Iran urges citizens to vote
Los Angeles Times
28-May-2009 (12 comments)

"All four major candidates are in line with the system," Askar Owladi, a high-ranking member of the conservative Islamic Coalition Party, told attendees."So we do not feel concerned about who will be our next president," Owladi said. "We should make sure we can maximize the turnout because that high turnout can ensure and secure the future of our system."

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Dear Inquiring Minds

by Fair on

Sorry, I should clarify... in this LA times article it says 66% of Tehran residents stayed home, that was who I was referring to. If LA Times is wrong on this, sorry...




To Haji et al.

by Inquiring minds (not verified) on

Where did you guys get this 66% figure (who presumably did not vote in the last elecshow)?
do you have factual evidence or just some hearsay?

According to Sadeq Ziba Kalam in his interview with VOA yesterday, more than 50% of the 46 million eligible to vote participated in the last elechow and you say 66% stayed home?!!!


Dear Fair

by Hajminator on

Yes you are absolutely right, we are taken in hostage. Our curse begun when people, backing Khomeini, have been fooled by the old man and believed him saying that Mullahs will not interfere in people’s willing to establish a real democracy in Iran

The fact is what we know and the events which followed the establishment of IR. Mullahs are masters in lying, safsateh (turing reality into something false) and also in making false or half statements as something true.

I personally don’t think that they will feel themselves as no-legitimate rulers if there is a high percentage of absenteeism. That was what happened 4 years ago and it just simply helped Ahmadinejad to become president. Mullahs make false photoshop-like videos, as you know, what will bother them to lie on people’s participation if it’s something that they want to avoid?

As you say, it is very likely that someone else than Ahmadinejad takes back the criminal statements of this traitor to the human kind. In such case, I think that starting a war will be much more difficult for Israel. If Ahmadinejad doesn’t stay at office, it will be the first time since 30 years that a president hasn’t been re-elected in IR. This will constitute a strong signal to the world that Ahmadinejad doesn’t represent Iranians, i.e. that Iranians don’t agree with his ‘Israel has to be wiped out of the map’, … So if Israel attacks it will be for some other reasons which are much less legitimate than the reasons it has now.

Personally, I also think that people are paying the heavy tribute to the extremist ideas of Ahmadinejad’s group in power. This year, Iran has bypassed China in its number of juvenile executions!! Can one imagine that ? Our population is 1/20 of China!! How can we have more criminals? Generally, mullahs are blood thirsty, but how criminals linked to Ahmadinejad’s group be SO blood thirsty?

I really believe that instead of living we are surviving under mullahs era. I don’t see any other rational way to get ride of them except standing in the side of the most reformist elements. I moreover think that such behaviour represents even a pacific war against hardliners inside the regime. Further, Vellayat faghuy is something which was questioned under Khatami’s presidency. Now with the daily hand-kisser –Ahamadinejad – this notion is well established by the regime! I finally presume that - Khamenei wants Ahmadinejad be re-elected so - Mahmoud’s failure will in some sense be seen as a dahan-kaji of people to the Rahbar.



Dear Haji

by Fair on

Yes, unfortunately you are right, and this is the rotten game that the mullahs have played with us in the 80's as well. Create a crisis which makes us open to attack, and then keep the people busy with that crisis.

Unfortunately I must say your concern is valid- we must choose between bad and worse- that is an Islamic Republic at peace, or an Islamic Republic at war.

Do you think that Mousavi can bring about peace though? Certainly his rhetoric will be better and that will help. But given that the nuclear issue will pretty much remain unchanged, will the countdown to war be any different? I think the only thing he as president can do to slow this countdown is to clearly reject the idea that the holocaust is in doubt, and that Israel must be wiped off the map.

At the same time, a regime which witnesses a high turnout to vote may feel more secure in claiming legitimacy, and standing firm to the west and pushing the nuclear issue more to the brink... But then one may argue the regime will pretend it is legitimate no matter what because they are in power and can do and say what they want. A boycott will not change that.

I am now very confused.. I feel like I am in jail and hungry, and my jailer has just offered me some stale bread after beating me and starving me for a couple of days.

I guess this is just a reminder that whatever we do now in the short term (and I totally see your rationale and respect it), we must mobilize to get rid of this velayat-e-faghih religious government in the long term. We cannot give up, this is the only way we can get security long term.

What do you think? And what do you think people back home want and will do? Does anybody have any experiences to share from recent discussions with people back home?





Fair jan,

by Hajminator on

Did you know that Ahmadinejad belongs to an extremist group called Mahadvian which believes in the apparition of Mehdi? They also believe that Ahmadinejad is the precursor of this apparition. It is said that Mehdi appears when the world is screwed by injustice and that there is blood below your knee!

Ahmadinejad’s standings of a hallow of light upon his head or that Mehdi prays with him 3 times a day are not void statements. This guy is really dump crazy and believes on what he says. He was once visiting a church and suddenly stopped and begun to talk with an invisible person. People around him asked what happened and he responded that Mary walked toward him, so he was saluting her!!

The question I ask myself is not, will Iran definitively become a modern democracy with Mousavi? I already know the answer.

The question I ask myself is: (1) As Iran is already on the edge to be attacked and that mainly because of Ahamdinejad’s hard standings toward Israel, (2) if Ahmadinejad stays at his post, and that Iran get attacked; will I forgive myself by knowing that my inaction (not voting) had helped Mahmoud to continue his hateful actions and start his war for Mehdi?


Dear Haji and Captain

by Fair on

I fully trust both of your intentions and patriotism, and also see your points. Like I said, this is a tough choice. I read both of the articles you posted (thank you), and have a few issues:

1-They both draw comparisons with US elections, and I am really tired of comparisons with the US as a tool to say how everything is relative and things in the US are not free either. With all of its problems, the US system is a democracy, and if people get really fed up and want change, nobody screens their candidates. The ultimate screen is the people's vote, and if two parties are dominant in the US, it is because people have not yet chosen to go to a third party. Whenever the people as a whole decide that these two parties really must go, these two parties cannot bar a third party candidate from running. Whereas in Iran, the supreme leader and clerical parties can do so overtly and legally and they openly have the right to overrule the people under the constitution. So it is like comparing night and day.

2-Mr. Nasiri says that nowhere in the world does a vote mean this or that. Well, also nowhere in the world does there exist a system like Iran's, where people can vote for a group of candidates prescreened for their religious and political ideas by the very government they are supposed to be voting on. It is a show election, and even then for a position which can not exerciise authority over government to begin with. So in this show, propaganda points are what matters, not real points.

3-Mr. Nasiri asks a good question, "why do people just wait until every 4 years to exercise civil disobedience, and not do it every day?" My answer to him is that people do exercise civil disobedience every day indeed. Yes, maybe they register their marriages and go to school, as those are necessary things to do in life. But they also play cat and mouse with the government every day, they risk their lives when they speak out for workers and students and women's rights, and so much more. And voting (or not voting) is not something that will affect one's day to day life, and is a non paralyzing way for a large number of the people to make a statement.

Now after hearing your points, reading these articles, and saying these issues, I guess the following 3 questions are crucial here:

1)If Mousavi wins, will things really be so much better in Iran and will we be much further from war and conflict than we are today? Will we be in a better position to push for change domestically? i.e. will we not need to say bye bye to our country any more than we have already?

2)If the answer to (1) is yes, then is there anyway that we can vote for Mousavi, but deny the mullahs the claim that the vote is a stamp of legitimacy for them? Remember, the very mullahs which denied over 400 candidates the right to run are shouting in the world's face now- "We did this, and people will still vote, which means people are ok with us doing this! Just Watch!"

3)Probably the most important question of all is this- what do people back home want, and what do they feel is the best way forward for change? And how can we help? Do the 66% of the people who stayed home last time feel differently now? I would like to support their needs first, and if they think getting Mousavi in is more important than making a statement, then I respect and support that and what I said previously doesn't apply.

Maybe a solution is for us to vote for reformers, but then put a petition forward with zillions of signatures clarifying that we voted to avert disaster, but refuse to recognize the legitimacy of the supreme leader, guardian council, and other undemocratic institutions? Could we get at least as many people to sign as we did when it came to the Persian Gulf vs Gulf controversy?

Just some thoughts.... I believe the needs of our people come first. Absolutely.




Dear Fair

by Hajminator on

I am not a partisan of Jomhoori eslami and I've never voted for the system since now even at the beginning when 98% of Iranians preferred IR to Shah.

But I think that times now are different, if nobody votes and that Ahmadinjead comes to power I believe that we have to say bye bye to our country.

Another analysis of what changed 4 years ago when 66% of tehranis didn't vote and Mahmoud came to power is given by Abbas Milani which is also worth to be read.


Dear Fair

by capt_ayhab on

You bring up fine point in you argument, not to say that I agree with all of them.

There is a thread by Mr. Nasiri which is worth your time, Not that I agree with all of his points but I find it interesting.

I do not believe boycott is the answer, because no matter how, the next person will be elected and will take office. What I agree with you and Mr. Nasiri the most is that election is NOT vote for legitimacy of the regime. We lost that opportunity 30 years ago when people were asked ONE question on the ballet.

Jomhouriye Eslami :   Yes    No  That is how they were legitimized.

only choice that is there today is to pick the lesser of two evils, and in this case they truly are evil[relatively speaking]. These akhunds are so insane that you never know, if many people do not participate they might say [well you people did not vote so we are going to abolish the voting]

One thing I strongly agree with you,,,, resistance to regime and pursuit of true democracy should not cease at any time.



hamsade ghadimi

doesn't matter which candidate

by hamsade ghadimi on

i think i've heard that before.  yes, it was khamenei's speech in his 'get out and vote tour' stop in mashhad.  he said "it doesn't matter who you vote for, a high turnout will be a slap in the face to the west..."  ahmadinejad is no different than mousavi except that he has less blood on his hand.  mousavi will continue ahmadinejad rhetoric if khamenei the puppeteer desires. 


Tough choice

by Fair on

...On one hand, any vote is taken to be legitimizing the system.

On the other hand, getting Ahmadinejad out of power shows the world that Iranians do not stand behind his brand of stupidity, and lessens the chance of war.

So should we fight the system? Or should we worry about a foreign war?

Does this choice sound familiar? 1980's anybody?

These mullahs are very shrewd. I will not fall for this trick nor play this game anymore.

I refuse to believe we Iranians deserve this system, which has clearly shown it will not accept reforms. I WILL BOYCOTT THE ELECTION. Like the 66% of Tehran residents that did last time. Let us listen to our compatriots- they said something by not voting in large numbers. I will not betray them.

It is time for us to retake our rightful position in the family of nations.



Maryam Hojjat

Hamvatan: Do Not Vote

by Maryam Hojjat on

& Stay home on election day.

Payandeh Iran & Iranians

Down with IRI


To Fred

by Hardy HAR HAR (not verified) on

Thank God that a very well known liberal newspaper (which openly endorsed Obama sooner than others) is reporting this otherwise the permanent resident Islamist lefties on this site as usual would accuse you of spreading "AIPAC" misinformation and false propaganda ... lol

Well I guess Iranians should be happy that at least they have the "elements" of democracy, if not the democracy itself in their country .... I guess that'll suffice them ;-)