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Iran is exploding.
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Mizike



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PostPosted: Thu Jul 02, 2009 12:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Iran continues to be fascinating to me. There has not been a lot of big news coming out of the country like there was initially. The government has seriously cracked down on people and demonstrations seem to be minimal if not halted altogether.

However, Mousavi and Karoubi have both refused to recognize the current government; they have called it illegitimate at every opportunity. Some heavy-hitting clerics have openly chastised Khamanei for his actions during the last month. And while there may not be public demonstrations during the day, the fermenting anger of the people continues to find a release at night.

Allahu Akbar (which seems to be pronounced Allaho akbar in Farsi) - "God is great"
Marg bar diktator - "death to the dictator"
Ya Hossein, Mir Hossein (tough to translate) - "there's an injustice to Mir Hossein (Mousavi)"
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WheelsOfConfusion



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PostPosted: Thu Jul 02, 2009 5:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Can we expect things to explode in about another month? Isn't that what the "cycle of mourning" thing earlier was about?
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Mizike



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PostPosted: Thu Jul 02, 2009 5:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The 40 day-anniversary is supposed to be a significant one in Iranian culture, yes. We'll see what happens. It's important to remember that the '79 revolution actually began in '78 but took time to fully develop.
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mouse



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PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2009 4:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

and one of the things that pushed it along was the 40-day mourning cycle - there would be mass mournings, people would be killed, and 40 days later, there would be another mass mourning for the people killed at the last one. the current regime surely remembers this, so they will probably try to suppress any such events - in fact, they have already cracked down on them (there is apparently a whole series of days, normally - 3 days after, and then one other before 40 days). the question is, whether or not the people will stand for that. and whether the clerics who are now critisizing khamenei will support them.

i really think amadinajad and khamenei have set in motion the end of the current islamic republic. i just hope it doesn't cost too many more lives...or end up being replaced by something even worse.
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Sam the Eagle



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PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2009 2:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The issue now for the current regime is whether or not they'll be able to play one side against another and manage their security forces (some militants, more not), and will they be able to cement the country against a foe (real or otherwise) .

Other than that, mouse got the gist of the issue.

Smells like 79 to me all over again
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CTrees



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PostPosted: Sat Jul 04, 2009 7:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
In an editorial, the Kayhan daily said Mir Hossein Mousavi was a US agent and should be charged with "treason".

Kayhan accused Mr Mousavi of "killing innocent people, inciting riots, hiring thugs to assault people, evident co-operation with foreigners and playing the part of US fifth column".

The newspaper, whose editor is appointed by Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said there were "undeniable documents" proving that Mr Mousavi had links with foreign countries.


http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/8134248.stm
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Michael



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PostPosted: Sat Jul 04, 2009 7:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well Obama did say he didn't think much of Mousavi, and knowing what the Iranian people think of his opinion that was practically an endorsement.

How dare he!
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Mizike



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PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2009 5:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Big news - bolding is mine.

NYT wrote:
An important group of religious leaders in Iran called the disputed presidential election and the new government illegitimate on Saturday, an act of defiance against the country’s supreme leader and the most public sign of a major split in the country’s clerical establishment.

A statement by the group, the Association of Researchers and Teachers of Qum, represents a significant, if so far symbolic, setback for the government and especially the authority of the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, whose word is supposed to be final. The government has tried to paint the opposition and its top presidential candidate, Mir Hussein Moussavi, as criminals and traitors, a strategy that now becomes more difficult.

This crack in the clerical establishment, and the fact they are siding with the people and Moussavi, in my view is the most historic crack in the 30 years of the Islamic republic,” said Abbas Milani, director of the Iranian Studies Program at Stanford University. “Remember, they are going against an election verified and sanctified by Khamenei.”


Read it all. Viva la revolución.3

Edit: a few more choice bits:

Quote:
Since the election, the bulk of the clerical establishment in the holy city of Qum, an important religious and political center of power, has remained largely silent, leaving many to wonder when, or if, the nation’s most senior religious leaders would jump into the controversy that has posed the most significant challenge to the country’s leadership since the Islamic Revolution.

With its statement Saturday, the association of clerics came down squarely on the side of the reform movement.


Quote:
Perhaps more threatening to the supreme leader, the committee called on other clerics to join the fight against the government’s refusal to adequately reconsider the charges of voter fraud. The committee invoked powerful imagery, comparing the 20 protesters killed during demonstrations with the martyrs who died in the early days of the revolution and the war with Iraq, asking other clerics to save what it called “the dignity that was earned with the blood of tens of thousands of martyrs.”

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mouse



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PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 2009 8:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

khamenei may be the supreme leader, but he's no khomeini - and he's really screwing with the 'republic' part of "islamic republic". this is really promising - these are not people he can have arrested and beaten.
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Darqcyde



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PostPosted: Wed Jul 08, 2009 10:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Clerical discontent challenges Iran leader
By ALI AKBAR DAREINI and LEE KEATH, Associated Press Writers Ali Akbar Dareini And Lee Keath, Associated Press Writers – 2 hrs 50 mins ago
Quote:

TEHRAN, Iran – Iran's supreme leader has imposed his will on the streets with security forces that crushed mass protests over the country's disputed election. But he faces an unprecedented level of behind-the-scenes political discontent among the Muslim clerics who form the theological bedrock of the Islamic Republic.

The bitterness could represent a deeper, long-term challenge to the rule of supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. The outright rejection by some clerics of election results that Khamenei ruled valid breaks a basic taboo against criticizing the man who in the philosophy of the Islamic Revolution literally represents God's rule on earth.

Khamenei's political strategy since taking his position in 1989 has been to maintain a consensus among competing factions. But now to preserve power he may have to rely on a far narrower base of hard-line ayatollahs — and more than ever before on the security services, particularly the Revolutionary Guards, the elite protectors of the system.

A major question looking ahead will be whether discontented clerics will aggressively push their criticisms behind the scenes, and whether their followers who look to them for spiritual guidance will rally behind the reformist political opposition.

Opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi, who claims to have won the June 12 elections, has made clear he will push ahead with his campaign against the government. The opposition says official election results that showed a landslide victory for incumbent Mahmoud Ahmadinejad were fraudulent.

But how he can push his campaign remains unclear. The dramatic protests that brought hundreds of thousands to the streets for days have been shattered by the crackdown by police, Revolutionary Guards and Basij militiamen, in which at least 20 protesters and 7 Basiji militiamen were killed and over 1,000 arrested. The options for political action likely will remain limited.

The show of divisions among clerics over the election has been stunning, though some have chosen to make clear their opposition by silence.

Among the nine ayatollahs holding the topmost clerical rank — "marja' taqlid," or a "model for imitation" — only one has congratulated Ahmadinejad on his election victory. Three of them have spoken out overtly against the election and the wave of arrests.

One of them, Grand Ayatollah Youssef Saanei — who normally comments little on political affairs — warned on Friday that "due to the lack of public support, the government may face legal and civil problems and a lack of competency."

The marja's have widespread followings across the country. While some have long been critical of hard-liners, their backing for Iran's Islamic system, headed by Khamenei, is usually deep, making their criticism more resounding. The discontent has also seeped down to lower levels off the thousands of clerics, centered in the holy city of Qom, the heart of the religious establishment.


"The least we can say is that this government's legitimacy is in doubt. A majority of the people don't believe that Ahmadinejad was their vote," said Ayatollah Hossein Mousavi Tabrizi, a leader of the Association of Teachers and Researchers, an influential clerical group at Qom Seminary that issued a statement last week against the election crackdown.

"People were peacefully protesting election results and the response to that should not be the bullet," Tabrizi told The Associated Press this week. "The harsh crackdown was illogical. They could have handled it without any blood being shed."

The street protests were perhaps the largest direct challenge ever to the Islamic leadership. After Khamenei took a tough line in putting them down, his clearest support has come from the most hard-line clerics. So far, he has kept the support of the three main clerical councils that oversee the government, like the powerful Guardians Council.

Ayatollah Morteza Moqtadaei, a conservative Ahmadinejad supporter, has called on the opposition to "choose silence to preserve the system."

The clerical dissent opens up a philosophical faultline that has long run through the Islamic Republic system: how to balance the rule of unelected clerics — including the supreme leader — who are seen as preserving divine will, with democracy that reflects popular will. Hardliners tend to emphasize the former, and the most conservative dismiss the importance of popular opinion completely.

For those ultra-conservative clerics, elections do not give legitimacy, only God. For them, power descended through a line of imams that started with Ali, the son-in-law of the Prophet Muhammad and ended with the 12th imam, who disappeared in the 9th century but who they believe will return before the Day of Judgment. Until his return, governing should be held by the supreme leader, a top "jurisconsult," or scholar of Islam.

On Wednesday, hard-line Ayatollah Mohammad Yazdi issued a message directed implicitly at the opposition, reminding them that the supreme leader alone has the right to govern.

"The administration of power has been transferred from the imams to the supreme jurisconsult," he told students in Qom in a speech carried by the semiofficial Fars news agency. "The jurisconsult has guardianship to administer the Islamic system according to Islamic rulings and not on the basis of his personal opinions."

During the height of the crisis, one of the most ultra-conservative ayatollahs drilled that message directly to the Revolutionary Guards, urging them to put aside any doubt and follow the supreme leader. Ayatollah Mohammad Taqi Mesbah Yazdi — believed to be Ahmadinejad's spiritual mentor — addressed a gathering of Guards commanders on June 22, only days after security forces broke up one of the biggest protests.

"Do not be worried about the events and earthquakes that have occurred. Know that God created this world as a test," he told them. "The supreme leader holds a great many of the blessings God has given us and at a time of such uncertainties our eyes must turn to him."

An increased reliance on the Revolutionary Guards to maintain power would be a dramatic change for the clerical leadership. In the past, Khamenei has been able to maintain at least the quiet acceptance of most clerics by taking occasional steps to rein in hard-liners. In the past, that has been enough to maintain popular support among Iran's largely religious population, even if a liberal fringe demanded greater reform.

___

Dareini reported from Tehran, Keath from Cairo, Egypt.

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Mizike



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PostPosted: Wed Jul 08, 2009 11:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The word coming out of Iran suggests that some big demos are being organized for tomorrow. On the Muslim Calendar, tomorrow is the 18th of Tir. On the 18th of Tir, 1999 (10 years ago tomorrow), there was a then unprecedented demonstration followed by student riots. Ultimately, the government came down on the students hard.

Should be interesting.
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Michael



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PostPosted: Thu Jul 09, 2009 12:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mizike wrote:
Should be interesting.


you don't like students, do you? Wink
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Mizike



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PostPosted: Thu Jul 09, 2009 12:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Michael wrote:
Mizike wrote:
Should be interesting.


you don't like students, do you? Wink


Only if they ask me about the TOEFL.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/10/world/middleeast/10iran.html?_r=1&hp

Quote:
CAIRO — Seeking to pre-empt a revival of street protests in Tehran after days of apparent quiescence, Iranian authorities told opponents that a planned demonstration Thursday would be met with a “crushing response” and was illegal.

Protesters had planned to rally on Thursday on the 10th anniversary of violent confrontations when protesting students were beaten and jailed. The protests could rekindle the demonstrations that followed the disputed June 12 elections, provoking a sweeping official crackdown.
...
The warnings coincided with other steps to prevent protests, The A.P. said. Mobile phone messaging was down Thursday for a third straight day, apparently to prevent communication between protesters, while the government closed universities and declared an official holiday Tuesday and Wednesday, ostensibly because Tehran has been shrouded in a heavy dust and pollution cloud, The A.P. said.

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mouse



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PostPosted: Thu Jul 09, 2009 10:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

it seems to me i read somewhere that khamenei could be removed by a religious counsel - so if there is a split between the top religious leaders, khamenei is now fighting for his own political survival. now i'm wondering why he feels AD is worth the risk.....or if he just never thought it would go this far.
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Mizike



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PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2009 11:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mousavi recently gave a speak in which he used the strongest language he has to date:
NYT wrote:
“How can it be that the leaders of our country do not cry out and shed tears about these tragedies?” Mr. Moussavi said, in comments to a teachers’ association that were posted on his Web site. “Can they not see it, feel it? These things are blackening our country, blackening all our hearts. If we remain silent, it will destroy us all and take us to hell.”

Mr. Moussavi’s angry tone appeared to reflect the steadily rising toll of those killed — some after being beaten in prison — in the crackdown that followed the disputed June 12 presidential election. A funeral was held in Tehran on Monday for Amir Javadi-Far, a student activist who died in prison after being arrested, and reports emerged of still more deaths.


But the real reason for resurrecting this thread is that Thursday marks 40 days since the death of Neda
Quote:
Mr. Moussavi and other opposition leaders have asked permission to hold a public mourning ceremony for the dead on Thursday. That day has great symbolic importance, because it is 40 days after the shooting of Neda Agha-Soltan, the young woman whose death ignited widespread outrage in Iran and beyond.

Commemorating the 40th day after a person’s death is an important mourning ritual in Shiite Islam; similar anniversaries for dead protesters were essential in the demonstrations that led to the Islamic Revolution in 1979.

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