An interview with an Iranian socialist: “Electoral Fraud” and the movement in Iran today

Original article, by Ted Sprague and subtitled Millions of Iranians have come out on the streets demanding a change in regime. The movement that was first sparked off by “electoral fraud” has become a movement to demand complete democratic rights and against the dictatorship of the Islamic Republic of Iran. This is an interview (conducted on July 2nd 2009) with Arash Azizi, an Iranian socialist, which was originally made to explain the situation in Iran to an Indonesian audience, via In Defence of Marxism:

Ted Sprague: Can you explain to our readers about the electoral fraud in Iran and the movement that has emerged out of it?

This is an interesting take on what’s going on in Iran right now. It’s well worth the read, particularly for the view on support for the ‘reformers’ vs the Establishment.

Arash Azizi: Well, politics works in mysterious ways! If you want to take things at face value you have to believe millions of people have come onto the streets, in a direct clash with the deadly forces of an oppressive regime just because of some “electoral fraud” between candidates that didn’t really have a difference in platform! But that is not the case. You can’t analyze events without seeing them in the context and their background.

The truth is that people participated in the elections and massively voted for Mousavi for a reason which wasn’t his platform or anything like that. People had seen the obvious splits in the ruling clique of the Islamic Republic and they wanted to use these splits. They wanted to play off one wing of the regime against the other to get rid of them all eventually. The Mousavi wing advocated lifting somewhat the repressive measures of the regime to prevent or delay the people’s uprising against the whole regime. But the Khamenei and Ahmadinejad wing couldn’t really allow that. They knew that if they concede a little bit of freedom, people will want more and eventually would not stop short of overthrowing the whole regime. That’s why they staged a “coup”, a velvet coup d’etat, if you wish. They declared Ahmadinejad the winner with a ridiculously high margin of 16 million votes. But they hadn’t expected that the people would not just go home and accept that Khamenei can just do this with impunity. They came out massively and we witnessed the largest demonstrations of the past 30 years. This wasn’t and isn’t about Mousavi anymore. Even voting for Mousavi wasn’t about Mousavi! It is about a huge population that hates life in the Islamic Republic and is willing to fight it step by step. What we now have is no longer a movement against “electoral fraud”, but a massive revolutionary movement against the Islamic Republic in its entirety. This is also revealed in people’s slogans. They started with “Give me back my Vote” but then moved on to shouting: “Down with the Dictator!” and “Down with Khamenei!” and, although to a lesser extent, “We don’t want a theocracy!”

There’s more at the original!  

1 comment

Comments have been disabled.