Paradoxes of Iran’s Green Movement: From Radical Fundamentalism to Radical Democracy

Self-declared reformists in Iran are confused with facts and intention. Some also carry the burden of their own history on purging other opposition, says Kaveh L. Afrasiabi.

A new “manifesto” on behalf of the besieged “Green Movement” in Iran has been issued by five prominent Iranian thinkers in exile, that calls for the resignation of president Ahmadinejad, freedom of all political prisoners, free press, prosecution of rights-abusive government officials, the election rather than selection of head of judiciary, as well as an unidentified number of other officials, etc. These demands are presented as the articulation of what the opposition politician, Mir Hossain Mousavi, wants and, yet, are in clear contradiction to Moussavi’s recent olive branch that reflects his readiness to recognize the legitimacy of the recent presidential election results. Inevitably, the manifesto is in essence nothing short of repudiating Moussavi’s gesture of reconciliation and an untimely initiative that is bound to further erode the legitimacy of the reform movement in Iran — by displaying the revolutionary and regime-change intentions of some of its self-declared leaders and even “founders” of the Green Movement. It is time for Iran’s genuine reformists to declare their independence from such destructive influences — by mostly former radical fundamentalists and hostage-takers-turned radical liberalists. They may have changed color but the excesses of their radicalism remain the same…. >>>

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