Revolution in Iran

Thoughts on and about the Iranian Revolution

Posts Tagged ‘Freedom’

What did Rafsanjani say at this Friday’s prayer?

Posted by iranrevolution on July 17, 2009

The Friday prayer is barely over. As I listen to live radio from the US, people calling in and furiously pouring their anger at Rafsanjani, I am thinking that the critic is unbalanced.

Let me be clear, on a personal level, I utterly despise this person. However, let us see what the man actually did say on this sermon. I am using my twitter messages to write this post, so it might be fragmental.

First of all he opened his sermon by saying “God will judge you, don’t be proud” and further “God swears on the pen and what men write. Writing and humanity are the same.” He went on to talk of peoples’ rights. On this he orated for a very long time, telling stories from the time of Muhammad. Then he mentioned the 7th imam and the fact that he was jailed and tortured and finally was martyred in jail.

I read in this in the current context a reference to all the people who are currently jailed, tortured and martyred in Evin and other prisons. This is surely no coincidence.

Now he gets to the election itself saying that it started well with the debates on the state media and that people were hopeful that there would be a free election and therefore the turnout was higher than ever. He said that people should be thanked for their participation. He continued to say that regretfully this situation did not last till after the election.

Then he gets to the point when he is crediting himself for being close to Khomeini and insisting that Khomeini, just like the prophet always insisted that it is the will of the people that is important. That it is the people who should govern. That if we have the people, then we have everything and that is why he was so quick to appoint Bazargan as prime minister. He continues to tell how people defeated the regime of shah on the streets.

At this point I wondered if he is telling Khamenei that if his government is not by people then he too will be defeated by the people on the streets. Then he tells a story about the prophet Muhammad. The prophet had told the first Imam, Imam Ali, that if people don’t want you to be their leader, even though you are chosen by God, then let them do as they please. This has a pivotal message. He is in other words saying that a government that is not liked by people should resign. Am I reading too much in this? I think not, because he continues to say that according to the constitution everything is from the people – even the supreme leader who is chosen by the assembly of experts who in turn is chosen by the people. Observe that Rafsanjani is in fact the head of this assembly.

Rafsanjani goes on to talk about Iran being both a republic and Islamic. If not Islamic then we go astray and if not republic then it is not practical and it is not Islamic. Then he criticizes the state media for siding with one candidate. He says that today everyone is bitter, that everyone is a loser and that we need unity today and that he finally has some suggestions to resolve the situation.

Rafsanjani’s suggestions are as follows:

  1. We must all abide by the law
  2. We must create an atmosphere where all parties are allowed to express themselves, here are the state media of great importance
  3. Prisoners must be freed [my note: Did he say political prisoners? I am not sure I heard that. However he is of course refereeing to recently imprisoned protesters, writers, journalist, bloggers and political figures]
  4. We must console the injured and the families who have suffered losses.
  5. We must not limit media that work within the framework of law

He finishes by talking about the armed forces and basically asking them to cool down.

By now I am hearing that there are demonstrations all over the town. I only hope noone gets hurt. Someone calls in and says that people don’t really care about what Rafsanjani had to say. They are just using this opportunity to come out and protest. Perhaps, this was a good enough reason to go and listen to this old man of revolution.

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Death to dictator

Posted by iranrevolution on June 22, 2009

So where do we go from here? Yesterday was quieter on the streets of Tehran than it has been for days. The thugs, getting the go ahead from Khamenei, showed their true ugly faces and insulted, injured, imprisoned and killed our beloved sisters and brothers with impunity.

Yesterday was the time to assess the situation and the achievements made so far. It was time to regroup, to reorganize and to deliberately decide our next move.

Make no mistake, the basij militia on the streets is not a show of force, it is a true show of weakness. The regime is faltering; its inner circles are at each others throats. Grand Ayatollahs are openly criticizing the so called supreme leader. Rafsanjani’s own relatives are apprehended. The speaker of the parliament voices discontent and even the Guardian Council has admitted that in 50 cities the number of votes has been more than 100% in a direct rebuff to Khamenei’s suggestion that the election has been fair.

We need to keep the momentum up, to have the upper hand, to be the leading player in this battle for achieving our inalienable right to be free, to dictate the rules and to decide what our next step shall be. We must make this regime to counter our moves and not vice versa, we need to lead, to be strong. We must not flinch nor blink; we must stand united and be sure within ourselves, in our depths and in our hearts that the victory is in sight.

I talk to friends in Tehran each morning and each time I hear the same message. The cries of ‘Allahu Akbar’ and ‘Death to dictator’ are louder each passing night. This my fellow countrymen is the key to victory, stand united and let the entire city now that you are not alone, that your neighbours are not alone, that you are a majority, that you stand together and that you are ready to walk the line. Smile and think of how Khamenei feels in his bunker as he hears your cries for freedom. Instil fear in the hearts of your basij opponents and soon, reminiscent to the last revolution, the basij will disperse like dandelions in wind and your brothers in armed forces will join you in this new Iranian revolution. Victory is indeed in sight.

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A Young Girl Shot Dead

Posted by iranrevolution on June 20, 2009

WARNING: The link in this post is graphic and gruesome.

I am sitting in the comfort of my study and writing blogs which in a very small way I hope will contribute in toppling the oppressive regime of Iran. I am asking my fellow countrymen to go out on the streets and ask for what should be their birthright, freedom.

But as I watch in horror and disbelief the last moments of a young girl dying in the streets of Tehran I wonder if we are entitled to ask our fellow countrymen to become martyrs so that the rest of us can once again be free. Yes I have doubts, great doubts. I am, like so many of my fellow countrymen sick and tired of a nondemocratic autocratic repressive regime that discredits Iran in the world and deprives its citizens from basic human rights. Dare I utter a simple truth: We all want to live our lives freely! This should be a right given to every human being by birth. There should not be a price to pay for being free. There should not be! Still, in Iran today, we are witnessing the indiscriminate killings of our fellow countrymen for the crime of being freedom lovers. And I am wondering, do I want to see even one more of my beloved countrymen to fall victim by the hands of this evil, vicious and cruel regime and its foot soldiers? Am I in a way responsible for the death of this girl?

It is a truly sad day for all of us. Please, never ever forget her. Promise to remember her as if she was your sister.

With a heavy heart…

Update 2009-06-22

Some people have suggested that this video is a fake. In a way I wished that these people were right but I am sad to say that the girl in this video, Neda Agha Soltan was indeed shot by the Basij and that the video clip is authentic. BBC Persian interviewed Neda’s fiancé and some of the initial information, such as the man in blue being Neda’s father is corrected. That man is in fact Neda’s teacher. Neda is now buried at Behesht Zahra cemetery. May she rest in peace. Her lot is 32 41 257.

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Coup d’état vs Revolution in Iran

Posted by iranrevolution on June 16, 2009

For the past few days I have been unable to write anything at all. I have been pinned in front of my computer, reading news, looking at images and clips, twitting and retwitting. Iran, its election, the attempted coup d’état and the popular reaction has preoccupied me completely.

I was only a young boy when the last great revolution happened. I can clearly remember the charged atmosphere, the demonstrations, the slogans, the fear and the excitement. I even partook in one of those huge demonstrations against the Shah; a sea of people chanting death to the Shah. I am not quite sure what I thought of it all back then. It must have felt exciting, exhilarating and at the same time, from my point of view, lacking meaning and purpose, the implications of what we were doing unknown. Back then, the Shah was not just a king, he was almost a God. I remember kids speculating if he ever went to the loo and if he did, did he wipe his own ass? Shah responded by different means, he declared marshal law and at times his soldiers would fire indiscriminately into the crowd, he apologised to the people and said that he understood their legitimate calls for democratic reforms, he even appointed a former opposition figure as prime minister but that too was too late. He fled the country; Khomeini returned to Iran from exile and 10 days after that, the regime of Shah was gone for ever.

Thirty years on, one revolution, an eight year war with almost a million casualties, thousands of political activist jailed and executed, personal freedoms curtailed, millions of Iranians exiled or self exiled, the revolution now finally seems to have come a full circle.

As each night people are shouting God is great on their rooftops, reminiscent of the nights before the first revolution, and as they gather in their million to protest against the regime in precisely the same street as I once did in my youth, I wonder how this one will end. Seven people died yesterday by the hand of the basij, the conservative paramilitary group close to current president Ahmadinejad, I hope that they are the last to be killed by this regime. I hope one day very soon, the people of Iran can proudly declare that they live in a true democracy, that the revolution they started thirty years ago, the last great revolution, has finally succeeded.

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