"Evil is powerless if the good are unafraid" - Ronald Reagan

New York

Put Moussavi, Khatami, Karroubi on trial says Iran general (Roundup)

From Monsters and Critics.

A senior general of the Iranian revolutionary guards said Sunday that top opposition leaders should be tried for having planned a coup against the Islamic establishment, the official news agency IRNA reported Sunday.

Yadollah Javani, head of the guards' political bureau, demanded that Mir-Hossein Moussavi, former president Mohammad Khatami and former parliament speaker Mehdi Karroubi be put on trial.

President Ahmadinejad is floating the idea of putting key figures on trial. While Iran has put normal citizens on trial with no real loss in support, trying to put these leading figures on trial will cause the regime to crumble. These figures have not yet really taken sides against the regime. If this trial gains traction, they will be forced to take sides against the regime. If and when they do, it will be an ugly day for Iran.

To read the complete article, click here.

Labels: ,

Khatami: Referendum can end Iran's election crisis

From AP via Yahoo.

Former president Mohammad Khatami has called for a nationwide referendum on the legitimacy of the government, saying Iranians have lost faith in their political leaders after last month's disputed election, according to reports posted Monday on several reformist Web sites.

It seems the forces in Iran are beginning to take sides. Between Rafsanjani's sermon Friday and now Khatami calling for a nationwide referendum, things are not going well for the regime. The fact that both are publicly stating these things like this show how much power and control the regime has lost in Ahmadinejad's bid for reelection.

To read the complete article, click here.

Labels: , ,

Failed Peace Deal: Iran Regime Nixes Compromise

From Amir Taheri writing for the New York Post.

IRAN moved a step closer to prolonged civil strife yester day when the government rejected a compromise offered by a key figure of the regime to settle the dispute over last month's election.

The deal was offered byformer President Hashemi Rafsanjani, a prominent mullah-cum-businessman and one of the founders of the Islamic Republic. In his proposal, the dispute over the presidential results would be referred to the Supreme Court for final judgment, while the opposition would stop daily skirmishes between its supporters and security agents. The government would then release the 5,000 or so people arrested since the dispute broke out June 13 and publish the full list of those killed in the insurrection.

Mr. Taheri point out other parts of the compromise which the Iranian regime rejected. He also goes on to site how the sides are lining up and the cold shoulder being given to Ahmadinejad in Mashad. But most importantly, he ends with the following statement which shows where the regime is heading.

The split within the Khomeinist establishment is deepening by the day, creating the impression of a regime adrift in a sea of troubles.

To read the complete article, click here.

Labels: ,

Thousands throng again as Rafsanjani speaks in Tehran

From Monsters and Critics.

Thousands thronged to Friday prayers in Tehran to hear an address by former president Akbar Hashemi-Rafsanjani. The event rekindled open protests at alleged fraud in the June 12 presidential election, which saw President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad retain power.

Witnesses said as many as 100,000 opposition supporters took part in the demonstrations in searing heat of 40 degrees centigrade or more. Police used tear gas when clashes broke out after the event.

Things are still not right in Iran. Rafsanjani spoke out defiantly against the establishment. The fact that he was able to do this with carefully chosen words is indicative that the ruling establishment in Iran has lost a certain amount of control.

To read the complete article, click here.

Labels: ,

Iran opposition: Election result 'unacceptable'

From Hareetz.

Iran's embattled opposition leader has branded last month's presidential election "illegitimate" and has demanded the regime release all political prisoners.

Mir Hossein Mousavi's defiance came Wednesday in a new message on his Web site that also called for election reforms and press freedoms.

Mousavi insisted that Iran's disputed June 12 election was riddled with fraud. He contended that he - not incumbent President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad - was the rightful winner.

The pot continues to stew. One thing is important to note in this article. It is the title. "Iran Opposition". These are important, and very new words.

To read the full article, click here.

Labels: ,

Iran is the Key

From Robert D. Kaplan writing for the New York Post.

Iran is so central to the fate of the Middle East that even a partial shift in regime behavior -- an added degree of nuance in its approach to Iraq, Lebanon, Israel or the United States -- could dramatically affect the region. Just as a radical Iranian leader can energize the "Arab street," an Iranian reformer can energize the emerging but curiously opaque Arab bourgeoisie. This is why the depiction of presidential candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi as but another radical, albeit with a kinder, gentler exterior than Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, completely misses the point.

Mr. Kaplan points out that like the old USSR, Iran can only change from the inside. It is an insightful article with many interesting comments.

For a full read, click here.

Labels: ,

PROFILE: Ali Larijani - New strong man in Iran's parliament

From Monsters and Critics.

With his imminent election as speaker of the Iranian parliament Ali Larijani will not only become the head of the legislature but also the main challenger to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad....

Larijani's main political career started in the mid 1980s as culture minister under president Akbar Hashemi-Rafsanjani. In 1994, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei made him head of the state television network IRIB. A decade later, Khamenei appointed him as his advisor in the Supreme National Security Council (SNSC).

An opponent of the reform movement led by president Mohammad Khatami, Larijani ran in the 2005 presidential elections but failed to make it into the second round. Nevertheless, election winner Ahmadinejad appointed him secretary of the SNSC and chief nuclear negotiator.

Larijani is an up and coming leader in Iranian politics. While a conservative, he disagreed with Ahmadinejad on how to deal with Iranian nuclear development and eventually resigned his post as chief nuclear negotiator under Ahmadinejad. He created an alternative conservative movement which won the most votes in parliament. He is also an opponent of the reform movement led by president Mohammad Khatami. He is suspected to challenge Ahmadinejad for the presidency in 2009.

For a full read, click here.

Labels: , , ,