How Iran's Revolution Was Hijacked
19-Nov-2009 (2 comments)

It has been three decades since Iranian college students overran and occupied the American Embassy in Tehran, and we are still dealing with that country's revolution.

Americans at the time were understandably preoccupied with the fate of 66 countrymen who were held captive, accused of being spies, and threatened with prosecution and punishment—which in the Iran of those days tended to mean firing squads or the noose. We still refer to this outrage as the Iran Hostage Crisis. Yet this way of remembering the episode ignores its larger significance in Iran, and impedes our understanding of the political drama unfolding there today.

The movement to oust the Shah was primarily a nationalist one, albeit colored by the religious rhetoric of the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. Many of those who took to the streets in 1978 and 1979 were motivated not by a desire to establish a theocracy but by the same thing that stirs the reform movement there today—a desire to cast off authoritarianism and establish democracy. The seizure of the U.S. Embassy was the pivotal event in the takeover of the revolution by the mullahs of Qom.

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Mr. Mirdamadi is in prison

by vildemose on

Mr. Mirdamadi is in prison right now. Messrs. Azgarzedeh and Abdi have both spent time locked up. They and others, including even the annoying spokesman for the hostage-takers, Massoumeh Ebtekar, are now identified with the reform movement. Their outspoken rejection of Ahmadinejad's tainted re-election last summer illustrates how broad and deep runs opposition to the current regime.

So 30 years after seizing power, the mullahs of Qom find themselves in a difficult spot. To turn back the domestic tide of reform they must employ the very tools employed by the despised shah—mass arrests and trials, torture, execution and censorship. Older Iranians recognize this approach as the very thing they rebelled against in 1979. Younger Iranians have the same energy and spirit as their elders, only this time around, the revolutionary rhetoric of change is no longer anti-American and Islamist.

Iranians want real democracy

thanks for posting this informative article..


already posted

by varjavand on

already posted, please look down this page