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The Latest from Iran (2 January): The Ripples of the Mousavi Statement

IRAN GREEN2240 GMT: Just Remember, It's the Zionists. And the Americans. At the end of a tiring, sometimes confusing day trying to interpret the political signals not only from Mir Hossein Mousavi but from others "within the Establishment", the simplicity of Kayhan offers a refuge from thought. Here is its front page:

Mousavi's latest statement was written by Mossad. And the CIA.

That's that, then. Thanks, guys, for saving me any further need for research. Or reflection. Or sense.

2155 GMT: Another Attack  on Mousavi's Organisation. Kalemeh reports that Mohammad Reza Tajik, a senior aide to Mir Hossein Mousavi, has been arrested.

2110 GMT: Larijani's Latest. Ali Larijani, the Speaker of the Parliament, continues his tour of the country and his denunciation of the opposition, telling an audience in northeastern Iran: ""In the parliament we have considered such moves [of unrest] like walking on a minefield which would only cause deep rifts and damage the country's prestige."

Is Larijani playing bad cop to the conservative/principlist not-so-bad-cop (Rezaei, Motahari) in pressing for a resolution? Is he beyond compromise, setting out "they shall not pass" either as his personal position or as the (unacknowledged) representative of the Supreme Leader?

I leave it to others to work through the possibilities. Just wanted to ponder this: how many times have we mentioned Larijani in the updates in last few days? And how many times have we mentioned Ahmadinejad?

NEW Iran: The Non-Violent “Watershed” of the Mousavi Statement (Shahryar)
NEW Iran: A Gut Reaction to Mousavi’s “Martyrdom v. Compromise” Statement (Lucas)
NEW Iran Document: Mousavi’s “5 Stages to Resolution” Statement (1 January)
NEW Iran: 2009’s Year of Living Dangerously (Part 1)
Latest Iran Video: Protests Against and for the Regime (31 December)

1750 GMT: What Say You, Rafsanjani? As both Mir Hossein Mousavi and conservative/principlist factions make their political moves for a resolution, attention has now turned to a statement by former President Hashemi Rafsanjani at today's meeting of the Expediency Council, which he chairs.

Both Mousavi's Kalemeh and the state outlet Islamic Republic News Agency say Rafsanjani called for "unity" and "peace" by strengthening the bonds between Iranian people and the Government and that he praised the demonstrations of Iranians on the streets. IRNA then adds, however, that Rafsanjani said:

The Islamic establishment became victorious and continues its existence by relying on the people. I hope the desecrators will learn a lesson from the meaningful presence of the people on the street.

Press TV then adds the gloss, "Rafsanjani said the Wednesday rally also rendered ineffective the plots against the Islamic establishment."

1745 GMT: The Court of Appeals has upheld the six-year prison sentence of journalist Ahmad Zeidabadi.

1740 GMT: Karroubi and Mousavi Move? Saham News reports that Mehdi Karroubi has met Mir Hossein Mousavi for an hour in the home of Mousavi's nephew Seyed Ali, slain last Sunday by security forces. In addition to paying respects, Karroubi discussed "issues surrounding Mousavi's statement".

1715 GMT: The "Conservative/Principlist" Manoeuvre With Mousavi. OK, here's the political game: conservative and principlist activists within the establishment are going to play up the Mousavi statement as a route to compromise in the post-election conflict. This will fit both the Mohsen Rezaei letter to the Supreme Leader (1050 GMT) and the proposals of MP Ali Motahari (1400 GMT). This is being propelled by Tabnak, which is linked to Rezaei.

Here's the tip-off: the English-language Tehran Times, citing Tabnak, has declared:
Former presidential candidate Mir-Hossein Mousavi has issued a statement in which he condemned the disrespect of religious sanctities by some protesters on Ashura day (December 27) and made five proposals for resolving the current issues facing the country....Mousavi’s first and second proposals imply that he has accepted that the election is over, a Tabnak analyst said.

The article makes no reference to the first part of Mousavi's statement, with its denunciation of the Government and its declaration that he is prepared to die in the cause of protest against injustice and denial of the Iranian people's rights.

1710 GMT: The Sane'i Demotion (see 1535 GMT). Rah-e-Sabz has claimed that the Qom Seminary Teachers statement, denouncing Ayatollah Sane'i as failing to meet the standards of a marja, was signed by only one person: fervent Ahmadinejad supporter Ayatollah Mohammad Yazdi.

Press TV, however, is playing up the "statement bearing the signature of Ayatollah Mohammad Yazdi, the former head of Iran's judiciary" as "Ayatollah Sanei no longer qualified: Clerical body" and adds the jibe that Sane'i has "been criticized by millions of Iranians who took part in the demonstration on Wednesday".

1700 GMT: Nemat Ahmadi, whose arrest was reported yesterday, has issued a denial. Ahmadi was at the farm where another activist, Ali Hekmat, was taken by security forces and went to the police station with him.

1535 GMT: Attacking Sane'i. The move against Ayatolllah Yusuf Sane'i continues: the Qom Seminary Teachers Association has announced that he does not meet the conditions to be a marja (eminent cleric, worthy of emulation).

1400 GMT: More on the Move "Within" the Establishment. Earlier today (0740 GMT), Mr Azadi read the Mousavi statement in the context of "unity" calls from clerics, members of Parliament, and high-profile politicians such as Mohsen Rezaei (see 1050 GMT).

Here's more material for the thesis, with the proposals of influential legislator Ali Motahari. Among his seven points:
The leaders of the Green Movement should formally acknowledge the legitimacy of the President, and stop labeling the June election as fraudulent. Furthermore, they should, in the strongest possible terms, distance their positions, slogans, and agenda from anti-Islamic and westernized groups that have infiltrated the Green Movement and seek its leadership....

The President should acknowledge his mistake during the televised debates, and ask for forgiveness from the parties implicated....

Freedom of speech should be established by Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting and the press should adhere to these standards....

The military atmosphere should be brought to an end, and the national intelligence services must put an end to their unfounded claims against the leadership of the Green movement, accusing them of velvet revolution, soft regime change and months of preparation for regime change based on collaboration with foreigners. They should see the roots of post election developments not in foreign intervention but in our own ambitions, worldly goals, illusions, misjudgments and mismanagements. They should apologize to the nation for their excessive use of force against people....

All the detainees, who have often been arrested for unfounded reasons, should be released as soon as possible , except those who have damaged public properties and have resorted to destroying public buildings, particularly those took part in the riots during Ashura....

The full identify and photos of those guilty of initiating, aiding and carrying out the events that took place in Kahrizak, University of Tehran, and Sobhan Apartment Complex should be revealed to the public, and their sentences should be announced....

The judiciary should not remain indifferent in the face of extremist and sectarian supporters of the government who under the mask of Velayat-e Faghih (Guardian of the Jurisprudence) intend to eliminate all reformist and Principalist political figures and order the disruption of public gatherings.

1330 GMT: And If the Nuclear Distraction Doesn't Work (see 0925 GMT).... Press TV has some more on the interview of  Foreign Manouchehr Mottaki on state television. Having put up headlines on Mottaki's "ultimatum" for the West to accept Iran's offers on uranium enrichment within a month, the website now turns to a Mottaki speech on Friday to play the "foreign intervention" card:
Enemies are afraid of the anti-oppression movement Iran has started in the world. So, they are constantly scheming to stop it from spreading in the Muslim world and elsewhere. Vain enemy support for these scattered incidents that have recently occurred in the country on an insignificant scale, will lead to nothing.

Curiously, however, Mottaki located Iran's Number One Enemy not in the great Satanic expanse of the United States but in Britain.

1315 GMT: We've posted our second special analysis of the day on the Mousavi statement: Josh Shahryar assesses the declaration as a non-violent "watershed" for the challenge to the regime.

1105 GMT: Jailing the Activists. Two more members of Iran's Human Rights Reporters, Parisa Kakaei and Mehrdad Rahimi, members of the Committee of Human Rights Reporters, were arrested yesterday. All but two of the organisation's central committee are now detained.

1050 GMT: Connection? The Mousavi Statement and the Rezaei Intervention. There is an intriuing dimension --- possibly parallel, possibly intersecting --- to Mir Hossein Mousavi's declaration on martyrdom and compromise.

Before the Mousavi statement emerged, it was being reported that Presidential candidate Mohsen Rezaei had written to the Supreme Leader urging a political resolution as Mousavi had now allegedly accepted the post-election legitimacy of the Government.

This morning that line is still being pushed by Press TV's website, which quotes Rezaei:
Although he moved later than he should have, Mousavi has retreated from the position of denying the legitimacy of Mr. Ahmadinejad's government. That retreat as well as his constructive proposal about the role that the parliament and judiciary must play in holding the administration accountable can signal the beginning of a new unifying movement from opposing front.

Rezaei has vocally aligned himself with the regime after Ashura, in public statements and in the letter: "Wednesday demonstrations that brought out millions in a magnificent show of national unity will not only make up for the shame of the sacrilegious events of Ashura but will also play a unique role in foiling enemy plots. Once more, it was proven that Imam Hussein (PBUH) and his reviving path will be the savior of the Iranian nation." So it is clear that any accountability, in his eyes, will be limited to officials rather than reaching up to the offices of the Supreme Leader.

Two questions. First, on the nature of a compromise, at least as foretold by Rezaei: does it include an "accountability" that pushes aside President Ahmadinejad?

Second, has Rezaei's intervention been co-ordinated with Mousavi (see Mr Azadi's interpretation below on an interaction between Mousasvi and other "unity" initiatives such as that of Hashemi Rafsanjani)? Alternatively, is it meant to limit and even undermine Mousavi, especially with the Green movement, by emphasising "retreat"? Or is this a parallel initiative by conservatives/principlists which may or may not intersect with Mousavi in coming days?

0925 GMT: No, It's Nukes, Nukes, Nukes. I would not want to suggest in any way that Foreign Minister Manochehr Mottaki is trying to take everyone's eyes away from what is happening inside Iran, but the timing of this "ultimatum" (his word, not mine) on State TV this morning is interesting: the West must accept accept the Iranian counterproposal either to sell 20-percent uranium to Tehran or swap it for Iran's 3.5-percent stock.

Mottaki declared that the international community "has one month left" to accept, or Tehran will enrich uranium to the 20-percent level.

0840 GMT: We've now posted a special analysis, "A Gut Reaction To The Mousavi Statement".

0740 GMT: We awake this morning to continuing discussion of yesterday's post-Ashura statement by Mir Hossein Mousavi. We have posted the English translation, and we are working on an analysis of the political significance of Mousavi's combination of a passionate condemnation of violence and a readiness to accept martyrdom with his 5-point programme for reconciliation and resolution. In the meantime, EA's Mr Azadi offers this interpretation, which can set against my own thoughts in yesterday's updates:
What is clear is that this statement is to some extent different from Mousavi's previous statements.

Last week, we saw that not only a number of senior scholars in Iran such as Ayatollah Javadi Amoli, Makarem- Shirazi, and Mazaheri recommended all parties and groups to pursue dialogue and unity but also that Ayatollah Fadhlullah in Lebanon emphasised the importance of that dialogue and unity. The seven-point plan of [high-profile member of Parliament] Ali Motahari, the speech of Ali Larijani in Friday Prayers at Mashhad, and the request of [Presidential candidate] Mohsen Rezaei to the Supreme Leader to carefully considering Mousavi’s Statement: all show that Iranian intellectuals and scholars from all parities have come to the same conclusion that this crisis has to stop as soon as possible.

Meanwhile, there have been rumours in Iran that some private dialogue between the Leader and Hashemi Rafsanjani has taken place for resolving the current crisis. In this context, I think Mousavi's statement in a way is very similar to Rafsanjani’s plan for exiting from the current crisis.

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Reader Comments (43)

I would love nothing more than to believe that the regime's mass arrests and harsh words of last week were just so that they could negotiate "from strength" and ultimately accept the 5 points Mousavi has proposed. But I just don't see that happening.
Khamenei simply cannot allow free elections and freedom of assembly and still be able to keep his powers, and he must know that. As for private conversations with Rafs, there have been so many false alarms regarding Rafsanjani that I'm just tired of even listening to speculation on that point.
Unfortunately I suspect that this standoff has quite a ways to go.

January 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAdam


Mousavi's statement at once declares that Mousavi will not compromise on the core long-term goals of the Green Movement (democracy + human rights) but also signals a *new* willingness to compromise.

Specifically, conspicuously absent from Mousavi's list of demands in this latest statement is the original demand of the Green Movement: the annulment of the Tenth presidential election and a re-vote under the supervision of a neutral body. This contrasts starkly with the list of demands first articulated by Mousavi in his 11th statement, which unveiled his "Green Path of Hope". There, the first demand was: "Form a truth finding commission and arbitration that is acceptable to all stakeholders in the tenth presidential election and investigate the crimes and fraud that were carried out and punish all wrongdoers."

To me, this omission signals that Mousavi is ready to recognize Ahmadinejad as the President of Iran and Khamenei as the Supreme Leader, IF AND ONLY IF Khamenei agrees that going forward the politics of the Islamic Republic will be deeply altered. In particular, Mousavi's five demands can be categorized into two categories: the Islamic Republic must be a republic (e.g., accountability of gov't to people; elections free of candidate screening and vote rigging) and it must respect basic political/human rights (freedom of speech, press, assembly, thought, etc.).

In short, Mousavi might be signaling to Khamenei that "we will forget your past transgressions and come back into the fold if going forward you respect the people's vote and their human rights."

January 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnon


Thanks for this, which crosses the analysis I have just posted of "Compromise v. Martyrdom" in Mousavi's statement.


January 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterScott Lucas

Mousavi's stamements are contradictory. On the one hand he implicitly admits that he cannot control the demonstrations yet on the other hand he proposes a plan that will end the protests. The radicals on the street care nothing about his professed piety or his loyalty (real or feigned) to the legacy of Khomeini. They want death to Khamenei and would want death to Imam Khomeini if he were alive.

This plan is a sign of weakness from Mousavi and Karroubi. They are coming to the realization that they are losing control of the green mobs who are adopting more and more an MKO mentality. Mousavi also seems to recognize that the street demonstrations will lose their effectiveness as the Govt. becomes more adept and better equipped to handle riot control. In six months what strategy have the greens devoloped other than hitting the streets on designated national or religious holidays?

Mousavi has been hoping that, given his deep roots in the revolution, the system would encounter significant defections among the security and volunteer forces, thus his recent pleas to the Basij. The fact that all the rumours about army uprisings or Guard defections have proven to be nothing more than fantasies even during the "perfect storm" of Ashura have forced even a stubborn character like Mousavi to scale down his maximalist demands.

January 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSamuel

I don't see any contradiction! In the first part of the statement Mousavi correctly admits that the movement is not under his (or any other specific person) control, and in the second part he SUGGESTS a to-do list to Khamenei without giving any commitment. (He specifies this in his statement that there is no deal and Regime should do those demands unilaterally.) In fact he is saying that doing these reforms can sooth the society and as a result reduce the tensions

January 2, 2010 | Unregistered Commenteramir

Samuel, you missed the point.

Mousavi knows the whole thing has gone far beyond the elections. The grievances spilling out are about the way the current regime has run the country- people are unhappy with the economy, with the social issues.

What Mousavi said in his statement: "The administration should be held liable in front of the response to its incompetence and ineffectiveness. The administration should be held accountable for all the problems it created for the country."- more accountability, to deal with the economy the govt has ruined- and that they take responsibility for the killings and violence of the basiji after the election.

"The legislation of new and clear election laws in a way that will restore people’s trust in free and fair elections without meddling and interference."- No more Guardian council cherrypicking candidates e.g

"The release of all political prisoners and restoration of their dignity and honour."- No more jailing/harassment of ppl over political reasons.

"One of the necessities of improvement is the revocation of the ban on press and media and letting closed newspapers publish again." aka a FREE MEDIA, not one that ranks almost last in the world in Press Freedom.

All these things are EXACTLY what the people who voted for Mousavi wanted, they hoped that if they voted for him, he would be able to implement these very reforms. It's not so much whether the election is annulled or not now- because well, the Supreme Leader has shown no sign of budging. What they hoped for was that Mousavi being President, could, like Khatami, give them more freedom.

Mousavi is telling the regime all these people's grievances are the cause for the conflict. It wasn't just about the election. It was about the change they hoped to have had by voting in a reform candidate.

January 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMichelle

It's far too late for this, if there is, indeed, some previously silent influential group who has finally realized the Regime can't be saved without backing off from this path of oppression and has FINALLY begun to panic.

I can't ever interpret the multiple layers of meanings in Moussavi's statements, especially because I have to always rely on English translations. But if he is, in fact, holding out one last olive branch to the Regime, I have to agree with so many other tweeters and bloggers that he's on an irrelevant tangent, at least as far as the Greens are concerned. No-one can disagree with his 5 points. They are the bottom-line conditions for beginning an end to the civil strife in Iran. However, implementing these 5 steps may have saved this Regime 6 or even as late as 4 months ago, if the Regime had the capacity to recognize the mess they've been making and its implications. But, there was and it appears there is still nobody home there at the center of power who could see that they have been ensuring their own downfall by not taking at least these 5 simple steps.

I heard an interesting analysis the other night on CNN that the Regime, until this past month or so, has been viewing Moussavi's, Karroubi's, and Khatami's objections to the Regime's behavior as only a "family feud." That is, the highest level of leadership has seen this uprising in terms of the usual factional disputes among the ruling elites, where the people on the streets dying for the cause of freedom in Iran are seen only puppets of one part of the family or another, despite the bullshit claims of foreign involvement. This narcissitic "family feud" model is the only explanation of the Regime's continued egregiously and fundamentally stupid behavior that has made any sense to me yet.

Of course, the "family feud" model is completely outdated by now, because the groupthink that has been fostered (insisted upon) among these former Revolutionary brothers has prevented them from seeing what has actually been happening. And what has actually been happening is that they've undercut any legitimacy they might ever previously have had with the people of Iran with the way they've responded to the protests and subsequent fallout.

I'm sad that Moussavi had to sacrifice a nephew before he woke up to the fact that the Regime is so fundamentally off-track. I'm also very sorrowful for the family members of the other formerly Regime "brotherhood" who are also being arrested, harassed and murdered now. But I'm not as sad for these adverse events experienced by "family" members as I am by the terror that the people of Iran have been experiencing during this ill-begotten feud. I'm sad that some have gotten sucked in to one piece of the "family feud" or another and have been used so egregiously.

But I'm sadder and wildly raging about what has happened to the Iranian citizens who are standing up and are oh so sincere about wanting a country that will never, ever behave this way again. And who are so sincere that they have willingly been putting themselves and their childrens' lives on the line in the streets every day. It has taken a little time, but the parents my age, who were so actively involved in fighting for the democratic ideals of the 1979 Revolution, have come around to again actively supporting their childrens' involvement in this new revolution and are going to the streets, ourselves, to complete what we meant and wanted 30 years ago. Who has heard about Sohrab's mother this past week, for example??? Who are these Mourning Mothers who gather every Saturday in Lahleh Park, except the earlier or new revolutionaries this Regime has created by failing so miserably to live up to those 1979 goals? They weren't fooling around then and aren't fooling around now.

And, what can the mainstream media have been doing that they haven't seen how the June protests have changed shape and form daily, but have continued, as strong and increasingly widely endorsed as the months have gone on? Yes, the foreign media have been kicked out or prevented from reporting on what has been going on in Iran. But, seriously, there is not a day that has gone by since June 12th where information was not coming out from Iran about the progress the Greens have made every day. There has not been any pull-back from the resistance that I've seen, despite the ugly behavior of the Regime, but rather new and creative ways to protest being implemented every day, and an ever-increasing network of persons and organizations involved in resisting this Regime.

Over the past 6 months, support for a completely secular democracy has changed from being "too wild, crazy and impossible" to being "the bottom line necessity for the future." The idea of a completely secular democracy seemed to far out of reach at the beginning! For this reason, people were willing to pour their hearts and souls into campaigning for the reformist candidates, in the naive belief that reform was possible and that the reform these "family" candidates offered (Moussavi, Karroubi, Khatami) would HAVE to be better than the whacko AN/IRGC/Yazdi/Mojtabi policies that were ruining the country.

It's fine that Moussavi finally got "down to business" today. It's awesome the way that Karroubi has been steadfast in standing up for the prison abuses. Khatami outdid himself this week, too. As have the Grand Ayatollahs under attack and the miniscule number of Majlis still speaking out. These are hugely heroic acts, especially given these guys' previously well-protected positions that have thrown in the dust. They are standing up, within their own frameworks, against the tyrannical Mafia Regime.

It's an interesting time. Moussavi is very late with his 5 points. There is no hope the Regime has the ears to hear. But, God bless him, he DID speak truth to power. His/Karroubi's/Khatami's arrests and deaths will not stop the Sea of Green, because they are not the true leaders of the Greens. And, their blood is truly not any redder than the blood of the people who have already been injured and died. Duh...but it's comforting to hear them/him say that.

So, Go Greens. You know what you want, even if Moussavi and other "leaders" are a little late in catching up.

You will do fine. Just recommend you find another spokesperson in US than Trita Parsi. So far, nobody in the West is a reasonable face for you in these media terms. Advocating for Melody Moezzi, Lily Mahazery -- let's show them the REAL new face of Iran on the world stage.


January 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterShhh

Shhh, merci for your encouragement! You made my day :-)
In fact, what should the Greens expect from a government, calling them "alcoholics and go-go girls", as FP and SL's representative Ayat. Imani said in Shiraz?
As to AN's famous speech, calling them a flock of sheep (bozghaleh), I highly recommend this video of those millions, protesting in his favour:

January 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterArshama


I think you are right. After the regime so violently crushed all these protests, shut down reform newspapers, and for so long refused any compromise and associated Sea of Green with Satan and called them cattle, to suddenly climbdown and do those simple 5 things will be a major sign of weakness.

There are many hardliners who staunchly oppose any compromise, and Khamenei will probably be afraid of losing his only base of support left.

Many of the things in the 5 points are simple, reasonable requests, but the position of the regime is such that if it were to compromise on that it would be significantly weakened- let's say just freedom of press. All the propaganda, lies and incompetence of the regime would now get more exposure.

It's such that the regime can't afford to compromise, but it's lose-lose since they look unreasonable for not compromising and only further justify the call to get rid of the whole regime.

January 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMichelle

How pathetic is Samuel's insistance to convince us (and maybe himself) that the regime is prevailing in this crisis, that the green movement is finished and that the demonstrations of support for the government were genuinely spontanious and highly enthusiastic . This insistance betrays his worries to see his beloved dictatorship falls. As a known (and possibly paid) propagandist of Khameneism, Samuel, saw once Jafari as the next president, now it's Larijani. He also painted Naquib (head of the Bassij) as a genius who would save the regime!!! Advocating a better training of police forces to avoid killings, he ridiculously tries to put a varnish of humanity on a ferocious and bloody repressive appartus. Too bad, Samuel, the more you sound triumphant and optimistic the more I'm convinced that Khamenei's reign is soon coming to its end

January 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGloumdalclitch

Samuel ,,
Maybe the literature of the statment seems contridictory but the essence of it is certainly not. he is very correct that those who protest on the streets do not necessarily take orders from him or Karoubi, they are just heading toward the same destination. I think either way he is very brave considering that he has a very calm personality. lets not forget that although what mosavi and karoubi say is important but its usage is only proxy. but what rafsanjani would ever say is much more important because he is a unique individual in Iran who has many elements in his possession that can cause real problems for the Islamic republic. He has not been able to make any comments because he can not. what could he possibly say ? if he takes side with the leader then he would be going against the people and also be marked with shame in history. if he takes side with people, which seems to be his idea, then he well knows that this can well create the necessary grounds for a civil war that could have hundreds of thousands killed and he doesnt want to be responsible for this. so nothing he can say, while not saying anything would also go toward that civil confrontation with no doubt but at a slower speed.

January 2, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterartemiss

Jaras has already published a comment on Ali Motahari's statement by Mostafa Ghahremani, entitled "5+1":
While accepting points 3 to 7, i.e. starting with "Freedom of speech", it refutes the first two points, declaring that any of the above-mentioned five points are not feasible with the existing regime, even if the Greens and its leaders Moussavi and Karroubi would accept not to interfere. Ghahremani proposes forming a government of "national reconciliation" above party lines instead, warning that any delay would minimise the acceptance of such a government (by the Greens). His last sentence is revealing, echoing the IRGC commander's premonitory open letter to Khatami in 1999: "Perhaps tomorrow it will be too late."

January 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterArshama

Lots of reactions to Moussavi's call for reconciliation:
Said Montazeri, son of the late ayatollah, asks the government to be sensible and accept compromises for a national unity in an interview with SPON:,1518,669812,00.html
His interview reads somewhat different in NY Times, where he is quoted as asking AN to resign (not mentioned in the German text):
And Ezatollah Sahabi demands Iranians abroad to avoid radicalism and violence and to accept a gradual development of the protest movement within Iran:

January 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterArshama

The material from Ali Mottahari seems oddly out of date... as if it is from early this fall and much prior to Ashura or even the funeral of Montazeri.

Is there verification of the timing of this release; is it actually current?

January 2, 2010 | Unregistered Commentereyewonder


You are not properly characterizing what I wrote about Larijani. What I wrote about Larijani as president was analysis not advocacy. I have never fully trusted Larijani or his brother but I do believe him to be smart, tough and not at all a demagogue. (Unlike AN who is pious, emotional to hysterical at times, also tough, somewhat of a demagogue and not at all personally corrupt)

What is important about Larijani's actions is not that he is about to save anything but that it is symbolic of diiferent elite factions putting aside silly feuds.

January 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSamuel

Mousavi's statement reminds me a little about negotiating a contract with a seller over the purchase of a particular parcel of land. The seller attempts to impose all sorts of conditions regarding time frame, payment and condition of the property only to admit at the end of the day that he is not entirely sure that the ownership to the property is in his name.

January 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSamuel

I am puzzled as to why so many people are ready to accept PressTV's assertion that Mousavi has accepted the legitimacy of Ahmadinejad's presidency. I see absolutely no sign of that in the letter, and if anything his point requiring free and fair elections would clearly imply that Ahmadinejad's election was not free and fair.
Since PressTV is probably the most disturbingly orwellian "news" outlet I have ever seen and lies repeatedly while kissing Ahmadinejad's you-know-what, I have no idea why they are being given any credibility in this instance.

January 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAdam

Akhbar Rooz reports on the confusion caused by Moussavi's statement in the putschist camp, citing several hardline MP's, Baztab and an obscure student's organization, who sharply criticized Mohsen Rezaie's reply (already falsifying M) with the words "that the SL will not drink the cup of poison". On the other hand IRNA attacked the newspaper "Jomhuriye Eslami" for printing convenient parts of Moussavi's statement with a green headline. Hard times for headless hardliners...

January 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterArshama

Interesting that they use the words "drink the cup of poison". That is the same language used by Khomenei in his famous apology to the Iranian people for counter-invading Iraq, a move which resulted in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iranians. In that context "drink the cup of poison" referred to agreeing to a truce with Saddam Hussein even after Saddam used chemical weapons on Iranians. The implication was that even though Khomenei disagreed with it in principle 100%, he recognized that he had no choice but to agree to the Iran/Iraq truce.
This indicates to me that the first of Mousavi's points, that the regime accept responsibility for the blood that has been shed, is significant to hardliners. More importantly, it might indicate that even some hardliners are starting to recognize that some sort of agreement might be unavoidable even if they are against it in principle.

January 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAdam

Larrijani is an ambitious,cautious man who plays the craft of diplomacy and statesmanship v.well. He is admired by many western observers and he can guide the country thorugh turbulent times. the most important facet of this man is that he recongnises that Iran and the world has moved on from the moribound and dead rhetoric of the 1980 s. He is cynical but he knows the reality faicng the country.

If a compromise is not sought and accepted then yes the country will be very different by the end of t he year. Will it be more a Pol Pot dictatorship or a chaotic BALKAN style shredded remnant of Iran in the 20th century ? Time will tell. BUt the only way to seek light in th is morass would be to construct a plan whihc iran does not have and the IRGC is incapable of having due to personal rivlaries, greed and corruption within the heirarchy.Furthermore the IRGC is no Red Guards-they donot have the discipline,strategy or know how. Our metro was made by a Red Army front company, our missile technologhy is a hybrid of Chinese/North Korean technology-it is a rusty edifice. We need to modernise and cleanup before its too late...

January 2, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterteez negah
"A massive fire has broken out at Marun, Iran’s second largest oil field, situated in the country’s southwest. Despite all efforts, emergency workers are unable to contain the fire."

Interesting, could it be that Iranians are finally starting to do something about the oil fields that have been financing the regime's torture, rape, and murder of the Iranian people? More events like this could speed up the collapse of the regime drastically.

January 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAdam

Adam,if its sabotage no more needs to be said re- my comments. The situation will degenerate further if a serious compromisse/solution is not sought by within the next 2 months. No one faction can beat over rule the other in Iran of early 2010.

January 2, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterteez negah

Much like the soviet union, most industry is loss-making and meant more to keep people beholden to the state than for actual productivity. The ONLY industry that Khamenei truly depends on is Oil. Oil sabotage that could significantly reduce Iran's oil production would bring the regime down very fast so I wonder
1. How significantly this will reduce Iran's oil production
2. if this is part of a broader campaign to bring Iran's oil industry to a halt. That would be very effective.

January 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAdam

Khamenei is not committing to anything. Mousavi can make 5 point declarations for a compromise, but there must be a second party for a compromise to happen. Khamenei is not coming to the table. And mousavi is a fool to think that even if Khamenie accepts the compromise, he will actually implement the terms of the compromise. As they say in Farsi, Khamenei has eaten snakes to become a dragon.
This illigal, immoral, un-Islamic, and un-Democratic regime is not something that could be reformed from within. It is rotten to the core and must join the ash heap of history just like other like minded regimes like Hitler's, Stalin's, and Tojo's.

January 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRostam

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