Saturday, June 20, 2009

Going green in Iran

Yes - things are now really heating up in Iran. Lets go green for Iran.

I had an earlier post about the Iranian elections - that picked up on a Washington Post article that cited some opinion polls. While there is still confusion about the mode of rigging, it is quite clear now that the elections were indeed fixed - and fixed in a clumsy manner. For a critique of the Washington Post article, read this piece by Mansoor Moaddel. [Update 6/21: Also see this level-headed analysis of Obama's response to the Iranian situation: The Consequences of Engaging Iran]
It now seems that the Iranian government is going the way of confrontation. This is unfortunate. At the same time, it is phenomenal to watch young men and women confronting security forces and defying ban on rallies. Of course, the protest by Iranian soccer team was creative and effective. Keep up with Andrew Sullivan for a constant update on Iran and Iranian streets. Here is the latest statement from Mousavi:
Be sure that I will always stand with you. What this brother of yours recommends, especially to the dear youth, in terms of finding new solutions is to not allow liars and cheater steal your flag of defense of Islamic state, and foreigners rip the treasures of the Islamic republic which are your inheritance of the blood of your decent fathers. By trust in God, and hope for the future, and leaning on the strength of social movements, claim your rights in the frameworks of the existing constitution, based on principle of non-violence.

In this, we are not confronting the Basij. Basiji is our brother. In this we are not confronting the revolutionary guard. The guard is the keeper of our revolution. We are not confronting the army, the army is the keeper of our borders. These organs are the keepers of our independence, freedom and our Islamic republic. We are confronting deception and lies, we want to reform them, a reform by return to the pure principles of revolution.

We advise the authorities, to calm down the streets. Based on article 27 of the constitution, not only provide space for peaceful protest, but also encourage such gatherings. The state TV should stop badmouthing and taking sides. Before voices turn into shouting, let them be heard in reasonable debates. Let the press criticize, and write the news as they happen. In one word, create a free space for people to express their agreements and disagreements. Let those who want, say “takbeer” and don’t consider it opposition. It is clear that in this case, there won’t be a need for security forces on the streets, and we won’t have to face pictures and hear news that break the heart of anyone who loves the country and the revolution.

Your brother and companion Mir Hossein Mousavi

Read the full statement here. And for informational purposes, here is the Iranian political power structure (from accessdemocracy):


Akbar Hussain said...

"While there is still confusion about the mode of rigging, it is quite clear now that the elections were indeed fixed - and fixed in a clumsy manner."

Quite clear on what grounds? Just because some people are creating mess on the street and over-rated by some media group? Being a sciencist, sorry, scientist, don't you need some verifiable evidence to be "quite clear" on what you believe (or want to believe). Salman I would advise you to be a little critical in your outlook rather than getting your thought process being washed away by whatever you watch on your plasma screen.

Salman Hameed said...


As you may have noticed, I did not jump the gun when the election results were announced. There were a number of objections that were out there from the beginning. For example, the result (with votes) was announced within 3 hours of the closing of the polls - even though there mostly paper ballots. However, this was not sufficient. However, a number of people have now done statistical analysis - both from electoral trends - as well as looking at evidence for non-randomness in data. Both of those suggest there is something fishy there. When I combine this with the persistence of the protests (despite serious crackdown and threats), the division in the Guardian Council about the results with ayatollah, Hossein Ali Montazeri, saying about the election results, “no wise person in their right mind can believe”, the internal debates within Iran between conservatives and moderates over the past 10 years, then, for me, it is easier to make sense that the elections were rigged rather than the other way around. No, this is not an exact science (no repeatable experiments), but I have tried to form my opinion (and yes, in the end it is an opinion) on several lines of reasoning (as stated above).

In fact, the Iranian street protests were also reminding me a bit of Musharraf's crackdown during the lawyer's movement and the persistence of protests with the help of texting and blogs. I also posted about that on the blog - and I find a similar sentiment in the Iranian protests.

P.S. The only thing I watch on the picture tube (I still have an old-fashioned TV) is the Daily Show with Jon Stewart and the Colbert Report. And usually they are quite accurate! :)

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