Skip to comments.Iranian Alert - December 10, 2005 - Opposition in Iran Showing Signs of Unity
Posted on 12/09/2005 8:38:24 PM PST by DoctorZIn
Top News Story
Opposition in Iran Showing Signs of Unity
By ELI LAKE - Staff Reporter of the Sun
December 8, 2005
CAIRO, Egypt - In the aftermath of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's ascendancy to the presidency of Iran, the country's opposition is beginning to show signs of unifying as the clerical regime wages a war against internal dissent.
Yesterday, the regime closed all schools in Tehran, citing poor air quality, after word leaked of the first major demonstrations since the summer. Nonetheless, a rally at Tehran University attracted 300 demonstrators amid a heavy police presence on campus. Of note is that before the rally against the new president, a coalition of Kurdish students also signed on to the call.
In Brussels on Monday, a meeting of 250 delegates for a new "World Congress of the Iran Referendum Movement," an outgrowth of efforts last year to find support for changing the charter of the Islamic Republic, agreed on a slate of principles and a plan to begin drafting a new constitution by the end of 2006.
The developments in Iran and abroad are significant after many activists became despondent after the hunger strike of dissident author Akbar Ganji did not end with his release from prison. Mr. Ganji, according to his wife, has been confined to a solitary cell for over 90 days at Evin prison. For a brief moment over the summer, his open letters against the supreme leader catapulted him to national attention as he subsisted on water for nearly three months. But as he has remained in jail and the former intelligence commander, Mr. Ahmadinejad, has placed hardliners loyal to the ruling clerics throughout the government, the space for political opposition has dwindled.
But, according to Iranian author and former political prisoner, Amir Abbas Fakhravar, the era of Mr. Ahmadinejad has also spurred previously warring factions among the opposition to come together.
"You cannot imagine to what extent the selection not the election of Ahmadinejad has had a hidden benefit," Mr. Fakhravar said in a telephone interview."All the sectors of the student and labor organizations and young people have become much closer than before, and became more united. There has been a hardened unity created."
Mr. Fakhravar was first sentenced in November 2002 for writing a book, "This Place Is Not a Ditch," which included a brutal assessment of Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and urged Iranians to reject the current regime. He was temporarily released from prison this spring to complete his university degree, but has not returned to prison. In October, he learned from his sister that there was a warrant from the government-aligned militia, known as the Basij, to arrest him and is now plotting his escape from the country.
Mr. Fakhravar also noted the participation of three Iranian opposition leaders in the proceedings in Brussels over the weekend. Because they plan on returning to the Islamic Republic, he requested that their names remain anonymous. According to a spokesman for the organization, Pooya Dayanim, other exile leaders at the conference were affiliated with the Kurdistan Democratic Party of Iran, the Constitutional Monarchists and former supporters of reformist president Mohammed Khatami.
The statement of principles from the group in many ways clarified earlier misgivings some members of the opposition held regarding the strategy of pursuing a constitutional referendum in Iran prior to regime change.
"The referendum is not going to replace the political struggle to change the political regime or the format of the future Iranian government," its statement of principles said. "The referendum movement is going to attempt to expand and bring in people and political organizations of various political persuasions." The document also expresses support for granting ethnic minorities "cultural social and linguistic rights." It did not, however, embrace the principle of federalism, which would invest powers of taxation, for example, in the hands of ethnic geographic conclaves, similar to the arrangement currently in Iraq.
Mr. Fakhravar said that in prison, Mr. Ganji is increasingly emerging as a leader of the opposition as it unifies. "The best person to lead the movement is Akbar Ganji. He is behind bars, but he would be the leader," he said.
Plus: An important video report on the hidden ImanPanahjoo.com:
A special report on Ahamdinejad's dedication to the mystical devotion to "the hidden Imam." It includes the much reported interview of Ahmadinejad regarding his spiritual experience while speaking in NY to the UN General Assembly. View it here.
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- Iran Press News reported that Iran's Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) have begun a new reign of terror on student activists. They are being kidnapped and blindfolded and then the students are then driven to unknown locations undergo brutal interrogations that go on for hours and days.
- Iran Press News reported that workers from IRAN BERK protested in front of the Office of General Industries and Mines are protesting 8 months worth of non-receipt of their wages.
- Iran Press News reported that a new gold mine was discovered in Iran.
- Iran Focus reported that students were arrested during protests in Iran capital.
- Paul Hughes, Reuters reported Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad expressed doubt that the Holocaust occurred.
- Agence France-Presse reported that White House spokesman Scott McClellan said that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's most recent statements "further underscores our concerns about the regime in Iran. And it's all the more reason why it's so important that the regime not have the ability to develop nuclear weapons."
- Reuters reported that German Chancellor Angela Merkel said today. "The comments by the Iranian president are totally unacceptable..." and that "We will do everything to make it clear that Israel's right to existence is in no way endangered."
- Reuters then reported that Koffi Annan expressed shock at the comments attributed to Ahmadinejad.
- Patrick Devenny, The Middle East Quarterly published a report: Hezbollah's Strategic Threat to Israel.
- The Washington Times in an editorial countered El Baradei's warning against any non-diplomatic means (i.e. military force) to end Iran's nuclear ambitions, saying it would be like opening "a Pandora's box." The WT said: Mr. ElBaradei is quite mistaken; the box is already open.
- Robert Tait, The Guardian reported that Iranian officials were facing an angry backlash yesterday following the air disaster that claimed at least 116 lives.
- Parisa Hafezi, Reuters reported that thousands of mourners flooded central Tehran on Thursday for a funeral ceremony.
- And finally, BBC News published a photo report: Iran air crash funerals.
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Yeah Persian Street!
Is that Rambo's picture in that banner?
I dont think so...
But these students have tremendous courage.
Voted & Bumped
Photos from a village in North of Iran
They need massive amounts of money and special military trainings to be able to bring down the rouge regime of mullahs fast!
Thanks for pics.
I've been voting too, but many more need to vote from FR, PLEASE!
I think the reverse is happening now in Iran and that Iran's leader wants to make lots of trouble everywhere and their mullahs are happy to see all that happens.
They act, we finish them. That is how I see it.
I don't think any Iranian resistance will stop this road to self destruction Iran is on IMO.
It's Ahmad Batebi
Voted for Today & Bump! :-)
What does the video reference?
A new video on Iran
Voted and Bump
Thanks for the video link, Pilot.
Must-see presentation. Don't miss it. Scary.
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