A must read story from Behnoud, An Iranian Writer and Coloumnist.
Iranian Fundamentalists: Flexibility toward the word, Harshness toward people
Two months after the invasion of Iraq by the Coalition Forces, Iranian opposition groups inside and outside the country overcame their initial astonishment and by revealing cases of violation of Human Rights by Moslem Fundamentalist, they intend to pave the way to democracy, a demand that the ruling fundamentalists and ecclesiastic tend to ignore.
Saiid Hajariaan, the theoretician of the reformation movement that started six years ago by election of Mohammad Khatami as the President and winning the majority both in the Parliament and the Cabinet revealed last week that the fundamentalist are using US led military invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq as an excuse to increase their pressure on people and seize back the power from the hands of the Parliament and Cabinet. Hajariaan has said that there is no reason for reformists present in the government to hide the iron fists of the fundamentalists from the world by acting like white gloves.
Hajariaan is one of the ex-leaders of the secret service of Islamic Republic. Three years ago he miraculously escaped assassination plotted by the extremist clergies, nevertheless as the result of the brain injury incurred by the bullet shot he has been hemiplegia living on the wheelchair ever since. Just before this fatal attempt on his life, Hajariaan acting also as one of President Khatamis advisors was publishing a newspaper disclosing financial corruption among ruling clergies and their role in murders carried out inside and outside the country.
In an interview with the only remaining reformist newspaper last week Saiid Hajariaan said that so far the reformist have shown a great deal of patience and have endured the fundamentalists' pressure in order not to give any excuse to Americans, but our totalitarian rulers with the fanciful excuse of the presence of a hidden enemy behind the frontiers are exercising a harsh dictatorship in the country.
The reformists inside and outside the country hoped that president Khatami's election would force the fundamentalist clergies to yield to democratic changes and concede at least a part of power to the people. Since the very first day after September 11, the followers of gradual and peaceful reformation have been under great pressures exercised by the fundamentalists who with the support of Ayatollah Khamenei, the life long leader of Islamic Republic having all the major powers in his hand, have obstructed the way of reformation to the extent that in the last election of February 28, the overwhelming majority of people showed that they will not be satisfied with anything less than a total shift of power.
Refusal of 85% of people to participate in the election of city councils occurred when the reformists had already warned the rulers against the danger of loss of hope among people, but not only the fundamentalists did not pay any attention to these warnings, but referring to the US threats expressed against Iran after the fall of Baghdad's regime, the religious leaders asked people and reformists to stay quite and get mobilized against these threats and by participating in demonstrations await the fall of American Imperialism. The fall of America and spread of Islamic revolution throughout the world is a promise that the clergies keep on assuring people in Friday Prayers and consider it as one of the promises of Koran, the Holy Book of Moslems.But these are slogans that are only used to keep people quite, for in their negotiations with European and American authorities behind the closed doors, they emphasize on their readiness to surrender to the new world order and refer to their position in regard to the establishment of Us led governments in Afghanistan and Iraq as an evidence and promise not to hinder the establishment of peace in the Middle East and the international struggle against terrorism in the future. The positive reaction of European and American authorities to the growing flexibility of Iranian government in its foreign policy is encouraging the fundamentalist to continue the suppression of the students, journalists, lawyers and liberalist groups and by simultaneous increase of pressures, they do their best to keep the world ignorant of the internal events.
The closing down of 82 newspapers, issuing of long term sentences for political activists and even reformist MPs and journalists, foundation of semi-fascist groups to attack parties and newspapers and student gatherings are among the activities that the fundamentalists carry out in order to maintain their sovereignty and to minimize the possible consequences of events going on around Iranian frontiers. This very policy is making political reformist groups to prepare themselves for a collective resignation and leaving the government.
During the last three years, and under the cover of an approved parliamentary bill in relation to possession of satellite dish, the military agents of the government have forced 400000 people to pay fines, sometimes as high as $100000, while confiscating their systems as well. Fed up with the tedious propaganda of Islamic TV, the middle class looks at the satellite programs as a mean to learn about what is really going on around the world by watching BBC and CNN channels and the youth who make up the majority of the present population watch MTV and films and programs never shown on the Islamic TV. During the outbreak of war in Iraq the demand for satellite dishes increased and in Tehran it was sold twice as high as its normal price, for people had realized that the national radio and TV only broadcast Iraqi and Aljazeereh censored news with commentaries on resistant of Iraqi people. And they continued to behave that way up to two days after the fall of Saddam and disappearance of Saiid Alsahaf.
In addition, while the government agents were busy to prevent people from watching satellite programs, Iranian youth were busy opening their own sites and web logs disseminating the news of fundamentalist attacks on the universities and lecture halls. Suddenly the internet users quadrupled. And it was here that under the pretension of protection of security and morals of the society, the leader of Islamic Republic ordered the government to use filters for 110000 internet sites to prevent access to real information.
Once it was revealed that the communication system of Iran is not equipped with the required technology for this purpose, the secret service pompously began to arrest young people who wrote daily in their web logs and by throwing them into dark solitary cells they created an atmosphere of terror to make other young people to close down their web logs at least until the government manages to buy the necessary equipment - costing over 10 million dollars that would make access to political and sex sites impossible for Iranians.
While this mortal struggle is going on between the fundamentalists and people particularly the youth, monarchists and followers of Mojahedin Khalgh the armed opposition force enjoying military bases in Iraq, but forced to hand in their arms after the occupation of Iraq have been asking people to demonstrate in street, promising them that if they rebel the people of the world will not leave them alone. So far their request has been ignored by the youth who perhaps still hope that the clergy and fundamentalists would yield to peaceful and non-violent changes.
Another part of the four million people forced to immigrate in the past 24 years have recently published a statement called Manifesto of Republicans in which they have asked people to insist on a referendum by the means of demonstrations, strikes, civilized non-violent resistance, violation of orders in order to spare themselves from living under the rule of a religious government. Despite all the dangers that publication of such a manifest could bring about, the above manifest was rapidly copied and disseminated in student campuses and posted on nameless news sites as it not only suggests another alternative, but tries to spare Iran from foreign military invasion. In the Manifesto of Republicans it is said that the fundamentalist clergies are driving the country toward a dangerous abyss, similar to that which Saddam drove Iraqi people to, that is to watch American tanks and trucks, through their home windows, passing their streets.
These days the reformists and conservatives are referring to the present period as the time of the stillness before tempest, while the fundamentalists are still opposing people violently. By writing letters to the leader of Islamic Republic, the reformists try to make it clear that the danger threatening the government should not be neglected and the internal state is rapidly moving toward militarization.
By arresting those who had written such letters to Ayatollah Khamenei, the fundamentalists tried to block this way of information dissemination as well, but the publication of Amir Farshad Ebrahimis letter startled every one. Ebrahimi used to work for fascist fundamentalist groups who attacked women and students and cinemas and had killed a number of intellectuals. He was sentenced after disclosing the secrets of these pressure groups and their connection to the clergies and the secret service in the office of an attorney and spent a year in prison. Last week he received a letter from a terrorist group informing him that the religious order for his murder has been issued and his body will soon be found in the streets.
In a shocking letter to President, Amir Farshad Ebrahimi has written that people have grown tired of the Presidents intellectual poses and his beautiful philosophical words and they have lost hope in the President with his photochromic glasses. It is quite possible that by the time you receive this letter I am already dead, but you would still be sitting idle. This 27 years old young man is one of the 21 million Iranian who were hoping to liberate the country from religious despotism by electing a clergy who claimed to believe in civil society and democracy, but as Saiid Hajariaan has said, not only what people hoped was not realized, but Mohammad Khatami and his reformist followers turned into velvet white gloves hiding the iron fists holding the last signs of Islamic fundamentalism after Bin Laden and Taliban, continuing their ruler through showing flexibility in regard to foreign policy and violence in relation to people. http://behnoud.com/behnoud/articles/harsh.htm http://behnoud.com/behnoud/indexmb.htm
Excellent article. Although it seems painfully slow, I still think this is going to happen a lot quicker than most people think. America is not going to invade Iran, it doesn't need to. Democracy will spread from Iraq to Iran and there is nothing the mad mullahs can do about it.