is going on in Iran
these days has largely remained below radars with
limited coverage in mainstream media. Perhaps rightly
so. The fictional or real struggle between the "hardliners"
and "reformers" is way past its expiry date
and is neither news nor even interesting anymore.
so, it's not only the media that feels this way. Majority
of Iranians are also tired of the games and have no
patience for another round of the same back and forth
contest played over the last 7 years.
faction considered to be more liberal, came to power
with a large movement of popular support. Of course,
with the present structure, "power" is not
the appropriate term as most of that is ceded to one
unelected person with the title of "Supreme Leader".
elected President Khatami (twice) and then a new Parliament
in challenging the wishes of this exact "leader".
What they wanted was change and a vote for so-called
"reformers" was more a vote against what
they had as oppose to what they wanted.
has been little doubt that what they ultimately want,
is far beyond what these "moderates" are
willing or able to deliver. And they have had over
7 years to prove it over and over again. In every
mass movement towards more freedoms in these years,
people have been abandoned by their elected representatives.
the student uprising and then again in multiple nights
of unrest in Tehran, these "reformers" chose
the wrong side. Khatami was mostly absent in both
occasions and even classified the protestors as "hooligans".
now that it's their turn to be scolded by the same
"extremists", they seek a popular support
that is non-existent. I am sure images of a velvet
revolution went through the heads of many protesting
MP's as they started their sit-in. But as they kept
a lookout for the masses that will come in, take over
the building and carry them on their shoulders to
victory, nobody showed up.
are too late. Their credibility with the masses evaporated
the minute they chose to hang on to their offices,
instead of backing the popular dissent movement. Iranians
trusted yet another group one more time and once again
they were defrauded.
will this go now is unclear. An old Persian proverb
says "give them death, so they'll be happy with
a fever." This may just be the strategy chosen
by the leader's team. Disqualify everyone, then bend
a bit and allow some in to keep everyone quiet. On
the other hand, If reformers boycott the upcoming
elections, the provincial governors resign and no
changes are made, it may also cause some cabinet members
and the President himself to also resign. Something
he should?ve done the minute it became apparent his
office is without any real power, years ago. This
may create an opening for the great savior to enter
the foyer once again with his own team and take over
with the image of the great conciliator. This will
of course be the role of former president Rafsanjani,
the man many believe is still the real source of influence
of the outcome, it is safe to expect that in the short-term,
no major changes will be delivered by either side
of this current tussle. This will only be yet another
step, another experience in the long road to the destination
most Iranians have chosen as their final objective;
a free and democratic Iran.
Moallemian is a political and human rights activist
whose web log can be found at www.eyeranian.net
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