Northern Country

How globalization changes capitalism, the economy and politics

Posts Tagged ‘fraud

What change? – one step forward two steps back

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The reformist opposition in Iran is still dedicated and vowed to continue their fight against what they claim are fraudulent election results. In the meantime the demonstrations have for the most part abated and the streets of Tehran are back to a kind of normalcy again.

Some leaders of European governments have submitted their protests to the Iranian theocratic rulers about how they chose to deal with demonstrators in the last couple of days. Yesterday the president of the United States expressed his criticism saying he was appalled and outraged about the post-election crackdown.

This interference in their internal affairs seemed to have angered Iranian leadership who accuse mainly the US and UK in being supportive of violence in the streets of Tehran. After expelling two British diplomats from Iran the UK did the same with their Iranian colleagues in London. The US joined this diplomatic row and withdrew invitations to Iranian diplomats to attend US Independence Day celebrations on July 4.

This is reminiscent of the Bush-neoconservative era of exclusive axis-of-evil type of policy rather than change under which premise Obama run and successfully won the White House in the November election. Obviously Obama is becoming choosy again and does not want to sit down with just anybody anymore. If a covert attempt to regime change in Iran is his only answer to the problems in the Middle East than yes we can and change is possible more and more resemble empty phrases. The unvitation is clearly a step backwards in the crucial relationship between these two countries.

It was the first time since Washington cut diplomatic ties with Tehran in 1980 that Iranian diplomats had been invited to the embassy parties, but the move to withdraw the invites was largely symbolic as no Iranians had even responded.

"The president’s policy of engagement is obviously delayed, but we are going to have to deal with the government of Iran," Senator John Kerry, chairman of the influential Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told Reuters.

The best U.S. option for pressuring Iran, the world’s fifth biggest oil producer, was to drive down crude prices by reducing America’s dependence on imported energy, Kerry said.

Mohammad Marandi, who is the head of North American Studies at Tehran University, said mistrust of the United States and Britain was rife, partly due to the "very negative" role of U.S.- and British-funded Persian-language television stations.

"They are working 24 hours a day spreading rumours and trying to turn people against each other," he told Reuters.

"In the short term relations will definitely get worse, but in the long term the U.S. really has to re-think its policy and to recognize that regime change is not possible in Iran."


Written by Alfred

25. June 2009 at 11:17 am

Iran – has the West already won?

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Iran’s supreme leader during Friday’s prayer sided with President Ahmadinejad over the disputed election results. He called it an absolute victory , proven by the big difference in vote count between the two challengers. Khamenei made clear that street protests would not make any difference and gave a stern warning to those responsible to resort to reason and pursue any further complains the legal way. Here are some excerpts from his speech from the Huffington Post:

“Some of our enemies in different parts of the world intended to depict this absolute victory, this definitive victory, as a doubtful victory,” he said. “It is your victory. They cannot manipulate it.”

“If the difference was 100,000 or 500,000 or 1 million, well, one may say fraud could have happened. But how can one rig 11 million votes?”

“It must be determined at the ballot box what the people want and what they don’t want, not in the streets,” he said. “I call on all to put an end to this method. … If they don’t, they will be held responsible for the chaos and the consequences.”

“Some may imagine that street action will create political leverage against the system and force the authorities to give in to threats. No, this is wrong,” he said.

“All of them (the four candidates) belong to the system. It was a competition within the ruling system,”

This explicit statement regarding the system of government gives a hint about the real struggle that must be going on behind closed doors among the theocratic elite in Iran. At stake is not only an allegedly rigged election but rather the existence of the Iranian Revolution itself. Whether the protesters themselves led by Mousavi and Rafsanjani are aware of this daunting challenge is not clear. But what should be clear among those taking to the streets is that this revolution against the revolution will not be accomplished by Twitter and social networks alone. As supreme leader Khamenei reiterated those responsible for blood, violence and chaos have to take responsibility.

There have been many accusations, during Khamenei’s prayer and before, of western governments trying to meddle with Iranian internal affairs (also here). Whether US., Great Britain and what he called Iran’s other enemies try to force a showdown over Iran’s non-elected theocracy and shake up the foundation of its system of rule is uncertain although possible given the general uninhibited elation in western media over the street protests. I hope all those concerned know what they are doing and are willing to accept responsibility.

The next days and weeks will define this struggle and although the outcome is uncertain, Iranian leadership must not ignore it. The hundreds of thousands of people taking to the streets have already shaken the foundation of the Islamic Revolution. If the theocratic leadership remains stubborn and does not recognize since the overthrow of the Shah a generation’s life has passed, they are poised to meet the same faith.

Written by Alfred

19. June 2009 at 3:14 pm