This is a guest post written by “Shane M.” — an anonymous student in Tehran who has been writing dispatches from Tehran for The Washington Note over the last week. Shane M. has a major op-ed in today’s New York Times titled “A Different Iranian Revolution.”
Tehran Dispatch — Live blogging the Friday Prayer, Another Turning Point — sent 6:04 am, 19 June 2009
Rough notes… The event is like the old Red Square May Day parades. We look to see who is there, and who is not. Dr. A, Larajani, Haddad Adel, the top leadership is all there. Karrobi and Mousavi are not…but Rezaei is, sitting in the back of the VIP section.
Supreme Leader emphasizes that difference in opinion, difference in program between candidates is normal, natural. But beware, for months the enemy had been laying the groundwork to label these elections a fraud. These elections which, with the exception of the vote for the Islamic Republic in Spring of 1979, were without rival. Iran represents a third way, between dictatorships and the false democracies of the rest of the world.
He speaks of the violence, it is clear that they are laying the groundwork for a crackdown.
Chaos has to be stopped. The way of the law, rahe qanun. There are laws and we cannot allow the killing or violence to continue, either by basijis or opposition (throughout the speech he condemns the mistakes of both sides, but as I will soon make clear, comes down in favor of one side).
Supreme Leader names Nouri and Rafsanjani by name, a remarkable act by his own admission. He lauds the long record of service of both men to the country, says that he has known Rafsanjani 52 years. Leader says while there is corruption in Iran, how can anyone say that Raf. is corrupt? Stands up for him. This is clearly a slap on the wrist to the current president, for what Dr. A said about Nouri and Rafsanjani during the debates. It is not Iranian, not appropriate for such ugliness to penetrate politics. Good words were spoken during the debates, but unfortunately nastiness and un-Islamic comments were made and we need to be careful…
Mousavi, Karrobi, and Rezaei were described by their previous post and experiences, they were all defended by the Leader as good men devoted to the IRI.
They are almost incidental, it is so so clear that this is a grudge match, beef, between Hashemi and Dr. A. The Leader himself said as much, saying that there has been a difference in opinion between the two men stretching back to 2005. Then came the kicker, the turning point, one sentence followed by a great cheer from the audience: There is a difference in opinion between the two, and my opinion (or preference) is closer to the president than Rafsanjani.
The Leader made his choice clear.
The green light has been given to the basij to, excuse my language, to kick ass, chew gum, and take names.
A particularly juicy twist, turning night into day and a shot at the U.S. and the 2000 elections, says that you can say that cheating occurs when the difference in the votes is close, 100,000 or 500,000, or 1 million. But 11 million? How can that be cheating?
But we have a process, we will count the votes with the representatives of the candidates present, the Guardian Council will fulfill its obligation.
More night-into-day-ism: Says that there are winners and losers in elections, and for the losers to now want the “rules” to be changed or modified is wrong.
Qanun, qanun, qanun. Law, law, law. It’s unnerving the emphasis on the need for law and order.
By the end, and uncharacteristically, the Leader, gets hot…folks here and there interrupt his speech and he tells them to listen. When talking about U.S. and the west and the efforts of a certain American zionist to launch a velvet revolution in Georgia, he says that these “aqmaqha” or idiots think that they can do the same in Iran…to use such language is really shocking in the Iranian context.
Bizarre ending, ends in weeping, because the Leader says that I love you more than you know…
Overall, it does not look good, worse than it ever was…
— Shane M., an anonymous student in Tehran