Council for Formation of Iranian Government in Exile (CFIGIE)

Response to the Questions about Government in Exile (GIE)

  1. What are the goals of the government in exile (GIE)? It provides a voice for Iran’s opposition forces who are denied access to media and direct communication with Iranian people. While the government of the Islamic Republic (IR) has established an atmosphere of fear and intimidation by oppressing and massacring of dissidents, it is important to build an institution with representatives in all major countries to facilitate the transmission of the truth of suppression of the people and their needs in their struggle for freedom to the foreign governments.
  1. What are the political characteristics of GIE? The philosophy of GIE is to highlight the illegitimacy of the Islamic Republic and its trampling of Iran’s national interests. All opposition members who believe in democracy for Iran with any political affiliation are welcome to participate in GIE and volunteer for various positions at any level.
  1. What are the differences between GIE and other political parties and groups within the opposition? The name of this entity is GIE indicating that it will primarily work with other governments to represent Iran’s national interest. As IR explicitly refuses to represent Iran’s national interest, GIE will strive to attract all Iranians abroad to the goal of struggle for democracy, which best serves the national interest.  Publicity around GIE is a powerful tool that can be used to achieve attraction and convergence of the five million Iranians living in the diaspora whose support opposition political groups have failed to attract.
  1. Which historical or social conditions have necessitated the formation of GIE? Failure of opposition in attracting the bulk of Iranians abroad and inside the country to empower the democratic movement. In the past forty-two years, many mass demonstrations, especially since 2008, have failed to coalesce around a common cause and unified leadership to see it to fruition.  As such, a new political tool is required to unlock the opposition’s gridlock.  GIE, by virtue of its substance and form, will attract people who see within themselves the character and ability to represent Iran’s national interest in any capacity.  This is a new tool that could take the opposition beyond the present standstill.
  1. Are there any examples of GIE in other countries or in Iran? During World War I, Iran declared neutrality in order to avoid entanglement in the War, but Russian, Turkish, and British troops ignored this declaration and occupied the capital. On the other hand, Germans tried to arouse the southern tribes against the British and created an armed force, the South Persia Rifles, to protect its interests. They also supported the formation of a GIE by a group of Iranian notables led by Nezam os Saltaneh Mafi, Amanollah Ardalan, Hassan Moddares, Rezagholi Khan Mafi, Mohammad Ali Farzin, Hossein Samiee, Mirza Ghassem Khan Soor Esrafil, hoping to maintain control and management of the country and escape Anglo-Russian dominance. This GIE was forced to leave Tehran, first for Qom and then for Isfahan and Kermanshah, where they established their government. This government in exile lasted for the duration of the war but failed to capture much support. Other examples are the ones formed by Holland, France, Greece, Czechoslovakia, and Poland during their countries’ Nazi occupation. Tibetan GIE is presently headed by Lobsang Sangay, whose official title is the Sikyong (President) of the Tibetan-government-in-exile, officially known as Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) since 2012 and previously served as Kalön Tripa from 2011 to 2012. Following his election, at the request of the 14th Dalai Lama, the Tibetan parliament-in-exile amended the organization’s bylaws to remove the Dalai Lama’s executive authority, making Lobsang Sangay its highest leader. In 2012, to reflect this change, Lobsang Sangay’s title as chief executive was changed from kalön tripa (“prime minister”) to sikyong (“ruler” or “regent”).
  1. Under what conditions will GIE succeed? The primary goal of GIE is to rally Iranians around the democracy movement, which is presently dormant in Iran. But since the jurisdiction of GIE is only outside Iran its success requires the establishment of working relationships with major countries like the US, EU, France, Germany and England to draw their support for the Iranian people’s struggle.  It also needs to receive legitimacy by Iranian people inside Iran in the form of contacts, sympathetic demonstrations, and ultimately government officials whose observation of evidence of government’s disintegration encourages them to join the GIE.
  1. How will GIE begin and end? It will officially begin when it has recruited enough members to carry out its diplomatic representation goal in all the major countries and received a message of support from a large population segment.  It will end when the democratic movement within Iran has been able to form the provisional government to act as a caretaker to launch a referendum for the type of future government and formation of the constitutional assembly.
  1. What are the specific responsibilities of the GIE? Its primary responsibilities are to establish close ties to the legitimate opposition leaders in Iran and be in close communication with major foreign countries who play an important role in delegitimizing and impoverishing the IR.
  1. How will GIE obtain its legitimacy? By verifiable acceptance by the opposition leaders inside the country and by the people themselves.
  1. What does GIE expect from opposition groups? To enter into a dialogue to evaluate the utility of GIE as an instrument to rally support for the struggle of Iranian people to rid themselves of the oppressions of IR.
  1. What are the various functions of GIE? Its primary function is to act as ambassadors of Iranian people vis a vis major countries.  It also must attract the opposition groups to join the GIE and amplify the voice of the people.
  1. How can people apply for membership in GIE? Once the core members required for the primary responsibilities were recruited, the website will be launched in which provisions for membership will be offered.
  1. How is GIE funded? All funding will come directly from contributions from supporters of GIE.
  1. What is the nature of the relationship between GIE and other governments? Communication of Iran’s national interest to guide those governments in making decisions that could strengthen the people’s hand in their struggle for freedom.
  1. What role would GIE play in helping consolidate the current discontent and help it grow in strength? The biggest factor that motivates people’s participation in democratic movements is their hope for victory.  On this matter, evidence that major foreign players are on their side will go a long way to raise that hope, which is the glue for unity and victory.
  1. What are the different branches of GIE, and how do they work? An organizational chart has been constructed that offers a simple representation of various branches of GIE along with the description of their responsibilities.
  1. What are the success criteria, and how does GIE measure success? Success is defined by the attainment of our primary goal of receiving acceptance by the Iranians inside Iran. As the first step to achieving success, we have set the goal of being approached by at least 500,000 people, constituting 10% of Iranians in the diaspora.