Iran Election Guide

Donate to EAWV

Or, click to learn more



Iran Archive: Latest on Detained US Hiker Sarah Shourd (11 September)


Iran: Mousavi Meeting with Reformists (30 September)

UPDATED Iran: So What’s This “National Unity Plan”?
The Latest from Iran (30 September): Confusion

Receive our latest updates by email or RSS SUBSCRIBE TO OUR FEED
Buy Us A Cup of Coffee? Help Enduring America Expand Its Coverage and Analysis

MOUSAVI4We have been commenting throughout the day on Mir Hossein Mousavi's meeting with the reformist Imam Khomeini faction, including the possible connection with a "National Unity Plan" and Mousavi's abandonment of a political opposition for a "social movement" working inside the system. The Facebook page connected with Mousavi has now translated the Parleman News article on the meeting:

According to Parleman News, in a meeting with the central council members of the minority faction of the Parliament (reformist), Mir Hossein Mousavi stressed that today more than ever the need for national unity is felt by the people and the borders that had divided the people into different groups are no longer valid. He added:

The current condition of the country is an opportunity that, if understood and guided correctly, could maximise the national understanding. The Green movement that has been expanding and growing deeper since the election has created these special situations. Those who seek their survival in the people’s division had created these false borders among the people that had caused some people to turn their back to the establishment and even to the society, but today because of the changes this [Green] Movement has made, even those people are interested in the fate of their county. The fact that people are kinder and more tolerant to each other is one of the outcomes of this movement that if is taken advantage of could reduce the gaps and strengthen the national unity.

Mousavi, regarding the “Green Path of Hope” organisation, said, "In my opinion in the current situation, there are many parties and organisation that their existence is important and appreciated; but forming a new party cannot add to the country's existing capacities, while strengthening the cores of the social movement will create new capacities and improve the people’s social movement.”

Pointing out that they had found this experience very successful from the very beginning of the election campaign under the slogan of “Every Iranian is a staff”; he said, “Today a cyber network has developed that, with the lack of [standard] media, is performing very effectively. The social cores that are active behind this cyber network have less vulnerability, and members of these cores have given the movement a dynamic nature which has made us more hopeful about the effectiveness of this network.”

The candidate supported by the majority of reformists in the tenth Presidential election reminded [the meeting], “For instance although there was no official announcement made for the Qods Day, we witnessed this massive presence in the Qods Day rallies, and this was despite the fact that many families were concerned and had prevented their children from taking to the streets due to the threats and the events that had happened in the past three months. So this was a result of the effectiveness of this network.”

Mousavi, emphasising the fact that people are very sensitive to the words and actions of the public officials and that no word or action will be unnoticed, addressed all who think their words and opinions are effective in society. He advised them to be cautious with their words and actions, to not fuel the violent atmosphere in the society and to be considerate to what people are sensitive. He pointed out that today people’s response to the mistakes made by these officials is very fast, while expressing his concerns over repeated mistakes made in this matter.

He said that some officials, based on their wrong analysis, are preparing conditions that could impose higher costs for the country and added, “Some events such as what happened in the Kahrizak Prison [where prisoners were tortured, raped and some even were killed] and the illegal behaviours with the detainees as well as the harsh confrontations with the students, have made the social environment very intense. It is vital for everyone to prevent more radicalism in the society by patience and especially by avoiding unwanted confrontations from security and military forces.”

The Prime Minister during Imam Khomeini’s era also said:
The opposition movement of the people is much more devoted to the national interests than the public officials are. Foreign countries by relying on the lack of effectiveness of the officials are looking forward to getting points from our country. We should put defending the national interests at the front of our concerns. Therefore, we cannot agree to the sanction of our country and the discard of our nation’s rights by other countries and we should not let the provocative behaviours [of some officials] impose more costs on our people.

Mousavi adde,: “Today, those with clear indications of predisposition toward westerners and foreigners in their past actions accuse us of acting in the benefit of foreigners and try to makeup allegations in order to create an environment of pressure, but these actions will not have any benefits for them and I am hopeful that along these bad deeds and accusations some wisdom may also exists.”

He also pointed out the restricted and biased media’s environment in the country said:
It is possible that a portion of the public under the influence of false and massive propaganda does not have a correct and complete understanding of the goals and demands of the movement. There is also the concern that people show interest in the media outside the country in order to have access to the truth and the correct information. In such circumstance, the actions of all scholars, intellectuals and experts in educating the public and explaining the country’s situation and events are a national duty that can alleviate the wrong, biased and anti-national-interest actions of IRIB [Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting].

Mousavi continued:
Today the unified emphasis across the nation for the complete implementation of the constitution is an effective and successful solution. The constitution is the everlasting inheritance of Imam [Khomeini], the Martyrs and our national identity that holds lots of [unutilized] capacities to overcome the current crisis that we should have special emphasis on these capacities and utilizing them as the single solution to resolve the problems in the country.

At the end Mousavi stressed that the Parliament and especially the minority fraction (reformist) has a very influential role in today’s situation of the country that can be very effective in solving country’s problems and hoped that Parliament acts appropriate to its important role in these critical conditions.

UPDATED Iran: So What's This "National Unity Plan"?

The Latest from Iran (29 September): The Forthcoming Test?

Receive our latest updates by email or RSS SUBSCRIBE TO OUR FEED
Buy Us A Cup of Coffee? Help Enduring America Expand Its Coverage and Analysis

IRAN FLAGUPDATE 1800 GMT: A reader usefully interjects, "I would like to just remind you that "The Unity Plan' is not from Rafsanjani and it is from 'Pro-Government people seeking truce.'"

It's a fair point, but the reason that this Plan was linked to Rafsanjani was because of widespread chatter, some of it fuelled by Rafsanjani allies, that the former President was the driving force behind the initiative for political reconciliation. Mehdi Karroubi's letter, published in a separate entry, also works from that assumption.

The overriding point is that we don't know Rafsanjani's role in this plan.

UPDATE 1650 GMT: My apologies for a slip-up in the previous entry. There are only eight names listed for the 9-member committee. That is because the 9th spot is for a representative of "political opposition (Mousavi)"

UPDATE 0650 GMT: The names of the proposed nine members of the top Committee in the "draft" of the Plan: Ayatollah Mahdavi Kani (“hard-line” cleric), Ayatollah Hashemi Shahroudi (former head of Judiciary), Ali Akbar Velayati (former Foreign Minister), Aboutorabi Fard (Deputy Parliament Speaker), Mahmoud Doai (Head of Etalaat News and former Ambassador to Iraq), Hassan Rohani (Rafsanjani stalwart), Masih Mohajeri (editor of Jomhuri Eslami newspaper), Habibollah Asgharowladi (leader of the Motalefeh Party).

It is claimed that the "draft" was written by Habibollah Asgaroladi, M.Mirsalim, M.Bahonar (Deputy Parliament Speaker), M.Nabavi, H.Mozafar, Gholam-Ali Haddad-Adel (former Parliament Speaker).

UPDATE 30 September 0640 GMT: No further political developments but events at Fars News indicate that this was an early draft of a plan which the paper, either through poor journalism or an attempt to cause mischief, initially presented as a final, agreed proposal. After posting and then withdrawing several stories overnight, Fars eventually put up a version which explicitly refers to the Plan --- similar in its provisions to what we set out below --- as a "draft".

URGENT UPDATE 2015 GMT: There have been curious twists in the story. Fars had now modified its story of the document, saying that it is a "draft" from the Expediency Council. There is no date, no stamp, and no signature. (Note: within the last 30 minutes, the modified Fars story has been pulled from the website.)

This would still match up with a narrative, prominent in recent days, that the Expediency Council, chaired by Rafsanjani, had taken the initiative in producing a plan for political resolution to be considered by the Assembly of Experts. Yet, assuming the document is authentic, the story stops there. What happened to it when it was considered by the Assembly? Is the Expediency Council in charge of the process? What role does the Supreme Leader play in this political game?

Yet, the more one goes into the detail of the document, the more tenuous even this scenario becomes. The plan of a 9-person committee overseeing subcommittees to consider issues from electoral fraud to abuse of detainees is cumbersome, to say the least, but the prospects are almost fantastic. Would this complex set of committee and subcommittees dare overturn the Guardian Council's upholding of the original Presidential result or threaten widespread prosecution of security forces or government officials?

Even more striking is the document's deliberate slight of certain political figures. The repeated references to the inclusion of a representative from an "opposition candidate" (singular, not plural) and the equally repetitive naming of Mir Hossein Mousavi could not be clearer in its intent to split the Green opposition. So, if this is a plan for "National Unity", it rests upon a blunt attempt to cause disunity.

Indeed, the snub of Mehdi Karroubi (and, beyond the Green movement, Mohsen Rezaei) is so blatant that the document has a feel of "disinformation". However, if it were a false plan, one would expect it to be disowned very quickly by Mir Hossein Mousavi and, possibly, Rafsanjani. So far neither has spoken.

The other leading possibility is that this is an early draft of a plan floated by someone or some group. But whom? There the trail stops, for now.

What can be said tonight is that a purported plan for political resolution has actually provoked more division. The draft may explain why Karroubi wrote his second letter to Rafsanjani yesterday and why the tone was sharply critical. In effect, "Hashemi, why have you betrayed us?", both with a plan dividing the opposition (arguably co-opting Mousavi into the "establishment") and with the conversion of the Assembly of Experts into a body to close ranks against legitimate protest.

We're working on a full analysis of the National Unity Plan, as printed in Fars News this afternoon, but to be honest, it is so potentially dramatic in its provisions that we need time to work through the dynamics. So here's how our snap analysis unfolded. If you follow the path, you'll probably see that we think there is a convergence of forces which brings Mir Hossein Mousavi into the "acceptable" negotiations and shuts out Mehdi Karroubi. What this means for the Supreme Leader (how much influence has he lost by handing over "resolution" to a Truth Commission?) and President Ahmadinejad (is the Plan/Commission with him or against him?) is far less certain:

1550 GMT: We are working on an analysis of the "National Unity Plan" published in Fars News this afternoon but here's the headline:

The authors, who call themselves the delsoozan ("those whose hearts are aching" over the post-election conflict) have declared, "Let's join hands and fix the nezam (system)." Because of "the rise of some uncertainties in the political arena", the "elders and devotees...after several meetings have decided a plan for national unity that would enable a --- way out of the present situation".

The plan appears to be inclusive in its recommendation for a "national unity committee", with representatives from all parties including one from Mir Hossein Mousavi's campaign.

1610 GMT: Sting in the Detail. But, if the National Unity Plan proposes a committee with at least one representative from the Green opposition, it also offers a big-time slap in the face to somebody:

In reality, what was witnessed after the elections was a vast effort and movement of a political entity that was against the legal institutions and pillars of the system. This went as far as the fact that during Qods Day, the sayings of the Imam and the Revolution went under attack by this group.

So was this destructive "political entity" the Green Wave?

1615 GMT: Another Cryptic Passage from the Plan. "Truth seeking commission must put the word 'end' to the current situation in the country."

1619 GMT: And, for what's it worth, an EA correspondent answers the question racing around the Internet, "Is This Rafsanjani's Plan?": "It's a Hashemi-laden letter. You can almost see his fingerprints."

1622 GMT: The Proposed Truth Commission? One representative of the marjas [senior clerics], one representative from Assembly of Experts, one representative from Interior Ministry, one rep from Majlis [Parliament], one representative from Judiciary, one representative from Expediency Council, one representative from Guardian Council, one representative from the "House of Parties", and one representative of the "protesting candidate (Mousavi)".

1628 GMT: So Who Got Left Out of the Plan? Take a look at that Commission membership again. No representative of the "other" defeated Presidential candidates, Mohsen Rezaei and Mehdi Karroubi.

1635 GMT: And while you're getting your heads around Who's In, Who's Out and Why, consider this from an EA correspondent: "The mere acceptance of this Plan by Supreme Leader would be quite something as he would have to implictly recognise that he has not been able and will not be able to cope with the situation alone and so he needs ad hoc help from 'friends and family'."

Media End-Times: Glenn Beck Decides to Interpret Iran

The Latest from Iran (30 September): Confusion

Receive our latest updates by email or RSS SUBSCRIBE TO OUR FEED
Buy Us A Cup of Coffee? Help Enduring America Expand Its Coverage and Analysis

Words cannot describe the experience of watching Fox's man-over-the-edge and an "expert" with a large tie explain how Shi'a Islam, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and the 12th Imam add up to genocide and nuclear annihiliation. However, I await Beck's next tin-hat analysis: "Why Pre-Milliennialist Christians Are Waving Hello to the Apocalypse".

(Did the Expert with a Tie really say, "Jesus forces people to convert [to Islam] or die"? And has he coined the term for the next social movement: "Secret Closet Twelver"?)


The Latest from Iran (30 September): Confusion

NEW Iran: Mousavi Meeting with Reformists (30 September)
Iran: Karroubi Letter to Rafsanjani (27 September)
NEW Video/Transcript: “Will Israel Attack Iran?”
Iran Top-Secret: The President’s Gmail Account
Iran’s Nuclear Programme: Obama Backs Himself into a Corner
UPDATED Iran: So What’s This “National Unity Plan”?

The Latest from Iran (29 September): The Forthcoming Test?

Receive our latest updates by email or RSS SUBSCRIBE TO OUR FEED
Buy Us A Cup of Coffee? Help Enduring America Expand Its Coverage and Analysis

IRAN GREEN2040 GMT: We now have an English translation of the Mousavi meeting with the reformists, posted in a separate entry.

1910 GMT: Parleman News has updated and extended its summary of the Mousavi meeting with reformist faction Imam Khomeini Line. The story reiterates the significant shift in Mousavi's approach that we have noted (1240 GMT, 1615 GMT, 1800 GMT).

1900 GMT: Overseas Mystery of Night. Why is Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki in Washington? I presume it's to visit the Smithsonian Institution and maybe the National Art Gallery, since the State Department denies he is seeing US officials.

The party line is that Mottaki, having been in New York for the United Nations meeting, is visiting the Iranian Interests Section at the Pakistan Embassy. No explanation, however, of what he has been doing in the several days after the UN gathering. (AP has an English summary.)

1815 GMT: Another Clue to the Plan? From Mehr News:
Grand Ayatollah Nasser Makarem Shirazi has called for the establishment of a committee comprised of MPs and other prominent national figures that would be tasked with attempting to end the political disputes in society.

“A committee comprised of MPs and certain elite people outside the Majlis should… create friendship between political groupings so that these disputes end. The continuation of these deputes is not in our country’s interests,” he told seminary students and religious figures at meeting in Qom on Wednesday.

1800 GMT: This.  Could. Be. Huge. Consider this extract from Mir Hossein Mousavi's statement to reformists, posted on the Facebook page linked to him: "Forming a new party cannot add to countries existing capacities, while strengthening the cores of the social movement will create new capacities and improve the movement."

Throughout the summer, Mousavi talked of forming a new political movement (he didn't call it a "party", since that would have to be licensed by Iranian authorities). Even in his recent promulgation of The Green Path of Hope as a "social movement", he implied that it would have a political role challenging the Ahmadinejad Government.

Now he has abandoned that approach, one presumes, because he has chosen to work with the Plan promoted by institutions within the system that he was challenging up to this week.

1615 GMT: Quiet afternoon but this further summary of Mousavi's message to reformists sets off a bell: "Today, national unity is of outmost importance."

Now, of course, all politicians are going to make calls for unity but does this mean that, whether or not a National Unity Plan has been agreed, Mousavi is going to work with an "establisment" committee for a political accommodation?

1300 GMT: The reformist Imam Khomeini Line, which met Mir Hossein Mousavi yesterday (see 1240 GMT), will also be meeting Hashemi Rafsanjani and Mohammad Khatami. (But what about Karroubi?)

1254 GMT: The Movement Cannot Be Silenced. A reader kindly directs us to a blog by Persian Umpire on the spread of information inside Iran. Amidst interesting notes such as "BBC Persian is...gobbling up the Voice of America audience because of superior programming and better news coverage", the author sets out this important observation:
We see your tweets, pics, posts, leaks, walls, rumors, articles, flames, trolls, messages of support, slogans, comments, funnies, videos, and everything else you produce. Let us take Twitter which is actually an important source for us, especially for breaking news even if it is happening in Iran. Case in point: this week’s student protests. For those who do not have accounts, there are websites that broadcast the public tweets from any hashtag. Surprisingly some of these sites are not yet filtered. In cases where filtering is in place, we use proxies to get to this information. Also, there are RSS feed readers that we can use to get to your messages through web-based mail services and thus bypassing the filters in a different way. There is no way to block us in, other than cutting the internet altogether, and the government cannot do that easily as some of the crucial internal communications, such as banking, depends on it. If they ever decide to do this, it will take a campaign of outlawing and phasing out residential connections. Even in this case we still have internet at work, and in the end, long-distance dial-up. If I have to pay a $200 phone bill per month to read what you write, so be it.

He/she adds, "How does a minority crawling the nooks and crannies of the internet, let a majority know about it? Information gathered from websites is first disseminated through chat and email, and then word-of-mouth does what it does best."

1250 GMT: Nice to see that The New York Times hasn't been completely diverted by the nuclear issue. Nazila Fathi writes today about Tuesday's second set of universities protests, in particular the demonstrations at Sharif University.

1245 GMT: Reformist MP Darius Ghanbari has criticised the Parliamentary fact-finding committee for avoiding the issues of Kahrizak Prison and secret burials, as well as the points in Mehdi Karroubi's letter, in their unclassified report.

1240 GMT: The Plan in Action? Parleman News has published an account of a meeting between Mir Hossein Mousavi and the reformist Imam Khomeini Line. Mousavi's message? "Greens are now within the system."

1230 GMT: We've posted the English translation of Mehdi Karroubi's second letter to Hashemi Rafsanjani. To say it's critical is an understatement; Karroubi is calling out the former President for not backing demands for justice and reform.

1050 GMT: It is reported that leading reformist Saeed Hajjarian was released this morning from Evin Prison.

1045 GMT: Police representatives have announced that 10 officers have been arrested in connection with claims of detainee abuse at Kahrizak Prison.

1030 GMT: The intrigue on the "National Unity Plan" (see our separate entry) gets stranger. Fars claimed last night that Assembly of Experts member Ayatollah Haeri-Shirazi had denounced talk of a Plan being brought to the Assembly as a "lie". Haeri-Shirazi's office this morning issues a statement denying any such discussion. Fars News then brings out the transcript and the audio file of the conversation.

1000 GMT: Telling Half the Story. CNN splashes the headline, "IAEA: Iran broke law by not revealing nuclear facility", on an interview with the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Mohammad El Baradei. He says:
Iran was supposed to inform us on the day it was decided to construct the facility. They have not done that. They are saying that this was meant to be a back-up facility in case we were attacked and so they could not tell us earlier on.

Nonetheless, they have been on the wrong side of the law, you know in so far as informing the agency about the construction and as you have seen it, it has created concern in the international community.

Here, however, is the El Baradei comment that does not get a headline and only
a reference near the bottom of the article:
Whether they have done some weaponization studies as was claimed is still an outstanding issue. But I have not seen any credible evidence to suggest that Iran has an ongoing nuclear program today.

0900 GMT: Confirmation of reports from earlier this week: post-election detainee Alireza Eshraghi has been sentenced to 5 1/2 years in prison for acts against national security by "insulting the Supreme Leader and President" and attending illegal gatherings.

0830 GMT: One other report which emerged last night. The Iranian Government is still considering the temporary closure of universities because of "swine flu".

0820 GMT: A morning to re-assess what has happened in the last 24 hours, especially with the purported "National Unity Plan". Latest indications are that the plan, which emerged last night, is actually an early draft, so it raises more questions than answers. We've got up-to-the-minute analysis in a separate entry.

The other event on the radar is tomorrow's meeting between Iran and the "5+1" powers in Geneva on Tehran's nuclear programme. Media fury continues in the US, but the Obama Administration is now far more cautious in its statements. In particular, it appears that the American attempt to "negotiate from strength" through the sanctions threat is running into difficulties. We've got the latest in another entry.

Finally, for those who prefer the "real" story, Enduring America has gotten access to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's Gmail account.