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Revolution Starting in Iran!

by James Denison / June 16, 2009 2:32 AM PDT
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It may be a mixed blessing ...
by Bill Osler / June 16, 2009 7:25 AM PDT

Of course it is always better for populations to be engaged in real democracy, and of course the masses should demand their votes be counted.

And of course the vote was fraudulent. One report I read said that despite the heavy turnout that forced polling stations to stay open hours after their scheduled closing times and despite the fact that the ballots (all 40 million of them) had to be counted by hand, the official victory was announced before some of the polling stations had even closed. That was from an NPR report this evening. No link yet.

OTOH, mass demonstrations don't always result in change (think Tiananmen Square) and I'm not sure that chaos in a semi-nuclear nation is a good thing.

The Ayatollahs are a long way from giving up power.

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I'm hoping it will be like Romania
by James Denison / June 16, 2009 8:12 AM PDT

Be nice if their hostage taking president ends up a hostage himself now decades later. Remember the Carter years? There's a whole new, younger generation there now.

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You do realize there is little difference...
by grimgraphix / June 16, 2009 1:17 PM PDT

... between Ahmadinejad and Mousavi, don't you? Both are conservative leaders. In fact Mousavi was Prime Minister during the Iran / Iraq wars during the 1980's.

The likelihood that some sea change in Iran's theocracy style government will occur, just because Mousavi is publicly contesting Ahmadinejad's efforts to steal an election... is slim to none.

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If they get bogged down in their own Civil War
by James Denison / June 16, 2009 3:56 PM PDT

I see that as better for the world if they destroy each other in the process. It will also draw terrorist back to Iran to choose sides in the fighting. It would hopefully put a crimp in their current support of terrorism around the world. Let them self destruct.

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The good news Dr. Bill is that the ayatollahs are disunited
by Ziks511 / June 18, 2009 12:05 PM PDT

As is "The Council of the Wise" who can remove politicians from power and from the parliament. Additionally according to the BBC the reason we are seeing such organized protests is that the people behind them are the same people who wanted Khomeni to return and organized those protests, and they are not nearly as "conservative" as Khomeni or Muhammed Ali Khameni who is the Supreme Leader. He wasn't supposed to be, there was another Ayatollah who was Khomeni's successor, and he has been under house arrest since Khameni took power. He is also opposed to the extreme Conservatism of the current administration.
Additionally the cleric who has guided the rise of Ahmadinejad is isolated with a few other hyper religious and politically adventurous clerics.
The nature of the outcome is still in the balance, whether the moderates are as moderate as we think is a large question. Nevertheless the majority of all Iranians are under 30 which many of whom are extremely technologically savvy, hence all the pictures coming up. There is another enormous demonstration scheduled for Saturday which is already here at 9 AM EDST as I write this at 10 PM.


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The strange thing is
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / June 16, 2009 8:02 PM PDT

that Ahmadinejad most likely was the clear winner of their elections anyway.

With the opposition vote split between 2 or 3 other candidates, it was always going to be hard for any of them to amass enough votes to challenge Ahmadinejad.

I don't know how the election works in Iran, but I suppose that if candidates needed at least 50% of the vote to be declared winner, then there may have been a run-off between the two candidates who polled the most votes, so perhaps that is why Ahmadinejad declared himself so early, and with such a majority.


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The Ayatollah called the election results a "miracle"
by Josh K / June 19, 2009 12:27 AM PDT
In reply to: The strange thing is

He may be right. In some areas voter turnout was as much as 140%!

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hee hee hee hee!!!
by James Denison / June 19, 2009 1:00 AM PDT

I'd love to see that printed in the main stream press.

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He has also blamed the UK for all the unrest.
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / June 19, 2009 6:05 AM PDT

Guess we can expect a few bombs and other little goodies over here soon.


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An interesting point about the unrest ...
by Bill Osler / June 19, 2009 6:39 AM PDT

We have a hard time getting much news out of Iran, and a good bit of the stuff we see on TV or in the papers is second hand. IOW, journalists are quoting unverified sources inside the country.

Most of the news that is leaking out seems to be coming from relatively young, tech-savvy Iranians. I wonder how representative they are of the population as a whole? There was an interesting discussion of some of the difficulties on NPR this AM but I don't remember which show it was so I don't have a link.

I don't doubt that there have been protests. I just wonder whether the unrest runs as deep as some of us hope. Also, as has already been observed, it is not clear that ANY of the candidates would be all that likely to make dramatic changes in government policy. The ruling council wouldn't let a real reformer run.

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You've got it exactly Mark. Run off expected but not in the
by Ziks511 / June 19, 2009 2:41 PM PDT
In reply to: The strange thing is

way it was carried out. Likelihood would have been a collection of the disaffected voting against Ahmadinehad and Mousavi in pawer. Mousavi has several strong Ayatollahs behind him, but whether there would have been a perceptible shift for us westerners to see is debatable.

What is interesting and powerful is the indication to the Ayatollahs and other clerics that they have no control over the young and technically adept in the country. Change may not come this year, but it's devinitely in the air. Since Khameni has vowed to attack any demonstrations happening now around 11:44 AM Saturday this could get very ugly since there's no fool like an old Iranian cleric as demonstrated by the previous Ayatollah Khomeini. Should that happen, I suspect the whole thing will bust open until the Grand Council deposes him and moves to a more moderate person. None of that means we'll be any happier necessarily, but may be a baby-step on the road to democracy for Iran. Persian is an Indo European langurage like all of Europe (almost) and is to be translated on Google according to an announcement yesterday.

Apparently, come what come may, the Revolution will be televised, and all one can do is praise the young in Iran for their courage and principles.


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reply to: Revolution Starting in Iran!
by caktus / June 18, 2009 5:55 AM PDT

Let's hope they get it right this time.

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It's my understanding that they
by Diana Forum moderator / June 18, 2009 11:47 AM PDT

don't want to change the revolution, just the management.


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I sure hope so.
by James Denison / June 18, 2009 4:23 PM PDT

Both for them and for us.

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