Nation Party of Iran
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|Split from||Pan-Iranist Party|
|Official Site (in Persian)|
Hezb-e Mellat-e Iran (Persian حزب ملت ایران, properly translated as Party of the Iranian Nation) also known as Nation Party of Iran or Iran Nation Party (INP) is a liberal nationalist political party seeking secular democracy and separation of religion and state in Iran.
The group was founded by Dariush Forouhar in 1951, which he continued to lead up until his unsolved murder in 1998. Though sharing the same political foundation and similar ideologies, Mellat Iran differed greatly from the Pan-Iranist Party, which he had originally co-founded with Mohsen Pezeshkpour. Unlike the latter group, Mellat Iran was against the Shah and strongly supported the nationalist Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadegh. Mellat Iran also operated from a grass roots foundation, and was active during and immediately after the Iranian Revolution. After the rise to power of Khomeini, Mellat Iran, the Pan-Iranist Party, and other nationalist groups such as the National Front and National Alliance were outlawed and their supporters ostracized and persecuted. Since Forouhar's assassination in November 1998, the party has been led by Khosrow Seif.
Current legal status
The party is officially banned by the Iranian government; their members are constantly harassed and often jailed. The former Foruhar residence which has been a focal point for party members since his death, is kept under surveillance. Persons attending meetings there are sometimes arrested and taken in for questioning. In 2003, Amnesty International issued a memo expressing that organization's concern for three men who "...reportedly were tortured while being held incommunicado."
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