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Thursday, December 10, 2009

Iran's 'green revolution' outpacing its leaders

Amir Taheri reports that Iran's 'green revolution' is outpacing its leaders who wanted to work within the system. Not only is it now in open revolt against Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, but also against 'Supreme Leader' Ayatollah Ali Khameni.
[T]he official calendar of the Islamic Republic includes 22 days during which the regime organizes massive public demonstrations to flex its muscles. Since the controversial presidential election last June, the pro-democracy movement, in a jujitsu-style move, has used the official days to undermine the regime.

On Jerusalem Day, Sept. 18, officially intended to express anti-Semitism, the opposition showed that Iranians have no hostility toward Jews or Israel. One popular slogan was "Neither Hamas nor Hezbollah! I give my life for Iran!" Another was "Forget about Palestine! Think about our Iran!"

On Nov. 4, the anniversary of the seizure of the U.S. embassy in Tehran in 1979, the opposition distanced itself from the regime's anti-American rhetoric. The democrats instead expressed anger against Russia and China, which are perceived as allies of the Islamic Republic. One slogan was "The Russian Embassy is a nest of spies!"

Most significantly, the movement that started as a protest against the alleged rigging of the election that gave a second term to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has been evolving. The crowds' initial slogan was "Where Is My Vote?" and the movement's accidental leaders, including former Prime Minister Mir Hossein Mousavi, tried hard to keep the protest confined to demands such as a recount of the votes and, ultimately, a runoff in accordance with the law.

The slogans of the protestors are no longer about election fraud. Today they include "Death to the Dictator," "Freedom Now," and "Iranian Republic, Not Islamic Republic!" One slogan is a direct message to President Barack Obama: "Obama, Are You With Us or With Them?"


Both Mr. Mousavi and Ayatollah Mahdi Karroubi, another defeated presidential candidate, tried to prevent attacks on the "Supreme Guide" Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in the hope of eventually making a deal with him. As part of such a deal, they promised to defend the Islamic Republic's nuclear program, according to sources close to the opposition. The crowds have rejected that by shouting: "Abandon uranium enrichment! Do something about the poor!"
If Taheri is correct about that last one, why is Moussavi preventing any compromise on Iran's nuclear weapons program? Why is he still pushing for enrichment? Is he still lagging behind the crowd?

Read the whole thing.


At 7:27 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

Mir Hossein Moussavi is a long time Islamic regime stalwart. He is as ruthless and committed to its objectives as Ahmedinejad and Khamenei. He is NO democrat and he would have given an acceptable face to Iran's nuclear bomb drive. So we all can be glad he "lost" the rigged election this summer.


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