Sunday, June 14, 2009

Support the protests in Iran!

Hands off the People of Iran statement. Contact Anne on 086 23 43 238 or at

June 14 2009

Support for the mass protests against Ahmadinejad’s re-election! But we
should have no illusions that Massouvi would have been any better.

Yassamine Mather, chair of Hands Off the People of Iran, assesses the highly
fluid situation in Iran:

It is no surprise that the highly contested results of the presidential
elections in Iran have sparked unrest in Tehran and other cities across
Iran. The level of cheating on display seems crazy even by the standards of
Iran's Islamic Republic regime. Clearly, the results are the final proof
that confirms that the whole electoral process is deeply undemocratic and
rigged from top to bottom:

* Ahmadinejad was declared winner by the official media even before
some polling stations had closed
* His final result was almost identical to what the (rigged) polls
predicted all the way through the elections. This percentage did not ever
vary by more than three percent
* Hundreds of candidates were barred from standing in the first place,
especially those of the left

The main ‘reformist’ candidate Mir-Hossain Moussavi has declared the
elections a “charade” and claimed Iran was moving towards tyranny. Thousands
of protesters (not all of them backers of Moussavi) have taken to the
streets to demonstrate against the re-election of Ahmadinejad.

Of course, Hopi condemns the arrest of over 900 demonstrators and 100leading ‘reformists’, most of the latter ones supporters and collaborators of Moussavi.

But we should not forget that Moussavi does not consider the nine previous
presidential elections in Iran's Islamic Republic – most of them with very
dubious results - a “charade”. In the 2009 election, he did not bat an
eyelid when the Council of Guardians disqualified over 400 candidates. He
did not think the process was a “charade” when the supreme religious leader
intervened time and time again to defend Ahmadinejad.

Even now, although he is furious about loosing the elections, he is not
calling on the Iranian people to support him. Instead, he is addressing the
'Religious centres of Guidance' (elite shia Ayatollahs) to denounce the
result. He is no fan of democracy and mass movements. Like his predecessor
Mohammad Khatami, Moussavi is well aware that the survival of the 'Islamic
order' is in his interests. That is why, even when he is clearly a victim of
the supreme leader's lunacy, he cannot rock the boat.

After all, irrespective of the illusions of their supporters, Moussavi and
the other reformist candidate, Mehdi Karroubi, are no radical opponents of
the regime. For eight years, Moussavi served as prime minister of the
Islamic republic - during some of the darkest days of this regime. He was
deeply involved in the arms-for-hostages deals with the Reagan
administration in the1980s, what came to be known as ‘Irangate’. He also
played a prominent role in the brutal wave of repression in the 1980s that
killed a generation of Iranian leftists. During this period, thousands of
socialists and communists were jailed, with many of them executed while in

Moussavi has attempted to refashion himself as a 'conservative reformer' or
a 'reformist conservative' by expressing his allegiance to the supreme
leader and by claiming to have initiated Iran’s nuclear programme, which he
promised to continue. He also criticised the release of British navy
personal in 2007 as “a humiliating surrender”. Defending his government's
anti-Western credentials, Ahmadinejad claimed that “prime minister Tony
Blair had sent a letter to apologise to Iran”. Within a few hours, the
foreign office in London issued a stern denial that such a letter was ever
sent. Moussavi tried to exploit this ‘weakness’.

But he clearly failed. The supreme leader could not tolerate his former
protégé Moussavi. Although his politics are almost indistinguishable from
those of Ahmadinejad, he was just a bit too ‘progressive’ on two points:

He promised to be more liberal over women’s dress code and said he would
expand women's rights –within the parameters proscribed by the religious
state, of course

He promised to use more diplomatic language and a more amenable attitude in
dealings with the West, especially the USA. Despite this diplomatic
‘packaging’, however, he remains committed to defending Iran's nuclear
program (including the right to enrich uranium)

These elections were a “charade” from the day they started. All four
candidates are supporters of the existing system. All support the existing
neo-liberal policies and privatisations. All four are in favour of Iran's
nuclear programme.

But we should not underestimate the anger of the Iranian population against
this blatant manipulation of the results. Iranians had to choose between the
lesser of two evils - and when the worst was declared winner, they showed
their contempt for the system by huge demonstrations culminating in the
massive protests of June 13 2009.

Until early June, most Iranians had shown little interest in these
elections, as they knew that neither candidate would lead to real change.
But it was the live TV debates that changed the apathy. The debates betweeen
Ahmadinejad - Moussavi and Ahmadinejad -Karroubi have been unique events in
the history of the official media of the Islamic Republic. The debates
confirmed what most Iranians know through their personal experiences – but
which they have not yet heard on the official media:

* Ahmadinejad stated that Iran had been ruled for 24 years (up to his
presidency) by a clique akin to an economic and political mafia. 'Elite'
clerics such as the reformers Rafsanjani and Khatami had “forgotten their
constituents” and were corrupt
* Moussavi stated that the economy has been in a terrible state,
particularly in the last four years

The situation in Iran is very fluid. Over 900 protesters and 100 'reformist'
leaders have been arrested, including the brother of former president
Khatami. Moussavi and his wife have gone underground. There are signs of the
beginning of an internal coup. Thirty years after the Iranian revolution, if
Iran's supreme leader believes he can suppress the opposition, he will be
making precisely the kind of mistake that led to the overthrow of the Shah's
regime in 1979. The foundations of the Islamic Republic regime are shaking.

The protests of June 13 were the largest demonstrations since 1979. After
the euphoria of the last two weeks, when Iranians participated in their
millions in demonstrations and political meetings, no state - however brutal
- will be able to control the situation. The events of the last few weeks
show that there is real hope that the Iranian people can get rid of this
regime - be it in the guise of Ahmadinejad or the no less undemocratic and
corrupt ‘reformists’.


Hadi Hozhabri said...

there is another protest outside the iranian embassy tomorrow 18th of june 2-4 pm.

tariq said...

I guess that American imperialists
and their Europen stooges are organising rallies against Ahmadinejad's victory in fair and
free elections,not rigged as depicted by Western media thugs,paid agents of CIA and Mossad.

Certainly Ahmadinejad,or for that matter any president or prime-minister is not an angel;some of
his economic policies have caused
harships to an average Iranin.

Reforms,plunder and license to loot
and scoot,a World Bank mantra to
privatise all resources for a handful of people,must be rejected.

Why not demosntrations to put pressure on Ahmadinejad to right
the wrong economic policies,to
eradicate corruption at all levels.
Not to budge UN pressure(An organisation which never fails to
protect US and European interests)
and continue nuclear energy plan.

Why American imperialists are so
much worried about Iranian elections.There were no demonstartions when John F.Kennedy and Bush bin Devil was won elections by fraudlent means.

Iranin brothers and sisters,do not
allow youselves to be duped by US
and Western media.