Iran Election Guide

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Iran Document: The Rafsanjani Speech to Students (6 December)

RAFSANJANI3An EA reader kindly offers us this summary of the speech, from the website Rah-e-Sabz:

I am not quiet but we are in a situation that discussions are not tolerated….My positions are the same as the ones I mentioned in the Friday Prayer which are based on the teachings of the Quran: doubts about the election should be resolved, political prisoners should be released , the families of the victims of the post-election violence should be comforted and the restrictions on media and criticising the government and the current situation should be lifted. However some conservative hardliners don’t accept these [positions], and think that people’s votes are only for formality....

If people of Iran want us, we [can] stay and govern if not we [should] go....

The Latest from Iran (6 December): Tension Rises

The government has money and resources so it can gather people in the streets, but on the other side (Green Movement) there are groups of professors, students, workers and industry managers and it was not right that they put the Basij and the Revolutionary Guards in front of people. I am not happy with the current situation of the country and it is not right to alienate the youth and intellectuals from the establishment....

[Quoting the Prophet Mohammad's advice to Imam Ali, Shia’s first Imam] "You have the right to govern from God BUT if people did not accept you, don’t impose yourself on people"....Imam Khomeini always said that if people support us then we can act.

Some believe that there was fraud in the election and I said that I have concerns about the fraud, but then they criticised me that why did you even mention such a thing….I am saying that these doubts and concerns should be resolved….We have law for everything, although some of these laws should be corrected, but if everyone accepts these rules are obeyed, then many problems could be solved....Censorship in our society won’t be the answer and if we have free media and people are convinced, then they won’t take [their protest] to the streets…

One cannot trick a society that has 3-4 million students….My suggestion was that there should be an opportunity that both sides could come and debate the issues and then people can judge for themselves.

Reader Comments (3)

[...] chased Iran’s sole democratically elected Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadegh from office in 1953, Rafsanjani has met today students in Mashhad. He reiterated what has now become a taboo in Iran: “Some believe that there was fraud in the [...]

The silence of the US Administration in the days after he election was deafening. The people of Iran needed our support, and our President had his nose so far up the rear end of AH he couldn't see the bigger picture. His perpetual navel gazing isn't helping either. A truly free and democratic Iran is the West's best hope for a peaceful Middle East. The people of Iran are fighting for freedoms we here in America take for granted. We shed blood to purchase our freedom 200+ years ago and are shedding blood now to bring the same hope to others. You in Iran are paying dearly to win what we here in America take for granted. A lot of Americans keep you close in our prayers.

December 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDr. Gary B. Myers OD

This statement is very articulate and clear. He is not taking a midway course. He is maintaining the lines of communication with Khamenei and other hardliners, but ultimately he makes it very clear here that he thinks that the Greens are on the right side of history and that fighting the Green wave is futile, because it represents youth, justice, and freedom.
Considering his status within the regime and his support even from some hardline elements (such as Larijani and thus probably Khamenei), his comments are strikingly clear condemnations of the crackdowns and of Ahmadinejad's stealing of the election. The fact that he is making these comments publicly and maintaining support from much of the regime shows that the hardliners are still ultimately on the defensive and the fractures within hardline ranks are deep and insurmountable. A more severe crackdown would probably end up pitting Larijani and possibly even Khamenei on a collision course with Ahmadinejad so the government at best will maintain an uneasy stalemate where their lack of legitimacy is constantly being pointed out in the public sphere. Khamenei needs to acknowledge that its time to throw AN overboard and seek some sort of compromise.

December 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAdam

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