Street demonstrations seem quelled, anti-regime opposition is not
Beirut (AsiaNews) – Street protests in Iran appear over for now, but there are signs that anti-regime opposition continues. Under the circumstances the regime appears uncertain as to what to do.
After confirming Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s victory and complaining about G8 “interference”, Iran’s rulers appear worried about the depth of the dissatisfaction as well as by allegations that imposters wearing police and Basij uniforms infiltrated rallies acting as agent provocateurs.
Additional signs of concern include a nonstop barrage by state media blaming the West and Israel for instigating demonstrations against what from their point of view is the people’s choice for president as well as the announcement of an inquiry into the “actual” causes of the death of a young woman, Neda Agha-Soltan, who was killed during a demonstration and is now an icon for protesters.
Yesterday the Guardian Council (pictured) said that after recounting 10 per cent of the ballots it found no relevant irregularities, thus validating Ahmadinejad’s victory. Representatives of Mir-Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi, who had complained about fraud and called for the cancellation of the election, did take part in the counting.
Almost at the same time Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called Neda’s death "suspicious" and urged the courts to launch an investigation.
As on a cue his statement elicited a response from Iran's Basij commander, Hossein Taeb, who said that impostors wore police and Basij uniforms to infiltrate the rallies and create havoc. He also said that eight Basij members were killed and another 300 hurt in the recent riots.
Just a few hours earlier Intelligence Minister Hossein Mohseni Ejei told IRIB's Channel Two that the Americans and Israelis were responsible for spreading rumours of vote-rigging among people.
Such accusations are typical of this regime which plays on deep-rooted mistrust in Iran vis-à-vis Israel, and are, by and large, designed to further discredit the demonstrators. Still they do show that the regime is worried enough that it will deliberately try to divide the opposition and sow seeds of mistrust.
In the meantime in Algiers (Algeria) the Executive Committee of the Parliamentary Union of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference came out in support of Iran, congratulating it for its 10th presidential elections, and condemning foreign countries for interfering in Tehran’s domestic affairs.
And if, on the one hand, defeated candidate Mousavi is still urging his supporters to continue their peaceful resistance, Rooz, an online publication, is reporting that Ayatollahs Safi Golpaygani and Shabiri Zanjani held secrete meeting to discuss the crisis.
Another ayatollah, Mousavi Ardebili, who was Iran’s supreme justice in the first decade after the 1979 revolution, said that “people’s protests should not be silenced through the use of force.” In addition, he called on the Guardian Council to “provide answers to the protestors in a manner that does not turn it into a suspect.”
In an editorial Rooz wrote: “We are the winners of the Khordad (June) coup. I had written that we are many. We will again organize ourselves. We are going to a tough fight.” (PD)