Sunday, July 19, 2009
The New York Times has an article here on some of the political fallout from Rafsanjani's speech, including from Yazdi (the member of the Assembly of Experts that thinks "It doesn't matter what the people think. The people are ignorant sheep") who said that Rafsanjani overemphasized the importance of democracy and like totally forgot about divine sanction. Yazdi and Khamenei's son Mojtaba are two people that need to be kept as far away from any real authority as possible.
Another article from the New York Times here says that Rafsanjani is seeking the mantle of Khomeini in mostly putting himself above the fray. No idea what ordinary Iranians would think of that but assuming it would also result in a President Mousavi then they would get what they voted for and a little more. It would probably depend on whether the Supreme Leader gets to remain as supreme as before, or whether the directly elected president gets more say than before. On one hand, Mousavi is the person they voted for and Rafsanjani is an ally, but on the other hand, the four candidates were carefully filtered and perhaps people have had enough of the system as a whole and want something completely different. I actually expect that that would be in the minority because Iranians seem to be in favour of incremental (but significant) change instead of another full revolution, which as we have seen can be hijacked by others with an agenda. Hard to say. But I do think Iranians would be willing to give something like that a try, especially since they have shown over the past month and a bit that they are fully capable of continually demonstrating when their voices are being ignored.
If you're studying Persian and want to listen and follow along to Rafsanjani's speech, you can see the videos here and read the transcript here.
Green Brief #32 is out here. Some of the more noteworthy parts: many young people are protesting in small streets and alleys every night in small groups, Shirin Ebadi says the protests will continue if the government doesn't change its ways and also urged Siemens to not get the train-building contract in California, there is a plan to remove all pro-Mousavi and anti-Ahmadinejad professors from universities, and Azadi Tower is to be cleaned due to all the slogans that have been painted on it. The bit about the professors is definitely the most alarming. On the other hand, I don't see this resulting in anything but a huge backfire considering how influential and well-connected professors tend to be. Each of these professors to be purged is a well-educated and fairly wealthy individual that can more easily write op-eds and talk to media with much more confidence than the average person.
A short article can be read here on why Twitter has been so successful in getting news out from Iran.
Well, that was quick. After a flurry of hardliner criticism of Ahmadinejad's VP pick, the nominated VP has already resigned.