Monday, June 22, 2009

Iran Update, 06/22/09

There are indisputable signs that the protests are dying down,at least for now.

While there were demonstrations today, they were limited to that same section of Tehran near the university and were much smaller in scope. Only about 200 protesters gathered in Haft-e-Tir Square before they were dispersed by the usual methods. Apparently the regime's crackdown on Saturday had an effect.

The Iranian regime admitted that there was overvoting - in other words, more ballots than registered voters - in some areas, but came up with what actually could be a plausible excuse:

The spokesman, Abbas Ali Kadkhodai, said Monday that the discrepancy did not necessarily signify a problem, because people are not required to vote in the district where they are registered.

"Some districts are intertwined geographically and population-wise, so people vote in different districts," Kadkhodai told the semi-official IRNA news agency. "Our preliminary follow-up shows that there hasn't been any major fraud. In fact, maybe it's better to say there has been no fraud at all."

The Supreme Council of Guardians is obviously going along with Khamenei so far.The most they're willing to offer Mousavi is a partial recount, rather than the new election he's demanding.

Mousavi is also coming under increasing criticism for what is seen in some quarters as encouraging violence and interference from abroad damaging Iran's reputation abroad.In an honor/shame culture like Iran's, that sort of accusation has legs.

Even more ominous for Mousavi, the Pasdaran ( Republican Guard) remains solidly behind the regime, warning that 'saboteurs' will be treated harshly.In any revolt, a clear sign it's succeeding is when the regime's security forces begin fence sitting as they wait to see which way the wind blows. That isn't happening here.

Mousavi's next gambit is a general strike, called for tomorrow.His followers are urging Iranians to wear black and carry black candles with green ribbons, symbolizing Islamist green, Mousavi's campaign color.

In a country that admits to a 12% unemployment rate ( it's likely closer to 18%) the idea of a general strike that might lead to people losing their jobs may have an appeal limited to students, who mostly don't have jobs to lose.

We'll see what develops. Anything can happen, but I think this is winding down, and Mousavi is on his way to exile or prison.

1 comment:

B.Poster said...

Actually I think the best Mousavi can hope for is prison. I don't see anyone accepting him for exile. I don't envision many governments being willing to risk running afoul of the Iranian government. A more likely fate for him is death by execution. This would be a true tradgedy if he and his followers were pro-American freedom lovers.

Unfortunately they are not. He and his followers are just as anti-American as the current regime. Even if they were to somehow prevail they would work just as hard to oppose American interests and work toward its destruction just as hard as the current regime is.

The majro world powers have to much invested in Iran and the current Iranian government to allow it to fall. Russia has large scale business interests there. China and India depend heavily on Iran for oil, as do the nations of the EU. The afore mentioned nations wield considerable influence overy America. As such, even if the American government wanted to support "freedom in Iran" they lack the ability to do so.

There probably are a few of the demonstrators who are pro-American and supportive of true freedom. For them this is a tragedy of enormous magnitude.