieve itself of these demeaning resolutions and again become a normal member of the world’s most important multilateral body. As long as Iran remains trapped in the Security Council, it will be unable to effectively participate in the global community for peace and development. Dr. Amirahmadi’s plan will free Iran from the yoke of the U.N.S.C. and chart a prestigious place for a strong and cooperative Iran among the community of nations. An Iranian passport will then become one of the world’s most trusted national identity documents, symbolizing global recognition for Iran and its people.


Strategizing U.S.-Iran relations

Specifically, the Islamic Republic sees the U.S. through the prism of its Islamic Revolution, believing that it is a ‘wolf’ bent on destroying the ‘sheep,’ i.e., Iran; meanwhile the U.S. views Iran as an ‘evil state’ bent on harming its interests, Israel and other allies. Acting on wrong grounds, Tehran has adopted a policy of confrontation and Washington has applied a policy of sanctions, isolation, destabilization, and support for the Iranian opposition movement. Thus, it is no wonder that the U.S.-Iran conflict has been on a downward spiral, where even good intentions by one side have often been met with negative reactions by the other. Dr. Amirahmadi’s plan for normalization of U.S.-Iran relations, in consultation with the Supreme Leader, will be built on breaking through the deadlock by building trust between the two nations, beginning with a correction of the perceptions and analyses. To this end, he will propose introducing a short truce period to allow for re-evaluating mutual understandings, listening to voices of reason and trying a set of confidence-building measures. He will propose the truce following approval by the Iranian Parliament. Thereafter, Iran and the U.S. will agree to simultaneously announce that they are willing to mend relations, circumstances permitting. Dr. Amirahmadi has already prepared a road map for mending U.S.-Iran relations and will make it available to the public in due course


Securing Iran’s right to peaceful nuclear technology

Currently, the key problem in U.S.-Iran relations is Iran’s nuclear enrichment program Iran is a member of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and as such is entitled to enrichment for civilian use. The U.S. agrees but doubts Iran’s intentions and holds that it must reassure the world of its peaceful intentions by accepting the terms that the U.N. Security Council has set for it. Iran insists that its programs is solely for civilian purposes and considers those terms unfair and maintains that it will not suspend enriching uranium. The bottom line is this: Iran should reassure the U.S. and the world that its programs is civilian in nature to continue enrichment as otherwise it is almost certain that the dispute could lead to more sanctions against Iran and could even lead to a destructive war. Dr. Amirahmadi has lived in the U.S. for almost 40 years and understands the U.S. well. He is in a rare position to convince the U.S. and its Israeli and Arab allies (as well as European nations) that Iran can and should be trusted in its words and deeds. In consultation with the Supreme Leader, he will work with these and other states, including members of the BRICS nations, to diplomatically end the dispute in the best interests of all involved and within the Iranian foreign policy framework of dignity, wisdom and expediency. Dr. Amirahmadi will propose a verifiable deal where the U.S. and its allies would openly accept Iran’s right to peaceful nuclear programs as well as offering it security guarantees in return for Iran suspending uranium enrichment beyond five percent purity. The International Energy Agency (I.A.E.A.) will be able to verify Iran’s civilian programs because Iran will implement the IAEA’s Additional Protocol and respond to its questions. Dr. Amirahmadi will also accept transferring any uranium enriched beyond five percent to outside Iran in return for fuel plates for Iran’s research reactor in Tehran University (RRT) and the gradual lifting of sanctions. At this point, Iran’s file must return to the I.A.E.A. and U.N. resolutions against Iran must be annulled. The two sides will then negotiate in earnest to mitigate tension in the broader relations on the basis of a comprehensive agenda that will include Iran’s relations with Israel and Saudi Arabia. A key to a sustained regional peace then will be the formation of a regional security framework and implementation of initiatives toward realizing a Weapons of Mass Destruction-Free Middle East.


Negotiating normal relations with the U.S.

The U.S. and Iran will continue negotiations toward partial normalization of relations. The Iranian people will definitely support these negotiations. According to many opinion polls, a large majority of Iranians, while critical of U.S. policies, see normalizing relations with that country as one of their main priorities. Fortunately, the majority of political forces in Iran have also recognized, albeit belatedly, the importance of normalization, although a small number of Iranians on the extreme fringes of politics are opposed to this. During the past three decades, Iran has maintained a policy of ‘neither war nor peace’ with the United States. That policy has now lost much ground as the U.S. increasingly moves towards choosing between regime change and war. Only a slight chance remains for mending relations and Dr. Amirahmadi is determined to utilize the small window of opportunity that remains. Under these circumstances, where concern for national security and territorial integrity of Iran increasingly finds objective grounds, removing the danger through normalization of relations with the U.S. has become more urgent than ever. As his past achievements in this area indicate, Dr. Amirahmadi will be in the best position to use the opportunity to resolve the U.S.-Iran dispute in the best interests of both nations.


Building respectful and democratic U.S.-Iran relations

During the past 33 years of U.S.-Iran relations, both nations have lost trillions of dollars in real accounting terms and opportunity cost; they have also suffered untold and irreparable strategic damage. Resolving these issues will open Iran’s huge investment to the world and put the country on a healthy economic course, as it will also help the U.S. to re-ignite its moribund economy. Those seeking optimization of Iran’s economic potential while rejecting normalization of relations with the U.S. are pipe dreamers. However, to benefit the nation, relations must be put on a solid foundation. Countries have had three types of relations with the U.S.: fascination with and servitude to it; anti-Americanism and hostility towards it; and a balanced relationship with the U.S., based on mutual interests and national independence. Iran’s relations with the U.S. have historically fluctuated between the first two extreme types. During his past 25 years of efforts for improving U.S.-Iran relations, Dr. Amirahmadi has learned that it is indeed possible to build a more democratic relationship between Iran and the U.S.


Using diplomatic ties for peace and sustainable development

Why is it so critical that Iran improves its diplomatic relations with the U.S.? Aside from the damage that Iran has sustained from its conflict with the U.S., under an inimical relationship with the West, including the U.S., Iran will never sustainably develop or become democratic. Not just hostility but servitude to the U.S. and the West has also been counterproductive to the developing nations. This is a lesson borne from the history in the last two centuries or so. It is not an accident that most countries with dictatorial governments that have had balanced diplomatic relations with the U.S. have ultimately achieved development and democracy, while dictatorships with submissive relations with the U.S. have failed and been ultimately overthrown. The opposite is true about regimes that have promoted anti-Americanism and refused to establish diplomatic ties with the U.S.: they often live longer but remain autocratic and cannot sustain economic growth. Since the U.S. considers itself the symbol of global democracy and development, it will not allow any anti-U.S. model to have such achievements. Thus, the road to democracy and sustainable development in Iran is through establishing balanced ties with the U.S.

Modernizing bureaucracies and economic management

The Iranian state bureaucracies are obsolete, thin institutionally, inefficient and unresponsive to the nation’s needs. Red tape and corruption abounds, as does nepotism and immoral behavior, while managers are appointed on a client-patronage basis. Mismanagement permeates all bureaucracies and in the economic sphere it is responsible for most of, if not all, economic ills. The recent scandal in the banking system is just one instance of nationwide mismanagement. Dr. Amirahmadi’s plan calls for restructuring obsolete bureaucracies, reinventing economic management in the direction of technocracy and meritocracy and making corruption a criminal offence. There are also parallel bureaucracies that must be eliminated, streamlined or reinvented. The nation’s tax administration will also be fully redesigned for maximum fairness and efficiency, making the wealthy Iranians and big businesses pay their fair share of taxes. The ultimate purpose of Dr. Amirahmadi’s plan is to create a lean and clean government based on professional values, work ethics, discipline, accountability, transparency and efficiency.


Creating jobs and globalizing the labor market

Creating jobs for younger Iranians in various skill categories will be at the core of Dr. Amirahmadi’s national economic plan. These jobs will be created in the public and private sectors, in various infrastructural, socio-economic and service activities, in high-tech and low-tech industries, in small, medium and large firms and in rural and urban areas. Specifically, the jobs will be created through massive increases in public investments in productive economic sectors and infrastructural projects, carefully designed job-creating incentive packages for the private sector, building support networks for small and medium-sized economic activities, assisting younger Iranians in becoming entrepreneurial, attracting as much foreign and expatriate investment as possible and extensive work force development programs. Institutional and legal reforms will be introduced to provide a safe and secure environment for business investment and public-private partnership.


Enhancing economic productivity and competitiveness

The new world is a world of hyper productivity and global competition. Productivity increases when for the same amount of inputs more outputs are produced. Most modern industries of our age are ‘brain’ industries, that is, their main inputs are labor, science and technology. Thus, to increase productivity in these and other ‘knowledge’ or ‘learning’ economic activities, it is critical that education, R&D and industry-driven research are highly promoted. Productivity increases helps reduce unit costs, boost wages and reduce prices and controls for inflation. Accompanied by an appropriate employment policy, productivity increases will lead to an increase in personal income and a corresponding reduction in poverty. They will also help enhance national and business competitiveness in regional and global markets as they will make the nation’s exports more competitive and improved in quality. Dr. Amirahmadi’s plan will call for significant increases in labor productivity across economic sectors, agriculture and manufacturing in particular and achieve this goal by introducing modern workforce development programs throughout the nation. Improvements in productivity will also be achieved by introducing new technologies, processes, materials and other modern inputs into the Iranian economic units.


Restructuring and diversifying the oil sector

The Iranian economy is oil-based and oil nationalism has made the Iranian state into a rentier and obstructionist bureaucracy. Back in the 1950s, Iranians reclaimed the oil from Great Britain and handed it over to the state. This time, they need to reclaim it back from the state and give it to the people. This must be done through increasing people’s control over the oil sector. As long as the Iranian government depends solely on oil for its survival, it will not be answerable to the people. When the government takes control of the oil money and acts as an oil manager, it loses its connection with the people. Such a government loses its sense of justice, transparency, accountability, and responsibility. Besides, such an authority over the wealth of the nation inevitably leads to the emergence of corrupt elements within the government and their counterparts in the private sector. In this regards the U.S. $3 billion embezzlement scandal is a perfect example. Democratic privatization and diversification of the oil economy would benefit the people at the expense of the government. A cash-hungry government will then have to rely on taxes, and when it does, it will have to correct its behavior to function effectively. A disciplined and well-structured state can emerge as a result.


Promoting a trade-based industrial policy and globalization

Most nations that have developed their economies in recent decades have done so through a trade-based industrial policy and globalization strategy. They include the so-called NICS (Newly Industrializing Countries such as South Korea and Taiwan) and BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa). Their economic development strategy has more or less involved import-substitution in the early development stage and export-promotion in the more mature stage. It is the second stage that guaranteed their success in industrialization and global integration. While Iran did adopt a policy of import-substitution, it failed to successfully move to the export-promotion industrialization stage largely due to the dominance of oil in the economy. Dr. Amirahmadi’s administration will help diversify the oil sector and promote trade-based industrialization, adopting both import-substitution and export-promotion strategies. His focus will, however, be in promoting non-oil exports particularly in the emerging and growing ‘brain industries.’ A successful export promotion strategy will depend on world markets and on targeted and successful global integration, which in turn requires a foreign policy based on normal relations with economies throughout the world.

I am text block. Click edit button to change this text. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.

Calling for national reconciliation and unity

 It is Dr. Amirahmadi’s hope that, as a fair-minded and pragmatic person, with negotiating skills and a background in peace activism and as an original promoter of civil society idea in Iran, his candidacy will help him act as a bridge builder and an ambassador of reconciliation between the disparate religious and secular forces, among the contending economic and socio-political interest groups, among Iranian ethnic people, between Iranians at home and expatriates and between Iran and other nations. Dr. Amirahmadi can state with great pride that he has been for many years one of the leading advocates of reconciliation among Iranians and between Iran and the West, the U.S. in particular. In his opinion, for Iranians to prosper in the new world, they must promote national and international reconciliation and strike a proper balance between localism and globalism. Fortunately, the younger Iranians support selective globalization, reconciliation among Iranians and peaceful co-existence with the global community. However, to accomplish these ideals, Iranians must first form a united front in purpose and action, as no political faction can alone resolve the national crises. One way to form that united front is to allow political parties to establish and institutionalize free, fair and transparent elections and via building governing coalitions.


Advocating free, fair and transparent elections

 Every Iranian citizen has an inalienable right to elect and be elected unless prevented by law. This requirement is enshrined in the Islamic Constitution and in such international documents as the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Charter of Inter-Parliamentary Council. Iran is a signatory to these international conventions. No well-wishing, patriotic and qualified Iranian should be restricted from running for elected offices; otherwise the public will grow indifferent to elections or protest against the results as has happened in the past. The 2013 Presidential Election is expected to be a watershed in the life of the Islamic Republic – the Supreme Leader seems poised to create a more open political environment following Mr. Ahmadinejad’s exit. Dr. Amirahmadi’s hope is to contribute to that movement in particular by mobilizing the disenchanted public to fully participate in the elections.


Building political parties and coalition governments

The last several elections have indicated that a coalition government would have been a peaceful and practical solution to factional hostilities. None of the political forces at home or abroad, from fundamentalists, neoconservatives and religious reformists, to religious and secular nationalists, royalists, leftists and social democrats can solve national problems either alone or even in the form of false coalitions. No social force can or should assume a guardian role for others and no political faction should wish to exclude the competition. Efforts toward forming a true coalition government must begin with changing the present electoral system into a system of proportional representation. Accordingly, the current ‘winner- take-all’ system will be replaced with a system in which ‘all will win in accordance to their relative social weight and no one will lose.’ In such a system of proportional representation, all political forces must be allowed to form their own political parties since in their absence a coalition government could not be formed. Any coalition government must reflect the needs and interests of the main social classes, including the base, the middle and the upper classes. They must include social justice, political freedom and economic development, respectively. Dr. Amirahmadi hopes to attract attention to the need for coalition-building and will be prepared to form a coalition government with the politically correct forces when the right time comes.


Removing political revenge, demanding amnesty

Dr. Amirahmadi firmly believes that for building a strong Iran a general amnesty, freeing all political prisoners and eliminating ‘political revenge’ is an essential requirement. Such a change will reduce violence and eliminate fears that are often associated with the loss of power in Iran. So long as political leaders are worried of conspiracy and revenge by the opposition, they are unlikely to allow for peaceful or non-violent transition — they would even oppose the formation of a coalition government. Eliminating political revenge is particularly important in Iran where the last 33 years have been a time of continued animosity, at times even conflicts, among various political and social forces, often resulting in deaths, political imprisonments and exiles. In Iran, the culture of political revenge is an evil phenomenon that produces enmity and violence, hinders elite circulation and peaceful transfer of power, and thwarts civilized political associations. Changing this political culture, building a nation with no political prisoners, and calling for a national amnesty is a major part of Dr. Amirahmadi’s plan of action, and he has every intention to use all means at his disposal to dispel this evil culture of political revenge from the homeland.


Making people sovereign and independent

Dr. Amirahmadi wishes to use his candidacy to bring attention to the new concepts of sovereignty and independence, and help infuse them in the state-people relations in Iran. Traditionally, both these notions have been applied to the state only. Now they are being applied to the people as well. In the new world, a sovereign and independent country is one in which the people are true citizens: their democratic and human rights and security are fully granted, and they are full partners in the decision-making and management of their state (the new governance notion); in such a country, the state gains legitimacy and builds national power by democratic practices, balanced and sustainable national development and by the maintenance of peace, law and order. In other words, a sovereign and independent nation is one that has a democratic political system.


Protecting individual and private property rights 

The Iranian people are not just ‘citizens’ or ‘members of the human race’ but also ‘individuals’ with rights of their own. They include the right to a private living space, the right to physical security and the right to own property. These rights are enshrined in the Islamic Constitution and they must be recognized and sacredly protected. While this notion of individual rights must be obvious to the state, groups and individuals, it is not always observed. It is no wonder that Iran has been a short-term and vengeful society where the past achievements have often been destroyed and achievers eliminated. While the fear of physical insecurity often pre-occupies Iranians, private property expropriation has had a devastating effect on their economic development and socio-political morale. Dr. Amirahmadi will propose legislation to secure individual rights to full private life and make expropriation of legitimate properties unlawful.

Making education a pivot of social justice

Social justice includes free or affordable provision of basic human needs such as civil rights, jobs, food, shelter, education, health care and recreation. It also includes economic, political, communal, cultural, territorial and international justice. In a just society people have equal rights and opportunities and discriminations of all and every type are constitutionally, legally and practically reprehensible and prohibited. Dr. Amirahmadi’s social justice programs will include a national drive for civil rights and well-paying jobs, scientific education, affordable and quality health care and suitable housing and recreation. More significantly, he will also initiate a ‘war’ on poverty, deteriorating public health, drug addiction, social crimes, corruption and discriminations. Education will form the core of Dr. Amirahmadi’s social policy. Every Iranian will be provided with a decent and affordable capacity-building education from primary schooling to post-graduate studies. Public and private schools, colleges and universities will be made affordable to all Iranians. All educational institutions will be closely monitored for the quality of their teaching, reach and public services. But they will be also directed towards producing skills and expertise that the nation requires to advance its scientific, technological and industrial infrastructures. To this end, funds for research and development (R&D) will be increased to about six percent of the Gross National Product (GNP), comparable to the levels in developed nations. He will pay for the programs by streamlining the bureaucracy.


Promoting participation of the youth in national development

Iran has a very young population. Some 65 percent of Iran’s 75 million plus population is below the age of 35. The needs of this section of the population are very basic, extensive and urgent. The youth requires such services as education, health care, sport and recreation. They need work, housing and capital. They want to form families, be free and enjoy a vibrant social life. And they want not only living security but also connection to the wider global society. Most of these basic needs are not provided for Iranian youth. As a result, apathy and disillusionment has become widespread among them and they are often caught in drug addiction and other rebellious social behaviors. They are hopeless and helpless, have no drive for self-promotion, and are always looking for a way to leave their country. This situation for the youth must change. Their basic needs must be met and they must be made hopeful of the future. Dr. Amirahmadi’s plan for the youth will strengthen the newly established Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, providing it with the resources required to uplift the youth’s living conditions in economic, political, social, and cultural spheres including work, education, health, sport and recreation.


Advancing women’s role as top managers and decision-makers

Despite many tough obstacles and discriminations, including the ubiquitous Islamic dress code, Iranian women have achieved significant progress, particularly in education and the labor markets. More than half of university students are women and women carry the lion’s share of family burdens, working at home and outside, both in cities and in villages. Yet, their place in top management and high decision-making positions remains vacant. This injustice must be remedied and Dr. Amirahmadi will use the campaign as an opportunity to bring recognition to this problem and push for the inclusion of women in the nation’s top jobs. Toward this aim, Dr. Amirahmadi as President will propose a new Ministry of Women and will equip it with the assets and instruments it needs to promote Iranian women’s place in society.


Promoting Iranian ethnic communities

Iran is a multi-ethnic nation and has been so for all its history and will have to remain so for eternity. This diversity is one of Iran’s major sources of national richness and beauty as well as a secret of its enduring cultural fullness and integrity. As a predominantly cultural nation, Iran must preserve this diversity and promote its health by a policy of true socio-economic, political and territorial inclusion and integration. The past discriminatory policy in favor of a few growth centers in the nation must be abandoned in favor of a policy of balanced provincial development. This requires a controlled decentralization of political, economic and social programs. The central administration will have to manage certain national functions and leave others to be administered at the provincial level. It is only unfortunate that some in the political community have called for ‘federalism’ as a solution to the nation’s ethnic administrative problems. The fact is that nowhere has federalism been a solution to such matters. Indeed, most federal states, such as the United States and Germany, have little ethnic problems and their adoption of a political federal system is meant to guarantee administrative decentralism. In the case of Iran, given its history, geography and level of development, a controlled decentralized system with a fitting form of fiscal federalism, where provincial and sectorial powers are balanced, should work best. Dr. Amirahmadi as President will promote such an administrative system.


Connecting expatriate Iranians to their homeland

Iran has ever been an immigrant-sending nation and in each period of its history, specific reasons have led to the flight of its people to neighboring countries and beyond. Until recently, economic reasons dominated and expatriates were primarily working people leaving Iran for neighboring countries in search of work or escaping oppression at the hands of landlords and courtiers. Lately, however, the majority of Iranians leaving their homeland are among the middle and upper classes, largely educated Iranians, who primarily go to the West; they are pushed from their homeland by a combination of economic, political and social reasons. While accurate statistics are hard to come by, an estimated five million Iranians live in countries around the world, mainly in the West. Among them are many scientists, educators, professionals, artists, businessmen, media personalities and the intelligentsia. They form a significant national asset and the nation cannot afford to lose them forever. This brain drain is caused largely by internal push factors such as a lack of adequate high-level educational and research opportunities, a chronic shortage of job and business prospects, and suffocating socio-political limitations. Governments have often tried in vain to return the expatriates to their homeland for technical assistance or investment using nationalistic sentiments. Dr. Amirahmadi’s Government will reverse this brain drain by ceaselessly struggling against red tape, corruption and discrimination of all types and forms, as well as by providing for the multidimensional spiritual, material and socio-political needs of the expatriates and others still in the country. Meanwhile, Dr. Amirahmadi believes that the Iranian expatriates must be viewed as residing in a ‘virtual province’ of Iran outside its political borders. As such, they must also be entitled to a ‘Provincial Government’ or a ‘Ministry of Expatriates.’ Such organizations are needed because, first, most Iranian expatriates will not permanently physically return to their homeland; second, the children of expatriates are not attuned to the Iranian way of life and will want to live in their country of birth. In addition, globalization has made immigration a natural phenomenon, meaning many Iranians will continue to live outside their homeland. Therefore, the best and most efficient way to benefit from the expatriate community is to organize them and then reconnect them in real and virtual ways to their homeland.


Streamlining social-welfare programs and policies 

The basic needs of all Iranians must be met. Programs for job creation and education should help reduce unemployment, increase personal incomes and reduce poverty. They should also help mitigate other social ills such as youth drug addiction. However, continued civil strife, war, sanctions and mismanagement or just sheer neglect have produced a society that is gripped by many ills that require focused attention. Poverty and social imbalances are most critical. Welfare and distributional programs such as subsidies, bank credit, unemployment insurance and access to basic health care have to be better streamlined and managed for maximum efficiency and equity. The country’s public health has deteriorated and communicable diseases like AIDS are spreading at alarming speed. Just visit the public bathrooms in the nation; they are simply awful! A national, well-funded sanitation programs, with essential physical and educational dimensions, needs to be instituted to upgrade sewer systems and clean public spaces in order to maintain high hygiene levels.


Promoting social capital and eliminating discrimination

Iran today has become a nation of mistrust and hostility caused by division and corruption as well as greed and selfish interests. This must change and Dr. Amirahmadi will work relentlessly to promote a culture of social capital, unity and public interests. Towards this aim, he will promote cooperation and coordination towards a true reconciliation among hostile political factions, uniting them around national interests. Dr. Amirahmadi will also strategize his policies toward the elimination of unfair, unequal and discriminative conditions that prohibit citizens from participating in the political fate of the nation and enhance national trust. This will be based on ‘actualization’ of ‘equal opportunity’ for all citizens which is a clear goal of Iran’s 20-year perspective document.

Promoting national arts and cultures

Culture is the backbone of a nation’s soul and body and its promotion is a must in any sophisticated society, particularly in Iran today where domestic frictions and external pressures have deprived the people of their full enjoyment of life. Meanwhile, unnecessary social restrictions have led to a sense of individual and social insecurity and desolation. A community that mislays security and happiness becomes gloomy and depressive. People in such a society become dejected, dispirited, distrustful and schizophrenic; they also lose self-confidence and hope for a better future. Resentment replaces competition and social deviation and corruption becomes a venue for relieving anger and frustration. One of the primary debts of the Islamic Republic to the people of Iran is happiness. Dr. Amirahmadi as President will provide credit against this debt to the Iranian people by implementing fitting cultural programs.


Balancing tradition and modernity

Specifically, Dr. Amirahmadi’s cultural programs will include the promotion of Iranian heritage and modern recreational activities to provide happiness, beautification, physical fitness, mental health and spiritual development of the nation as well as its historic preservation. Promotion of internal and international tourism, national and global sports, literary and spiritual works, performing and imaging arts and other forms of cultural and artistic activities will have to be a top priority in the present depressive Iranian society. However, cultural promotion will be carefully planned to maintain a proper balance between Iranian traditions and global modernity in accordance with the Iranian national character, religion and aspirations. Iran is a multi-ethnic society in a growingly open international community. This fact necessitates promoting a multicultural Iranian community in which ethnic, national and global cultures find their proper mix and place. As a historical and cultural nation, Iranians are socially pleasant and benefit from a rich literary and mystical tradition. Yet, the nation is not as fortunate in the realm of political culture where obsolete norms and behaviors abound. Changing this unhealthy political culture is a must for Iran’s cultural revival and modernization. To that end, promoting cultural education at all societal levels must take a pivotal role, an idea that Dr. Amirahmadi as President will actively promote. He will also promote a culture of tolerance for different and even opposing views. Dr. Amirahmadi will also promote a culture of cooperation among people with differing ideological orientations and worldviews.