Jun 16 2009

Iran’s Future Still In Doubt

Published by at 3:37 pm under Iran

We may be witnessing history here folks. Instead of dying down, the uprising in Iran seems to be growing and expanding. Here are some interesting reports on the matter. First is from the UK Guardian:

But now, public anger over the disputed election has given Iran’s ruling elite a challenge of a new and unsettling kind: A growing opposition movement with apparent broad backing, headed by a leader who is one of their own — and doesn’t seem intimidated.

There is a chance — just a chance — that the recent protests could transform into a serious, credible movement similar to an opposition party in another country, fundamentally changing a system now ruled by an all-powerful and untouchable theocracy.

There is also a chance, more likely, that to avoid such an outcome, the clerics will either jettison, or at minimum rein in and weaken, the president they have supported until now, hard-liner Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

And from the New York Times we have this round up of three views from regional experts (as well as the above photo):

This election and the post-election protests is by far the greatest challenge the Islamic Republic of Iran has faced since its inception in 1979. Neither the downfall of President Banisadr in June 1981 nor the election of Mohammad Khatami to presidency in June 1997 matches in size and intensity the events of the past few weeks.

Even though the outcome is uncertain, the ongoing protests reflect a remarkable phenomenon: the rise of a new middle class whose demands stand in contrast to the radicalism of the incumbent President Ahmadinejad and the core conservative values of the clerical elite, which no doubt has the backing of a religiously conservative sector of the population.

And it does seem some clerics are siding with the uprising:

Declaring results that no one in their right mind can believe, and despite all the evidence of crafted results, and to counter people protestations, in front of the eyes of the same nation who carried the weight of a revolution and 8 years of war, in front of the eyes of local and foreign reporters, attacked the children of the people with astonishing violence. And now they are attempting a purge, arresting intellectuals, political opponents and Scientifics.

Now, based on my religious duties, I will remind you :

1- A legitimate state must respect all points of view. It may not oppress all critical views. I fear that this lead to the lost of people’s faith in Islam.

2- Given the current circumstances, I expect the government to take all measures to restore people’s confidence. Otherwise, as I have already said, a government not respecting people’s vote has no religious or political legitimacy.

3- I invite everyone, specially the youth, to continue reclaiming their dues in calm, and not let those who want to associate this movement with chaos succeed.

More here, here and here. This is going in a direction no one could have predicted. Which means it has the potential to change the course of world events.

Update: Wow, this is big:

To start with, the BBC, long considered a shill for the regime by most Iranian dissidents, estimates between one and two million Tehranis demonstrated against the regime on Monday.  That’s a big number.  So we can say that, at least for the moment, there is a revolutionary mass in the streets of Tehran.  There are similar reports from places like Tabriz and Isfahan, so it’s nationwide.

A line has been crossed that cannot be uncrossed.

Update: As I noted yesterday, if the security forces go with the protestors, the Iranian regime is doomed. Seems some may be doing just that:

According to the Cyrus News Agency, Tuesday morning 16 senior members of Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps were arrested. “These commanders have been in contact with members of the Iranian army to join the people’s movement,” CNA reports. “Three of the commanders are veterans of Iran-Iraq war. They have been moved to an undisclosed location in East Tehran.” This report has not been confirmed by other sources. If true, it shows that the regime is losing the loyalty of some members of its control appartus, which is necessary if the opposition has any chance of achieving fundamental change. 

9 responses so far

9 Responses to “Iran’s Future Still In Doubt”

  1. crosspatch says:

    I just read one report that students at Tehran university were being arrested en masse and that faculty is resigning. Unsourced report said “hundreds” of students have been rounded up with 500 being the high boundary on the number.

    Mess with people’s kids and their parents soon get involved.

  2. jeffgus says:

    So does anyone think that the people in Iran would have the boldness to rise up if they knew the country next door — that they were at war with for many years — could see this as weakness?

    I hope somebody thanks Bush because none of this boldness could happen without some feeling of security.

  3. marksbbr says:

    I think I read somewhere that the leading ruling clerics were calling for an investigation into the election results. Meanwhile, this morning CNN denounced the protests, citing a pre-election poll showing Ahmadinejad as the clear winner. I’m not surprised CNN would take that stance, after all they are a network that loves oppressive tyrants, but I doubt a pre-election poll. Look at how wrong the exit polls were here in 2004 when all the pollsters were in the urban areas.

    Still, however, do we know the nature of these protests? As great as they are, the Iranian president still has less power than the ayatollahs. Are these protesters against the regime as a whole, or just against Ahmadinejad?

  4. russellshih says:

    I don’t know if a revolution will occur in Iran or not, but I’m absolutely certain of one thing (100% sure), if a revolution does occur and is successful Obama will be given the credit by those in the MSM—they are eagerly awaiting the event.

  5. Frogg says:

    That Revolutionary Guard news is trully huge. The people have no chance (and the government will eventually beat the uprising out of the people) unless much of the Guard side with them. I hope the people can turn this into a real uprising towards true democratic reform.

  6. kathie says:

    I don’t feel very confident that change is coming. Mohammad Khatami is the driving force behind Iran’s foreign policy. Both guys are hell bent on a nuclear weapon and the destruction of Israel. It also seems that Obama is not too keen on Israel either. I think we are going to have many stormy years ahead. The Muslin world is bolstered by Obama’s words and not every body is a peace loving guy who just wants to get along, I guess we found that out on 911. Does Obama remember that day?

  7. kathie says:

    From Andrew Sullivan twittering. Interesting I think……….

    Ex-CIA field operative Robert Baer has his eyes on Rafsanjani:
    If the protests and demonstrations in Tehran cannot be controlled, we should seriously start to wonder about Khamenei’s future. Rafsanjani is rumored to be in the holy city of Qum plotting against Khamenei, seeing if he has enough votes in the 86-member Assembly of Experts to remove Khamenei. A vote recount is unlikely to change the results of the election, but it could lead to more demonstrations, which backed by Rafsanjani and the other mullahs, might just end Khamenei’s 20 year run.

  8. KauaiBoy says:

    Twenty years ago the Tiananmen Square protests captured the world’s attention and things in China haven’t changed. The only way I see change occurring in Iran is after a very bloody revolution. As Americans, it is easy for us to say fight for your freedom, but I doubt they have the stomach to do what our ancestors had to do to gain their freedom from religious and economic oppression. Maybe this is why the administration’s response was so muted and weak willed.

  9. WWS says:

    Iran has now completed the transition from Islamic Republic to military dicatatorship. There’s no more hiding behind the faux legitimacy that elections offer – but the men with the guns don’t need that anymore.

    Military dicatatorships don’t end through elections, and not through protests. See North Korea, Burma (Myanmar), and Saddam’s Iraq. And there are plenty more examples. Once the dicator is in power and has the support of enough thugs to kill the loudest opposition members, he is there to stay until some equal and opposite force is applied.

    This means much bloodshed. No matter how unhappy the Iranian people are, I do not see anything to convince me that they are willing to die for their freedom.

    A people not willing to die for their freedom will remain slaves forever. Slaves may moan, cry, and complain, but slaves they will remain.