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Iranian Alert - May 2, 2005 - Poll: 85% of Iranian students want a secular and democratic republic!
Regime Change Iran ^ | 5.2.2005 | DoctorZin

Posted on 05/02/2005 1:21:40 AM PDT by DoctorZIn

Top News Story

Life and Liberty in Iran

Masoud Kazemzadeh and Shahla Azizi,

One of the most vexing questions animating observers and analysts of Iranian politics is: why despite being extremely unpopular and incompetent, are the fundamentalists still in power? One factor that may provide a partial explanation is the huge change of the dominant ethos among large sectors of the population.

In the 1970s and 1980s, the dominant ethos among large sectors of the Iranian people was idealistic, altruistic, and celebrated sacrifice for the greater good.

Today, on the contrary, the predominant ethos have become excessive selfishness, acquisitiveness, cynicism, and lack of willingness to make the smallest sacrifice to protect the common good.

This pendulum-like swing from one extreme to the other has a deleterious impact on the outcome of political struggles in Iran. If this observation is correct, although the overwhelming majority of Iranians are opposed to the ruling Islamic fundamentalist regime, the vast majority are unwilling to pay the price of replacing it.

Anecdotal and statistical evidence of the alienation of the youth from the fundamentalist regime are overwhelming. For example, a government conducted survey revealed that
  • 86 percent of the youth say that they do not perform the obligatory daily Islamic prayer.
In early 2003 a large Internet poll of students of the Amir Kabir University (the second most prestigious university in Iran) was conducted.
  • Only 6 percent of the students said that they support the hardliners, while another
  • 4 percent said they support the reformists within the regime.
  • A mere 5 percent said they support the return of the former monarchy.
  • Most significantly, 85 percent of the students said that they would support the establishment of a secular and democratic republic.

Why then out of two million students at institutions of higher education, would only a few thousand participate in pro-democracy sit-ins and protests?

In a large survey of 15 to 29 year-olds published in January of this year, some interesting data have been released. The survey entitled “The Values and Opinions of the 15-29 Year Old Youth,” revealed that 59 percent of male and 57 percent of female respondents said “each person should think only of oneself.” To the question on “are people honest and forthright in public,” 79 percent of males and 82 percent of females responded “no.” And 50.4 percent of males and 39 percent of females said that they “would welcome the opportunity to emigrate abroad.”

This is the generation that was petrified under the rains of scud missiles and aerial bombardment during the eight-year war with Iraq, and survived Khomeini’s reign of terror where possession of banned materials resulted in summary trials and mass executions, and humiliated and lashed for infractions of the fundamentalists’ puritanical dictates. Monopolization of all levers of power by fundamentalist clerics, incredible financial corruption by clerical officials and their children, brutal suppression of dissents, cultural suffocation, severe economic difficulties, astronomical rise in crime, addiction, and prostitution have undermined the sense of common purpose and common good.

For the overwhelming majority in this generation, personal survival trumps any notion of personal sacrifice for the common good. Thus in just one generation cynicism has replaced idealism among vast majority of the population. Economic hardships and lack of freedom have resulted in a mixture of materialism and individualism -- of coveting a Western life-style as seen on satellite television and of believing that it can be achieved only on a personal rather a societal level. It is easier to imagine that you can move to the West and dress like Brittany Spears than it is to believe that everyone can one day be like her here in Iran.

The rise of Khatami and reformist fundamentalists raised expectations that were quickly dashed, thus dramatically increasing both frustration and hopelessness. The inability of the once-popular President Khatami to implement any real change has greatly disillusioned the more than seventy percent of the electorate who voted for him. Today, his promise to create a more open and secular society is perceived to have been nothing but a ploy to prolong the fundamentalist theocrats in power. He is seen by many in Iran at best as a powerless and incompetent idealist and at worst as a sweet talking cleric propped up to deceive the malcontent inside and critics abroad. The failure of the reformist faction of the fundamentalists to maintain their hold onto Majles in February 2004 elections, underlined their inability to be regarded in public opinion as viable vehicle for change.

The fundamentalist regime has lost its ideological hegemony and political legitimacy, but not its ability to coerce and intimidate into submission. In addition, due to the enormous revenues from the sale of oil and natural gas, the regime is able not only to keep its small social base content but also to co-opt a few non-fundamentalists. While a few brave pro-democracy activists and students continue to struggle against the regime, for now at least, the overwhelming majority of the population sits on the sidelines wishing them well but is unwilling to risk life and liberty to replace the incumbent tyranny with a secular and democratic republic that they obviously desire. Many so infected with bizarre conspiracy theories, argue that the British have put the clerics on power and only the American can take them down. This renders any active participation superfluous because it is not the actions of Iranians themselves that changes regimes but rather James-Bond-like schemes behind the scenes.

Has apathy become a feature of Iranian political culture for the foreseeable future or is there a revolution brewing? The answer is not clear but we see several possibilities. One possibility is that Iranians have lost the will to confront their oppressors and instead wish to engage purely in self-improvements devoid of any broader considerations. The incredible brutality of the regime combined with the now-prevailing ethos have reduced the possibilities of nonviolent transition to democracy as have occurred recently in Georgia, Ukraine, and Kyrgyzstan.

Another possibility is that while apathy may be the outward appearance, there is a cumulation of repressed anger, which may explode by a trigger. A potential trigger may be an outrageous act by regime elements as occurred in Lebanon by the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafiq al-Hariri. Another trigger may be American military attacks on fundamentalist coercive apparatuses such as Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, Basij corps, Ansar-e Hezbollah vigilantes, Ministry of Intelligence headquarters, and the like.

We do not believe that any military strikes on the nuclear facilities would serve as a trigger for mass uprising

as some have argued in Washington. The reasons being that with coercive apparatuses being intact, they have not only the power to crush any uprising, but also the added motivation and anger to do so. Iranians are angry at the coercive apparatuses for having oppressed and repressed them for so long but not at any inanimate nuclear facility.

Another trigger may be UN Security Council economic sanctions, which may lead to runs on the banks, food stores, events that would put the masses in confrontation with the coercive apparatuses. If the coercive apparatuses did not open fire on the masses, then that would encourage more valiant rioting and burning of government autos and buildings cascading out of control. If the coercive apparatuses did open fire on the masses, then that may increase responses by the masses on such a scale that the regime would not be able to control and contain. The UN Security Council international sanctions modeled after those imposed on the Apartheid regime in South Africa and Burmese dictatorship may be the least violent way to replace the ruling fundamentalists with a secular and democratic republic that Iranians so wish.

Iran’s future looks grim in all of these possibilities. Time will tell which one would be the actual history.

A Daily Briefing of Major News Stories on Iran:

TOPICS: Extended News; Foreign Affairs; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: alqaedaandiran; alsadr; ambyss; anniversary; armyofmahdi; axisofevil; axisofweasels; ayatollah; azadi; binladen; bush43; china; cleric; cruisemissiles; democracy; disinformation; elbaradei; eu; freedom; freedomdeficit; germany; humanrights; iaea; impendingapocalypse; impendingarmageddon; insurgency; iran; iranianalert; irannukes; iranpolicy; iraq; irgc; iri; islam; islamicfanatics; islamicrepublic; israel; japan; journalist; kazemi; khamenei; khatami; letsroll; madmullahs; mahdi; moqtadaalsadr; mullahs; muslims; nomoreiran; norooz; nukeem; nukes; opec; persecution; persia; persian; persians; persianvote; politicalprisoners; protests; rafsanjani; regimechangeiran; revolutionaryguard; rumsfeld; russia; satellitetelephones; shiite; smccdi; southasia; southwestasia; studentmovement; studentprotest; taketheoiltoo; tehran; terrorism; terrorists; us; vevak; wot; zawahiri

"If you want on or off this Iran ping list, Freepmail DoctorZin

1 posted on 05/02/2005 1:21:47 AM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: Pan_Yans Wife; fat city; freedom44; Tamsey; Grampa Dave; PhiKapMom; McGavin999; Hinoki Cypress; ...
Join Us At Today's Iranian Alert Thread – The Most Underreported Story Of The Year!

"If you want on or off this Iran ping list, Freepmail DoctorZin”

3 posted on 05/02/2005 1:24:05 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn


4 posted on 05/02/2005 1:32:25 AM PDT by sheik yerbouty
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To: DoctorZIn

of those how many are willing to fight?

5 posted on 05/02/2005 2:05:12 AM PDT by Steve Van Doorn
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To: DoctorZIn

I would say US will not wait forever for the Iranians to uprise and change the regime theirself. If it takes too long, there is always a possibility just like it happened for Iraq. If Iranians do not favor military actions by US, the Iranians will have to uprise before it may happen.

6 posted on 05/02/2005 5:02:35 AM PDT by Wiz
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To: DrZin

News from Iran:

Major demonstrations by Labour movement yesterday. Chanting "referandun"

Students on strike at one of the universities in Tehran

Teachers are demonstrating in front of the Majlis (parliament) in Tehran (Monday).

7 posted on 05/02/2005 6:31:28 AM PDT by persiandissident (Free The People, Please)
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To: persiandissident

Welcome aboard!

8 posted on 05/02/2005 8:07:52 AM PDT by Fred Hayek (I live in Minnesota, I run a business in Minnesota, but I remain a TEXAN!)
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To: DrZin

ILNA : The court held its session on two Kurdish journalists ! (Persian) - ILNA : The court held its session on two Kurdish journalists !Tehran - Iran's Labour News Agency.

The court's session on to the accusation of Ajlal Ghavami and Saeed Saei , the two Kurdish journalists was held this morning ( Saturday April 30 /2005) in the division # 4 of the public prosecutor and revolution court of the city of Sanandaj . According to the reporter of " ILNA " The pair journalists have been accused of " conspiracy against the security by propagating for boycuting the election" , " cursing the leader and instigating problems among religious and minorities " , " by showing the state does not function " , " Propaganda activities for the opposition parties that are against Islamic Republic" and " cursing the states officials".

In this court session which was held with the presence of the complainant , this two journalists pleaded not guilty.

At the end of the court session the judge ordered a bail with the amount of 14 million Tuman ( 1 Canadian $ is = 700 Tuman ) for each of the accused and announced that the next session of the court for the rest of the accusation will be announced by a written letter.

9 posted on 05/02/2005 8:42:28 AM PDT by persiandissident (Free The People, Please)
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To: DrZin

Young man hanged in Iran for acting against the state Mon. 2 May 2005

Iran Focus

Tehran, May 02 – A young man was hanged in public in the northeastern Iranian town of Bojnourd for “acting against the state”, according to the state-run daily Iran.

Hadi Safdari was accused of creating public disorder and acting against the state.

Iran’s authorities have recently stepped up executions and death sentences for political prisoners, despite international condemnation.

On Monday morning another man, only identified as Yaqoub R., was executed in Karoon Prison in the southern Iranian city of Ahwaz, which has been the scene of mass social unrest and clashes between anti-government protesters and State Security Forces. He was accused of murder.

Separately two other men were sentenced to death by a Tehran court, accused of murder. A 21-year-old man was sentenced to execution while another young man was sentenced to five times execution in public.

10 posted on 05/02/2005 11:38:45 AM PDT by persiandissident (Free The People, Please)
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To: DrZin

Today is the THIRD day of protests by Teacher's Union in front of the Majlis in Tehran.

11 posted on 05/02/2005 12:01:03 PM PDT by persiandissident (Free The People, Please)
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To: DoctorZIn; nuconvert; F14 Pilot; persiandissident; MeekOneGOP; Grampa Dave; BOBTHENAILER; ...

Tehran Tries to Cultivate India as an Ally
By Christopher Kelley Asian Wall Street Journal May 2, 2005

With world attention focused on Iran's steady progress toward a nuclear bomb, it has been easy to miss the Islamic Republic's initiatives on another front -- South Asia, where Tehran has been busy cultivating India as an ally.

Iran's relationship with India is not new. Strong cultural and political ties date back many centuries and include periods of both tension and friendship. Now that relationship is entering a new stage that should be of particular concern to the U.S.

In early January, Tehran and New Delhi concluded a landmark 25-year energy deal, under which the Islamic Republic agreed to supply India with at least 7.5 million tons of natural gas annually beginning in 2009. As part of the accord, India also acquired a substantial foothold in the Iranian energy sector.

Despite American objections, the two countries are also in the final stages of negotiations over building a natural gas liquefaction facility in Iran with an annual capacity of nine million tons, as well as a $4 billion, 1,725 mile gas pipeline from Iran to India.

Energy cooperation only scratches the surface of what is emerging as a key strategic partnership for Tehran. Iranian President Mohammed Khatami's visit to New Delhi in January 2003 yielded a key strategic cooperation agreement that included military deals worth some $25 billion. This was a coup for India, which has become a major producer of Russian military hardware and sees in Iran a significant client for its defense industry.

According to Jane's Defense Weekly and Defense News, Tehran and New Delhi inked a secret defense agreement in 2003 providing India with access to Iranian military bases in the event of a war with regional rival Pakistan. This is hardly surprising; both nations have mutual concerns regarding security threats that could emerge from Pakistan, particularly if Islamic radicals ever succeeded in toppling Gen. Pervez Musharraf from power.

Movement is also visible on other fronts. In July, Iran and India finalized a $150 million deal to upgrade facilities and cargo capacity in the southeastern Iranian port of Chabahar, and to build a 375 kilometer rail link from there to the city of Bam. The new infrastructure will expand India's access to Afghanistan and the Central Asian states -- countries vital as sources of raw materials to drive Indian industry and as export markets for Indian goods.

Given India's rapidly growing economy (some 8% annually), its energy needs are expected to balloon over the next two decades -- making Iran, with the world's second largest natural-gas reserves, an attractive investment opportunity.

Just as significant, however, India's new focus on cooperation with Iran reflects a substantial reorientation of policy in New Delhi. Under the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), India had explored economic and energy ties with Iran but stopped short of forging any serious partnerships. Since the unexpected electoral defeat of the BJP last spring, however, India's new Congress Party government appears to have embraced the idea of an expanded partnership with Tehran.

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice tried to put a damper on Tehran's plans when she visited India in March. Ms. Rice expressed Washington's formal objections to the Indo-Iranian pipeline, and offered New Delhi attractive alternatives to cooperation with Tehran in the form of advanced U.S. nuclear technology and a large-scale Indo-American "energy dialogue." Washington has even dangled the possibility of sales of high-tech F-16 and F-18 jet fighters to New Delhi as a means of offsetting similar sales to Pakistan.

Such steps are key to diffusing Iran's growing inroads on the Indian subcontinent. So far though, they have proven to be the exception rather than the rule. Washington needs to adequately appreciate the strategic importance of the growing Tehran-New Delhi entente. It is a partnership that, if left unaddressed, could undermine some of the advances made by the Bush administration in its ties with India -- and profoundly alter the correlation of forces in a critical front in the war on terror.

U.S. policymakers need to spare no effort in convincing their counterparts in New Delhi that a partnership with the U.S. serves India's purposes much better than a sinister symbiosis with Iran.

Mr. Kelley is a researcher at the American Foreign Policy Council in Washington, DC.

12 posted on 05/02/2005 4:49:54 PM PDT by PhilDragoo (Hitlery: das Butch von Buchenvald)
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To: DrZin

13 posted on 05/03/2005 9:28:54 AM PDT by persiandissident (Free The People, Please)
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To: DoctorZIn
To read today’s thread click here.

Join Us At Today's Iranian Alert Thread – The Most Underreported Story Of The Year!

"If you want on or off this Iran ping list, Freepmail DoctorZin”

14 posted on 05/03/2005 1:39:07 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

Amen. Of course there are certain Freepers who are against US being a secular Republic.

15 posted on 05/03/2005 1:41:14 PM PDT by Clemenza (I am NOT A NUMBER, I am a FREE MAN!!!)
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To: sheik yerbouty

God help America if her students get to determine the kind of government she has!!!!!!!

16 posted on 05/03/2005 1:41:58 PM PDT by BillM
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To: persiandissident

Welcome to FreeRepublic!

17 posted on 05/03/2005 1:44:48 PM PDT by airborne (Dear Lord, please be with my family in Iraq. Keep them close to You and safely in Your arms.)
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To: BillM

They almost did when the Demonic Duo tried turning the White House into the Whorehose..

18 posted on 05/04/2005 4:47:29 AM PDT by sheik yerbouty
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