Plan B

What needs to be done to liberate Iran


Plan B
by Setareh Sabety

22nd Bahman, which commemorated the 31st anniversary of the Islamic Revolution and was supposed to mark its end with a massive opposition demonstration, was a big disappointment. Yet it was not in any way the death knell of the opposition to this regime.

The Green movement showed its utter lack of organization and effective leadership. The failure of assembling any significant number of people shows that the regime's clamp-down is working. The murders, arrests, tortures and rapes are working-- at least temporarily. The regime's use of its rent-a-crowds from the provinces, deployment of a large number of security forces, the infiltration of plain clothes forces into the crowds and the road blocks were all successful in preventing any large assembly of people. Eight months of brutal treatment of protesters effectively reduced the number of those braving the streets. Key organizers and student activists, like Majid Tavakoli and those from Tahkim Vahdat, are behind bars. Even the Mourning Mother's we arrested and imprisoned for a while. The movement's leaders, with the exception of Karoubi, are in a state of semi-house arrest where their movements are so restricted that they can't do much. Frankly, from the day after the elections in June, the reformist leaders seemed to fear the anti-regime sentiments of their followers that they themselves had unclenched. No one else has managed to step in to fill the vacuum caused by their hesitance.

For 16th Azar (Nov) and Ashura (Dec.) there was a student leadership that managed better than the cautious reformist leaders to organize demonstrations but they were quickly stifled through threats, imprisonment and torture. An overwhelming number of those arrested or killed since June 12 are students, professors, and of course journalists whose pen the regime seems to fear more than American missiles. There are, therefore, many good reasons for the Greens' poor performance on 22 Bahman, many of which are excusable but some of which are not.

Since we cannot change the regime's brutal tactics, let us focus on what can be changed with regards to the movement's own strategy. One reason for the failure of 22 Bahman is that there was no plan"B." A young university student wrote in an email that despite admonitions of her family and boyfriend, she went out to join the protests on Thursday. Everywhere she went, she was either prevented from entering by security blockades or failed to find the demonstrators till she finally gave up and came home very frustrated and disappointed. The same fate befell the ladies from my mother's Hafez reading group, who were prevented going south towards Azadi sq. and could not join the demonstrations anywhere--they claimed that the presence of security forces was so overwhelming it had cut everyone off from everyone else. They had shed their fear and braved the streets but they had no instructions where to go or what to do in case of a blockade. They had shed their fear of the regime but had no where to go with their new-found courage!

The geography of Tehran has been carefully manipulated to prevent the spontaneous gathering of large crowds in any one place. Large assemblies are now the monopoly of the state. What was different in 16th Azar (Student's Day) was that the demonstrations took place inside the Universities and were organized by student activists many of whom are now in jail. On Ashura (commemorating Martyrdom of Imam Hussein), it was easier to assemble because traditionally processions and gatherings take place locally in neighborhoods that are spread out and difficult to control.

All of this was known prior to 22 Bahman and should have been taken into account when the demonstrations were announced. However, there was no real planning; no telephone trees; no basic information networks. There was no plan 'B'! There was no plan for what to do if the places of assembly were cut off by regime forces. Without a leader standing his ground and no plan 'B' for those who have the courage to turn out, indeed, most attempts to stand up to this regime will be futile. This regime, though no communist China, is still more organized and certainly more brutal than the opposition.

Does the fact that Thursday was a failure make the need for a Green triumph any less urgent? NO! Not if you are on the side of those innocent people who have shed blood in this struggle for democracy and freedom. Not if you think that a democratic Iran will be an antidote to extremism in the region and indeed the world. Not if you think that those who cheat, beat, rape and kill innocents should be held accountable. Does the failure of Thursday make the need for a reassessment of our approach a necessity? Yes! Yes, if you believe that strong leadership and clever planning are needed for a revolutionary movement to succeed against a foe who is brutal and who shuns all calls for local and internationally accountability.

It amazes me how some liberal thinking and progressive westerners and expatriates are eager to announce the death of a movement that embodies such hope for democracy in Iran and the region. Even if this movement did not enjoy the backing of the majority of Iranians--like regime apologists would have you believe--it should be embraced and supported as the only hope for saving Iran from herself, and the world from Iran. Saying that the Green movement does not enjoy a majority following at this stage is like saying that the Chinese prefer communism after the Tienanmen crack down.

What are the lessons learned and what needs to be done to breathe fresh air into the tired lungs of the Green movement, which I firmly believe enjoys the backing of a large yet silent Iranian majority?

International help in isolating, sanctioning, and pressuring this regime is necessary and urgent; it will give a much needed boost to the protesters. Sanctions will hurt the regime by both making it more expensive to stay in power and by making the people blame the government for economic hardships. I have heard often, especially since Ashura, Iranians living in Iran expressing the need for sanctions. Some refrains are: "they are killing and imprisoning us, never mind 'economic' hardship!" and "only businessmen who don't live in Iran and don't have kids in prison are against sanctions." One woman I spoke to, who is a retired teacher in Mashad, was happy that 22 Bahman turned out the way it did because now the world would go ahead with sanctions and hasten the regime's fall. The hatred for this regime has been brewing for thirty years. It cuts deep and wide; there is no poll that can measure it, you just have to take our word for it or go live there long enough to win your neighbor's trust. Mistrust on the level we Iranians feel is something very difficult for westerners to grasp unless they have had lived under the Nazi's or experienced the Gulag!

Strong leadership is another ingredient that has been notoriously missing in this movement. At this point, even if there is no leader we should invent one! Leaders don't make themselves--people do. There are many who could qualify, though Mousavi or Khatami don't seem to want to go on hunger strike or do anything dramatic. Rahnavard could have joined the Mourning Mothers in front of Evin but she did not--she is no Benazir Bhutto. These are times for dramatic gestures. Ms. Ebadi has been talking tough since June but not enough to make her a charismatic leader. Of all the reformists, I like Mohsen Kadivar's style best he is certainly the best speaker in the lot, but that turban of his turns people off and he is too far away in North Carolina to be of any use to the movement in Iran. For Mousavi to rise to the occasion and reclaim the leadership he needs to go on a hunger strike or go and make a stance in front of Evin prison. He owes the movement which has sacrificed its children a dramatic gesture, but like Khatami on 18th Tir some twelve years before him he will not deliver. Even as a reformist candidate he was reluctant; we can't expect him to be the revolutionary leader that the occasion demands.

Finally, this movement is painfully unorganized. Lack of planning is an Iranian flaw. That is why we need leaders to guide us. Why could we not have information cells to pass down info in groups of three like they did in Algeria when there were no phones or computers to organize people? Why could we not demonstrate in another city or another part of town on a different day? Maybe demonstrating on official holidays is also a wrong strategy for it gives the government time to amass forces and arrest organizers.

We have to devise creative and effective ways to organize and plan the next stage of this movement. Those of us Iranians cheering from abroad must not slacken our support. We must unite; we must lobby the international community to tighten the choke on this regime. We must listen to Shirin Ebadi and call for the imposition of diplomatic sanctions and we must not confuse Iran with Iraq and stand in the way of sanctions to cripple the Iranian economy. A crippled economy will help hasten the fall of the regime which will in the end benefit Iranians and the world.

We must stand behind a set of demands like the Ten Demands of the five intellectuals. We must put our differences aside and rally to the cause of freedom and democracy in Iran. If we fail we have betrayed those who have shed blood and have been savagely abused by this regime. If we who live in freedom fail to do our utmost for this movement, we will have to share the burden of having allowed a monster like the Islamic regime to stay in power even after it had been severely wounded.

First published in


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more from Setareh Sabety

actually I smell a rat too!

by benross on

It cannot be Reza Pahlavi; the 5 intellectuals; Karroubi; or Mousavi

Ali9 Akbar

I expected the crack down to be severe...

by Ali9 Akbar on

Yet I was surprised the opposition was able to bring about the resistance for such a LONG TIME...


My conclusion is that the RUSSIAN KGB and CHINESE are suppling the necessary weaponry to aid the THUGS IN CHARGE.... 

I dunno about plan C or B..... but I'm still hoping for a peaceful resolution .... 

Veiled Prophet of Khorasan


by Veiled Prophet of Khorasan on

You have written a very well thought out article. We all want change. But we are disorganized and not united. The amount of intellect; accomplishment ; money and sheer numbers among Iranian opposition is amazing. What we lack is proper leadership. It cannot be Reza Pahlavi; the 5 intellectuals; Karroubi; or Mousavi. We need a truly large tent grass roots organization. Not something with a lot of baggage or beholden to foreign powers. We need goals and well defined ideals which people can look at and choose to support.

Fortunately we are not helpless. We can do something. Thanks to the selfless work of some very patriotic Iranians we have a starting point.

  • We have the International Iranian Council. An organization with real potential. Dear ham-mihans if you want to help join IIC and do it right now. Do not wait it is the least we can do.
  • We also have Iran Secular and the Interim Constitution. Lets us back it. This document offers us real hope. If the interim constitution is put to work, Iran will finally gain the freedom we have all fought for all these years.

This will not be easy but we owe it to our children; our ancestors and to ourselves. Lets get moving!

Veiled Prophet of Khorasan


by Veiled Prophet of Khorasan on


I don't think you are a troll. In fact I very much appreciate your posts. You bring the IRI point of view in. Whether we like it or not IRI does run Iran. Someone needs to bring its point of view. 

How am I a troll? I contribute to IC. You may not agree with my perspectives, but my comments are thought out and usually substantive. I avoid name calling, accusations, ad hominem attacks and strawman arguments- you know, the type I'm usually subjected to. 

Keep going at it! I promise to be there to disagree with you! :-)


Setareh Sabety - Huffpost Blogger - Her plan B .....

by Bahramerad on

Setareh Sabety - Huffpost Blogger - thank you bahramerad. we agree on most issues except I am not fan of reza pahlavi. with all due respect to you, rp is a wave rider and had very little to do with this movement. the reason I did not mention him is that he is a nonentity in this struggle. just like maryam rajavi is. he has not done one thing that deserves any kind of mention. if he was a benazzir then everyone would be mentioning him. the most important aspect of leadership is courage and he so utterly lacks it. the way the loyal servants of the shah like khalatbari were abandoned by this family is shameful. lacking courage they should at least spend some of their fortune on helping Iranians. again sorry but I had to explain to you why I have not mentioned poor reza pahlavi.

@ Setareh Sabety : You say that : "if he was a benazzir then everyone would be mentioning him " -- If I understand you correctly - Prince Reza Pahlavi is NO good - unless he is shoot dead ? - Well thank you - I get the drift now .

See Here : //

persian westender

lets consider the events in their contexts

by persian westender on


As Diaspora it is important to understand that inside of Iran the flow of news as well as the mentality of people toward the Green movement, could be different than what we feel and percept here in abroad. We deal with the ‘revolutionary’ concepts in theory.They do it in every day life. There are other venues for these differences:

While we have access to both Western media and sources of information coming from Iran, People inside Iran should rely on very limited and sometimes under-ground ; gossip-like and people to people (like-minded) sources of info. At times, they inevitably have to listen to the brainwashing campaign of seda va sima and false news to understand what’sgoing on.  Although communication techs has provided a unique venue for networking, with clamp down of internet, emails and SMS it is hard to mobilize the mass. There are fears of the communications to be monitored. Suspicion is in the air. This situation should be understood and expectations should be set realistically.

Besides, people are much smarter in not relying on the strategies and prescriptions coming from some people in abroad (let’s face it). The “nativity” of the movement should be understood.They have every right to suspect outsiders’ prescriptions for them regarding what should be done.  As Diaspora, most of our encounters with the movement are from the news, not the real life experiences. News is news and nothing more. They can motivate us; they can provoke us (as they do); but for the most part, the people inside of Iran are the ones who manage the movement not us. For a single protesting event to participate there are plenty of concerns and consequences to deal with. And also preferences which should not be translated as indifference. In 22 bahman many middle-class people ( in addition to university students) in Tehran and big cities preferred to leave and go for vacations for the holiday break. Their absence should be considered as a major factor for the little turn out of the green. Had they stayed, the turnout would have been much larger.  Should this interpreted as a retreat? No, not at all. This is part of everyday life in Iran which should be acknowledged by Diaspora whom does not experience it routinely, and can’t wait for exciting news coming from Iran.   




Amir -Jaan

by Paykar on

writes our resident "military analyst,' feigning he knows farsi.

Sargord Ghollabi, do not  think I see a post of yours and intentionally move on.

Your comments are selective and often twisted "facts" in support of the regime of rape and torture. Point to one post of yours in which you have objected the methods(torture, rape, show trials...) IR uses to silence the opposition. We have American Taliban(s), why not American Hezbollah?

Say you are open minded and not a Hezbollah wannabe, then express your views on issues such as Wemon's rights, freedom of speech, velayat faghih and beliefs like shabe aval ghabr, hooryan behshti va rood khanehayeh asal dar besht or shahabs being Allah's mooshaks...

What do you think about seagheh Mark? I am using Farsi here to make you work a little!

Just a little of advice, if you ever get to go to Iran as an invited guest of AN, no matter how insistent he might be, just do not pass through Ghazvin.I know a couple of Iranian psychologists who really believe he (AN) did go through Ghazvin in his childhood, metaphorically speaking; I see this as a tragedy that the whole country is paying for today- seriously.


Amir -Jaan

by Paykar on

Sorry, look above.

Somehow I posted it twice.


To: every body loves somebody

by mahmoudg on

Agreed. Plan C is the only alternative left before an all out civil war.  This plan would annihilate the IRI and with a few thousand diehard supporters who would turn out to be terrorists anyways and would murder people.  So surgical attacks would remove this backward Islamist obstacle from the equation of a free and propserous Iran without Islam.



by Paykar on

I second your view on a more protracted struggle and emergence of measures such as assassinations(start with Mesbah Yazdi) and armed struggle among others. Our "salvation" lies not with theocracy, but rejection of it.


We are countless.



by Paykar on

I second your view on a more protracted struggle and emergence of measures such as assassinations(start with Mesbah Yazdi) and armed struggle among others. Our "salvation" lies not with theocracy, but rejection of it.


We are countless.


Dear Setareh, you make many good points

by oktaby on

However, your impatience for ending the suffering in Iran is weighing on you. This movement continues to be a massive success on many fronts. Many expected 22 Bahman as some climax, but that was not possible & should not have been expected. IRR cut off all means of networking. They showed what they are and it is guns and tanks. In that process IRR lost legitimacy globally. Celebrating 31th of overthrowing a "dictator" inside a state of emergency. The google image of endles busses bringing boddies in tells all. This regime has won only the proof of its mercenary existence to the few that still held it legitimate.

The context and expectations need to be consistent with facts on the ground. IRR prepared for this for several years starting before AN's first selection. World can & may help but that will be useful on the margins. If it comes large, it'll bring nothing good.  This movement represents a global battle between extreme capital and saner minds and if we lose, the rest of the world will go down with us (see my related posts). I do not disagree that better leadership will help but settling for Ten Demands because something lousy prolonging the problem is not better than nothing. Only those who expected Mousavi, Kahroubi or the rest of regime leftovers to provide something big are disappointed. Mousavi et al were never willing or capable, for a slew of reasons.

With all the foreign and mercenary forces at work, it took roughly 18 months to bring Shah down and he did not have 37 layers of security, China, Russia, EU, and even U.S. with him. The current movement is only 7 months old. The economic factors that will bring more masses into the current uprising are still 12 months or more away, meanwhile, there are many tools that have yet to be leveraged by the movement. From factions merging, leadership emerging, various measures to deprive regime of various support & income, selective target assassinations and campaign of destabilization, to armed resistance. I am not suggesting infinite patience but as you correctly pointed out we need a strategy, leadership and plans. Those are in emergence.



Question of leadership

by Paykar on

What initially gave the movement its strength, is now its hindrance. The fact that the Green movement came to existence as result of protest to an stolen election, the course of events, primarily the brutality of the regime has radicalized the oposition;not necessarily in terms of a unified and organized movement, but more as a reaction of individuals to all this brutality.

The leadership of earlir days is after removing AN, while keeping the IR mostly intact. Given this limited aspiration, they obviously devise limited tactical actions.

The unimaginable bravery that some people showed in Ashura, has revealed a hidden potential and possibly a more militant aspect on the part of some within this gaint Green umbrella-of course, this does not fit well with the Reformist/inside-the-regime-opposition's outlook.

The biggest asset of this movement does not lie with the reformist/islamic leaders, but in the millions of youth who are fed up with the whole notion of a theocratic state. It is within this group that the ultimate leadership will emerge.


We are countless.



Another impressive article by Setareh!

by Nader on

To some, we may be rushing things, however, we should always aim high to get results. Can't wait for the movement to get it on high gear.

I also loved this part of your article which summed it up pretty well: "Strong leadership is another ingredient that has been notoriously missing in this movement."Indeed we are in desperate need of a leader!Well done Setareh, and don't let any one stop you now, especially those who constantly try to downplay the importance of what you do by using cliché like: Self proclaimed expert/journalist and ETC.

I don’t see any of their stuff on Huffington Post and other major media?!

Keep fighting my friend!



Cut off Oxygen supply to the Rejime

by Manam_Babak on

Freedom can only be achieved if the money supply to IR is cut off, and at the same time oil supply is cut off to west, and China. In order to achive this goal opposition movement have to create a account that would collect founds from all across the world Iranian, and non-Iranian alike to support employees of Oil industry in Iran , those who would walk out, and join the oposition. This would quickly cut money supply to rejime, oil to the west, and at the same time will help the opposition to have an important sector of population on his side.


Issues of substance, Mark Pirooz. Let's hear your response

by AMIR1973 on

The IRI has executed more Iranians than any other regime in Iran's modern history. Most of these people were teenagers or in their 20s. They were rounded up, imprisoned, and tortured; many men and women were raped (either outright rape or forced to "marry" their prison guards through "sigheh" presided over by some mollah); shortly thereafter, they were executed by Pasdars--because if a virgin is executed, she will go to "heaven", and IRI rapists wouldn't want that. IRI executes Iranians for non-capital offenses; it flogs them; and it censors them. It came to power through deceit and lying. Islamist revolutionaries set the Cinema Rex ablaze and killed over 400 people; this was the bloodiest single incident of the Revolution, and they blamed the Shah for it (and no, I'm no monarchist either). Khomeini claimed that over 4,000 people were killed in Jaleh Square; in fact, the total number killed on Black Friday was much, much lower (88, according to Emadeddin Baghi, a researcher at the IRI's Martyrs Foundation). Safely ensconced in Neuphle-le-Chateau, Khomeini issued statements instructing his followers to martyr themselves in the cause of his coming to power (something he was more than happy to do during the Iran-Iraq war). Khomeini also made statements saying that Iran would be a democracy, the clergy wouldn't rule, women would have equal rights, etc etc. Through its corruption, cronyism, and mismanagement, the IRI has made a shambles of the Iranian economy. The average Iranian's income is lower than it was in 1976. Iran's GDP per capita is lower than that of Botswana, Gabon, and other economic basket cases. This is in spite of 31 years of oil revenues (and bear in mind that the Shah had high oil revenues only from 1973-1978). The IRI has been an unmitigated disaster for Iranians. It has visited levels of violence, repression, and misery unparalled in Iran's recent history. Now, imagine the kinds of characters who sit at a computer in the U.S. (not having to live this nightmare) and go around the Internet defending this rotten regime...I eagerly await your response to the above.

Sargord Pirouz


by Sargord Pirouz on

How am I a troll? I contribute to IC. You may not agree with my perspectives, but my comments are thought out and usually substantive. I avoid name calling, accusations, ad hominem attacks and strawman arguments- you know, the type I'm usually subjected to. 

Disagree with me- okay. But come up with reasonable arguments, based on evidence, if you can.

I've an open mind. I can be swayed. But like I've said before, it'll take more than name calling and accusations. That kind of low brow stuff is of no interest to me.

That said, I do manage to learn things here at IC. Unfortunately, not so much from many of the comments. In fact, it's my opinion that my offered commentaries are usually more substantive than what I typically receive. But hey, I'm still hangin' in here. 

Still, I've yet to receive credit for any of my valid skepticism offered before 22 Bahman. That's okay, though. I know many of you are too emotionally invested and disheartened by the outcome.


Setareh, pay no mind to Sargord Pirouz

by AMIR1973 on

He is just an Internet troll who goes by Sargord Pirouz, Mark Pyruz or Mark Pirooz. He speaks little to no Persian and defends the Murderous Regime from the freedom of the West (like all of the IRI cyber groupies on, he can't be bothered to actually move to Iran and live under the nightmarish regime). He thinks its cute to vomit up propaganda on behalf of a regime that has killed 20,000 Iranians and flogged, raped, and tortured many, many more. He has posted the link to these telephone polls at least 3 times on, as well as on other websites too. Of course, telephone polls are reliable in a murderous dictatorship that kills, jails, tortures, and rapes its opponents AND keeps a very close watch on what they do, say, and write.

Oh yeah, Mark Pirooz, those polls become more persuasive each time you link to them. 

Veiled Prophet of Khorasan

The mostazafin saved the

by Veiled Prophet of Khorasan on

The mostazafin saved the day for Ahmadineyad, what more harm can sanctions do them?

First of all it was the security forces not the "oppressed" that carried the day. They are also known as the oppressors. They are the ones with the guns and the "chomaagh. They are the ones hanging innocent Iranian people.

Second there is a lot that sanctions do. The IRR is doomed. They can go the easy way or the hard way. The sanctions are meant to put on the squeeze and make IRR unpopular. They are working and will keep working. Do not underestimate the US. 

Right now US is busy with Afghanistan and wiping out the Taliban. Iraq has been mostly pacified. Once Afghanistan is handled they will turn to Iran. By then sanctions would have taken a heavy toll leaving IRR ripe for regime change.

Sargord Pirouz

Now everyone here's a realist!

by Sargord Pirouz on

Well, I guess now you have to be. 

Like I've stated here at IC repeatedly, what means are there available for this vocal minority to somehow topple the government?

And why would you wish for such, against the popular wishes of the majority?

And before you start clammoring that the IRI is not the majority, first explain away this:


Yes, there is an undercurrent of dissent in Iran today, but in itself that's not unusual for many countries. You see it in Russia, the United States, eastern China and many more.

In Iran's case, unfortunately due to the actions of Mousavi and Karroubi, this element of the political spectrum is now discredited and irrelevant. What's left is a sliver of the more radicalized, and they're mostly students. That's enough to burn a couple of trash bins at certain national events, and little else.

Back to square one, minus many losses. 

(Setareh, glad now I didn't accept your $100 bet?)


در نقد حرکت ۲۲ بهمن تحلیل بسیار شده است


در نقد حرکت ۲۲ بهمن تحلیل بسیار شده است و به همین دلیل زیاد
وارد انتظارات و واقعیت رخ داده در خیابون نمیشتم. نظر من شخصاً این هست
که همین که ما باعث شدیم حکومت این قدر خودش رو تو زحمت بندازه ( راه
اندختان کاروان‌های اتوبوس و قطار و هواپیما، پخش خوراکی) تا آدم جمع کنه
برای جلوی دوربین‌های خود تا بتونه دل خودش و چند طرفداری که داری رو خوش
کنه و به دنیا پوز بده، نشون ترس دولت از عزم مردم هست. این خودش یک
پیروزی هست. حال بماند که همین میدان شهیاد رو هم نتونست پر کنه و دستش
برای همه در دنیا رو شد ( از طریق فیلم‌های تلفونی و عکس ماهواره‌ای
گوگل). همین که مجبور به استخدام یک تجمع کرایه‌ای شد خودش پذیرفتن باخت
است. همین که در خلا ماموران تعلیم دیده که از زدن خواهران و برادران خویش
سر باز می‌زدند، مجبور به استفاده از بچه‌های ۱۵ ساله چماق به دست داده شد
تا جلوی مردم قد علم کنن، خودش یک باخت فاحش است. در انتها می‌خواهم یاد
آوری کنم که چند ماه پیش تنها در تهران و چند شهر بزرگ دیگه جنبش حرکت
تدارک میدید. جنبش در ۲۲ بهمن با حضور در کوچکترین شهرستان‌ها و شهر‌های
مانند مشهد و تبریز که تا به حال در اونها حرکتی از خود نشون نداده بود،
ثابت کرد که گسترش یافته تر از پیش است و در انتها پیروز اذعان مردم خواهد
بود. این در طول تاریخ، چه در ایران و چه در سایر جهان مکررا ثابت شده و
لزومی به دفاع از طرف سبزها نداره.

Everybody Loves Somebody Sometime

Anybody wants to bet on Plan C!? It will come!

by Everybody Loves Somebody ... on

Bombing the Islamic Republic, its supporters, its military infrastructure, its IRGC, and its basijis.... and ultimately invasion if necessary!


I agree with NY GAL that the

by benross on

I agree with NY GAL that the community abroad, and certainly IC community at least, had raised false expectations about this event, and failed to its own false expectation, not to the reality. In reality, the movement is as strong as ever, growing stronger. The community abroad thinks that if it only watchs inside activities and add some of its imagination to it, it has done its duty, supporting Iranian people 'on the ground' without 'interfering'.

The failure is not in what is going on inside Iran. It's failure of Iranians abroad to be supportive of something as vague as 'green', only to cover-up their own collective guilt. Sorry folks, green can not clear your conscious. No matter how much you fantasize about it.

David ET

I see no failure

by David ET on

Not sure what some were expecting on 22 Bahman beyond what happend?

It was known in advance that security was tight, it was known that regime would use all its force if have to and it was known that current leaders had no specific strategy, so people did the right thing: some still went out but tried to avoid conflicts and some left the town to let IR have its potentic day with paid , hired , forced and fed people. Just the fact that regime had to go through so much and gathered so little with all its might and power at hand was victory.

As for those who thought on 22 Bahman, SOMEHOW!! the regime would fall, they were unrealistic and this was a good reality check for them.

I am gald to see that more and more people have come to realization that Khatami, Rafsanjani and co..... are not the ones who will lead this movement anywhere, and even if they would , would not be anywhere that we have not been before!

Indeed organization, common goals and leadership is needed.

For a free and secular Iran:


Khaanoum Sabety

by Mammad on

Only those - especially those in the Diaspora - who had claimed that on 22 Bahman the IRI would fall are disappointed. Only those who always exaggerated about the weaknesses of the IRI are disappointed. Only those who posted blogs here on this website celebrating the demise of the IRI simply because some people had chanted "Iranian Republic" are disappointed. Reading the and similar website a few days ago, you would have thought that all people had to do was showing up on Thursday, and that would finish the IRI up. Only those who were looking for an easy victory thought that the IRI is finished. Nonsense! It will be finished some day - hopefully in my life time - but not so fast.

I, for one, was not disappointed at what happened on 22 Bahman because I have always said that the hardliners have (i) a social base, albeit narrow; (ii) the guns; (iii) the money, and (iv) no place to go but stay in Iran and fight. It is a matter of life and death for them. The Shah's supporters did have Europe and US to go to, but no country will take the people in. 

I do not agree with you that people did not show up. I have had communications with many, and everything that I was told was that at least half the people on Thursday were Green, except that they were never allowed to group.

I also do not hear the demand for sanctions from within Iran. Contrary to what you say (and I do not imply that what you say is incorrect, but that it all depends on whom one talks to), I hear that sanctions - the unofficial ones - are already hurting many ordinary people greatly. I hear sanctions demand only from the extremely well to do who can maintain the economics of their lives for a while even under the most difficult circusmtances, and have their passports ready.

I agree with your assessment regarding leadership and organization.


But, many here in the Diaspora, in order to reject the roles that Mousavi, Karroubi, and Khatami have played, and could play, claimed that, "this is the most modern form of revolting." Nonsense.

As you also agree, any national movement requires leadership and organization. Why were excellent organizers among the reformists arrested immediately after the election, and in fact their arrest warrants had been issued BEFORE the election? Men like Behzad Nabavi, Mostafa Tajzadeh, Mohsen Mirdamadi, Mohsen Amin Zadeh, Abolfazl Ghadyani, Arabsorkhi, Tajik, ....... Precisely because the hardliners knew what was coming, and tried to decapitate the possible leadership.

I believe that the tactics of the Greens must constantly evolve and adapt to new conditions, hence not allowing the hardlners to learn and adapt.

Once again: The struggle for democracy in Iran is a Marathon, not a sprint.



Must Read By Mohammad

by vildemose on

Must Read
By Mohammad Sahimi


short, this was not a victory, but a defeat for the hardliners. Eight months after the rigged presidential election of June 12, the Green Movement is alive and well. Indeed, the hardliners were sufficiently terrified of the Movement that they deployed anti-riot forces to surround the headquarters of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei (there were even reports that he and his family had been spirited away to a secret location); the broadcast centers for national television and radio, the Voice and Visage of the Islamic Republic; and many other government institutions. Mousavi was forcefully prevented from participating in the demonstrations and his wife, Dr. Zahra Rahnavard, was assaulted, as were Mehdi Karroubi and former president Mohammad Khatami...much more... 


stop calling 22 BAHMAN a failure

by NY GAL on

Miss Sabety

please do a favour to green movement and don't poison them with your unhealthy hopelessness. you have had an unrealistic expectation. Did you expect the iranian people risk their lives to be pleased by bunch of self-claimed experts in iran politics?

Green movement did a good job in 22 Bahman. there was some mistakes which were unevitable due to lack of experience. This movement is very young but it wil find its own way. It will grow.      



by AgaPablo on

The mostazafin saved the day for Ahmadineyad, what more harm can sanctions do them?

China will keep trading with Iran, and that cash will flow to the bonyads and keep the mostazafin in the payroll.

On the other hand, the middle classes, the main support for the green movement, will be swept away by sanctions.