The Green movement and Reform in Iran

A year ago, it was confidently asserted that the CIA-engineered and Zionist-backed “green revolution”,designed to topple the current leadership of the Islamic Republic, was inexorably moving towards victory over its opponents in the Iranian administration. After all, similar “color revolutions” had been successfuly staged in the Ukraine and other ex-Soviet republics [1]. In his Friday prayer sermon on June 19th 2009, Ayatollah Khamenei angrily retorted to western governments who were supporting their latest color-coded creation: “You think this country (Iran) is like Georgia?” [2]

No, Iran is actually a 2500 year old civilization and proud nation but clearly many Iranian exiles – royalists, communists, marxists, bahais and ethnic separatists among them – had thought that the Islamic Revolution was fragile, just how they miscalculated when they encouraged Saddam Hussein to invade and crush Khomeini’s revolutionary state and enslave all Iranians – purely out of revenge.

If there was ever an admission that this entire political movement was merely the brainchild of foreign powers, then look no further than arch-neocon and Zionist extremist, Michael Ledeen. He has stated that he built up contacts in Iran within Mir Hussein Mousavi’s prime ministerial office during talks over the arms for hostages in the 1980s – known as the Iran-Contra affair. These officials, excluded from power by Ahmadinejad, would be used to “dismantle” the Islamic Republic [3]. Ledeen is very clear about this and his support for Mousavi and Karroubi [4]. These political dead-enders were to be a fifth column used to sabotage the system from the inside. The CIA, as reported by ABC news in 2007 [5], was to covertly destablize Iran using every possible opportunity and with consideable funding [6].

The Green movement’s ringleaders used tactics similar to revolutionaries in 1978 – shouting “Allahu Akbar” from the rooftops and using religious imagery/slogans to give the false impression that they were the true voice of the Revolution. They would declare those killed on the streets “martyrs” for the cause and, as in the case of Neda Agha-Soltan,would even go so far as orchestrate murder for the purpose of propaganda and designed to cause worldwide opprobrium towards the Iranian government.[7]

But the Greens overplayed their hand during the Ashura commemoration of December 2009 when a few thousand rioters attacked property, police and even mourners to make their voice heard. They clearly wanted to re-enact the Ashura protests of 1978 that led to the downfall of the Shah. The Iranian people, who had tolerated the greens up until then, were shocked at the desecration of the religious occasion and both Mousavi and Karroubi quickly retreated as hundreds of thousands of Iranians demonstrated against the rioters and in support of the Islamic Revolution. Khatami would go further in asking his supporters to defend the Islamic Republic from those wishing it harm by causing sedition. Khatami has increasingly distanced himself from Mousavi and Karroubi

Now, a year on, the green wave has clearly passed and nobody in Iran is interested in waging another “intifada” against the government. However, the reformists in Iran are keen to extricate themselves from a prior association with the green movement. Despite the crackdown and closure of several reformist parties and newspapers, the reform camp is still very much alive. They retain a significant voice in the Majlis, led by the likes of Mostafa Kavakebian and Elias Naderan. They continue to publish newspapers such as Sharq, Mardomsalari, Arman, Farhang-e-Ashti, Farhikhtegan, Asrar, Aftab etc. They were instrumental in getting the authorities to indict feared ex-prosecutor Saeed Mortazavi after their own investigation found him responsible for placing post-election detainees in danger [8].

47-year old Kavakebian, in particular,has emerged very well from the political crisis. He held a fascinating debate on IRIB with Kayhan newspaper’s hardline editor, Hossein Shariatmadari [9]. There, he defended himself against charges that his party was part of a front to undermine the Islamic Republic and was committed to reform based on adherence to the Constitution. Kavakebian has recently claimed that Mousavi and Karroubi do not speak for the reformists and that he is loyal to the system [10]. He realises that denying the will of the majority in a fair election ,and inciting sedition, are NOT consistent with democratic principles.

The reformists are indeed regrouping to form a new block with some moderate independents and conservatives to contest the 2012 and 2013 elections for the presidency, Majlis, municiplalities and Assembly of experts. They know that meeting the needs of the people, and not burning buses, are what the people expect of them.

The Green movement has, as Ayatollah Khamenei has stated, “vaccinated the system against microbes” [11]. Those who declare themselves to be the winners of polls without presenting any evidence and who rebel against the nation are a political disease that brings no benefits. The unrest of last year may have been of a cathartic nature and one which offers some positives after all.

The Green movement has ceased to exist [12], but it has left an enduring legacy.













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