Iran Report

Message on Iran. The following is excerpted from an e-mail I received this morning:
be naameh Iran-zameen
( In the name of Iran )

Many Iranian families have suffered losses after 1979.

The Iranian opposition may discuss the dynamics of street protests, in order to create larger street protests with greater impact. The following message centers around three issues:
Increasing size of street protests has lead to previous regime-changes in different countries.
The dynamics of increasing the size of street protests can be examined objectively.
When pro-democracy street protests erupt in Tehran, they are usually immediately (within 1-2 hours) reported by exile satellite television stations.

We cannot assume
Size of street protests
Summer time
Protest timing
A taste for adventure
Diminishing the risk to protesters
Road-blockades during protests
Map of Tehran
If you like the roadblock concept...


We cannot assume

Hopefully the mullahs will be out of power soon, however, one cannot assume that regime-change in Iran is imminent in the next few years. You are aware that many view opposition groups as somewhat weak. Although the mullahs are unpopular, the Islamic Republic may remain in power for many more years:
Oil is currently about $60 per barrel. Europeans have been buying Iranian oil below market values for many years (estimates of 35% below market value). With increasing oil demand, it is expected that Europeans will take further steps to secure their inexpensive oil suppliers, such as the Islamic Republic of Iran.

I realize that there are many differences between today's Iran and other countries in the past, however, some comparisons may be made. The communist regime in Russia was generally viewed as unpopular by the masses. Communists ruled Russia for over 70 years. You are aware of other examples...
The Islamic Republic of Iran may exist for many more years, despite the rhetoric of exile opposition groups. Something about the opposition must change.

Size of street protests

One measure of success (among others) used to gage the impact of the opposition (including exile media) is the size of street protests in Iran. Although there were many factors involved in the downfall of the late Shah, the increasing size of street protests lead to the eventual collapse of the Iranian regime in 1979. This trend (protests becoming larger during the revolution) implied a impending doom for those in power. This is a world-wide phenomenon.

Some say: If pro-democracy street protests do not become larger in Iran, the opposition has not made tangible progress.

Following the original Tir 18th, members of the regime's security forces acknowledged that if the pro-democracy protests would have become wide-spread, the situation may have become uncontrollable.

The recent protests in Tehran were smaller than Tir 18th protests some years ago. Again, if we simply use the size of street protests as a gage, things are not really progressing.

Dynamics of increasing the size of street protests may be examined objectively.


Summer time

As you know, Iran becomes hot during the summer season. In countries with political unrest, there are more incidents when the weather is hot. Please keep in mind that Tir 18th is in the middle of summer.

The hot season provides unique opportunities...

Protest Timing

Iranian satellite television is very effective in broad-casting breaking news stories, within 1-2 hours of their onset.

A few years ago, in anticipation of Tir 18th, protests erupted in Tehran and other major Iranian cities. In the days prior to Tir 18, the protests were larger than the original Tir 18 street protests. When these un-scheduled protests erupted, they were immediately (within 1-2 hours) picked-up by Los Angeles satellite TV stations. That year, on Tir 18th, nothing really happened since Martial Law was in full-effect.

A specific date may be chosen by the opposition, however, the actual Protest Combustion Day is likely to occur around the anticipated chosen date.

Everyone will know that on a specific previously chosen date by the opposition, martial law will be in effect and the situation can be controlled by the authorities. People will not risk getting arrested.

We also know that martial law cannot be enforced during the entire summer season. Security forces in Iran know and have acknowledged this fact.

It does make sense to pick a protest day in advance, however, any protests and sparks should be fully supported, which may occur at any time. When the wheels are set into motion, given the adequate (summer) climate, things will hopefully happen and opposition groups should not get too picky about an exact dates.
Imagine what would have happened if another wave of protests was accompanied by simultaneous road-blockades. Most of the city may be affected. The protests would certainly become larger.
Iranian satellite TV has some short-comings, however, the stations are very effective in broad-casting breaking stories almost instantaneously. Within 1-2 hours, the population in Iran will be informed of any protests.

The opposition should be ready to fully utilize the potential of upcoming protests, that may erupt on any day. ...

Roadblocks during protests

City-wide road closures will bring the (otherwise ordinary) pro-democracy protests to a new level.

By using simple tactics, segments of the population in Iran will feel more energized and empowered during upcoming protests. Cultivating simple ideas, before any protests, can help to create an atmosphere of empowerment within segments of the Iranian population, when a protest happens.

Iran to dominate Schoreder/Bush talks. Via Free Iran:
June 26, 2005
Deutsche Presse
Monsters and Critics.com


Berlin/Washington -- Hardliner Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's surprise win in the Iranian presidential election and the situation in Iraq have been pushed to the top of the agenda of Monday's talks in Washington between Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder and U.S. President George W. Bush.

German officials said Sunday Ahmadinejad's victory had raised concerns in both Washington and Berlin about Teheran's nuclear programme, which has been the subject of long-running talks between the European Union (E.U.) and Iran.

The E.U. so-called big three - France, Germany and Britain - have been holding talks with Teheran in a bid to force Iran to wind back its nuclear programme. Washington has not ruled out military action if the negotiations fail.

Berlin's bid for a seat on a reformed United Nations' Security Council as well the build-up to September elections in Afghanistan and high oil prices are also expected to be raised during Schroeder's three-hour talks in Washington. ...

Debka on Ahmadinejad. Latest report from Debka on new Iranian head fascist:
virtual nobody on Iran’s national scene, Tehran mayor Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, 49, was picked by Iran’s radical Islamic leaders and swung ahead of the presidential race to deal “the heaviest psychological blow to Iran’s enemies.” Those words were uttered by the new president in his first post-election statement Saturday, June 25. They attested to the fact that Iran had chosen him as its tool for getting back at the Bush administration for seeking to bring regime change and democracy to the Middle East and Iran in particular.
Everyone but the radical wire-pullers in Tehran was surprised by the victory of a candidate whom most of the Iranian electorate had never heard of. He beat the familiar former president Hashemi Rafsanjani by a resounding 62%: 35%. But nothing had been left to chance. Ahmadinejad was thrust into the presidency by careful engineering, organization and the deployment of every single cog the powerful machine of the heavily centralized government could muster. The Revolutionary Guards in which the candidate once served as an officer was brought into play. With the help too of massive vote-rigging, the ruling clique could cynically claim to have achieved regime change through the ballot box - only it turned out to be more Islamic, more militant, and more Iranian than before. ...

Freedom activists respond to "psychological blow". AFP via Yahoo News reports:
Exiled Iranian opposition leaders hailed hardliner Mahmood Ahmadinejad's victory in Iran's presidential election, saying it would bring Tehran's Islamic regime a step closer to collapse.

While the election of the conservative Islamist might bring tough times for Iranians in the short term, they said, it will ultimately fuel internal opposition, put external pressure on the government and expose cracks within the regime.

Several Iranians in California, home to the most of the 400,000 to 600,000 US-based Persians, said they were shocked but thrilled at the victory of the Tehran mayor, even though his social and political values and beliefs are diametrically opposed to their own.

"We are really excited, this is a very good thing for the opposition to the Islamic republic," said Roozbeh Farhanipour, an activist of the secular Marzepor Gohar political group and a former Iranian student leader who fled to the United States in 2000. ...