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Iran elections - revolution looms

(33 Posts)
monkeytrousers Sun 14-Jun-09 13:32:19

Yesterday it was thought reformist candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi had won the election after a massive 80% turnout - all the while knowing Ahmadinejad would not allow that to happen.

Ahmadinejad's contiuned threats to use nuclear technology to wipe Israel off the map is causing a 'cold war' type stand off as Israel considers preemtive strikes on nuclear development zones whilst also practicing nuclear air raid sirens on their own citizens in prepeation for nuclear attack by Iran.

DaddyJ Sun 14-Jun-09 22:01:07

Obviously I don't know for sure what exactly has happened but I would pretty much go with this comment from the times:

'Iranians I talked to were not surprised by Ahmadinejads victory. The rich elite of north tehran who speak english and appear on western media do not represent the iranian people. The masses are poor and appreciate the help Ahmadinejad has given them - 24 milllion voted for him.'

In addition it should be said that while Ahmadinejad is Iran's version of W
the other chap - Mousavi - is by no means some kind of a Ghandi/Gorbachev figure.

monkeytrousers Mon 15-Jun-09 10:16:25

Ghandi and Gorbachov? Was Gorby a Ghandi figure?

If you want to make those comparisons Mousavi was more Gorbi - he is a reformer - and that's not to forget his wife

bleh Mon 15-Jun-09 12:31:42

According to the Telegraph, a leaked Ministry of Interior memo shows that Ahmadenijad came third. According to the Timesonline, the Ayatollah is going to have a probe into the election results.

As to whether or not Ahmadenijad wins: I think it is highly likely that he did. He would get lots of support from rural areas (and the turnout was over 80% - learn from that Europe!) but then it's just as likely that the results were manipulated to keep Ahmadenijad in power. There were no international observers, and since the election, foreign journalists are being kicked out and access to international media has been very restricted.

DaddyJ Mon 15-Jun-09 13:10:59

Done some more reading today and spoke to friends who are closer to the action - the whole thing might be more interesting than I thought.
But not by much. Let's see how things develop over the next few days.

Still, Mousavi neither stands for a more peaceful Iran (i.e. Ghandi) nor a reformist path (i.e. Gorbi).

Choice between a moderate-sounding nutter
and a mad-sounding nutter. Meh.

Dunno if Mousavi's wife would have made such a big difference.
What she say that got you excited, MT?

bleh Mon 15-Jun-09 17:32:07

Here are live updates on Twitter:

policywonk Mon 15-Jun-09 18:47:22

Is anyone else unsure what to think about this 'rigged election' story?

I have no idea whether it's true or not - but it's made me realise how much I distrust the media (including things like Twitter). It would be so tremendously convenient for the West if Ahmadinejad had egregiously rigged this election and lost all democratic legitimacy in the process.

Which is not to say it's not true. It's just that I really don't know what to believe.

policywonk Mon 15-Jun-09 19:01:14

Here's what they're saying on the al-Jazeera forums

HelloBeastie Mon 15-Jun-09 19:20:31

It's pretty clear there was something odd going on, the results were released really quickly and not broken down by region I think? Plus the challenger losing on his home turf...

But I think it's possible that Ahmadinejad would've won, or come very close to it anyway, he seems to have a lot of supporters around the country, just not telegenic English-speaking ones in the city. And the rioting is not - yet - of a level that speaks of a populace completely in favour of the guy who lost.

monkeytrousers Mon 15-Jun-09 20:28:09

The revolutionary guard announced before the election that it would not tolerate any reforms that challenged the system.

Obama's speech was an attempt to bolster reformers - they know there will be little dialogue between the US and Iran while Ahmadinejad stays in power - and he will possibly bring us all to the brink of a nuclear conflict. There is a very good reason why Obama and the west wanted the reformers to win, I don't know what it has to do with convenience.

Mousavi's wife is called Zahra Rahnavard. She is a very influential academic. Her being at his side is itself revolutionary and she has a huge following in Iran.

monkeytrousers Mon 15-Jun-09 20:30:04

Beastie, it's not like here where you have a right to protest. Some people are too afraid to protest as they have been told they will be 'crushed'.

bleh Mon 15-Jun-09 20:34:45

there was a very interesting article in the Economist about Obama and Iran a number of weeks ago, basically saying that his change in Diplomatic stance caused problems for Ahmadenijad. When you had someone like Bush in power, who was so gung-ho and "Imperialist" (for wont of a better word), it was easy for the Iranian leaders continue on the "America is evil, and wants to take over" line. However, since Obama talked about wanting to open dialogue and came across as more understanding, it has been more difficult to continue with their previous stance.

This isn't as clear cut as Zimbabwe; it is very difficult to say whether or not Ahmadenijad won legitimately. But the regime seems shakier.

As for Zahra, she sounds amazing.

HelloBeastie Mon 15-Jun-09 21:24:06

I agree, monkeytrousers, it's clear that protesting in Iran can be hazardous to the health. I was just kind of comparing it to the fall of various dictatorships where the protests reached a kind of critical mass IYSWIM?
Not explaining myself brilliantly... I suppose maybe the tipping point often comes when the police/soldiers say, "Actually, we think these people have a point and we're not going to shoot them". And this doesn't seem to be reached that stage.

Also agree with bleh that the less aggression shown against a country, the less aggressive leaders they tend to elect. Sometimes. I realise there's a lot of examples that blow that one out of the water.

And [if Ahmadinejad did rig it] he avoided the usual pitfall of declaring a 97% turnout and a 99% share of the vote: thus confusing us all.

HelloBeastie Mon 15-Jun-09 21:28:41


'to have reached this stage'

This is what happens when you change your post 14 times to try and make it vaguely coherent...

monkeytrousers Tue 16-Jun-09 20:22:24

monkeytrousers Tue 16-Jun-09 20:27:05

also Times profile of Mousavi

How to help Iran's reformers help themselves

MaggieTulliver Wed 17-Jun-09 21:16:47

I've been watching this unfold on twitter. The who situation is very distrubing. The people of Iran are being very very brave indeed.

DaddyJ Mon 22-Jun-09 15:53:16

Just found this blog with lots of videos (some gruesome - CAREFUL!) from inside Iran.

Will comment later.

monkeytrousers Fri 26-Jun-09 18:25:01

monkeytrousers Sat 27-Jun-09 11:59:52

DaddyJ, this piece covers some of your concerns (don't be put off by the author)

foxytocin Sat 27-Jun-09 12:03:44

"According to the Telegraph, a leaked Ministry of Interior memo shows that Ahmadenijad came third."

if Ahmad came 3rd, is that to suggest he got 8% of the vote? hmm

monkeytrousers Sun 28-Jun-09 12:22:29

Staff at British embassy arrested

DaddyJ Sun 28-Jun-09 17:55:23 made me read Mad Mel's moronic musings
admittedly it's an interesting article, ta MT

monkeytrousers Thu 02-Jul-09 21:07:33


Day 18

DaddyJ Thu 02-Jul-09 21:17:12

it's grim
purges are probably going to start in earnest soon

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