Reporting from Beirut – The recent protests against Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s disputed reelection look to many observers like a repeat of the 1979 Islamic Revolution, a “people power” movement aimed at toppling the existing power structure.
But Iranian officials would beg to disagree. The postelection discord, they say, is more like a very heated dispute between two brothers, perhaps fighting vociferously over the best route to take on a road trip.
If there’s a fundamental clash occurring, they suggest, it is between the Islamic Republic and the West.
In a recent interview, Mir Masoud Hosseinian, the charge d’affaires at the Iranian Embassy in Beirut, accused Western powers of misreading and manipulating the unfolding political crisis in Iran to serve their own ends.
“We stood against the West during all these 30 years,” said Hosseinian, who has also served as a diplomat in Syria and Egypt. “And that resistance has created a hatred in their hearts. They sought an opportunity for revenge.”
What’s your assessment of what is happening in Iran?
[Defeated presidential candidate] Mir-Hossein Mousavi participated in elections, accepting the rules of the game. If the system did not want Mr. Mousavi, it would have removed him from the list of candidates, just as there were 200 candidates at the start, but the regime accepted four candidates. They were accepted by the regime and they also >>>