Friday, January 08, 2010
Here are a few links from the past few days to share.
The most interesting one is probably this article from Foreign Policy, by Hooman Majd or the author of The Ayatollah Begs to Differ. Not just your average Iranian foreign policy wonk, Majd was an adviser and interpreter for two Iranian presidents, both Khatami and Ahmadinejad. He notes correctly that the opposition is generally not interested in a total revolution (Iran already had one and we know how that worked out) but rather a reformation from within while remaining the Islamic Republic of Iran. Country names really aren't that important so I also don't see any reason for changing the name - for example the United States used to mean a country that condoned slavery and didn't give women the vote and now it doesn't, and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea is the Korea without democracy and with repression of its own people.
The next link is this one, on the attempt to defrock Ayatollah Sanei and the rifts that are being opened in the clerical establishment as a result of this. Related to the link above, even if the IRI kept the same name but Sanei became the Supreme Leader, it obtained an independent judiciary and free press and all the rest it would be a completely different country.
A link from CNN here is on the staged pro-government rallies after Ashura and why they fool nobody.
The Iranian consul in Norway also resigned two days ago. You can read the news in Persian here as well, and here is a video in Norwegian on the resignation too.
Finally we have LA Times on the opposition manifesto, detailing their exact demands: "resignation of the current leadership, introduction of broad democratic freedoms, prosecution of security forces engaged in violence against the opposition and an end to politics in the military, universities and the clergy."