Friday, June 19, 2009

An interview with Trend

The situation in Iran now seems beyond repair. I here reproduce an interchange I had with Tatyana Konyayeva, a Correspondent with TREND News Agency in Baku, only becuase so far it doesn't seem to be unduly out of date.

Q: Ali Akbar Mohtashamipur, the chairman of the Votes Security Organization founded by presidential candidate Mir Hosseyn Musavi, stated that there is a need to establish the Justice Search Committee in order to conduct fair and transparent elections. How do you think, such a committee will affect the transparency of the future elections?

A: I know nothing about the committee so nothing I could say would reveal anything significant. The one impression I have, as you also must have, is that the Iranian administration wants the legitimacy of having won an election without actually having allowed a true election to take place. The administration's behavior reveals that they cannot bear to have the public reject them openly, so they are using violent means to contain the obvious outrage that permeates the society. They want to seem legitimate in "democratic" terms without being willing to subject themselves to an open electoral process. So I presume they would manipulate whatever agency was assigned to oversee the process. Through a private source I know that the announcement of the winner of the election was made before the vote counters had finished counting the votes in at least one place [from one of the vote counters].

Q: The Guardian Council announced the re-count of the ballots at some polling stations. In your opinion, whether the re-count of the ballots will guarantee the transparency of the elections, or nevertheless, the new presidential elections should be arranged?

A: What I said above reveals my opinion: this administration has been generally losing its legitimacy over time. Certain elements in the population are evidently in support of Ahmadenijad. But behind the whole system is a religious pretense that has undermined the general respect of the population for authentic religious faith. The religious "experts" in power have become excessively rich under this system and their abuses now resemble those of the super-rich westernized class allied with the shah in the 1970s, against which the Islamic revolution took place. They pretend to be good Muslims and to allow authentic belief but in fact they brutalize those who reject their faith and want to convert to another faith [for example, Christianity]. As you know, they even try to control ayatullahs who criticize them.

Modern Iran has a history of long periods of stability punctuated by massive public uprisings [early 1900s; 1970s], and if this regime does not relent it will eventually have to deal with a huge public explosion like that of 1978-1979. What should be very disconcerting to many of the mullahs is that among those who are now outraged are some of their own children and grandchildren.

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