Iran... what's going on?

Vajradhara

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Namaste all,

if you've not been keeping up on the world news... over in Iran they're having a bit of a disagreement regarding the most recent election.

BBC NEWS | Special Reports | Iran

so... what is your take on what is happening and what do you think the likely outcome of this process will be?

from what i've read Mousavi probably isn't all that keen to challenge the religious hierarchy given that he held the post of Prime Minister previously. most of the Middle Eastern political analysts have suggested that his motive is purely political and that other protest groups are aligning behind his overall movement. given that Mousavi isn't seeking to overturn the apple cart, so to speak, i don't think that there is an intentional plan to destabalize the government per se, at least on his part.

my dentist is Iranian.. though she perfers to be called Persian.. however i've not had a chance to talk to her about it... the last time i was there wasn't a happy visit!

it is interesting to me that the protest groups have chosen green as their color as green is the "offical" color of Islam and i think that their choice was meant to aleviate any concerns from the religious authority. that said it would certainly seem that Iran is on the brink of another major socio-political change. hopefully it will be a positive change.

the government has, a much as i can tell, threatened to end the protests with force if the protesters don't cease and unite behind the current president (Mousavi's name is easier for me to spell..). the current Ayatolloa claimed that a government forced to make decisions by street protests and under pressure is already taking the path to a dictatorship... i wonder if he's ever applied that same logic to the current Islamic Republic of Iran?

if any of you have access to VOA Farsi or BBC Farsi programming i would be really keen to read what is being said to the country from outside.

metta,

~v
 
Everyday, this power struggle reveals more and more what really is happening. From several different news sources, I have learned that...

"The 1999 student protests failed because they involved only one sector of society; it was a body without a head or a strategy. But the current green-swathed uprising involves an emerging coalition that includes students and sanctions-strapped businessmen, taxi drivers and former presidents, civil servants and members of the national soccer team.

Key clergy have thrown in their turbans too. Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri -- the designated heir to the revolution's founder until his criticism of the regime's injustices in 1989 -- issued a virtual fatwa dismissing the election results and urging Iranians to continue "reclaiming their dues" in calm protests. He also warned security forces not to follow orders that would eventually condemn them "before God."

"Today, censorship and cutting telecommunication lines cannot hide the truth," Montazeri wrote.

Senior clerics in the holy city of Qom, many of whom never favored an Islamic republic for fear its flaws would taint Islam, have also failed to embrace the election outcome. Even the brother of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Hadi Khamenei, himself a cleric and former member of parliament, urged that an impartial committee probe the election results and provide a full public accounting. As the coalition expands, the stakes are also widening well beyond who ends up as president. The two faces of the Islamic Republic -- Ali Khamenei and former Prime Minister Mir-Hossein Mousavi -- are now pitted against each other. The religious ideologue against the lay technocrat. The two men embody the central debate that has increasingly obsessed Tehran over the last three decades: Is the Islamic Republic first and foremost Islamic or a republic? In other words, does God's law or man's law have the last word?"

~~Robin Wright, the author of "Dreams and Shadows: The Future of the Middle East," has been covering Iran since 1973. She is a scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington.


Even though, both the UK and the US are being blamed for interfering with the internal affairs of Iran; I really sense that whatever happens in Iran will be distinctly Iranian in style and outcome.

Also see: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/21/opinion/21gerecht.html

Zakaria: 'Fatal wound' inflicted on Iranian regime's ideology - CNN.com
 
Vaj and Janz, very nice analyses. This is situation is very unique because even though the US is not playing a direct role in the events in Iran, we are clearly a major influence. I hope that we will see this as an opportunity to approach Iran in an unprecedented way. Rather than the bully role that we have traditionally played internationally, I hope we will encourage development of Iran's educational and social infrastructure (of course this included medical and childcare issues). We can do a lot in these arenas if we choose to do so. Obama is in a pretty good position to carry this forward, but he has a delicate balance because the Israel lobby is very strong in the US and I already see some signs of concern that will have to be acknowledged and reasonably addressed there as well.
 
By the way, is anyone following the events in Tehran on Twitter ? Some shocking photos.
 
Us govt hasbeen investing like half a billion dollars a year to create a civil war in Iran. A dozen people have died, & thats good ROI. Keep intuned to your media, soon they will tell you that Persians need American help to free them from mad ayatullahs.

Democracy enterprise is a lucrative business in the days of recession. Will serve as an "stimulus package" too.

BY the way I am all for Iranians creating a counter-revolution against revolution, I just hate creeping yankeedom in the garb of democracy, the "traditional" business of making bucks out of blood.

Nevermind, enjoy these links. They arnt mainstream ....

US Media Campaign to Discredit Iranian Election : Information Clearing House - ICH

Anthony DiMaggio: The Electoral Faade

Ali Jawad: Reformists are Islamists, Too

Paul Craig Roberts: Are You Ready for War with a Demonized Iran?

Ron Jacobs: The Iranian Elections and the Hysterical Media

The hoax of the “Stolen Elections” in Iran RUPEE NEWS: Recording History, Narrating Archives, Strategic Intellibrief Analysis: Noticias de Rupia | Nouvelles de Roupie | Rupiennachrichten | ??????? ????? | ???? | Rupi
 
That was a red herring....right?

Is this all happening for the first time? If we arnt willing to leave them alone, how is it their fault? Middle East doesnt print dollars. They only supply cheap oil.

And what exactly is a right middle east? A ME that wags is tail, rolls over etc.
 
look, farhan, you can believe what you like. the fact remains you are so keen to believe all these conspiracy theories that i sometimes wonder who you blame if your bus is late or your mum burns your dinner.

the fact remains that this isn't just the western media, you can look in the arabic media too:

http://www.asharq-e.com/news.asp?section=2&id=17125

it's even in arabic, if you'd prefer!

or perhaps you think asharq al-awsat is a tool of the american zionist alien lizards from outer space as well?

b'shalom

bananabrain
 
Somebody can correct me if I'm wrong but here in American politics the pendelum swings Republican which is considered Conservative and Democrat which is considered liberal...well the pendelum swings fairly liberally...

Seems like the same happens over there...it appears that there was quite a liberal stance on Islam 40 years ago...and the swing has gone quite conservative in Saudi Arabia, Afganistan, Pakistan, Iran...Iraq was actually a hold out, with Sadam's iron secular fist... Now the undercurrent is getting a little tired of it all and grass roots is ready for some liberation...however the momentum and power is still in the hands of the conservative crowd.

We are lucky over here we pass that gavel with campaigns, elections, whining and bumper stickers...
 
look, farhan, you can believe what you like. the fact remains you are so keen to believe all these conspiracy theories that i sometimes wonder who you blame if your bus is late or your mum burns your dinner.

the fact remains that this isn't just the western media, you can look in the arabic media too:

Loading...

it's even in arabic, if you'd prefer!

or perhaps you think asharq al-awsat is a tool of the american zionist alien lizards from outer space as well?

b'shalom

bananabrain

Excellent article!! I really like this section:

"In a sense, all elections in the Islamic Republic are fraudulent because an independent election commission does not organize them, as is the case in genuine democracies.
The authorities decide who could stand as candidate to begin with. They then dictate the modalities of the campaign and control every aspect of it. There are no independent observers or inspectors; and the organizers could announce whatever results they like. Even then, the Council of the Guardians, a "star-chamber" of 12 mullahs, has the power to change or even annul the results.
Last Friday's election was no different from 30 other elections, including nine presidential ones, held in the Islamic Republic since 1980. If this one was fraudulent, all the others were too. As prime minister for eight years, Mussavi had his share in rigging at least five elections. As for Karrubi, for eight years he was speaker of an Islamic Majlis produced by successive rigged elections.
This is really an organic movement of the people of Iran who have had enough of an oppressive regime. Here are a list of tweets from one of the online news sources that I read called Truthout:
t r u t h o u t | Iran in Turmoil

Another interesting link:
http://tehranbureau.com/iran-updates/
 
it's not a british newspaper, actually; most of the people who write for it are saudi, with a number of lebanese, syrians, palestinians, north africans and iranians. however, it is *published* in london, because that is the only way it is able to operate without heavy-handed political interference and is able to maintain some degree of editorial independence and, more to the point, criticise middle eastern governments. now, although imo it gives the saudis a horribly easy ride, it is instructive to see how the iranian government is viewed by the sunni arab intelligentsia.

b'shalom

bananabrain
 
NPR did quite the story on Rafsanjani, known as the Teflon Mullah, because no matter what happens he still is around to pull strings and orchestrate.

He lost to Amadinigad, and folks thought that was the end of him...but he now controls a couple of councils that oversee the mullahs...quite interesting.

This is an eight year old article.

Robin Wright
 
Hot of the Presses!!

Iran's clerical establishment is considering scrapping the position of the Supreme Leader, currently held by Ayatollah Khamenei and forcing out President Ahmadinejad according to reports.

The country's Expediency Council and the Assembly of Experts is reported to be considering the formation of a collective leadership to replace the position of supreme leader, according to Al Arabiya, citing sources in the holy city of Qom.


Reports: Iran's clerics considering removal of Khamenei and Ahmadinejad - International Business Times
 
Hot of the Presses!!

Iran's clerical establishment is considering scrapping the position of the Supreme Leader, currently held by Ayatollah Khamenei and forcing out President Ahmadinejad according to reports.

The country's Expediency Council and the Assembly of Experts is reported to be considering the formation of a collective leadership to replace the position of supreme leader, according to Al Arabiya, citing sources in the holy city of Qom.


Reports: Iran's clerics considering removal of Khamenei and Ahmadinejad - International Business Times
yes the Teflon Mullah is at it again!
 
Over the past years he's set up two departments/councils, both of which he is the head of.

He was instrumntal in installing the latest top Mullah, could be the backs have been scratched and the pockets lined...
 
A commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards has been arrested for refusing to obey Iran's Supreme Leader, according to reports from the Balatarin website.



General Ali Fazli, who was recently appointed as a commander of the Revolutionary Guards in the province of Tehran, is reported to have been arrested after he refused to carry out orders from the Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei to use force on people protesting the controversial re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.


Revolutionary Guards commander defies Khamenei's orders to use force on protestors - International Business Times
 
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