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Support the mass struggles in Iran

category international | anti-capitalism | other press author Sunday June 14, 2009 18:32author by Anne McShane - Hands off the People of Iranauthor email annegmcshane at eircom dot netauthor phone 0862343238 Report this post to the editors

Support for the mass protests against Ahmadinejad’s re-election! But we

Yassamine Mather, chair of Hands Off the People of Iran, assesses the highly
fluid situation in Iran. She calls for support for the mass demonstrations but warns against any illusions in Mir_Hossain Moussavi.

It is no surprise that the highly contested results of the presidential
elections in Iran have sparked unrest in Tehran and other cities across
Iran. The level of cheating on display seems crazy even by the standards of
Iran's Islamic Republic regime. Clearly, the results are the final proof
that confirms that the whole electoral process is deeply undemocratic and
rigged from top to bottom:

* Ahmadinejad was declared winner by the official media even before
some polling stations had closed
* His final result was almost identical to what the (rigged) polls
predicted all the way through the elections. This percentage did not ever
vary by more than three percent
* Hundreds of candidates were barred from standing in the first place,
especially those of the left
The main ‘reformist’ candidate Mir-Hossain Moussavi has declared the
elections a “charade” and claimed Iran was moving towards tyranny. Thousands
of protesters (not all of them backers of Moussavi) have taken to the
streets to demonstrate against the re-election of Ahmadinejad.


For the full text of this article see the link below

Related Link: http://www.hopi-Ireland.org
author by ronan gallagherpublication date Mon Jun 15, 2009 15:26author address author phone Report this post to the editors

It would have been easy using exit polls to predict a victory for Ahmadinejad before the polling stations closed if the margin of victory was so high. I have read a lot of papers and heard plenty of reports saying that the election results were rigged but haven’t seen any proof for the allegations.
It seemed to me that the western media were hyping up the opposition last week in the run-up to the election .Some of them like Simon Tisdall in the Guardian might have become victims of their own propaganda and actually believed that some sort of a “Green Revolution” was going to take place. Tisdall writes bitterly this morning about “the callous puncturing of the dream of Iranian reform”. In reality there was no reform being offered by any of the anti- Ahmadinejad candidates other than pro- market reforms and cuts in food subsidies for the poor. Why would anyone want to vote for that?

author by hmmmmmmmmpublication date Mon Jun 15, 2009 16:24author address author phone Report this post to the editors

From a European point of view the first irregularity worth mentioning would have to the turnout. You can't think an 85% voter turnout is anything but suspicious. Where is the apathy? fatigue? disinterest? don¡'t these people prefer to go to the beach like over half of our splendid liberal democratic societies?

Oh but this is no laughing matter.

Wikipedia has an image which is thought provoking but will alas be removed after June 15th for some reason or other. Perhaps it will last longer here. Fair use and licensing blaa blaa. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iranian_presidential_elect...sults

You can see below two screen shots from Iranian state Run TV, which if genuine really do offer evidence of extraordinarily shoddy manipulation of data. At 09:47 (Top Picture) Mohsen Razi has 633,048 votes = 2.8%. However, at 13:53 (the lower picture) his counted votes drop to 587,913 = 1.71%

Of course that's all inky thumbs to most of us who hopefully no matter the solidarity we feel for the Iranian people don't forget the axiom and golden rule :- the government wins elections

The image that has really impressed me though was one which was so dramatic it has got mention on the BBC english site and as far as I can tell has started a length discussion thread on the BBC persian site : that of the riot copper going into do the beating standing on the back of a motorbike. That was quite something I'm those readers who saw it will agree. Iranian riot coppers it seems dress just like our riot coppers, whichever security corporation that tenders to supply Kelvar™ body armour (that wonderful blunt trauma proof material created by the Dupont corp) has really excelled itself at flogging its gear globally. But have we ever seen one of our Guards balancing on the shoulders of a motorcyclist whilst he goes in on a baton charge? I dread to think that such new civil unrest techniques be included in the training manual and courses at Templemore or my local barcelona.

Something else that is interesting is the role being played or alledgedly (according to BBC, Al Jazeera and wikipedia) by Facebook, Twitter and blogs. One of the principle such pages quite helpfully has put an English illustration :-

It has been less than a month since Iran temporarily closed access to Facebook (c/f this back article of May 25th 2009 which put that decision not by the police but by the revolutionary guard in its most curious context http://www.indymedia.ie/article/92453 Ireland has a relatively low number of registered users of facebook compared to other states, with only 167,000 approx people who've signed up and absolutely no indication how many Irish people actually regularly use the thing. Compared with Bebo which boasts over 1 million users in Ireland and beyond the USA is not that popular. An oddity which brings me to pose a rhetorical question :- given that Bebo has never mentioned in connection with fomenting protest, organising flash mobs or mobilising the masses to topple unpopular regimes - is it mere anomaly that Ireland continues with the same shite as ever?




author by ronan gallagherpublication date Tue Jun 16, 2009 18:40author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Yassamine Mather issued the statement on behalf of Hopi on the day after the Iranian general election calling the whole process “a charade” and saying that the Ahmadinejad victory was the result of “blatant manipulation.” The statement offers no evidence other than the election’s result for the charges of manipulation nor for asserting that the “level of cheating on display seems crazy even by the standards of Iran's Islamic Republic regime”.

Ms Mather, who admits she regards Ahmadinejad as the worst candidate in the election, also asserts that the opinion polls taken in the run-up to the election, which roughly predicted the result, were “rigged”. Again she offers no evidence for this assertion.

In an article published on the wsws today, Bill van Auken writes that these opinion polls- conducted by an agency whose directors are pro-western - were probably not rigged but gave an accurate reflection of voters’ intentions.

“In a column published in the Washington Post Monday, the heads of two US non-governmental groups that organized a voter survey, using one of the most respected polling agencies in the region, rebutted the claims that because of the wide margin of victory the vote totals had to be fraudulent.
“The election results in Iran may reflect the will of the Iranian people,” wrote Ken Ballen, president of Terror Free Tomorrow: the Centre for Public Opinion, and Patrick Doherty of the American Strategy Program of the New America Foundation.
They pointed out that their opinion poll, carried out between May 11 and May 20, “showed Ahmadinejad leading by a more than 2 to 1 margin—greater than his actual apparent margin of victory in Friday’s election.”
The two specifically rebutted claims by Mousavi supporters that the fact that as an ethnic Azeri he failed to win a larger share of the Azeri vote proved that the totals were rigged. The poll, they said, showed that Azeris also favored Ahmadinejad 2 to 1 over Mousavi.”
See http://www.wsws.org/articles/2009/jun2009/iran-j16.shtml

The Guardian has started to modify its stance on the election’s legitimacy. The paper’s editorial today admits -somewhat reluctantly - that “some evidence from independent polling suggests results may have been legitimate”. With the situation in Iran so volatile and dangerous at the moment it is surely incumbent on Hopi to provide evidence for its assertion that the election was rigged. People who believe that the election was stolen from them are getting killed on the streets at the moment. If the elections were blatantly fraudulent the protests would be justified, but if the results were fair, Western commentators who claim to support the people of Iran have a duty to say so.
The real danger in the situation as I see it is that the fascist-leaning Israeli government and the right-wing coterie around Dick Cheney in the USA may be quietly pleased at the victory of Ahmadinejad ,because the result would undermine Obama’s diplomatic overtures to the Tehran regime and help build the case for war.

author by B Travenpublication date Tue Jun 16, 2009 18:52author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Hands Off the People of Iran quite clearly opposes any US aggression towards Iran. Its quite amazing that anyone would suggest that there is no evidence of electoral fraud. Even Ayetollah Khamenis own polls suggested that Mousavi would win. Now suddenly a poll has emerged that suggests that Ahmadinejad was going to win after all! Why didnt this poll come out before the election? But I'm sure Ronan knows better than an Iranian dissident about whats going on in Iran.

Mousavi is little better than Ahmadinejad but now a struggle has started which may yet Those who smear and slander the prosters in Iran and their supporters abroad are the ones with blood on their hands.

author by B Travenpublication date Tue Jun 16, 2009 19:00author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Here are some extracts from BBC Iranian affairs analyst Sadeq Saba analysis of the election results. Full text at link.

What is the evidence of electoral fraud?

The way the result was announced was very unusual. Usually, in all previous elections, the vote came in and was announced province by province.

As these blocks of votes came in, the percentages going to each candidate changed very, very little. This appears to suggest that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad did equally well in rural and urban areas. Conversely, it suggests that the other three losing candidates did equally badly in their home regions and provinces.

This overturns all precedent in Iranian politics. We know Mr Ahmadinejad is very popular in rural areas and unpopular in the big cities.

Is the Supreme Leader's position or credibility under threat at all?
Ayatollah Khamenei's credibility may be under threat.

A leading and respected cleric, Mohsen Kadivar, has questioned why the Supreme Leader welcomed the election result so quickly, before it had been legally ratified by the Guardian Council.

Ayatollah Khamenei has been widely criticised for being too close to Mr Ahamdinejad. The Supreme Leader is meant to remain above the fray and above factional politics.

So there are legal means to reverse the situation.

But this would be a massive upheaval and a great defeat for the president and the Supreme Leader - so it's very unlikely.

This said, I can't see the demonstrations dying down. They are more likely to gain momentum and spread as people are angered by the clampdown.


Related Link: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/8101621.stm
author by ronan gallagherpublication date Wed Jun 17, 2009 10:03author address author phone Report this post to the editors

No , I’m not saying I know better than Iranian dissidents , B Traven . I’m not saying as you do that Mousavi is a little better Ahmadinejad though. It’s hard to get information from the country about the election and the polls which Yassamine Mather said were rigged . You quote from the BBC website , but the article by BBC Iranian affairs analyst Sadeq Saba doesn’t say that the polls were blatantly fraudulent as Ms Mather's statement does : “It is all very suspicious. But it does not necessarily mean there has been widespread electoral fraud.” was as much as BBC Iranian affairs analyst Sadeq Saba could conclude.

The Lebanon Star had a more nuanced view on the election and the pre-election polls yesterday .
“The nationwide survey found, along with support for Ahmadinejad, a clear pro-reform agenda. Most of those polled said they wanted a supreme leader elected by the people, a truly radical step. They also favored a free media and more personal freedoms as government priorities, matching the importance of the economy as a national issue.”

author by B Travenpublication date Wed Jun 17, 2009 11:04author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Yassamine is in touch with dissidents within iran. I think Mousavi is a butcher who has donned the cloths of a reformer. When Mousavi was in power he presided over the slaughter of thousands of dissidents.

If this happened anywhere else I wonder if so called progressive people would be supporting the government side? Would anyone suggest that Mugabe was democratically elected? Would anyone support the Zimbabwean Secret Police if they shot down protesors in the street?

author by ronan gallagherpublication date Thu Jun 18, 2009 12:46author address author phone Report this post to the editors

B Traven thinks that Mousavvi , who presided over the slaughter of thousands of Iranian dissidents , was nonetheless a slightly better candidate in the Iranian election than Ahmadinejad was . It must be asked to what end he now asks the above series of seemingly hypothetical questions about Zimbabwe.

author by B Travenpublication date Thu Jun 18, 2009 14:41author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"Mousavi is little better than Ahmadinejad "

Thats what I wrote, not that he is a little better but that hes little better. In normal discourse that is taken to mean that there is no real difference between two individuals. But this is just semantics on the part of Ronan.

The Iranian Government is a Dictatorship and what is required is Regime Change From Within AND From Below. Nothing must be imposed upon the Iranian People but neither should they be prevented from freely deciding their destiny.

author by pat cpublication date Thu Jun 18, 2009 16:33author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Here is the text of the leaflet for the demo.

Hands off the People of Iran’ calls for solidarity with the masses in revolt against the Islamic regime! No illusions in Moussavi!

No to imperialist intervention!

Demonstrate Saturday20th June at 1.00pm outside the Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran, 72 Mount Merrion Avenue, Blackrock, Dublin.

Demo followed by meeting at 3.30pm , Seomra Spraoi, 10 Belvedere Court,off Gardiner Street

Join us in showing solidarity with the masses in Iran who have taken to the streets in outrage against the rigged elections. This is a revolt against a deeply repressive state. The situation in Iran is on a knife-edge. The foundations of the Islamic Republic regime are shaking.

Hopi supporters are in daily contact with Iran. People are risking their lives by taking to the streets in defiance of the government. Too many have already lost their lives at the hands of the state forces. We call for immediate, unconditional release of all prisoners arrested and for the withdrawal of state forces from the streets. The ban on reporting and on use of the Internet must be lifted immediately.

We are pushing for maximum solidarity from the working class movement here in Ireland to progressive forces in Iran. The upsurge against theocratic rule should not derailed by reformists from within the Iranian regime itself.

There should be no illusions in Moussavi. He too was a demagogue during his 8 years as prime minister of the Islamic republic. He was involved in deals with the Reagan government and he presided over the government at a time when thousands of political prisoners , many associated the Iranian left, were executed in the 1980s. He is not a solution but a danger and will compromise the movement.

We in Hopi show solidarity with those struggling for their own liberation. We believe that the solution in Iran must be by the working class taking the lead. We believe in socialism.

Contact Anne on 086 2343 238
or at anne@hopoi.org

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