17 June 2009

The manifesto

A seven-point manifesto has been widely circulated by the protest movement. Translation:

1. Dismissal of Khamenei for not being a fair leader
2. Dismissal of Ahmadinejad for his illegal acts
3. Temporary appointment of Ayatollah Montazeri as Supreme Leader
4. Recognition of Mousavi as the President
5. Forming the Cabinet by Mousavi to prepare for revising the Constitution
6. Unconditional and immediate release of all political prisoners
7. Dissolution of all organs of repression, public or secret

The uprising has clearly moved beyond just contesting election fraud and is challenging the regime and the Islamic Republic system itself.

Obama states the current official US position here:

.....although there is amazing ferment taking place in Iran, that the difference between Ahmadinejad and Mousavi in terms of their actual policies may not be as great as has been advertised. Either way, we were going to be dealing with an Iranian regime that has historically been hostile to the United States, that has caused some problems in the neighborhood and is pursuing nuclear weapons. And so we've got long-term interests in having them not weaponize nuclear power and stop funding organiza-tions like Hezbollah and Hamas. And that would be true whoever came out on top in this election. The second thing that I think's important to recognize is that the easiest way for reactionary forces inside Iran to crush reformers is to say it's the US that is encouraging those reformers. So what I've said is, `Look, it's up to the Iranian people to make a decision. We are not meddling.'

There is a crucial point here. The main problem posed by Iran, from the West's viewpoint, is the threat of nuclear weapons in the hands of a regime which supports terrorism, openly calls for the destruction of Israel, and may well be so irrational that threats of retaliation after it took some action cannot be relied on to deter it. Simply replacing Ahmadinejad with Mousavi would not have changed this problem at all (remember, the "President" is not even the real supreme authority in the regime). A genuine revolution sweeping away the Islamic Republic itself might very well change it, either because a new government might abandon the quest for nuclear weapons, or because a pro-Western or at least rational government in possession of nuclear weapons would be something we could live with. Update: Read Michael Totten's posting on this.

The Obama administration has, in fact, helped the Iranians in one crucial way: it asked Twitter to postpone scheduled maintenance so that it would not go dead during this critical time when the Iranians are using it to organize.

Here's a "cyberwar guide" to how outsiders can help the Iranians (found via Exit Zero).

This photo from Isfahan (a much smaller city than Tehran) suggests the magnitude of the nationwide movement.

Here's a BBC report; one witness told the BBC that Tuesday's rally in Tehran was even bigger than Monday's.

There are further claims that the regime is bringing in foreign fighters to help suppress the Iranian people.

It's the mouse that roared!

The Huffington Post's liveblogging thread is full of interesting material. And keep checking Andrew Sullivan and Michael Totten.


Anonymous Blurber said...

If any one of the items in the seven-point manifesto were implemented it would be a tremendous breakthrough for the people of Iran.

17 June, 2009 06:43  
Blogger by Michael Boh said...

WOW, that is impressive! I'm so glad to see there may be a true organized movement for change, and that they're able to focus it so well. It improves their chances. Thanks Infidel, you always post the best stuff.

17 June, 2009 10:37  
Blogger George said...

Wow. This is turning into a black swan of sorts.

18 June, 2009 19:07  

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