26th June, 2013 –

Firstly we congratulate you on your overwhelming elections victory – showing how millions of Iranians want to see a complete change in Iran’s foreign and domestic policies. We wish you every success in bringing about such a change.

Just eight years ago Iran’s reputation was riding high in the Middle East. Ahmedinejad was voted by several polls as the most popular leader in the “Muslim” world; So what went wrong? Now Iran is hated and rejected across this region. Iran is seen as weak, isolated and undemocratic. Iran is seen as a hostile agent in the instability, which is engulfing us.

Certainly Iran’s 2009 presidential elections damaged Iran’s political reputation; and concerns were raised by increasingly aggressive Iranian interference in Iraq, Lebanon, Bahrain, Yemen and other Gulf states.

However, in the past two years Iran has become synonymous with countless images of martyred Syrian women and children – maybe 100,000 Syrians are now dead because they sought to attain freedom from a repressive regime. Iranian weapons, training, money and support are seen as a major reason why Arab Muslims continue to die day after day across Syria.

Conspicuous massacres by Hezbollah in Qusayr and elsewhere make Iran’s role more obvious. Wasn’t Hezbollah created to defend Muslim interests against Zionist aggression? Not to support Israel’s desire to see Muslims repressing and killing each other.

As this war also engulfs Lebanon, Iran is seen as the main perpetrator; inexplicably spending billions on supporting a hated regime at a time when many Iranians live in poverty.

For this reason, there are many people across the Arab world greatly excited by the recent results of the Iranian elections.

People understand you, Hassan Rohani, to be a moderate who seeks better relations with Iran’s neighbours in the region; who wants to make life better for ordinary Iranians rather than wasting Iran’s oil wealth on bringing war and instability to the Arab world.

We know that the Iranian president does not have an absolute free hand to determine policy and that you will have to engage with entrenched interests in the Republican Guard, the Majlis, and the office of the Supreme Leader.

But you have a huge democratic mandate from millions of Iranians to support reform and stop Iran from being the enemy of the rest of the world, through aggressive and extremist policies. This is what you promised to achieve in your elections manifesto.

Iran and Iran’s President can once again regain that popularity and respect that they recently enjoyed, but if only Iran distances itself from the hated Syrian regime and declares itself in support of the Iranian people; if Iran works to build relations with Arab nations and not to undermine them; and if Iran stops using its media channels to incite violence and spread dissent.

Iran has always been an essential and central part of the Muslim world. When Iran has been strong, the Muslim nation has been strong. But consequently, when Iran works against the Muslim nation and spreads fitnah and hatred between fellow Muslims – this has brought us to the terrible and distressing situation we are in today.

We pray for your wise leadership in working with us to bring peace, strength and unity to the Muslim nation once again.

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