Iran: Between Disappointment and a New Revolution

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A Window of Opportunity

Despite the Disappointment, There is Hope

Safa Haeri – Iranian-born career journalist living in France. Creator of Iran Press Service, he covered the Islamic revolution of 1979 for Agence France Press.

The most dramatic outcome of the “electoral coup” is that Ali Khamenei is no more considered by the Iranians, and the world, as the Guide of all the Iranians, but the leader of a minority political party that can be defeated.

When, on 13 June 2009, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the “Guide of the Islamic Revolution”, by approving unexpectedly, and unconstitutionally, the results of the tenth presidential elections held 24 hours earlier and congratulating the outgoing fanatic president, Mr. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, on his overwhelming victory over his main rival, Mir Hossein Mousavi, performed the last act of a scenario that had been worked out months before and played with Swiss precision, not only did he deliberately close the doors to all possibilities of reverting the results of an election that was massively rigged, (some said it was history’s fist electoral coup) but also did not expect that he was also going to shatter his painfully established title, credit and legitimacy and jeopardize the stability of a regime that everyone inside and outside had admitted as being ”unchangeable”, at least in the near or middle future.

Even as the Interior Ministry was announcing the first result, stating that Mr. Ahmadinejad had won the race high handedly, while people were still voting in some parts of Iran, the media on the payroll of both the “Guide” and his president were spelling out the last chapter of the scenario: “Highly informed sources say considering the certainty of the victory of Mr. Ahmadinejad, supporters of Mir Hossein Mousavi are preparing themselves for staging protest demonstrations that would be backed and reflected by foreign media worldwide”, said both the official Iranian news agency IRNA and the semi official Fars News Agency, close to the Revolutionary Guards and the Intelligence Ministry on 12 June 2009.

By imposing the unpopular Ahmadinejad to the Iranians, Mr. Khamenei wanted to get rid of the few old and historic guards remaining of the Islamic Revolution and establish his credentials on the new generation of Islamic revolutionaries like Mr. Ahmadinejad and other Revolutionary Guards officers totally dedicated to him among whom one eyed Jack is considered the king.

This was spelled out during the speech he pronounced on Friday 19 June 2009. Speaking about the people the President had strongly and viciously attacked during his campaign and televised debates, accusing, among other, ayatollah Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani and his family of financial corruption and nepotism, Mr. Khamenei said: I know all these gentlemen: I know Mr. Hashemi for over 53 years. He dedicated all his belongs to the cause of the Revolution and after, he played an important role as twice president of the republic and Speaker of the Majles”.

But he omitted to say that it was Mr. Hashemi Rafsanjani, his old classmate in the city of Qom, attending Grand Ayatollah Rouhollah Khomeini’s classes, sharing same room, who, after the death of the founder of the Islamic Republic, manoeuvred at the Assembly of Experts to have him elected as the new Guide.

He did not say that all the years after the victory of the Islamic Revolution up to the death of the Leader of the Revolution, Mr. Rafsanjani was the regime’s second personality, having all the trust of the Grand ayatollah, who conferred to him, as the powerful Speaker of the Majles, the overall direction of the war against Iraq.

He said: “Mr Mousavi was my prime minister”.

Wrong, Mir Hossein Mousavi was Ayatollah Khomeini’s choice for prime minister and twice, when the then president, Ali Khamenei, had row with the then prime minister, Mr. Khomeini publicly took the side of  Mr. Mousavi and ordered the president “not intervene in the affairs of the government”.

 And finally, he referred to Mr. Karroubi as “a former Speaker”, not mentioning that he was one of the very few comrades-in-arms of ayatollah Khomeini and is considered as one of the most respected Gulf revolutionaries.

 “Mr. Hashemi and Mr. Ahmadinejad do not go well along together. Ever since the last presidential elections (when against all odds, Mr. Ahmadinejad defeated Mr. Hashemi Rafsanjani in the second round), they have sharp differences. However, I must admit that Mr. Ahmadinejad’s views and thinking are closer to me than those of Mr. Hashemi”, the embattled Guide confessed.

         “Even the best Swiss-made watches sometimes have deficiencies. The flaw in the scenario written for Mr. Khamenei to separate him from the old mates and making him king in the land of Lilliputs was that from his ivory tower, he was not aware of the huge unpopularity of the regime, people’s fatigue with a political system that denies them their most basic human rights and their desire for change|, observed an Iran scholar who asked not be named.

The most dramatic outcome of the “electoral coup” is that Ali Khamenei is no more considered by the Iranians, and the world, as the Guide of all the Iranians, but the leader of a minority political party that can be defeated.

Safa Haeri – Iranian-born career journalist living in France. Creator of Iran Press Service, he covered the Islamic revolution of 1979 for Agence France Press.

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A Regime in Retreat?

The " Fraudulent " Islamic Republic

Abdullah Mohamed Al-Outaibi – Kuwaiti Author and Journalist

Once more, dictatorship has proven its fragility, when it started killing hysterically everyone who stood in its way, in order to stay in power. But the Iranian citizens have made it clear that they want the people to rule, in order to defend their freedom, as they do in veritable republics, and that they do not want the despotic rule of the supreme jurist, as is the case with the fraudulent Islamic Republic.

Addressing himself to the Iranian people, and so closing the sacred distance between the clergyman and the laity, Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei seemed the undisputed ruler of Iran. After his public address, it has become obvious for all the foolhardy, all the collaborators and all those who like to fish in troubled waters, that the Islamic Republic has never been but a big facade hiding a religious dictatorship and that Velayat al-faqih (guardianship of the Islamic jurist) is nothing but an absolute system of government which dons the garb of religion, like communistic and fascistic regimes do.

On June,19, The Islamic Republic uncovered its real face, reared its ugly head, having deceived many for decades about its false democracy and its belief in power rotation, only to reveal how counterfeit all that was.

It is not the "rejectionist camp" who has scandalled the false republic, but rather, it is the former founding Ayatollahs who have taken it to task. For example, the religious opposition figure Ayatollah Hussein Montaziri, once a Khamenei confidante who is now under house arrest, declared that "Suppressing the demonstrators protesting against the false election results may lead to the fall of the system". The same opinion was also expressed by former presidents Hashimi Rafsanjani and Mohamed Khatimi and the loser candidate, ex-premier Mir-Hossein Mousavi.

Since the announcement of the election of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for a second term in office, and the unwillingness of presidential candidate Mousavi, the reformists, and a large sector of the Iranian people, to accept the outcome of the "fraudulent" elections, the Iranian government has cracked down on the Iranian people under the banner of precluding "non-interference in internal affairs".  It let loose the Basij militia (mobilization forces) to oppress them, for the sake of giving the Iranian government ample time to take hold of the political scene and twist the facts as it wishes.

The government has done its best to suppress the demonstrations that broke out in objection to the outcome of the elections. These confrontations have led so far to the killing of more than twenty-three people and the arrest of hundreds, according to the official toll. The Iranian officials have sought to "fraud" all what is going on in the country. Foreign journalists were sent away, and those who continued to send reports were detained to prevent them from filming what is going on   and showing it to the world.

The Iranian authorities have arrested so many members of the reformist front or those close to them including politicians, professors, journalists, musicians and athletes. They have warned all those talking about what's going on in Tehran and other Iranian cities, considering this an intervention in Iran's internal affairs and ignoring the very fact that we undoubtedly live in an interrelated world, thanks to globalization. Through the internet, people all over the world can follow up all what's going on in Iran minute by minute.

The Supreme Leader, Aly Khamenei and other leaders of the Islamic revolution admit how "cassette" was very effective in their endeavours to assume power. However, the third generation of the revolution have successfully managed to use technologies in an unprecedentedly revolutionized manner. They've transmitted all what's going on in Iran using twitter, youtube, flicker and facebook. At the time the Iranian authorities paid too much attention to blocking up the Russian satellite channels, the pictures taken by mobile phones were very effective in transmitting all the events in Iran.    

It was clear that the Republic's image was tarnished, and that no plastic surgery would be able to restore it back. The talk about a global "conspiracy" against the mullahs of Tehran became no longer convincing. There has been an ongoing conflict over power since 1979 between two opposite parties. The first party is led by Khamenei, the second Supreme Leader, and Ahmadinejad, his favourite President. This party includes hard-line clerics, and its ideas are an extension of those of Khomeini, the first Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution. The second party is the one that has been excluded from power months after the Imam's return from his Parisian exile, his exclusion of Mehdi Bazargan, the first Prime Minister of the Government of the supreme jurist, the ensuing removal of Abu Al-Hassan Bani-Sadr, the first elected President of the Republic, and the seizing of power by the conservative political movement.

The "permanent revolution" conservatives refuse to make any structural changes in their way of government, which is a popular demand that they brazenly ignore. And when the people found a small outlet through the candidate Mousavi, the Supreme Leader closed it off, eliminating any glimmer of hope they might have had. Thorough his historic Friday prayers' speech, he declared war against his own people, not knowing that by doing this he was digging the grave of the Islamic Republic, which has lost its credibility, both inside and outside Iran. For the first time, the regime began hearing Iranian voices calling out slogans such as "Down with the Islamic Republic", "Down with Khamenei" and "Down with dictatorship."

Protests in Iranian cities, dripping with the blood of the brave Iranian people, proved that those who are in power are nothing but a tyrannical authority. Such protests proved that Iran is neither Islamic nor a Republic, and that the people have gone beyond demanding a change within the regime to demanding the change of the regime itself, which will happen sooner or later. What has happened is the first step towards freeing   the Iranian people from their large prison cell, and helping them regain their freedom.

Now, the whole world must try to prevent the regime in Teheran from obtaining nuclear technology. Recent events have shown that the regime will not use nuclear energy peacefully, and that it will not hesitate to threaten its neighbours with it, as it does not hesitate to kill its own people by all available means, which clearly explains why the regime is desperate to enter the nuclear club and obtain a nuclear bomb.

There is no doubt that the current political regime in Tehran cannot continue to exist, because it operates according to the rule of "the winner takes everything and the loser gets nothing". Such governing mechanism leads to blockages and congestions within the system itself, making it ready to explode at any moment. It is clear that the regime has nothing but force and repression to confront reality with, instead of entering into alliances and making coalition governments, in order ease the status quo. The policy of isolating the Iranian people - of whom young people constitute the majority - and the attempts to keep them in the dark through myths and superstitions, will never work.

The new political program that Mousavi proposes and represents was the reason behind the insistence of the current regime on preventing him from reaching power. His program promises more social and political openness, which would certainly undermine the current regime. The protests might have not been able to cause the regime to fall, because this was not the objective of the protestors in the first place, but they certainly have been a thorn in the regime's flesh. It will not be able to recover easily, especially as these events remind it of the similar protests that happened 30 years ago during the outbreak of the Khomeini revolution. They will continue to be an incessant nightmare, unless radical reforms were made, which the regime will certainly not be able to tolerate or ignore at the same time. Thus, it becomes clear why Khamenei, the supreme leader, insists on saying "We will not give in to the common people,", because his experience tells him that what is happening is no more than a failed attempt at stopping  the wheel of history, as the current regime has practically fallen, and is living on an artificial "breathalyzer".

Many of the opponents of the regime were betting on the "fall" of the system as the only solution. Either the system continues to rule or it falls. But now the picture has changed. The system is radically changing from within due to a historical imperative. The Iranian opposition, both inside and abroad, are no longer waiting for a military coup. Even the Shah's son Reza Pahlavi, said he was ready to return, and to participate in any elections, and accept the peoples choice. The end of the current system in Iran (not its fall) has become inevitable. It is not only inconsistent with its regional and international environment, but even with itself. It is also not only at variance with the Iranian people, but also with its own internal groups.

Once more, dictatorship has proven its fragility, when it started killing hysterically everyone who stood in its way, in order to stay in power. But the Iranian citizens have made it clear that they want the people to rule, in order to defend their freedom, as they do in veritable republics, and that they do not want the despotic rule of the supreme jurist, as is the case with the fraudulent Islamic Republic.

Abdullah Mohamed Al-Outaibi – Kuwaiti Author and Journalist


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