Feb 11th News/Discussions (22 BAHMAN)

Jan 28, 2005
EU: Iran’s Choices Are the Wrong Ones

European Union foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton expressed support for Iranian protesters Thursday, lashing out at Tehran and accusing the Iranian regime of failing its people.
“The choices this regime is making vis-à-vis its people and the international community are the wrong ones,” Ms. Ashton said in a statement. “No amount of inflated rhetoric can hide that. The regime is letting its own people down; and they deserve better.”
She expressed concern over reports that opposition leaders have been subjected to violence and arrest, saying that intimidation tactics have become a pattern of the Iranian government.
“Violent crackdowns on those calling for the fundamental right to freedom of expression and assembly have cost the regime the trust of its own people, as well as that of the international community,” the statement said. ” The determination shown by protestors on Iran’s streets clearly demonstrates the strength of their
desire for democracy, human rights and fundamental freedoms. The EU reiterates its support for them.”
Finally, this is one victory in itself. Congratulations to all freedom loving Iranians!


National Team Player
May 14, 2005
A week after 25 Khordad, some people complained about lack of crowd and I said " We can not expect people to come out despite baton, tear gas, and beating."
I still believe the same. We can not expect millions of people with their families show up every time to be beaten up, arrested, raped, and even hanged. Not showing up is a natural reaction, an inteligent reaction and that is exactly why regim used unprecedented violence even by Israel standard or Red Khamer of Cambolia.

What has not changed is an incompetent plundering violent regim that has brought a country economically to her knees and they can not change that.
47 millions under pverty line and they can not change that,
25%-30% unemployment and they can not change that.
Factories and state employees have not been paid for months and some cases years and they can not change that.
So, the green movement participants were heroic even today despite months of preparation of regim for this day with having all the upper hand from organized thugs to criminal act without pay back and the bottom line is that the Green movement is growing by day and if not today it may be tomorrow, if not tomorrow it may be the day after that this flood of people will wash away the filth that has covered our beloved country, a military-police state in the name of government.
The underlieing problems that initiated the movement not past summer but past 31 years are still there, and this is just the begining with some superficial ups and downs but every day is a growing day for this movement.
The incompetency of this regim despite their violent reaction is what drives people to react.
So tighten the seat belt and always be prepared for a long ride. The movement is just geared to a higher degree.
(the slips by Karubi, the rumor of Khatami's letter, and Mousavi's after Ashura declaration might have disappointed some that need to be carefull looked at if any merit to it at all.
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National Team Player
I can't help but be dissapointed by todays events. But reflecting on why, i see it's because my brave hamvatans back home have spoiled me. On every single rally day, they have exceeded my expectations by turning out in huge numbers.

I agree with IZ that there are going to be ups and downs, but i think from now on the downs are going to be limited. The people who WERE out there today will never let the others who were not live it down. The guilt of leaving those who showed up exposed will definately bring more people out.

I predict that the next major demonstration will show the biggest numbers yet.
Apr 10, 2003

Despite harsh threats, Iran protesters show their strength

Iranian opposition hits the streets in face of shah-like brutality and pro-government rallies. Khamenei's tactics only highlight his illegitimacy.

By the Monitor's Editorial Board
posted February 11, 2010 at 2:40 pm EST
The dogged courage of pro-democracy protesters in Iran was on full display Thursday, the latest in a string of demonstrations against Ayatollah Ali Khamenei since last June’s rigged presidential elections.
Thousands took to the streets despite organized pro-government rallies and the many tactics of fear used by a regime that is ever more isolated by its acts of violence – in the name of God – against peaceful democrats.
The latest fear tactics include executions of demonstrators, arrests of top intellectuals and rights activists, detention of a group called Mothers in Mourning (mothers of political prisoners), and torture of detained protesters. Such atrocities simply remind Iranians that this regime, whose leaders helped overthrow the shah 31 years ago, has now reverted to the shah’s brutal methods to keep power and quell dissent.
That irony is fuel for more protests. It also compels many leading Muslim clerics to call on Mr. Khamenei to compromise.
The other critical aspect about the demonstrations is that they remain largely leaderless, relying instead on Twitter and other digital communications to build a network of ongoing dissent. That makes them harder to suppress. In addition, countertactics such as writing slogans on currency bills keep alive the ideals of freedom and democracy far beyond the capital. Many of Thursday’s protests were in cities outside of Tehran as well.
The regime’s use of violence only highlights how much Khamenei can no longer claim the mantle of religious authority as supreme leader over Iranians who demand that the highest authorities be elected by the people. He is on the losing side of a widening contradiction between democracy and theocracy (or the regime’s interpretation of Islam as dominant in secular life). That contradiction was not resolved during the 1979 revolution and is the main reason for Iran’s turmoil today.
Eventually, elements of Iran’s security forces will need to switch sides as they see more of society defy this regime. Many rural Iranians have already lost faith in the promised economic “reforms” of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who was illegitimately elected last June. Now, as more Iranians see more of the brutal repression, they should also make the moral choice in favor of free and fair elections that are not controlled by the clerics.
Iranians can take heart that democracy is taking root in neighboring Iraq, where fellow Shiite believers have embraced free elections.
The weaker that Iran’s regime becomes, the more it defies the West’s calls to end its nuclear program and the deceit that has long covered it up. The government now claims it will further enrich uranium toward bomb-grade quality. Such diplomatic bluster helps further justify tougher economic sanctions proposed by President Obama. He would target the military arm of the ruling mullahs, the Revolutionary Guard, which also runs many strategic businesses.
Tougher sanctions now, even though they might hurt common Iranians, will be seen in that country as directed at an unpopular regime and not the people. China, which opposes more UN sanctions on Iran, needs to see that more Iranians are crying out for help.
The struggle at the United Nations over sanctions should be seen as more than a question of preventing a nuclear arms race in the Middle East. The more significant struggle is between the historic progress of democracy in the world against those views of Islam that justify dictatorship by Muslim clerics.
For Iran’s protesters, history is on their side, which only gives them the courage to defy their fears in face of harsher threats.


IPL Player
Oct 18, 2002
First of all thank you so much to those of you that stayed up for many hours to keep the rest of us informed, I appreciate your effort.

Now, I also want to reconfirm some of the observations our friends have made under this thread or elsewhere. This was a good show of force, not what we had hoped but nevertheless all these events adds to the momentum going forward. The key now is to keep the momentum, DO NOT advertise 2 months in advance to let them gather new resources and make better plans to counter the movement. Instead new strategies must be used to deplete governments resources as they have to bring people from across the country, costing them 100’s of millions a day.

Cons: As many of you have rightfully pointed out, we overplayed our hand by setting our sight on Azadi square, where we knew regime will have most of its resources concentrated in that area!!! I too expected more participation, but that miscalculation cost us another huge blow to I.S., we should never put all our eggs in one basket again. We should have concentrated in other critical parts of the city, preferably away from Azadi square where regime could not dispatch re-enforcements quickly, e.g., places like Evin.

At the end, no matter how much was accomplished today, it was no doubt another blow by our brave hamvatans to the regime.

p.s., thank you all for ignoring that Sundis drinking MF troll.

By the way, what’s up with those dumb posts by Pooya at the beginning? Was he drunk, stoned, insensitive or just maybe sardar got into him?

Dar hal sorat, Zendeh bad Iran.


National Team Player
May 14, 2005
I don't think there is anyone who doubts that about 90%+ of people are absolutely disgusted by this regim and his governing which is nothing but an armed Mafia organization with a few hundred thousands well paid and well fed thugs to do their dirty work on the streets.
If not, they did not have to carry out a Coup D'etat, beating, raping, torturing to death and hang innocent people to preserve it.
These are all sings of weaknesses.
As far as todays is concerned I like to contribute some of it to positions Khatami and Karubi took in regard to Vali Vaghih, people did not like to even the rumors of behind the doors talks, they did not like the fact that Karubi and Khatami amaturishly trying to bring Vali vaghih into open end up playing in the hands of regim portray them as wheeling and dealing behind the doors, specially Karubi and later rumor of Khatami's letter. Some people might have felt being sold out and were not ready to risk more beating and potential life thretening arrests.
On the other hand Vali Vaghih had a few months of 24/7 multimedia at his disposal to threaten and use vicious propaganda to face the potential that did not materialised in one place but all over.
Today, after 8 months every large and small town, every minority and ethnicity are informed and supportive of Green movement, what we lacked in the begining are rapidly becomesing the reality, we are growing and that translated into strength.
Our fight is not that under the current circumstance, that is extrem violence for one side , and carnival atmosphere for the other side who bring s more people on the streets. We need to start pointing out and familirise more and more people specially labour/nurses/teachers/... with massive plunder of national treasury by Vali Vaghih and his military religious fascit aparatus resulting in massive poverty and economic misery that are getting worse by day.
All the subjective objective criteria of a revolution is there, all the subjective criteria for a revolution is there, and the number one push for a revolution, that is Vali vaghih and his thugs are laso there.
So, celebrate today's events that despite massive military build ups by thugs and attacks and violence in all cities and towns to their best abilities, in clear or in hiding people showed their disgust. Tomorrow, the Green movement is a day older, a day maturer, and a day more experienced than today. We are countless....
Feb 4, 2005
More Accounts of REALITY … No Victory … No Defeat

Feb 11th, 2010 by pedestrian

Khordaad88 has translated numerous eyewitness accounts of today’s demonstrations. We will continue to bring you more in the next few days.
Here is one account:
Before the demonstration, we screamed, we shouted: this is such a stupid idea [gathering at Azadi]. We kept arguing that we could not “capture” Azadi Square, and this will only help the enemy. No one listened.

I let a pedestrian get in my car. She was crying. She said they were all on our side, but we did not dare move. They [government supporters] had come from 6 a.m. There was a boy who had a very religious look to him, with a beard and a keffiyeh. He wiped the sweat on his forehead with his keffiyeh, and asked her: “how do you know they were all on our side?” the girl responded between tears: “because they were not repeating the chants heard over the loudspeakers.” And the boy was calling the system every unprintable name under the sun.

I asked: so why didn’t you shout something else?

She said: because there were scores of security forces scattered between us. And besides, you couldn’t tell if the person standing beside you was a government supporter or not.

I asked the boy: so why have you made yourself look like this?

He said: “they told us to. I read so in balatarin.” [the plan was to "look" like government supporters, get in front, and "capture" Azadi Square]

When my wife heard the word “balatarin” she shook her head and I wish I had a keffiyeh too to wipe off my sweat.

Many are talking of whether today was a “defeat” or a “victory” for the greens. Certainly we have to wait some more and observe more, but given what we know … I do not look at events in such terms. What was there that was supposed to be “won” that is now, “lost”? Yes, given the lack of a huge turnout, there will most likely be even more pressure on opposition groups and human rights activists in the following weeks/months … But given where we stand right now, this moment, what was really lost? The Iranians inside Iran either chose to stay away from the protests, or could not gather in big numbers, or … But this is the end result. So, if you were an average Iranian who supported the opposition, what would be lost for you?
If you are a student, activist, etc, in Iran today, you have yet to know. And that’s it exactly: we don’t know yet, to be speaking so loudly of defeat and loss.
I am personally not disapointed, because after seeing the incredible turnout for Ashura, I was certain the state was busy preparing for 22 Bahman from the day after Ashura … They were incredibly surprised that day and they were not going to let it repeat itself, given that it was such an important day for them. It was important to make the opposition look like small groups of eghteshahgar [attention seekers creating disturbance] and to secure the city full force.
Expecting anything else was pure blissful optimism.
Add to that the grave miscalculation by the greens themselves.
I think here is where the diaspora is actually influencing the state in Iran for the worse.
I was at an Iranian salon a few weeks ago. The 57 year old lady who I’ve known for more than a decade now told me: “I have been wanting to go to Iran for two decades now. I am waiting for after 22 Bahman, since the regime will be toppled that day, and then I’m going.”
I spoke to a traveler agent, a friend of the family, who said that at least a dozen people had called her and told her to make them reservations for Iran – but not to confirm their ticket until 22 Bahman, when they would know that “the regime would be toppled for sure.”
There was a vote on balatarin yesterday where 85% of people (almost 11, 0000 individuals from inside and outside Iran) voted that the greens would “take over” Azadi Square. These thoughts were further amplified by questionable individuals like Mohsen Sazegara who was giving tips on VOA on “what the protesters should do after taking over Azadi”. There were talks about “over 3 million opposition forces” attending the rally. I think this is a perfect example of where the virtual world and the expat community circulates their visions of sugar plum fairies on TV stations … and they have become liability for the movement. When you raise expectation above the real capacity of a movement , that only results in disappointment and despair.
The reality was that after Ashura, today was not going to be an easy day, and, that the greens should have at least made a better plan. Given tight security and the lack of a good plan … this was inevitable.
I think today was more a “reality check” than a “defeat”:​
  • the state has far more security resources at its disposal than what we’d like to believe
  • the state has far more resouces in terms of getting out supporters/call girls/fans/oblivious forced presence/etc than we’d like to think
  • we have to think beyond street protests


Bench Warmer
Nov 21, 2008
Bracknell, UK.
thanks for that, and I posted it on my blog

Fact is that the people of Iran are not part of this Islamic feud (The Greens vs AN). The Iranian people have quite simply managed to peacefully keep Iran from being wiped out by the mullahs. We all are more Iranian now, and in the future. It is that simple. Zendeh basheen, that's all that matters.
Jan 29, 2004
Thus spake Mr. Pahlavi :pers-expert:

Shah's son: Help Iran's reformers

The Associated Press

PARIS -- Reza Pahlavi, whose father, the shah of Iran, was toppled from power 31 years ago, said Thursday the international community must step up its support for Iran's opposition movement and stop focusing on the country's nuclear program.
In an interview with The Associated Press, Pahlavi said nations such as the United States should not "even bother" with a new round of sanctions regarding Iran's nuclear program, if punitive measures merely maintain the status quo.
Instead, he suggested the kind of encouragement that helped end South Africa's apartheid system and influenced the breakup of the Soviet Union.
Pahlavi, 50, said that should include dialogue with Iran's opposition, which has kept up periodic street protests in the country since the disputed June presidential elections despite a fierce crackdown.
He also said the opposition needs outside technological support to beat government eavesdropping and Internet crackdowns in Iran, and to "stay connected" with the outside world.
"The world is facing a regime today that is totalitarian, racist, fascist, and yet what has been done about it?" he said in Paris during a visit from the U.S., where he lives outside Washington D.C.
"To this day no one has officially said ... enough is enough," he said.
As he spoke, Iran celebrated the birth of the Islamic Republic in 1979 and the overthrow of Pahlavi's father, the late Mohammed Reza Pahlavi.
The shah's son said Western leaders must reach out to Iran's opposition movement, but instead they have displayed "bashfulness," "hesitancy" or even "passivity."
He criticized what he called President Barack Obama's tepid outreach to the Iranian people and their exiled opposition.
He noted that 40 Nobel Prize winners appealed to Obama and other world leaders this week in a New York Times ad to let the Iranian people "know that we are on their side."
"I never thought I would see the day when Joan Baez sings ... in Farsi," Pahlavi said, referring to the folk singer's recent version of "We Shall Overcome" - sung partially in the Iranian language. "For God's sake, it has become an international cry" going unheeded by world leaders.
Pahlavi recommended "tacit" dialogue with Iran's opposition and diplomatic outreach to isolate the regime.
Iranian officials claim foreign powers are behind the country's reform movement, but Pahlavi insisted that is not correct.
Western nations are pressing for a possible fourth set of U.N. sanctions on Iran for its failure to comply with U.N. resolutions aimed at guaranteeing it cannot produce nuclear weapons.
Pahlavi said a window of opportunity may slip away while the world is "dilly-dallying" over sanctions, instead of focusing on issues such as human rights abuses in Iran.
"External sanctions against the regime do not suffice. You have to bring into your calculation ... an element of pressure from within," he said. "And the only way (to) do that is by strengthening the hand of the people inside the country."
If sanctions are "going to be all you're going to be doing while keeping the status quo, don't even bother," he said.
Pahlavi said he wants to see a peaceful transition, via civil disobedience, to a parliamentary democracy with a "clear separation of religion from government."
He said he favors a referendum so Iranians can choose their form of government, and he predicted change could come "within a matter of months - if not maybe a couple of years tops" - if society is "empowered" and dialogue not limited to the regime.
"Nothing bars the world from having a line of dialogue with the opposition and that, strangely, has been absent," he said.
The level of support that Pahlavi or other exiled opposition movements have inside Iran today is unclear. Three decades after the Islamic Revolution, Iranian youth, the majority population, has never known the country as a monarchy.
Last month, authorities hanged two men convicted of belonging to outlawed monarchist groups and plotting to overthrow the Islamic regime.