Category Archives: Iran
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So on my way leaving the polling place for the Iranian presidential elections I saw this fun little bunch protesting outside. This particular lady cursed at me and called me an “akhoond” (another word for a mullah) so I took a picture of her. I guess my beard was longer that day : /
Dear crazy people on both sides,
Please stay at home watching Persian satellite, the rest of us are going to try to move forward from this election and learn from what happened. In the meantime let’s stop locking up and getting locked up, it will be good for everyone.
The controversy surrounding the Iranian presidential election has not only done damage to Iran but has also polarized the Shia community abroad on the issue. Iranian nationals within the Muslim community have either recognized the election results as legitimate, sided with the Supreme Leader’s decision to end any probing into election fraud, or have voiced discontent with the regime’s unwillingness to investigate the election results.
As demonstrations in Los Angeles have attracted majorly those who would not identify with the values of the Islamic Republic (most protesters don’t even use the current flag of Iran when demonstrating), those identifying with those values have debated the outcome of the election fiercely.
Those defending the legitimacy of the election have sited the disconnection of the liberal “elite” from the masses of Iranians outside of Tehran as the cause of mass protests and an overall attitude of being sore losers in the election. In addition, Iranian voices of opposition have been dismissed by this group as supporting foreign enemies (Mossad, MKO, CIA, etc) bent on the collapse of the Islamic Republic. For some this may be a class conflict but when it comes down to it, is a question of transparency.
Iranians voicing their criticism of the elections have been harshly criticized by even non-Iranians who admire the institution of the IRI and intend on doing their part in what they feel is upholding the Islamic Republic and/or their loyalty to a Marja Taqlid.
Iranians who have aligned themselves with their government in the past and are now questioning its methods have seen this election as the breaking point for their trust in their leaders. The widespread media censorship, communication lockdown, police/ Basij/ military brutality against civilians has eroded the trust of Iranian nationals for their government.
At this point, I believe that some Mousavi supporters would have preferred Ahmadinejad to have won the election fairly and transparently rather than the current situation which has spiraled out of control on both sides. However, we find ourselves at the point of no return and there is no easy solution to all of this, so let’s stop acting like the answer is going to come from out of the sky.
At present Iran is in unrest. The mass reactions of the elections are that of dismay and those who feel they have been disfranchised and stripped of their voice have taken to the street. I have not been relying on one source of news media for my information about the election aftermath, rather a network of personal contacts in Iran, blogs, Twitter, and media coming directly from the streets.
Some have claimed this unrest is at its heart a struggle between Rafsanjani and Iran’s Supreme Leader, Seyed Ali Khamenei, while many have been saying that the final numbers were a blatant robbery of the election because a Mousavi victory would skew the vision of the current regime.
Whatever be the case, the type of violence and unrest seen in Iran at the moment has the potential to be a huge step backward for establishing a legitimacy for the Islamic Republic and may eventually be a death sentence for the nation. The blocking of SMS messaging, limiting Internet access, filtering social media and the charade of state broadcast media has given Iranians and the rest of the world the image that Iran is insecure and willing to go great unethical lengths to keep their population quiet. Enemies of Iran will (and I’m sure already have) use this unrest for their own agendas, however, if allegations of voter fraud are false, then there is no harm in seeing the ballots and having an observed recount.