to Letters from Iran
date 19 June 2009 20:15
I‘ve been in Tehran for 2 days. Every thing here is different from my town. Most of my ideas changed. So, just being in the situation can tell us what is actually happening. On previous letters I told you the situation not very similar to Islamic revolution on 1979, but now I’ve changed my idea.
I refer to history. In Islamic revolution what happened? One year before changing the regime Khomeini was just a popular mullah. One of the newspapers published an article and criticized Khomeini in an offensive way. So, mullahs in Qom made a rally against it. The army killed some of them. It was the starting point. People little by little made other demonstrations in other cities against that killing, 3, 7 and 40 days after the Qom rally (because in Iran we hold 5 ceremonies after one’s death: funeral, 3, 7 and 40 days later and one year after). In all these demonstrations the army killed more people, so the people got more angry and protest expanded. During that year till summer of 1978 opposition had revealed lots of dishonesties and crimes of the Pahlavi regime. 5 months later Pahlavi fell! If Pahlavi hadn't used violence against people, maybe he wouldn't have falled. History repeats itself.
In first 12 years of new regime people were very supportive (Mousavi was prime minister in first 8 years). Rafsanjani was president for the next 8 years. His management was different from former ones. People didn’t like him very much. In presidential election on 1997 people chose Khatami with 21,000,000 votes. Reformation movement started. Iran’s society could breathe for 8 years although radical fundamentalists perpetuated a lot of crimes to show he was unable to govern the country like terrorizing some elites and attacking Tehran university dormitories. Then fundamentalists put Ahmadinejad next to Rafsanjani on the election of 2005. The political atmosphere of Iran was a very disappointed one at the time. Because people had hoped for reforms and weren’t satisfied with Khatami and reformists. Only about 50% took part in election that year. Between an unknown candidate (Ahmadinejad) and known candidate that people hated (Rafsanjani) they chose the first one.
Ahmadinejad destroyed most of achievements of former presidents in 4 years (destroying is easier than building). So, people understood ignoring election isn’t a good way to protest. 82% of them took part in election actually not for choosing someone but to dismiss Ahmadinejad. Mousavi wasn’t an ideal candidate. There was no better choice. But what happened then? The leader and Radical fundamentalists made fun of every body and misused their votes. Today Leader said people voted to side with regime! Second revolution! Showing our unity to enemies! Dishonesty never happens in Islamic republic! The protesters are hooligans! Lots of people who didn’t believe in Ahmadinejad believed leader as a impartial person. I bet you he loses a large number of his supporters these days. If there weren’t any violent acts and killing perhaps they could stop protesters. But now they can just suppress them not stop them. More violence leads to more protesters. This regime ruined its legitimation forever just in 2 weeks.
Even if this movement failed, never stop and find other ways to protest. When a regime suppresses people violently it means it has lost all other ways and it is the end.
I'll write to you about Tehran in these last two days tonight