Akbar Ganji -- Iran’s most famous dissident intellectual -- spoke last week to a crowded Fisk auditorium about Iran and world politics today.
Ganji, a former journalist, spent more than five years behind bars for his comments and writings, including “Dungeon of Ghosts,” a book implicating senior Iranian officials in a string of political assassinations of writers and intellectuals. Recently released from prison, he is on a world lecture tour designed to increase understanding of the issues in Iran.
Speaking through two translators, Ganji said he favors civil disobedience as a means to building a Republican Iranian government. In order to create a working democracy there, he talked about the need for a strong middle class, a market economy and political and social cultures based on pluralism and tolerance.
Regarding U.S. foreign policy, he said that a just resolution to the Israel-Palestine conflict would be the best contribution this country could make to the Middle East.