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Guardian: Iran elections: Khamenei warns protesters to stay off streets

Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, issued a stern warning to opponents today to stay off the streets as he denied claims that last week's elections had been rigged.

In an uncompromising address at Friday prayers, Khamenei claimed that the high turnout at the elections showed how much the Iranian people supported the regime, and blamed western powers for interfering in Iranian politics

The speech now creates a clear dilemma for Mousavi and his supporters: do they return to the streets in open defiance of Khamenei or drop their demands? Prior to today's speech, Mousavi had called on the opposition movement to gather in Tehran tomorrow afternoon for a rally, but many may now feel too fearful of a crackdown by the authorities.
by Sassafras on Fri Jun 19th, 2009 at 12:15:10 PM EST
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Al Jazeera: Khamenei's speech 'a threat'

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran's supreme leader, has spoken publicly for the first time about with his country's disputed presidential election results.

His comments followed massive street protests against the poll outcome, which showed Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the incument president, winning with 66 per cent of the vote.

Analysts gave their opinions to Al Jazeera on the speech made during Friday prayers at Tehran University.

by Sassafras on Fri Jun 19th, 2009 at 12:16:55 PM EST
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This threat, while renewed, has been assumed by all those who are protesting this entire time.  Everything we have seen since the election in terms of mass protest is actually illegal in Iran.  

There is also great danger for Khamenei here in that any attempt to seriously crack-down will create a large number of martyrs.  In Islam and particularly in Iran this presents a great challenge to the ruling power and undermines the legitimacy of the "Islamic Republic."

I think the legitimacy of the Republic has already been largely undermined.  If the Ayatollah goes further he will lose the support of the masses entirely.  There are two foundations of the Islamic Republic of Iran that are critical for its legitimacy with the people:  Respect for Islamic principles and respect for the will of the people.  A violent suppression of protest at this juncture would constitute a violation of Islamic principle and the second has already occurred.  

by paving on Fri Jun 19th, 2009 at 04:24:11 PM EST
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The interesting question will be the time frame. Khamenei seems now quite vulnerable to event risk and it is likely that Rafsanjani and other power brokers in Iran are and will be working on options and will act opportunistically.  George Packer posted an interesting article comparing the potentials for change in Burma and Iran on The New Yorker blog on June 17: Green and Saffron.  He finds it unlikely for a number of reasons that hardliners can as successfully stonewall in Iran as they continue to do in Burma.  

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Jun 20th, 2009 at 01:07:50 AM EST
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Presseurop: What's the deal with Iran?

Even after a week of protests disputing incumbent President Ahmadinejad's landslide victory in the Iranian election, the EU still keeps a low diplomatic profile. Several newspapers across the continent are suggesting that this might have something to do with European economic interests in the Islamic republic.
by Sassafras on Fri Jun 19th, 2009 at 12:39:16 PM EST
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It seems entirely consistent with Europe's non-existent foreign policy.  The real shocker would be a united European voice making statements one way or the other.  Not that it would be helpful...
by paving on Fri Jun 19th, 2009 at 04:25:51 PM EST
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Very much not the anticipated speech. Quite confrontational. Seems as tho' they've decided to tough it out and it may well work in the short term.

But it basically spells the end of the Iranian theocracy. Civilised democratic change working within thoecratic limits has been rejected and so sooner or later, and definitely within the time period of the next election, there will be another uprising. Only that one will be as bloody and dangerous as the toppling of the shah.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Jun 19th, 2009 at 03:14:36 PM EST
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and what did the UK do to earn especial condemnation ?

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Jun 19th, 2009 at 03:15:13 PM EST
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The UK is a well known lapdog of the US, you do the math :)

--
$E(X_t|F_s) = X_s,\quad t > s$
by martingale on Sat Jun 20th, 2009 at 05:28:54 AM EST
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More than that, the UK was the traditional colonial power running Iran before handing over to the US in the post-WWII years.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Jun 20th, 2009 at 07:37:46 AM EST
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1953 Iranian coup d'état - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The 1953 Iranian coup d'état was the Western-led covert operation that deposed the democratically-elected government of Iranian Prime Minister Mohammed Mosaddeq.[1][2][3] The coup was organized by the United States' CIA and the United Kingdom's MI6, who aided and abetted anti-Mosaddeq royalists and mutinous Iranian army officers in overthrowing the Prime Minister.[4] CIA officer Kermit Roosevelt, Jr. organized Operation Ajax[5] to aid retired General Fazlollah Zahedi and Imperial Guard Colonel Nematollah Nassiri to establish a pro-US and pro-UK government, by bribing Iranian government officials, reporters, and businessmen.[6]


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Jun 20th, 2009 at 08:49:50 AM EST
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This has clearly become Khameini versus the people.  How this will turn out is anyone's guess.  Iran's history is full of crushed uprisings as well as successful mass overthrows of the ruling regime.  

I will say that if the govt. succeeds in crushing this rebellion it will be very violent and only temporariliy successful.  I expect there are many within the clerical, military and parlimantary establishment there who see this the same way.

There is definitely a way to move forward here and the whole thing seems balanced on a pivot at this moment.  On which side will weight come down?

by paving on Fri Jun 19th, 2009 at 04:19:59 PM EST
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The supreme leader described those alleging flaws in the June 12 election as "enemies."
(from yesterday's salon)

A man of words and not of deeds is like a garden full of weeds; a man of deeds and not of words is like a garden full of turds — Anonymous
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Jun 19th, 2009 at 04:37:09 PM EST
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And don't believe they didn't hear him loud and clear!  Saturday is the big day.  Expect everybody to show up.
by paving on Fri Jun 19th, 2009 at 07:44:03 PM EST
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Supreme Leaders (think of Cheney) do not want any other life than to be a Supreme Leader, and will do literally ANYTHING to maintain that position, people, the country, the world be damned.  Power is like heroin, very addictive.  Who will the military point their guns at, that is the ultimate question. If this was the US we have our average citizens with their guns allied with people like me with my chemical/biochemical resources.

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Sat Jun 20th, 2009 at 05:44:14 AM EST
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