Is this another Iranian revolution beginning?

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  • localnotail 14 Jun 2009 01:48:16 23,093 posts
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    or just another strangulation of democracy?

    Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has defended his "completely free" re-election as Iran's president, amid violent clashes on the streets over claims of election fraud.

    Mr Ahmadinejad condemned the outside world for "psychological warfare" against Iranians during the election.

    Thousands have protested against the result, burning barricades on the streets of Tehran and clashing with police, who responded with tear gas.

    However, the official result, which gave Mr Ahmadinejad a resounding victory - 63% of the vote against 34% for Mr Mousavi - brought the worst violence seen in Tehran for a decade, correspondents said.

    The BBC's John Simpson saw secret policemen being attacked and chased away by protesters, which he says is extremely rare.

    Some of the protesters in Tehran wore Mr Mousavi's campaign colour of green and chanted "Down with the dictator", news agencies report.

    85% election turnout - amazing.


    sorry, bit "tired and emotional" but worried. Seeking people who know more than me. Just been talking this over with a mate who is Iranian. She is very worried.

    A strange game. The only winning move is not to play.

  • Genji 14 Jun 2009 01:54:39 19,687 posts
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    If Ahmadinejad legitimately got most of the vote, then I don't really see it as a "strangulation of democracy".

    The opposition says it was rigged, though. We'll see how that goes. At any rate, I hope not too many people get hurt in this. The violence won't help anyone.
  • FWB 14 Jun 2009 02:02:26 45,225 posts
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    For outsiders it's a surprise result. As to whether anything dodgy was going on... well I don't want to jump the gun. It's bizarre that Mousavi's strong hold only gave him a pittance of about 30% though.

    It's shit for the the rest of us if Ahmadinejad stays.
  • localnotail 14 Jun 2009 02:06:39 23,093 posts
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    I guess I am coming from the standpoint of assuming it was rigged. All of the stuff I have read so far seems to take it for granted.

    The BBC's Jon Leyne in Tehran says the result has been greeted with surprise and with deep scepticism by many Iranians.

    The figures, if they are to be believed, show Mr Ahmadinejad winning strongly even in the heartland of Mr Mousavi.

    Our correspondent says Mr Ahmadinejad will feel emboldened in his global vision that foresees the death of capitalism, while at home, many Iranians will fear a clamp down on society and cultural life.


    So I am wondering it this is going to be one of the times that this ancient sleeping giant turns over again, and in doing so, takes the rest of the Middle East with it towards intellectual & cultural growth & peace etc?

    Or is it just going to turn out that the will of the people is again subjugated to the rule of a religious doctrine that restricts independent thought and limits freedom.


    Iran is the key to that whole area, or so I was always told. I just wondered if anyone else knew more / different. Wrong time of day to be asking really.

    A strange game. The only winning move is not to play.

  • FWB 14 Jun 2009 02:15:01 45,225 posts
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    Iran isn't as dictatorial as you'd think. Even if Ahmadinejad retains his position this would be his last term. He could sit one more but it has to be non-consecutive. The guy may be a bit of loon to us and fairly conservative but he's no Jong Il.

    Of up most important is to not to get involved. Let Iran develop on it's on. It's slowly but surely getting groovy there. The population doesn't take shit and are - I hate to say this cos it sounds so fucking condescending - but rather progressive. Plus Iranian women are hot.
  • Genji 14 Jun 2009 02:19:10 19,687 posts
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    FWB wrote:
    Iranian women are hot.
    mmmmm
  • localnotail 14 Jun 2009 02:24:34 23,093 posts
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    I am old enough to remember The Iranian Revolution . Just. I has always thought of Persia as the gateway between Europe and Asia and Africa, tying The Old World together. This marvellous ancient place that had been overtaken by other civilisations and the progress of industrialised nations. But suddenly almost overnight, it changed to what we have had for the past 30 years.

    But there is a big gulf between the religious peasants and the intellectual urbanites, apparently. They overwhelmed the "civilised elite" before. Will they stand by and let them topple the religious government? Will the rest of the Islamic countries around it let them? It's too important to them to let it go secular.


    I have had too much wine for this conversation.

    also I agree, my mate is very hot. She's got amazing eyes.

    A strange game. The only winning move is not to play.

  • Articulate-Troll 14 Jun 2009 02:29:35 3,101 posts
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    Interesting article from the Guardian which suggests that the West's expectations may have interfered with their bias when reporting on the election.

    Regardless of the actual vote count, I don't think it was a fair election. The government was censoring Mousavi at every opportunity, even cutting off the power when he was about to give a speech.
  • NBZ 14 Jun 2009 02:29:47 2,373 posts
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    Genji wrote:
    ...The opposition says it was rigged, though...

    This is pretty common in not-the-west where losers always seem to be sore.

    There may have been rigging, but the number of times the opposition cries wolf (sometimes legitimately) makes that claim to be taken less seriously.
  • NBZ 14 Jun 2009 02:32:23 2,373 posts
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    localnotail wrote:
    Will the rest of the Islamic countries around it let them? It's too important to them to let it go secular.

    Sunni vs Shia would say otherwise.
  • FWB 14 Jun 2009 02:32:43 45,225 posts
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    No one next door is going to fuck with them. They're in no state to do so and not with the west looking on. Iran will reform internally, just like any state should do.

    This thread needs pics.
  • dnbuk 14 Jun 2009 02:42:11 4,958 posts
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    This thread needs the CIA.
  • Ronald_Reagan 14 Jun 2009 07:15:07 4 posts
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    Hello.
  • FairgroundTown 14 Jun 2009 07:36:50 2,522 posts
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    Kevin Drum on The Vote in Iran
  • Deleted user 14 June 2009 09:21:21
    If it weren't for the fact all opposition parties were pretty much silenced by Ahmadinejad's crew over the course of the election, I'd be sceptical. Unfortunately with opponents being silenced throughout and the unpopularity of the further rise of the Islamic police dampening womens rights even more, as well as the recent drive in hassling and arresting men for not looking "Islamic" enough, in the cities at least he's lost a lot of favour he built up as an antidote to Bush's America.

    Also bear in mind many Iranians consider themselves Persian and a far cry from the Wahabbi Saudia Arabia. The hardline islamic side comes from the disaffected rural poor being screwed around by the Shah, who naturally turned to the extreme right in order to come together and overturn their rule.
  • Deleted user 14 June 2009 09:26:19
    Also, it's interesting in how the Revolutionaries, in an otherwise very short time, became exactly what they feared in the first place. That's power for you.

    Immediately after the revolution, the population was repressed, however, this was "the will of the people" in terms of what they had placed in power. The majority vote wanted that, even if the communists suddenly found themselves overwhelmed by the islamists and kicked out of power.

    During the early noughties Iran had a progressive government replaced by a right-wing government through democratic procedure under an autocracy that showed freedom of thought still had movement, the democratically elected government has become the voice of the religious elite, and thus, the autocracy has cemented itself as the single power in the country. All pretentions of democracy are now essentially null and void.
  • NBZ 14 Jun 2009 16:22:33 2,373 posts
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    Its still a democracy and chances are that Ahmedinejad won fair and square. If there was voter fraud, we should see some evidence of it soon, or atleast see some discrepancies being out forward.
  • localnotail 14 Jun 2009 16:48:01 23,093 posts
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    I'm frankly amazed that I managed to start this thread last night. I was wasted.


    I think the difference between this and a regular democratic election is the sheer gulf between the ideologies of the sides from what I understand.
    It's not like us - we vote (mainly) between 3 shades of the same shit. Even if it does turn out to not be fixed, 30% of the voting-age Iranian population stood up and challenged 30 years of imposed religious government, in a place where dissent has previously been totally disallowed. What happens now?

    A strange game. The only winning move is not to play.

  • Khanivor 14 Jun 2009 17:37:27 41,121 posts
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    Well the election was obviously not democratic in the first place. The candidates are not chosen by the electorate and the media is controlled by the ruling party. That's not free and fair, let along fair and square.

    What I find most telling is that Ahmedinejad won more votes than the last time round even though nothing indicated he was doing anything other than losing popularity.

    With such a high percentage of young people Iran is either going to undergo another revolution soon or find it's next election a much more interesting affair.
  • Deleted user 14 June 2009 18:17:10
    Anyone who thinks Iran is democratic obviously doesn't understand how their system of government works. It's a sham democracy in the sense that whilst elections are held, the actually government has very little power when the religious rulers disagree. There's nothing democratic about it even if part of the system of rule has a parallel.
  • Bill-Gates-is-Evil 14 Jun 2009 18:22:05 8,934 posts
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    Genji wrote:
    FWB wrote:
    Iranian women are hot.
    mmmmm

    +1 billion zillion

    They really are
  • Khanivor 14 Jun 2009 18:39:39 41,121 posts
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    Many reports are claiming that the opponent has been detained or put under house arrest.

    Evidently, the share of the vote won means that Ahmedinejad is the most popular Iranian president in history.

    And apparently the head of the election commission in Iran itself reckons the results are BS.
  • NBZ 14 Jun 2009 18:40:05 2,373 posts
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    squarejawhero wrote:
    Anyone who thinks Iran is democratic obviously doesn't understand how their system of government works. It's a sham democracy in the sense that whilst elections are held, the actually government has very little power when the religious rulers disagree. There's nothing democratic about it even if part of the system of rule has a parallel.

    Compared to a sham democracy where you get to choose to vote for different parties that do the same shit but have different looking leaders?

    Welcome to the real world. This place is not a utopia.
  • NBZ 14 Jun 2009 18:43:33 2,373 posts
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    localnotail wrote:
    Even if it does turn out to not be fixed, 30% of the voting-age Iranian population stood up and challenged 30 years of imposed religious government, in a place where dissent has previously been totally disallowed. What happens now?

    There have been reformists in power before. It's not a new situation.

    And in a democracy, the majority vote rules. You can complain about the minority being ignored in most democratic places.

    Hell, in the UK the winning party rarely has more than 50% of the votes! Last time I think they got under 40%.
  • NBZ 14 Jun 2009 18:44:40 2,373 posts
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    Khanivor wrote:
    Many reports are claiming that the opponent has been detained or put under house arrest.

    Evidently, the share of the vote won means that Ahmedinejad is the most popular Iranian president in history.

    And apparently the head of the election commission in Iran itself reckons the results are BS.

    Interesting stuff. I hope it was not the case of fraud (I don't really care who won), but we will see.
  • Khanivor 14 Jun 2009 18:49:51 41,121 posts
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    Iran's democracy is a true sham as it is not the expressed will of the people. There's a very large difference between creaking democracies all moving towards the centre and an electoral process which is determined by diktat. Nor is an election democratic when it is a coup.

    Sure, there may have been reformist leadership before but the point is that was cast aside by the ruling council. And there is now public dissent not seen in three decades.
  • Deleted user 14 June 2009 19:42:00
    NBZ wrote:
    Its still a democracy and chances are that Ahmedinejad won fair and square. If there was voter fraud, we should see some evidence of it soon, or atleast see some discrepancies being out forward.

    Really? When those in power are doing everything possible to seal Iran's international communications off from the outside world?

    Really not massively bothered to be honest, I tend to figure that in the next five years one of two things happens;

    Iran gets a government and leader that listens to the younger generation in Iran and stops playing military chicken with the West.

    OR

    Iran doesn't reform, develops - or comes close to developing - a nuclear weapon, and Israel makes the place crater city. Rest of the world makes loud noises, USA slaps Israel diplomatically for a month or two, then everything gets back to normal with loud sighs of relief everywhere.
  • faux-C 14 Jun 2009 19:45:46 9,536 posts
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    I'm amazed by the number of people in this thread saying "Iran is a democracy". Bullplop.

    It's a theocracy with a pseudo-democratic front.
  • Bill-Gates-is-Evil 14 Jun 2009 19:46:19 8,934 posts
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    can we just talk about persian girls?
  • Khanivor 14 Jun 2009 19:53:34 41,121 posts
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    Maybe NBZ is repeating the lie about Iran so as not to ponder the developments with Israel and the Palestinians.

    This weekend will wind up being a monumental one in history. Hopefully it will not be recorded as yet another wasted opportunity in the Middle East.
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