June 15, 2009

A Failed Velvet Revolution or a Political Coup?

Official results of the presidential election in Iran were more of a shock to both parties, i.e. reformists and hardliners. Regardless of the massive turnout that set a record in the age of Islamic Republic, Mousavi, the most hopeful reformist candidate, only gathered around 13 million votes which were almost half the votes of Ahmadinejad. Karroubi, other reformist candidate, won the support of less than a percent of voters.

Reformists believe that the results were ‘engineered’, and their supporters have waged limited rebellion against the ruling administration in some metropolitan areas. Referring to several cases of intervention, misconduct and paradoxical results as well as reports of reformist observers, they believe that Mousavi was the real winner and ruling party fabricated the results. The day after the election, several reformist figures, including the brother of former reformist president Khatami, got arrested. Moreover, some other prominent people, including Mousavi himself, are taken into home custody. Since few days ago, there has been a massive blackout on information resources. SMS service of two main operators has been completely cut since the night before election. Several reformist sites, even moderate ones such as aftabnews.ir, are blocked. Ministry of Interior Affairs permits no demonstration. Riot police is present everywhere and senior officials such as Rafsanjani who were expected to intervene are nothing but silent. From this perspective, putting together puzzle pieces, one might come to the conclusion that the whole event resembles a political coup.

On the other hand, hardliners could hardly expect to beat reformists and their ‘Green Wave’ in such a humiliating manner – Mousavi and his supporters chose Green as their symbolic color. Conservative analysts maintain that Mousavi and his companions were arranging for a Colored (Velvet) Revolution. Before the election, reformist resources and media orchestrated a massive propaganda to make people and observers believe that “the Green Wave should win if the original voice of the people is to be heard.” Finding out that Ahmadinejad is bound to win, according to hardliner analysts, reformist camp decided to run away forward. Few days before the election, Mousavi declared that he would be the winner if the people are not cheated on. And on the day of election, while people were still casting their ballots, Mousavi participated in a press conference and declared that he is the winner for sure. When the official results got published, public opinion was ready to accept that “it’s a fraud.” Then, Mousavi stated that he would not subscribe to the results. Later on, some resources informed people that Mousavi is pressed to accept the results. Mousavi and Karroubi asked people to wage a wave of civil unrest. Encountered with somehow heavy-handed response, demonstrations went violent. From this perspective, reformists are trying to direct a Colored Revolution.

In my opinion, Colored Revolution in Iran is set to fail for Revolutionary Guards and some hardliners are ready to take every possible measure to crack down demonstrations. However, they are yet to act. It might be due to two possible, yet completely opposite reasons. From one point, they may believe that the current unrest is not that serious. From another point, they may find it so unstable a situation that even one hasty move could cause serious problems. The truth will probably reveal itself within few days. Just wait.


velayatepiripi said...

Interesting post... So, come on, after a week, what do you think?

velayatepiripi said...

Hello, thanks for your visit! My email is sonoko1079@yahoo.it and maybe you are slightly better in Italian than I am in Chinese! At least you know the alphabeth and so you are able to recognized words as your name and Iran but also "elezioni"(=elections!) see you!

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