1979 all over again? I doubt it. Call me a pessimist but I never thought I will live to see these scenes in Iran again:

Olivier Laban-Mattei AFP tehran

The mullahs are fighting each other (don’t mistake Mousavi for a secular iranian please—scratch any Mousavi and you will find the true face of a muslim revolutionist underneath) and the youth’s hope and badly bruised courage is being sacrificed.

Olivier Laban-Mattei/Agence France-Presse

I’ve been glued to my computer and the TV to follow what is happening—I am amazed by the Iranian government’s  audacity (read stupidity) of forging the election results. Read a great analysis here.

tehran unrest fires

Could this be that wishful thinking got the better of credible reporting?

green wave iran

In spite of being a cynic, I am hopeful that a new era is starting in Iran—I just can’t deny the enormity of what is happening in Iran; I have a worried enthusiasm of maybe being able to join the rest of the world after 30 years of being punished and sent to the corner of the classroom.

iranian thugs and police

The big difference between now and 1979 is that Iran doesn’t have a powerful leader (like Khomeini of 30 years ago); the effectiveness of these protests has yet to be put to the acid test of fighting the black-clad police.

Roger Cohen summarizes these events in this clip from a rooftop in Tehran.

tehran unrest revolutionary guards

Read Reza Aslan’s article here to know a bit more about the real power behind Ahmadinejad.

Now events are rushing ahead and the ayatollahs are blinking…

9 Responses to “1979 all over again? First flickers of Resistance in Iran”

  1. hadi Says:

    میشل جان روزی بهار به خانه ما هم خواهد آمد .این مردم لیاقت زندگی خوب را دارند .خدا حافظ سرزمین مادری مان باشد

  2. Marguerite Papineau Says:

    So sorry for the people…again! Keeping all in my prayers. Hard to believe in this day and age that the government would have the audacity to forge the elections. Oh well–I cannot convince myself that this is not to be blamed on Allah but on POWER, greed for power. May the people ultimately be heard. May their sacrifices not be in vain. Love, Ma Soeur

  3. simin afshar Says:

    dear Michelle,
    I placed your article on FB in order for all my friends to read your article.
    best,
    Simin

  4. Alfred J. Garrotto Says:

    I always profit from your perspective, Michele. These must be hard days for you, observing from afar.

  5. Clarence F. Says:

    Dear Michelle:

    I personally find your reference to 1979 ironic. I currently feel very sorry for the Iranian people and to democracies around the world in general. President Carter was in office in 1979. Barack Obama is the president in 2009.

    My Iranian-American friends, esp. the ones in California, were ecstatic with the election of Barack Obama as U.S. President. I am waiting to see how this has helped any of the young voters in Iran. I have yet to hear our president even make a public comment about the violence in post-election Iran.

    Clarence

    P.S. your thoughts ?

  6. Shahab Says:

    Dear Michelle,
    I do not think that 1979 repeats itself. Describing current situation is very difficult. The cities of Iran are full of hatred and violence. Religious leader – over a night – found himself in front of a moral question and confronting with Islamic constitution.

    We should never forget religious background amongst our people – shit’e doctrine. During Mashrooteh Babism spred rapidly throughout Iran, this is a key point. Read the history carefully; why Amirkabir ordered to kill Bab followers? Because government found itself in a big danger -shifting from Shit’e to Babism!! Now this new fascist government is repeating the same story, they are trying to put down clergies and only focus on Imam Zaman and expressing that they have a direct connection with him!! This doctorine is still very popular among poor, illiterate and even literate people. I do not believe in conspiracy theory, but I do believe that some high ranked persons in the government follow this idea. The policy that used in old days by British and Russian empire.

    With or without Mousavi we have to participate in these demonstrations, we no other option. Thanks

  7. Mehran Says:

    Rigged elections is not a fact, it’s all based on speculation and disputable statistical analysis. I cannot give it more than 50% probability:

    1) Greens (supporters of Moosavi) claim they’re the real winners of the election, simply because they have few or no Ahmadinejad fan in their circle of friends and family. In other words, they use their local social network observations to make a holistic judgement about the whole of the nation. Completely wrong, not reliable.

    2) Preferential attachment: Even if there were 500 websites supporting Ahmadinejad’s election with videos and pictures and news, greens would still read pro-Moosavi websites, they will knowingly ignore the Ahmadinejadsphere because they can’t be bothered with it. Their perception of the number of Moosavi supports vs. Ahmadinejad supporters originates from a very self-centred view of things.

    3) The fact that greens were louder in demonstrating in the northern parts of Tehran doesn’t mean Ahmadinejad has less supporters than Moosavi. Neither it implies that Ahmadinejad’s supporters are limited to poor working class or rural areas.

    I will not be surprised if they do a recount of the ballot boxes and find out that A.N. has actually made a landslide victory.

    I’m not the only person who thinks A.N. actually might actually be the real winner. Check this Washington Post article:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/06/14/AR2009061401757.html

    Finally, the only thing that makes me wonder is that fact that the interior ministry released “final” vote counts relatively quickly without going through the usual bureaucracy.

  8. micheleroohani Says:

    These are startling moments in recent Iranian history. “Breathtaking” is a word that comes to mind with every new image out of Iran’s protests. I do understand that the difference between Mousavi and Ahmadinejad is one of degree and not of kind but we have to admit that the islamic republic has been constrained to deny its own convictions—if Rafsnanjani is not the regime’s legitimate overlord, who is?

    It’s hard to make any deeply intelligent prediction about Iran’s political future right now but I would like to hope that better days will come—though not yet…

  9. ali Says:

    michel ..idont like to say mousavi is a bad man but iam sure he never can change this country
    it is better for him to leave our country
    because most of irani people like the leader
    seyed ali khamenei

    قصد من بد گویی از موسوی نیست اما او پس از حادثه عاشورا اکثر طرفدارانش را از دست داده و قادر به تغییر نیست
    تا کی مردم خود را در راه او به کشتن دهند و او آزادانه مبارزه را ادامه دهد