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Iran: Understanding the Assembly of Experts Statement "Crisis Continues"

First, a summary of the official statement of the Assembly of Experts after their two-day meeting. The statement only emerged yesterday, 72 hours after the conclusion of the meeting and after a "leaked" document (possibly a draft of the statement pushed by "hard-liners") appeared on Fars News:

1. Opening point on God and the Iranian nation standing against Iran's enemies.
2. Post-election: there has been much damage. The people passed the test, but a few of the elite did not in these difficult times. [No direct condemnation of the opposition, the door is still open to atonement]. Our triumph is due to our great Supreme Leader, which adds another golden page to the history book of the Islamic Republic. Abiding with the Supreme Leader is necessary for keeping our holy Republic united.
3. Fitna [sedition] has been finished, and the patient people have wiped out wrong-doers [or those on the wrong path].
4. Warning to all enemies who seduced their own people: our duty has not ended, we stand openly by the side of your Supreme Leader.
5. A thousand thanks to our devoted and self-sacrificing security forces for extinguishing the fire. God bless them and congratulations to them for catching the leader of Jundullah's "terrorists", Abdolmalek Rigi.
6. Iranian academics have achieved brilliant victories in all fields of science.
7. A reminder of Khomeini, hoping to bring the Revolution to its real owner, the Imame Zaman.

Mr Verde analyses the meaning and significance of the statement:

Not much of a surprise to be honest.

The basics: the Assembly statement is to show the people that their eight months of protest have not made any difference (they have, but this is what the regime wants people to believe).

It is also to show high-ranking religious figures who have been unhappy with the Supreme Leader’s management of the country since June that the Assembly of Experts is not only approving Khamenei as the best person to be leader but is also approving his methods and actions, to the point that it is saying that it has had enough of the protests (this is exactly how the Supreme Leader must feel about the protest: he must be fed up with it all).

The original idea of the Assembly was to include very high-ranking clerics, with impeccable personal and religious credentials, who were supposed to represent the different views of religious scholars and Grand Ayatollahs. They were supposed to be elected by the people, bringing together the Islamic nature and republicanism of the Republic.

What we have instead is a group of people, most of whom were not known at all until they were “elected” to the Assembly. And even now, most are only known for their membership of the Assembly or their political activity, not their religious credentials (for example, Ahmad Khatami).

The candidates of the Assembly have to go through a very strong filtering process by Council of Guardians and in many seats, there are usually only one candidate for people to vote for or two candidates, both of whom have the same views. So there is no choice in most Assembly constituencies. In fact the process is so flawed that members of the Council of Guardians are also members of the Assembly (e.g. Ahmad Jannati, Ahmad Khatami), a serious and obvious case of conflict of interest.

There is also a fundamental flaw with the implementation of the idea of the Assembly. The Assembly is supposed to select the Supreme Leader, oversee his actions, and, if required, remove him from the post.

But the members of the Assembly have to go through the Council of Guardians filter. The Council has 12 members (six clerics, six lawyers). The six clerics are appointed directly by the Supreme Leader. The six lawyers are nominated by the head of Judiciary and voted on by the Parliament. The head of Judiciary is appointed by the Supreme Leader and the members of Parliament have to pass through the Council filter to stand for election.

This creates a closed loop assuring the full control of the Supreme Leader and making oversight of him impossible. Only his people get to become members of the Assembly; with the exception of very few people like Ayatollah Dashgheib. (I’ll talk about Rafsanjani below.)

Through its history, the Assembly of Experts has never been what it is supposed to be. Instead of being the supreme body that oversees the top person in the regime, it rubber-stamps decisions that have already been taken elsewhere.

One example was the assignment and later removal of Grand Ayatollah Montazeri as deputy Supreme Leader in the 1980 (both of these were Khomeini’s decisions, not the Assembly’s). The same was true when Khamenei was selected as Supreme Leader. Rafsanjani got together with the right-wing factions (Motalefeh and conservative clerics) of the Islamic Republic and started a plan that resulted in the left (the current Reformists) being gradually pushed away from power. The outcome was Khamenei becoming Supreme Leader on the say-so of Rafsanjani and a few others who were supposedly recounting Khomeini’s wishes on his death bed. Ever since, the Assembly has rubber-stamped whatever Khamenei wants. All the Assembly sessions result is a communique that says that all is well and the Supreme Leader is doing the best job possible.

I view this latest statement exactly the same way. A few days before the latest session started, Kayhan published a report which predicted the final declaration. Remember that Kayhan’s editor is appointed by Khamenei, and the newspaper usually says what Khamenei wants to say. It is the journalistic version form of plainclothesmen (lebas shakhsi) for Khamenei: an unofficial spokesperson that will allow the Supreme Leader to deny everything.

Why the statement was put on the website so late? It could be that they just forgot to post it. Or it could be that someone was trying to indicate some dissatisfaction with the statement, holding back its publication.

I don’t think it matters. The institutions of the Islamic Republic are unable to pull it out of the current crisis. All that have any power (at least on paper) are under the direct, and at times illegal, control of Khamenei.

The root cause of the current crisis is Khamenei and his actions and decisions. And he will not change his mind until there is a lot of pressure on him, not from within the institutions of the regime, but from some area where he does not have full control.

I honestly believe that Khamenei and his advisors are not able to see what they are doing to the regime and to themselves. Maybe 20 years of absolute power does this; they are trying to control a country of 70 million people like a village in the outback with a big stick, lots of superstition, and big lies. The problem they have, and which will get worse, is that many young people in Iran are quite well-educated and well-informed and will not stand for this. Children of the establishment’s figures are part of this group, for example, Mohsen Ruholamini. [Mohsen Ruholamini, who died in the post-election abuses at Kahrizak Prison, was the son of Abdolhossein Ruholamini, the campaign manager of Presidential candidate Mohsen Rezaei.]

I think that, in recent weeks, we have seen a concerted effort on the part of the Supreme Leader and Co. to "wrap things up". Although the 9 Dey [30 December] and 22 Bahman [11 February] pro-regime marches were nowhere as good as they wished and actually caused them, I think they know that this is the best they can do as far as marches are concerned, both by not allowing the opposition a chance to show itself as on Qods Day, 13 Aban [4 November], 16 Azar [7 December], or Ashura [27 December] and by showing at least some form of support for the regime.

Having put a lot of effort in the 22 Bahman show, the regime is trying to get as much out of it as it possibly can. The Assembly statement and Khamenei speech to the Assembly members wer part of this plan: show strength and show resolve. The hope is that it will dishearten the public. If it does, it will improve the public standing of the Supreme Leader and the regime in the short-term. If it does not, it will raise the stakes even higher.

(A side note on Hashemi Rafsanjani....

I think that Rafsanjani and the Supreme Leader both need each other, but each want the other to be weak. I don’t think that Rafsanjani, even if he could, is out to get rid of Khamenei. He wants the Supreme Leader in his post, but in a weaker position. He is trying to use the protests and Ahmadinejad’s mismanagement of the country to say to Khamenei: the people don’t agree with you, and your guy is useless too.

The Supreme Leader on the other hand is worried that getting rid of Rafsanjani would make him lose the support of powerful people within the Islamic Republic.)

It has been said many times on EA that this is a marathon, not a sprint. If I may just modify that: this is a marathon, but the regime would like to change it into (or at least pretend that it is) a sprint. The longer this process takes, the more the regime will lose (and the weaker it will become). So the regime will have to play its hand quickly: a lot of high-value cards are being played for cheap rewards.

Reader Comments (20)

Mr Verde,

thank you very much for your analysis of the statement of the Assembly of Experts,
especially for analysing the composition and functioning of the two bodies
"Assembly of Experts" and "Council of Guardians"
in particular with regards to the position of the "Supreme Leader"!

February 28, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterPublicola

A realist would say it is what it is. It may be a sprint, it may be a marathon, it may be neither or a little bit of both, irregardless of what anyone wants, it is what it is. Is the cup half full, is it half empty, it is what it is. The Green Movement and this Generation has forever changed the way the world will view Iran. Modernists who tend to be non-religious people, view this system as a corruption by religious people, with the Supreme Religious Leader and all religion being viewed as the problem. However, many religious clerics are members of the Green Movement and their alignment with the movement gives is added credibility and refutes allegations of foreign coups and seditiousness or anarchists or terrorists. It has elements of legitimate reform and inherent civil rights. The system does need to be reformed. This System has the basic elements needed for a Republican form of government or a Representative form of democracy. It has a parliament but the problem you describe it the way all potential members are chosen by the Supreme Leader which converts it into a puppet of the established order. The difficulty comes in attempting to reform such a system.

February 28, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMohommad Ali

In Britain, didn't the system go through some kind of "reform" where the parliament forced the King to sign some different documents protecting the civil rights of the people and reducing the power of the King. In France, I guess their was the rebellion where they decapitated the Monarchy and then the counter-revolution to the revolution. In Russia, I guess you had the rebellion against the monarchy, and then the counter-revolution to the revolution and the counter-counter revolution to the counter revolution. So, in Iran you have a counter-revolution to the revolution, and so on.

February 28, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMohommad Ali

Paranoia and a fear of foreign coups has continued since the 1950's US CIA coup. A sub-conscious and conscious fear of foreign influences causes an over-reaction and extremists fear of anything outside the country. A victim mentality causes an over-reaction to everything. Every criticism is viewed as a foreign conspiracy. Every new idea is viewed as a conspiracy. There can be no change under such extremists views because all change is viewed as a foreign conspiracy. A "cultist" mentality tends to over-whelm the old timers who view all modern ideas as a foreign conspiracy. In such a "paranoid" state, everything is viewed an "sedition" and not legitimate "reform." Even views of a founder of the Republic then become viewed as "sedition" instead of "reform." Paronoia is King!

February 28, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMohommad Ali

I've given Rafsanjani the benefit of the doubt since June 12, since he ultimately seems to be acting pragmatically from the inside. But this statement is just a step too far for me.

Just a day after his brave daughter is shown on Television being harrassed by Basijis for giving a speech at a university, Rafsanjani signs on to a statement that allows Khamenei to go on believing that nothing has changed? That is morally unacceptable, even if he is ultimately on the Greens side. There are other fathers whose daughters have been raped and/or killed by the Basijis under Khamenei's orders and Rafsanjani knows it.

There is a difference between keeping the channels of dialogue open (which has been most of what Rafsanjani has been trying to do) and being used as a stooge for the hardliners (which he did here). I hope Rafsanjani realizes that he is now largely responsible for the continuing detention of political prisoners and that this absurd statement will be used to justify further violence against young dissidents. He controls 2 influential state institutions, his acquiescence to what is going on is unacceptable and he needs to show that he is not willing to tolerate this status quo indefinitely.

February 28, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAdam

Interesting analysis but with many parallells with those countries who cite themselves as the most ' democratic' of states. Great Britain, for instance which calls itself the 'mother of all parliaments' and has been a 'democracy' for hundreds of years, has an upper chamber which has only recently been reformed, but even after the reform, NONE of its members are directly elected by the British electorate. They are either hereditary peers or appointed by the established Church, the ruling party and the opposition parties by some extraordinarily archaic rules that most lay people would not understand. Whereas the members of the Assembly of Experts are directly elected by the Iranian electorate and the elections are held periodically as per the constitution.

As for the British House of Commons, it is only ever possible to, under its first past the poll system, to have either a Labour or Tory government. A third party only ever has any leverage in the event of a 'hung' parliament which may happen this time. All this means in real terms is that most people's votes do not actually count. Elections are won by how voters in about a 100 out of 600 constituencies vote. 80% of voters might as well not bother. Once elected an MP is subject to a rigorous 'whip' system whereby (s)he is very rarely allowed to vote on major bills as per his own judgement and what is best for his/her constituents. The 'whip' system is run by party apparatchiks to ensure what has been decided by the PM and other powerful players is carried through. They use bullying, intimidation, threats and behind the scenes control to ensure their will is done.

Compare this with the vibrancy of the Iranian Majlis, whose members vigorously and regularly challenge the Parliamentary speaker, the president, his ministers and even the Guardian council. A student even criticised the SL for not hearing his critics and the SL allowed him some 20mins of his time to grill him. I have not heard of any Western 'democratically' elected leader including populist Obama ever subjecting themselves to such scrutiny. And EA has not reported the student missing, dead, tortured or incarcerated.

Combine this with the high level of participation by the Iranian electorate (85%) at the last Presidential election and other elections and a vigorous opposition both within and outside the various bodies as compared to the generally low level of voter participation in most Western 'democracies' (Obama despite a good message and marketing and great dislike for Bush, managed only to increase participation by a few % ).

Appearances aside, the Iranian system is far freer and responsive to public opinion than those who have actual experience of the charade that passes of as 'democracy' in some Western democracies.

The genuine Iranian reformists should continue to seek reform within the IR system. It is a pity that Mossawi did not form an opposition party as many advised him after his defeat at the elections. That would have been a better path and given him better credibility with the electorate and the prevailing system. Resorting to street protests with the resulting violence combined with Western interference has unfortunately tarnished the reformists cause somewhat. Most Iranians do not want US/Western interference in their affairs and they certainly do not want the chaos that reins in the streets of Kabul and Baghdad under US 'protection' to happen in Tehran and if the SL/IRGC can keep the streets of Tehran safe there is no reason why the bulk of the population should revolt.

February 28, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterrezvan

Re: Great Britain, House of Lords, “whip”-system:
The house of Lords can delay a bill for up to a year, after that it becomes law. Since Tony Blair came to power, GB is trying to switch to the continental European system of parliament with two houses, each with its constituency: devolution (i.e. regional parliaments have been created in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland). The ‘whig’ system is quite a usual parliamentary procedure in Europe to enable a party enacted into parliament to be identifiable as a party when discussing and deciding on bills / laws – in French “mandat imperative”, in German “imperatives Mandat”, in Italian “mandato imperative”. For highly relevant decisions of national importance usually a ‘free vote’ is taking place, the members of parliament, the legislators, are expected to vote for or against a bill according to their conscience.

Re: criticism of prominent politicians:
During election campaigns the prominent party members are visiting the different regions; everybody then has a chance to confront the particular politicians directly and publicly with any question or criticism. As there are regional elections taking place at different times within a four to five year span respectively and one national election every 4 to 5 years, there will hardly be any year without any election and without the opportunity for each citizen to address prominent politicians. I don’t remember any torturing within this context.

Re: elections:
Understandably the level of participation in Iran was and is high, as the voter expects and supposes he then has the chance to choose between an authoritarian government or to pry open the door to democracy. – On the other hand – but I definitely do not think that that happened in Iran in 2009 – authoritarian regimes usually publish figures of electoral participation of around 99% and figures of the elected authoritarian party of the same percentage.

Re: more freedom in Iran than in any other democracy:
Here just an aside [without referring to verifiable events to be observed every day]: I do wonder why there are that many expatriate Iranians, usually experts in their fields, living in any European country – an immense braindrain, not really affordable for Iran.

Re: observance of constitutional rights:
Summing up statements by any voices / representatives oft he democratic movement,
the demands expressed and insisted upon by the democratic movement always refer to the realization and observance of the Iranian constitution, are always constitutional, for instance:

• that the state (i.e. the three powers: the judiciary, the legislative, the executive) follows and obeys painstakingly and meticulously the regulations stipulated by the constitution,

• that the republican constitutional freedoms of opinion, of the press, of assembly,

• that the constitutional separation of the three branches of power (the judiciary, the legislative, the executive),

• that constitutional “habeas corpus”,

• that the constitutional freedom of religion (Bahá'í),

• are meticulously and painstakingly observed by Iran’s citizens and in particular by the state and all state-organs.

It is highly to be doubted that in any republican system deserving that label, (e.g. the USA, the EU-states, etc. etc. etc.) standing up for these demands will lead to your incarceration, to torture, to death, to death sencentes.

Thus the democratic movement seems at the time being the only power/force guarding the Iranian constitution.

February 28, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterPublicola


I think that most here do know which countries of the world are true Democracies - and Iran is not one of them. There are many different Democratic systems of Government - the systems of the US, France, Germany, UK, Canada, Australia (naming just a few) have different features and operate differently. None are perfect.

I can state at least 3 reasons why Iran cannot be considered a Democratic country .

1. Iran has a "Supreme Leader" whose say is all powerful. His word overwhelms all other institutions of Government.

2. Iran allows people to be arrested and imprisoned without warrant or "due process". There is no "Habeas Corpus". Hence all Iranian Law is invalid as it cannot be fair and just while this happens.

3. People can be convicted and executed for the "crime" of "Emnity with God". As there is no God, how can anyone be convicted of such a thing.


February 28, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBarry

ad Barry

»People can be convicted and executed for the “crime” of “Enmity with God”. As there is no God, how can anyone be convicted of such a thing.«

Though a believer, I was flabberghasted and amused by your sentence, having been pondering all the time about this type of crime (Moharebeh) and what to make of it. Thanks for that plain, simple and somehow logical answer [to my unexpressed question], which of course presupposes some sort of separation between church/religion and state.

February 28, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterPublicola

Mohommad Ali , (about paranoia) how do you cure such a sickness ? Herbal teas ?

In fact, persecution paranoia is a disease that is practically incurable, today there are only strong anti psychotic drugs and support therapy that can hold it at bay. Once they stop taking the drugs, the tendencies usually come back.

This is for individuals, so what can you suggest for a whole nation ? Once the worst diseased are firmly put aside, they would have to reveal the truth in small doses accompanied with much psychological support and seditives for the the worst effects.

Just as Karroubi's family fear for the mental health of their son, so must so many others need critical help and support. ( you just need to see some of them talking about their trials years later, even in the safety of another country).

I hope the greens are taking this into account, and getting their stocks ordered and ready for distribution. Of course support can come in various forms, notably clever media forms and I don't know what. Quite a program though.

March 1, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterpessimist


"Though a believer, I was flabberghasted and amused by your sentence, having been pondering all the time about this type of crime (Moharebeh) and what to make of it. Thanks for that plain, simple and somehow logical answer [to my unexpressed question], which of course presupposes some sort of separation between church/religion and state."

I usually appreciate your posts as you have quite a depth of knowledge, but with this, I'm also a bit flabbergasted. (that you are a believer). I usually try to respect people's personal beliefs when they are reasonable, and private and I think you are right to come to that conclusion. There are many things I don't like about the French, but I really admire their secular system. I am really able to live free from religious persuasions, propaganda, influence of most forms and compared, say to Britain that is still riddled with religion, not to speak of US, it's a real breath of fresh air here.

Surely this crime that these poor youths are sentenced with should not have just made you 'ponder' but have shocked your very soul (not that I believe in a soul :-)).

March 1, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterpessimist


I guess the point I was really trying to make is that, crimes must be proven to have happened as well as proving who committed the crime. It would be logically impossible to prove that this "crime" has in fact happened, as firstly the existence of a God would have to be proved. I know of no other country where this "crime" exists??


March 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBarry

@ Thanks, Barry,

exactly that's really what I wanted to say, but unfortunately I didn't - nobody could have expressed my opinion better (than you) !

I obviously had not been able to formulate my opinion clearly on this (rather/very strange) point/alleged preposterous crime.

March 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterPublicola

ps - just in case of any ambiguity, the french secular system allows freedom of all religions in a private sphere. They don't allow religious 'symbols', (veils, crosses, clothes..) in public places - schools, hospitals, administrative sectors etc. nor any form of religious education in public schools, while there are some religious private schools. Churches, are not funded by the state and as for mosques.. I'm not sure, there's a bit of controversy over them.. (to avoid being funded by fundamentalist countries, some may have other forms of help)

March 1, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterpessimist

@ pessimist,

don't worry (about me or my mental state) -

of course, like you, I think there definitely has to be some/a more or less strict separation between religion and state.

Being based in Germany, I think the French system of separation religion/state is more consistent or more strict than the German one.

March 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterPublicola

@ Mohommad Ali,

[it took me some time to understand your posting Nr. 4,
possibly because I am
living in another country and also in different kind of world]

Your posting Nr. 4 seems to be very plausible and explains much !
Thanks for that relevant information !

March 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterPublicola

The point I was trying to make is that no political system is perfect. Those who loudly proclaim their 'democratic' credentials and want to export these (only to those countries whose governments and leaders are a threat to their sectional interest but not where their friends are in power and do as they are told asin Saudi Arabia for instance) to IRI should look at the rot within their own systems. The only reason this rot has not previously been exposed is because of the generous welfare system and the great wealth that these countries possess. If the economic downturn gets any worse and puts people's livelihoods and homes at risk plus a decline in welfare standards than serious questions and challenges will arise as are already being asked in the UK. Only time will tell.

More important than the choice of a political system is that of good governance and whether the population enjoys reasonable standards of peace and security, welfare provisions and freedoms that make ordinary citizens life on a day to day basis endurable and opportunities being provided for popular participation in decisions that affect public life.

March 1, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterrezvan

The general proposition coming out of these columns is that the IRI is incapable of doing anything right and is oppressive and it is so because it is an Islamic Republic, were it a secular republic things would be different. Well there is no guarantee of that, as for example with the atheistic Stalinist regime of the late USSR which was responsible for the killing of millions of Russians. I have not read in these columns or elsewhere that Khamanei and Ahmedinejad are responsible for killing of millions of Iranians. Two executions(potentially on false accounts) do not amount to a genocide against their opponents. The leading opposition figures, whilst maybe suffering some degree of harassment, still operate relatively freely from Tehran and are able to send messages and conduct interviews with the outside media freely criticising the conduct of the AN govt.

There is no magical formula as Mossavi himself says to solve all of IRI's problems except to raise awareness and insist on what is actually a very progressive constitution to be implemented in full. I wish as a Briton I could insist on the same in my country but we do not even have a written constitution. We gave the world the 'Magna Carta' and of course 'civilised' it and wrote constitutions for most of our colonies but have not got round to writing one for ourselves. Not only that most of the powers of our national parliaments have been given to faceless bureaucrats in Brussels who legislate some 80% of our laws and regulations. Who says we have no dictatorship in Western Europe? And of course there is the UN, where 5 states can impose their will upon the rest of the world as they choose? Give me the VF anytime, at least he is consistent and straight in his politics.

March 1, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterrezvan

"Summing up statements by any voices / representatives oft he democratic movement,
the demands expressed and insisted upon by the democratic movement always refer to the realization and observance of the Iranian constitution, are always constitutional"
"Thus the democratic movement seems at the time being the only power/force guarding the Iranian constitution."

It is and will forever be a never to be solved riddle of syllogism and logic, how e.g. from these two propositions e.g. one is able to draw the final conclusion
"the IRI is incapable of doing anything right and is oppressive and it is so because it is an Islamic Republic, were it a secular republic things would be different."

As to the number of people having been sentenced to death, having had to die for politico-religious reasons, having died - apparently after some proper treatment - in prison without having been sentenced,
in order to observe the demands of honesty one ought to start counting right from the start of the Islamic Republic.

Finally some revealing figures.

A comparison sheds some light on what happened in iran in 2009
Rallies in Europe 1950 – 2010

During the post-election-rallies in Iran according to opposition-sources 72 people were killed, according to government-sources a reduced figure of 36 is admitted as having been killed.
These Iranian figures are quite unusual from a post-war European point of view. If restricting oneself to the period of the last 60 years, major figures of deaths during rallies to be mentioned can usually only be observed in the ‘Communist’ Eastern bloc, when sections of foreign armies (!) were involved in the suppression of the public statement of will by the respective population.

• During the uprising in East Germany in 1953 sources mention 55 fatalities. The uprising in Berlin was violently suppressed by tanks of the Group of Soviet(-Russian) Forces (!) in Germany
( ) .
• During Prague Spring, an invasion of the Warsaw troops (!) into then Czechoslovakia in 1968 subdued and finished off the governmental period of political liberalization. 72 humans were killed.
( )

• Figures of deaths due to police operations during rallies for the same period are probably minuscule. My subjective guess amounts to a figure below the value of 10 in the whole West-European area.

March 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterPublicola


secular doesn't mean atheist. I explained the French system on other page. It's totally dishonest to try and compare the soviet regime with a secular democratic system, or even non secular (there are only two to my knowledge, Turkey and France).

From a western point of view, islam is incompatible with democracy simply from observing the results of regimes like Iran who tried. Mousavi (who youself said was balanced), probably knows this but is insisting on applying the constitution to the letter as the solution, that being enough to please everybody. He is appealing to all Iranians just as any candidate must do, and he and Karoubi are insisting that it must be the people who decide.

What we think doesn't matter, it's not our (non iranian) problem even if we've got opinions.

My opinion is that I don't believe it's really compatible, but that if ever the green movement manages to get to power, and if ever they manage to do all the things they want, it will seem like paradise to many. Logically, with that 'paradise', things might evolve over time. Free speech is the key.

Despite all your hate for where you live, and the EU, your last paragraph in 17 seems to describe what it's like in Britain and most other european democracies. And we can choose a political system as a bonus.

In 18 you said "The leading opposition figures, whilst maybe suffering some degree of harassment, still operate relatively freely from Tehran and are able to send messages and conduct interviews with the outside media freely criticising the conduct of the AN govt."

Imagine if it was the same for Cameron ! 'some degree of harassment', yeah, like his kids murdered or tortured' !

March 1, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterpessimist

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