Iran: Lack of Leadership, Thursday Falters, MPs Snub Ahmadinejad, & more

1. Thursday’s Rally: “Thursday: Opposition leaders had called for a day of mourning on Thursday, but some reports say it has been cancelled.”

2. Contrast to the Iranian Revolution Weak Leadership in Karroubi: “Meanwhile, another opposition leader, Mahdi Karroubi, has put off a march of mourning for at least 17 people killed in post-election protests. The march had initially been set for Thursday but has been postponed for at least a week, according to a website linked to Karroubi, who was also a presidential candidate.”

3. Weak Leadership in Moussavi: “…Mr. Moussavi, the defeated candidate who embodied the hopes of reformers, posted a notice on his Web site of a late afternoon rally in front of the Parliament, but he distanced himself from the action, saying it was not organized by the reform movement. It is not clear how far Mr. Moussavi, a former prime minister who is essentially an insider thrust into the role of opposition, would go to defy the system. He has not been seen since Thursday. So as the crackdown infuriates protesters, there is a greater gap with their ostensible leader, political analysts said.”

4. iPouya on the Importance of Leadership: This is sharp contrast to the leadership of the Iranian Revolution. Khomeini was thrust into the political spotlight in 1963, when he led an uprising against the Shah. He was personally involved in the uprising and was consequently jailed for months and threatened with death.  When he was released, he immediately resumed his fiery sermons and was jailed again and later exiled where he continued his agitation until the revolution triumphed 14 years later. Compare his defiance, personal involvement, and stubborness to Mousavi and Karroubi’s internet statements, vacilation, and back peddling. Effective leadership is supremely important to any movement so forgive me for saying this, but today’s movement in Iran is lacking.

5. The beginning of the end… at least for now: “It’s beginning to look like the end of the line for the Mousavi opposition in Iran. From the million-plus demonstrators that choked Tehran’s streets a week ago, Tuesday saw only a handful of protesters brave enough to incur the wrath of police and paramilitary forces. This followed two days in which protest numbers dropped off considerably.”

6. MPs Snub Ahmadinejad’s Victory Party: “Nearly two thirds of MPs appear to have stayed away from President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s election victory party. All 290 MPs were invited to attend the party, Iran’s press reports, but only 105 turned up. …But the high number of MPs who stayed away is another indication that the disputed election has split the nation, says the BBC’s Jeremy Bowen in Tehran.”

7. Mujahideen the Opportunists: So Maryam Rajavi speaks (with a picture of Neda conveniently positioned behind her). Someone, anyone, QUICK, GIVE ME A SHOE TO THROW!!!

8. Who’s Really in Charge in Iran?: “What has been going on since 2005 is the shift of the center of power from the clergy to the Pasdaran,” or the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, said a political analyst with years of experience in Iran who feared retribution if identified. “In a way one could say that Iran is no longer a theocracy, but a government headed by military chiefs.”

9. Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri Warns the Regime: “If Iranians cannot talk about their legitimate rights at peaceful gatherings and are instead suppressed, complexities will build up which could possibly uproot the foundations of the government, no matter how powerful,” Montazeri said in a statement to AFP.

10. Women on the Frontlines: “Political protest is not new to Iranian women. Yet, the extent of their activism in this election is unprecedented in the years since the 1979 revolution overthrew the U.S.-backed shah and created an Islamic regime, some Iranians and Iran experts say. They cite several factors, including a growing population of young women who are hungry for social freedoms, the participation of prominent women during the campaign and promises by opposition candidates for advances in women’s rights.”

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10 Responses to Iran: Lack of Leadership, Thursday Falters, MPs Snub Ahmadinejad, & more

  1. Ramin says:

    Pouya as it seems the protests may be winding down, I was wondering what your thoughts were on the possible backlash for regular citizens who participated in the protests would be. I don’t doubt that the leaders of the movement will be punished, but do you think they will absolve the protesters because there are so large in number or will the government begin persecuting or punishing those known to be involved?

  2. shahir says:

    To call the existing crisis velvet, color or any other type of “revolution” is an absolute misperception. Many in the Western media have misunderstood the situation, buying into the concept that the election was a fraud and, therefore, people turned against the government with “death to dictator” and “where is my vote” slogans. They failed to see that Ahmadinejad’s support is also widespread among the pious segments of Iranian society.

    In his uncompromising speech, mentioning “enemies” (or enemy) 15 times, and relating the post-election events to the West, Khamenei proved incapable of distinguishing between the dynamics of the current movement and the MKO’s uprising in 1981. Likewise, Mousavi’s camp, convinced that it is a stolen election, doesn’t acknowledge Ahmadinejad’s massive support among the poor in the urban and suburban areas. Instead, they tend to depict the crisis as people versus dictatorship.

    Behzad Nabavi, a top reform theorist who was detained last week, after the 2005 election wrote: “Look at the votes in Tehran. It is so accurate. In the first round, people from Revolution [Enghelab] Square to the North [where citizens with the higher socio-economic status live], voted for Dr [Mostafa] Moein [a reform candidate] and in the second round, [Akbar Hashemi] Rafsanjani won the large majority of the votes in that same area. The farther south we go [towards the poorer neighborhoods] the more we see people voting for Ahmadinejad.” Ahmadinejad defeated Rafsanjani in the second round in 2005.

  3. kaveh says:

    The Chatham House study says Iranians voted according to ethnic identities, claiming that this has been the case with the Azeris in all past elections. Yet in the 2005 elections, an Azeri candidate, Mehr Alizadeh, received only 28% of the votes in the province of East Azerbaijan.

    A weakness of the report is that that despite the lack of specific rural voting data in previous elections, remedied this year for the first time, the study claims privileged knowledge that neither in 2005 nor in 2009 did Ahmadinejad carry rural Iran. This year, Ahmadinejad did better than his reformist rivals in the “deprived” provinces of Chahar Mahal, South Khorasan and Kerman.

    Absent in the study is any reference to related works and findings, such as pre-election opinion sampling by pollsters Ballen and Doherty, who found that Ahmadinejad would win by a two to one margin and that only 16% of Azeris would vote for Mousavi. “Election results in Iran may reflect the will of Iranian people,” they have written in the Washington Post.

  4. Irani says:

    It’s funny how people who cite Ballen and Doherty’s study in order to prove that there hasn’t been any fraud, fail to mention the evidence that indicates the findings from the study are not reliable.

    “A telephone poll co-sponsored by Terror Free Tomorrow and the New America Foundation, conducted May 11-20, showed Ahmadinejad with a 2 to 1 lead over Mousavi, but 52 percent of those surveyed either had no opinion or refused to answer, making many analysts wary of the results, especially because it was taken more than three weeks before the heated contest. When the poll was released, it predicted the vote would be “closer . . . than the numbers would indicate” and that no candidate would get the 50 percent needed to avoid a runoff.”

  5. Nazanin says:

    Hi Arash,
    I’d still like to know your idea about the nuclear issue, if you’re interested. Also, I don’t think what you said proved that Israel doesn’t exploit people’s religious beliefs for political gain. It just proved how ignorant the Iranian regime’s policies can be.

  6. Profiting From The Holocaust says:

    Israeli Firms Accused Of
    Profiting From The Holocaust

    By Jonathan Cook

    25 June, 2009

    Nazareth: Israel’s second largest bank will be forced to defend itself in court in the coming weeks over claims it is withholding tens of millions of dollars in “lost” accounts belonging to Jews who died in the Nazi death camps.

    Bank Leumi has denied it holds any such funds despite a parliamentary committee revealing in 2004 that the bank owes at least $75 million to the families of several thousand Holocaust victims.

    Analysts said the bank’s role is only the tip of an iceberg in which Israeli companies and state bodies could be found to have withheld billions of dollars invested by Holocaust victims in the country — dwarfing the high-profile reparations payouts from such European countries as Switzerland.

  7. Nazanin says:

    George Galloway was suspected of working for Saddam. Now he’s being accused of being an IRI shill. Anyway, I like this video because its hard to argue with what he says about the Ahmadinejad voters: they don’t make a beeline for the BBC/CNN reporters. He also makes a good point that the election isn’t democratic in the Iranian exile sense: the differences were great. I just wish he would be more specific about the exact charges Ahmadinejad made during the debates. English language media isn’t really reporting this except to say “it was an ugly election. the candidates were hurling insults at each other.”

  8. H.A. says:

    Hey Poo, So i don’t know how much ur farsi reading has improved since last time I saw you but it’s worth your time to try to read this article by Ebrahim Nabavi. This article is wayy better than somebody throwing shoes at Maryam Rajavi.

    Hal kon!

  9. reza says:

    man tishrrt mikham nemidoonam chetor bayad poool bedam ukrain hastam be man khabar bedid mersi

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