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Voices From Iran

by danps Sat Jun 20th, 2009 at 05:45:30 AM EST

Quotes from those involved in the events of the past week, taken from a variety of sources.

Cross posted from Pruning Shears.

No Associated Press content was harmed in the writing of this post

M.E. Dabiri:

A white-haired man emerged from the mosque to tell his wife who was standing in line in front of me, "There are about fifty people ahead of us."

As we entered the mosque, a guard who was standing at the door, looked down at the girls and said, "You have come to vote, too?"

I was essentially witnessing a nation voting for the first time in 2,500 years.

Iranian Nobel Peace Prize winner Shirin Ebadi (via Andrew Sullivan, whose coverage has been fantastic):

My request would be that in order that things calm down, these elections should be declared null and void and new elections should be organised under the supervision of international institutions.

Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri (via):

These last days, we have witnessed the lively efforts of you, brothers and sisters, old and young alike, from every social category, for the 10th presidential elections.

Our youth, hoping to see their rightful will fulfilled, came on the scene and waited patiently. This was the greatest occasion for the government's officials to bond with their people.

However, unfortunately, they used it in the worst way possible. Declaring results that no one in their right mind can believe, and despite all the evidence of crafted results, and contrary to the people's protestations, in front of the eyes of the same nation who carried the weight of a revolution and 8 years of war, in front of the eyes of local and foreign reporters, attacked the children of the people with astonishing violence. And now they are attempting a purge, arresting intellectuals, political opponents and Scientists.

Anonymous Tehranian eyewitness to Tuesday's Demonstration for Mousavi:

Tehran is fast becoming two. In the late afternoon and lasting until around dinner time it is a place of peaceful civic celebration, a disneyland of political action for the whole family to participate. At night, the mood shifts abruptly, and the capital becomes a battleground, a city in which fear stalks on motorbikes mounted in helmeted pairs...

Photographer Newsha Tavakolian:

I went around on a motorbike, trying to look like any other girl who sits on the back of a motorcycle — the camera between me and the driver. Tehran has 18 million people and is a very busy city, so motorbikes are very convenient; also, when you need to get away quickly. When they ask me, I show my accreditations. As an Iranian, I know when to run and when not to.

Mir Hossein Mousavi (via Nico Pitney, whose HuffPo page has been invaluable - as has The Lede's coverage.):

Like you know, in the past few days, there have been clashes - legally and illegally - that have been violent between protesters of the election and their critics. A number of you have been injured and several have been martyred. I would first like to convey my condolences to you. At the same time, I would like you all to go to mosques and to places of worship in order to remember them and to pray for them. We will also commemorate them by our peaceful protests. I would like you to know that I will also be taking part in these protests and commemorations.

From Exile On Moan Street (via):

In response to Ahmadinejad's earlier speech calling the supporters of Mousavi "brushwood and thorns," Iran's most famous classical musician has ordered that Iranian government television/radio never play his music again. Mohammad Reza Shajarian told BBC Persian in an interview:Don't broadcast my voice on Seda va Sima [IRIB Music channel] ever again: my voice is like brushwood and thorns, and it will forever remain brushwood and thorns!

Mohammadreza Habibi, prosecutor-general in the central province of Isfahan:

We warn the few elements controlled by foreigners who try to disrupt domestic security by inciting individuals to destroy and to commit arson that the Islamic penal code for such individuals waging war against God is execution.


IRIB.ir said that we are all violent thugs - we are showing you everyday that we are peaceful Sea of Green.

Unidentified blogger, 14 June:

Today the orchestrators of the coup d'etat have removed their masks, today the ugly faces of those who have diverted the 30-year revolution have been revealed to the people, today the dark side of the criminal government which is seeking absolute power has been revealed.

Unidentified twitterer:

Will this be the Berlin Wall coming down or just another Tianenmen Sq.? I wonder to myself

Hossein, a 23-year-old member of the security forces

I would never [fire on protesters]. Maybe someone would, but I would never fire on any of these people myself.

Housewife Zahra Dadashi:

How can I ignore what's happening in the country and what they did last night to the students? I was young when Imam Khomeini came to Iran and ruled the country. I'm now very sure that this government and the supreme leader has nothing to do with Imam Khomeini, I can't close my eyes.

Before this, I was always hearing how cruelly the riot police are treating students and people, but now I have witnessed it with my eyes. Before, I was assuming it to be rumours, but now I'm 100% sure that this government has nothing to do with Islam. They are dictators.

The widespread, sustained, peaceful and courageous demonstrations by Iranians this week has been an astonishing and inspiring sight.  In a way this feels like the anti-9/11.

by danps (dan at pruningshears (dot) us) on Sat Jun 20th, 2009 at 05:45:52 AM EST
My view was published In "Asia Times" here

A Very Iranian Coup

An Iranian friend of mine who is genuinely (and quietly) religious, and also quite senior, had this to say the other day.

Yes, the situation is very unpleasant and unexpected. We have no doubt that we are now facing a situation that a group with some sort of ideology that in our opinion is very different with what late Emam Khomeini presented to us are consolidating their administrative power. What worries me is the fact that they have not yet clearly indicated what sort of political view as well as religious sect they would like whole country to follow.

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson
by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Sat Jun 20th, 2009 at 06:09:55 AM EST
What interests me is your closing paragraph:
In respect of the economy, it was quite evident in January when I was last in Teheran, as the only non-Iranian speaker at a high-level conference, that the "reformist" Western financial approach to privatize everything and fuel the economy with debt, has taken a big hit. Here, the reformists are in exactly the same position as Obama: they don't have a Plan B.
I cannot imagine you advocating that Iran privatize everything anf fuel the economy with debt, so what were you telling the Iranians at the conference, and were the reformists listening?

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 Sat Jun 20th, 2009 at 06:15:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]


is what I said, and one of the other speakers - very influential, - who heard me last October was also advocating "unitisation" in his presentation. He it was who said that you cannot solve 21st Century problems with 20th Century solutions.

More to the point I talked to one of the deputies (to the CEO, and a very sophisticated and switched on man) of one of the state corporations, and he told me that they had recently had financing presentations from Iran's only investment banks (a relatively recent arrival, and entirely conventional in their approach). The proposed deficit-based financing was laughed at as being entirely impractical.

So, post Lehman, the trend in Iran to the Western economic model - still at an early stage - has come to a dead halt.

For the last few months, though, everything has stopped, and I don't see any chance of progress (for my work) now til the autumn at the earliest.

The news I heard (this morning) out of Iran is of momentous events. In particular, the middle classes and women are mobilising in a way reminiscent of recent events in Iceland.

There is no going back to the way things were, it appears, but things are extremely fluid.

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson

by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Sat Jun 20th, 2009 at 08:26:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Iranian govmt reporting explosion at Khomeni shrine, A Reichstag fire moment?

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 09:59:37 AM EST
Stacy blog: Where was the international outrage at #USelection?
In the lead up to the US elections less than a year ago, protestors gathered at the party conventions.

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 10:01:31 AM EST
The long overdue outrage was rightly expressed at the polling places and the position of the people  vindicated by the election results. Not exactly the circumstance in Iran, perhaps.

I can swear there ain't no heaven but I pray there ain't no hell. _ Blood Sweat & Tears
by Gringo (stargazing camel at aoldotcom) on Sat Jun 20th, 2009 at 11:59:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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