Dr. Mohammad Mosaddegh was the Prime Minister of Iran from 1951 to 1953 until being overthrown in a coup d’état. His administration introduced a wide range of social reforms the most notable, nationalization of the Iranian oil industry. Iran’s oil had been under British control since 1913 through the Anglo-Persian Oil Company. Mosaddegh was imprisoned for three years, then put under house arrest until his death. The logo was designed based on TIME Magazine Cover on June 4, 1951.
As graphic videos and images of Muammar Qaddafi’s last moments were linked on Balatarin, an amazing discussion has been in progress among users about the way the Libyan leader and his son Mutasem were murdered after their capture by forces in Qaddafi’s hometown of Sirte. One link was just a Farsi translation of an English comment left on a video of Qaddafi’s dead body.
“Treating a body like that is a disgrace. Uploading things like that even worse. Whoever he was, he is not anymore. Whatever he did, he can never do that again. So, why behave like a bunch of devils (saying animals would be offending the animals). He might have been an evil man, but this shows the men who killed him just as bad. Where is the democracy they claimed to be fighting for?”
“Under revolutionary and riot circumstances, public conduct is not completely controllable. No matter how inappropriate and inhumane the behavior, the experience from all (yes, ALL) revolutions has shown that the anger of those revolting will blaze like a fire that would engulf the lives and assets of the former abusers,” said pegahan. User mirzadeh replied: “You are right my friend, but you have to bear our own revolution in mind; look at where the revolutionary zeal has taken us. It is unacceptable if a revolution eventually ends in the bad guy’s departure, only to see him replaced with new bad guys. I hope for Libyans that they would soon implement wiser methods–that is if they don’t want to replicate what we did!” pegahan’s reply was: “The Libyan rebels have had control over most of the Libyan soil, and except for reports of a few cases of violations of human rights by the rebels, no other cases of abuse have been reported about them. I guess that during the next few days the situation would calm down and the transitional government would start returning order to the country without trying to seek revenge. What happened during [the Iranian] 1979 revolution, was one step back in our historical development, toward Islamic savagery, discrimination, and crime, and it is no wonder that the murder machinery which was started at that time keeps taking fresh victims still.”
“It was very interesting! In our home, when the TV showed Qaddafi’s dead body in that condition, nobody seemed to care about his former deeds; everybody thought that Qaddafi was victimized in this story. Everybody looked at him with compassion. Certainly, the way Qaddafi was treated will create a hero of him in the minds of many Libyans, and in the distant future, it will also create problems for this country. Nobody felt sorry for an executed Saddam Hussain, but many felt sorry for a murdered Qaddafi,” said k_1980.
User dariyushah’s comment is pretty representative of what many users had to say about this. “Qaddafi was a criminal, but killing him in this inhumane fashion was heart wrenching and regrettable.” And user taabnaak’s comment perhaps best sums up the other side’s way of thinking: “40,000 people were killed. These warriors were fighting for months and watched up close the murders of their friends and maybe saw their families blown up into pieces. Now, some people sit here behind their computers comfortably and ask why Qaddafi was mistreated! A war turns everyone cruel and devoid of emotion. A war is no party.”
So, there you have today’s dialogue, folks! Until next time, stay with us on Balatarin, where the Iranian dialogue takes shape!
In a letter from his solitary cell inside Evin Prison, published today on Green Movement website, JARAS, former Deputy Interior Minister Mostafa Tajzadeh invited Iranians to arrange “civil gatherings.”
We must use every opportunity to get together, hold discussions, and publish news of these gatherings, and to tear down the walls of fear. If Iran’s youth, boys and girls and all its aware citizens display their will and form small and large gatherings, depending on circumstances and possibilities, and in practice condemn the illegal actions of the authoritarian officials, I am sure that the ruling faction would retreat a lot sooner than expected, and would provide a chance for all Iranians to benefit from their rights and to realize their ideals.”
A staunch reformist, Tajzadeh was arrested one day after the disputed 2009 presidential election, and sentenced to six years in prison. In his letter, Tajzadeh suggests that people stage protests in the form of hunger strikes and fasting every first Monday of each month, to condemn the imprisonment of scores of political and cultural activists and to show solidarity with prisoners of conscience, including Green Movement leaders Mousavi/Rahnavard and Karroubi who have been under house arrest for months. Reactions to the letter, in the forms of a hot topic and multiple links to articles and comments, are still pouring in. Here are some examples.
“Kudos to Tajzadeh! This is an admirable man!” said ac.milan, adding: “Khamenei, your turn will come, too, but this is Iran. Don’t get excited thinking that like Qaddafi, you could die without a trial. You will be asked some questions.”
“I support this. But political activists, websites, social networks, groups, organizations, and bloggers should support it, too,” said cobweb.
mehreiran said: “The important thing is getting together, which they will not allow. What impact would fasting have if you are inside your own home? If people are told to gather somewhere, now that’s something.”
“If the Green Movement intends to return actively to the country’s political arena, this is the best opportunity and it must be seized. As a reformist member of the Movement, Mr. Tajzadeh has made this suggestion and if different layers and groups of Greens agree, the Green Movement’s demands can be raised this way again,” said mosharekati. jerjis also said: “If people could only realize their real power, it would be great.”
imasoud said: “With the frequent fall of dictators, the regime is seriously fearful and in order to deal with our fearful enemy, waking people up for weekly protests is simple: 1) dedicated dissemination of information in cities, 2) coordination, and 3) continuity. If all these factors are continued for two or three months on a weekly basis, you can be sure that we will slowly start seeing a movement by the millions again, that will end it this time. Don’t forget the economic problems and the pressure they put on people and of course the huge rift between regime heads.”
Obviously, this discussion has only just started. Stay with us on Balatarin and see how it shapes!
Almost as soon as news of Qaddafi’s arrest was broken to the world yesterday, there was a stream of articles and links posted on Balatarin, generating comments, most of them congratulating Libyans on having gotten rid of their cruel dictator of 40 years, while warning the Iranian dictator to start reforms right away or await a similar, inevitable fate. Here are some of the reactions from the Balatarin community:
“Mr. Khamenei! Did you see Qaddafi’s ugly face? Do you remember Saddam Hussein’s image? You are on the same road to nowhere!”
“Mr. Qaddafi! Where are your thousands of supporters of just eight months ago?” (Hinting ironically at Khamenei and his Basij paramilitary supporters who show up to public events.)
“Qaddafi was taken out of this hole; the Libyans pulled Qaddafi out of a hole, just like [Iraqis did] Saddam Hussein!”
“This is the fate of a man who called his own people “rats” while interestingly, in the end, he had no place to hide from his very own people but a rat’s hole.! Mr Khamenei! Do you remember the time you called us Iranians ‘microbes?’”
A point of interest may be that the most popular comment on Balatarin today is the one wishing good luck to Syrians in their fight against Bashar Assad, the Syrian dictator:
“Tomorrow is certainly going to be a totally different Friday in Syria. Let’s get united and go to remove the next monster in power.”
Do you really think Syria will be the next domino to fall in the Middle East? Most of our users think, or at least hope so!
A month ago, statements made by Hamid Reza Katouzian, a Member of the Iranian Parliament led to creation of a hot topic on Balatarin. “The country enjoys the blessing of the Supreme Leader. Therefore there is no need for a president in the country. The country can, as its highest executive authority, have a prime minister, chosen by the Parliament,” said Katouzian. At the time, there was an uproar about the audacity of the suggestion. User zimmerman immediately said: “Congratulations to the proud Iranian nation on the official and public grand opening of religious fascism, headed by Sultan Ali Khamenei.” “Every day, a new phase of the ‘North Koreanization’ of the country is kicked off. Congratulations!” said strong. Another user, hamid.jobs said: “While the Middle East goes democratic, Iran is driving in reverse gear toward absolute dictatorship.”
This week, on a trip to the western city of Kermanshah, Iran’s Supreme Leader mentioned that idea again. “At this time, the country’s ruling political system is a presidential one in which the president is directly elected by the people, making this a good and effective method,” he said.
“However, if one day, probably in the distant future, it is deemed that the parliamentary system is more appropriate for the election of officials with executive power, there would be no problem in changing the current system.” This quickly became another topic of interest for the site users. In a link entitled “Khamenei’s Green Light to Elimination of Presidency in the Constitution,” users exchanged their thoughts.
“Hey, you, utter dictator! In order to do such a thing, even with the backward and reactionary Islamic Republic Constitution, you will need a public referendum!” said lbrty. “In fact the 1979 revolution was not to bring people freedom. It was to overthrow a monarchist dynasty and to replace it with a clerical dynasty. They changed the title of ‘king’ for ‘mullah,’ and switched the crown with a turban. [We will now have] Supreme Leader I, and Supreme Leader II…,” said mahsa-s.
User freesoul said: “This dude is talking about the distant future, but I was expecting them to eliminate the president position earlier, because, to tell you the truth, after the 2009 elections it is hard for me to imagine another presidential election in Iran.” In the same vein, bardiax said: “This indicates Khamenei and the regime’s fear about the next presidential election.” “No, the ‘Republic’ will be eliminated and we will end up with a complete Taliban-style ‘Islamic’ regime,” said kave.ahangar.
It is clear we have not heard the last of Ayatollah Khamenei’s plans for Iran. It does not appear that the unspeakable crackdown on dissidents, students, and intellectuals, nor Iran’s foreign policy have earned supporters for the regime inside or outside the country. The changes that have taken place in Iran since June 2009 have occurred with a fast and furious pace, each leaving the Islamic Republic of Iran more isolated internationally and domestically. While other nations in the region try to gain control over their destiny, freeing themselves of their ruling dictators, Iran’s undisputed and unmonitored Supreme Leader, Mr. Khamenei, seems to be thinking fast for ways to remain in power and rule Iran with as little disagreement as possible.
As news of a US terrorist plot by the Iranian government emerges and changes shape, Balatarin community reacts to the news and its ramifications. Much like other audiences, the Iranian camp is divided between those who question the validity of the charges and those who see it plausible. Under the link of an October 13 CNN article by Reza Sayah, “Some analysts skeptical of alleged Iranian plot,” Balatarin users reacted by engaging vigorously in the discussions. In a nutshell, the article says:
Did an elite branch of Iran’s military handpick a divorced, 56-year-old Iranian-American used-car salesman from Texas to hire a hitman from a Mexican drug cartel to assassinate the ambassador to Saudi Arabia by blowing up a bomb in a crowded restaurant in Washington? U.S. officials say they are certain the bizarre plot against Ambassador Adel Jubeir was real.
But some analysts say they are not. They find it unlikely that the Iranian government, or legitimate factions within, would be involved in such a tangled plot. They cite five reasons why:
1. The alleged plot doesn’t fit Iran’s style
2. Iran would lose more than it would gain
3. Iran has much easier targets to go after
4. Iran is gaining in stature and isn’t desperate for drastic measures
5. The alleged plot is full of holes
jomjome wrote: “Despite the extraordinary intelligence the Islamic Republic has shown so far, they would finally make a mistake vis a vis the US, and maybe this is the point where such a mistake begins.”
shamaghdar said: “This accusation is truly far-fetched. The Iranians’ strange approach to accepting this claim without any proof in an independent forum is really surprising!”
In reponse to shamaghdar, amir1981 said: “There are two reasons for this. 1. Many of our people are infatuated with the US, mostly because they are not in touch with reality. They only know the US through the Hollywood window. If you interact a little with Americans, you would know that most of them are people just like us, and just as we doubt our government, they doubt their government. To summarize, the US is not as many people think. It’s a country just like others with good and bad attributes. 2. Low literacy: Many people lack analytical skills and see everything from the point of view of short-term interests. For example, in this case, they don’t think that these allegations could be used for a military attack on their country. A military attack could take two forms, 1) a limited attack to destroy Iran’s infrastructure, and 2) occupation, that would most definitely lead to Iran’s being split into pieces. What kind of person would defend an attack on his own country? Except for a traitor or an idiot.
arenagreen said: “I think that 1) US is after an oil embargo against Iran and this means a hard and final blow to Iran, and the US knows that they will need an ally like Saudi Arabia who would supply its oil. 2) The upcoming presidential election can also be impacted by this story.” He added: “Anyhow, I think this scenario appears a little suspicious. Iran can act a lot more effectively in other countries than in the US. Also, there is no doubt about this regime’s stupidity, but this story is a little too Hollywood!”
rem.s said: “All the suggested reasons are baseless and indicate that CNN analysts are not familiar with this regime’s thinking. At any rate, people inside Iran know the Islamic Republic well enough to know that no stupid act is beyond them.”
mr.ashk said: “The only thing that seems really stupid is to deposit a huge amount of money into someone’s personal account in New York and to ask him to go and assassinate someone in Washington! Do they think it’s done that easily? I mean is the Quds Force so stupid to deposit that huge amount into a person’s personal account in the US?”
And, of course, there are conspiracy theories floating, too! amir1981 said: “I personally think this operation was carried out by one of these three: 1) Saudi Arabia: for creating a foreign enemy and distracting its internal dissidents + benefiting from a potential entanglement of Iran and the US; 2) Israel: for obvious reasons; 3) Groups such as the MEK: for their stupidity and animosity with Iran.” And sabzeraha said: “…this plan was designed with the intent to be revealed…no matter whose it was.”
The discussion about this subject seem far from finished on Balatarin. More later.