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Entries in insideIRAN (4)


Iran Snapshot: The Supreme Leader's Economic Plan (Ghajar)

Ayatollah Khamenei at an Oil PlantOn July 19, Iran’s highest authority, Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, published a “General Employment Policy” consisting of 13 goals or strategies to improve employment in Iran. The plan was an indirect but telling acknowledgement of Iran’s massive unemployment problem --- it follows just a week after statements by Khamenei to Iran’s Chamber of Commerce in which the Supreme Leader urged economic optimism and restraint in publishing discouraging items regarding the economy. The statement was published to virtually every state-owned or affiliated news agency in Farsi, as well as the the Supreme Leader’s website.

Ayatollah Khamenei published the plan with advice from the Expediency Council, indicating once again the high level of importance placed upon solving the unemployment crisis in Iran. It is also worth noting that the Supreme Leader’s other statements the same week were translated into English on his website --- however, perhaps due to concerns over publicizing Iran’s unemployment situation, the 13-point plan is not featured in English on the site though a copy in Farsi was posted.

The Supreme Leader’s strategies for improving Iran’s abysmal unemployment situation are as follows:

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Iran Special Analysis: 5 Points for Discussion of the "New Green Manifesto"

UPDATE 1920 GMT: insideIRAN has posted a copy of the Persian version of the "New Green Manifesto"

"Cells" need outlets and actions to represent them not as isolated pockets of activists but as part of a large, widespread challenge to those who claim authority. Mousavi and Karroubi also put forth a self-serving naivete on this issue: "We are the Media" is an essential call, but it has to be connected to representatives --- students, politicians, lawyers, advocates of gender rights, unionists, and other activists --- who can put out a message with resonance. 

So far the "New Green Manifesto" is reliant on that wider appeal through an overseas site with a "niche" readership. And that for the moment --- as the representatives' latest statement highlights, with its narrow response to critics abroad --- limits any impact of the "several recommendations for the reform and strengthening of the Green Movement".

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Iran Special: An Open Letter to the Authors of the "New Green Manifesto" (Lissnup)

What has always been missing is a clear understanding and definition of what the Green Movement is, and an accepted goal. The initial declaration of pluralism and the rejection of leadership in the classic or accepted sense created a dilemma: protecting individuals with actual authority, but leaving the movement vulnerable to manipulation by insinuation. The original unifying goal of reclaiming stolen votes has not been successfully replaced. All attempts to redefine the movement on an intellectual level – as being for reform, or for secular democracy, or regime overthrow, etc, have dissolved into disagreement. The good news is, it can be achieved, through careful planning, consultation, and constructive organisation.

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Iran Document: A New Green Manifesto?

And now a mystery: yesterday a collection of activists, reportedly inside Iran, put out a document which claims to be a new path for the opposition. The "manifesto" emerged outside the country through two outlets: Martin Fletcher in The Times of London and insideIRAN, a project of The Century Foundation in the US.

The document is forthright in its language and general in its ambition: "the complete subordination of all government and state posts to direct popular sovereignty", while putting forth the Green Movement as an umbrella for different groups who were pursuing rights long before the 2009 Presidential election.

But there is an important starting question, especially amidst the current debate amongst reformists and activists over the way forward inside and outside the Iranian system: who are these "intellectuals who are leaders in the Green Movement in Tehran"?

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