the crisis is far from over

Iran: ‘the crisis is far from over’
July 4th, 2009

Having reached the heart of the islamic regime, the crisis is far from being over, by Mohammad-Reza Djalili

“Within, [the crisis] has forced the authorities to lose a great part of its legitimacy. In fact, the elections in Iran-municipal, parliamentary and above all presidential – do not have representation as goal since they are not democratic, the candidates being selected to begin with by a superior instance of the regime, namely the Council of guards. These elections have another objective, really more fundamental for the regime: the legitimation of a revolutionary power which wants to be popular and which presents itself as massively supported by the citizens. If, as it is the case in this presidential election , the honesty of the ballot is sharply contested by a great part of the population, it is therefore quite evidently the legitimacy of the entire revolutionary edifice which is questioned.

The second consequence internally is the massive and spontaneous reaction of the Iranian population who, in their hundreds of thousands, defying the dangers and the bans of power, have taken to the streets to demand its “stolen” votes and its sneered rights. Indeed, in a few days, the forces of repression and the militiamen of the regime have retaken, the control of the streets, by intimidation and violence, but at the same time, these demonstrations have had the merit of permitting the Iranians to regain confidence in themselves. For the first time , after so many years, Iranian people have realised that they are many like them who have not renounced freedom and the desire for change, and that they are always capable when the occasion arises to defy the order which is imposed upon them.

Another taboo has also fallen to the ground, the one of the role of the Supreme Guide, angular stone of the islamic Iranian theocracy. The Guide , after the manner of his predecessor the Ayatollah Khomeyni, has always wanted to portray himself as someone above the scrum, intervening in the last resort, to put an end to the divergences opposing rival factions. Even if he never been the referee who he pretends to be and who has always encouraged the most radical tendencies, he still wanted nevertheless to preserve this image of the father of the regime.

But in this last presidential election , he has not been able to hide his preference for the ultraconservative Ahmadinejad, discretely to start with, and then openly after the election. Thus, the arbiter he wanted to be has become the target of the protesters against the official results of the ballot. That which was unthinkable a few days before took place: demonstrators have paraded in the Iranian streets to the new shouts of: “death to Khameini”. (…) But taking into account the past politics of the tandem Khameini-Ahmadinejad , it seems improbable that they will moderate their behaviour. In their mind, the option for a hard attitude is not excluded in order to regain a lost credibility.(…)”

written by Mohammad-Reza Djalili (Le Monde, 1st of Juy 2009.)
Translated from the French by a friend of Junius on the 3rd July 2009


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