Posted by: Nathan M. | June 22, 2009

What Is Happening in Iran?

Iranian ProtestorsOk, I don’t know if I’m the only one who was confused about the whole thing, but I’ve done some sniffing and this is what I can figure out is going on in Iran right now. Following the election in Iran that supposedly continued Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s Presidency in Iran, many people believed the election to be a fraud, and believe that Mir-Hossein Mousavi should be the winner-Mousavi believing this himself. There are two other opposition candidates who all agree that the election was rigged, and both Mousavi and Mohsen Rezaee (another candidate) have lodged official complaints. Of course, there are people protesting against the election, and people protesting against the protestors, so lots of chaos. Then you have the Basij (paramilitary group) and the police violently suppressing the protests, with already 20 confirmed deaths. And, of course Iranian authorities are trying to suppress as much media as possible, by closing universities, blocking websites, cell-phone transmissions, and text messaging, and arresting various media people, including our good ole Canadian-Iran correspondant Mazuar Bahari, who worked for Newsweek Magazine. One other thing that is important to note- Iran has a Supreme Leader, named Ayatollah Ali Khamenei who, for the most part, has a lot of power and respect in Iran, but this respect has been deteriorating as he told everyone to stop protesting and they didn’t listen to him. He tends to be anti-American, and is an Islamic cleric. Khamenei also said to look into the whole fraud thing. The last player in this whole game is the Guardian Council, which is basically like Canada’s Supreme Court. It is charged with the task of interpreting the Iranian constitution, and is the one who gives legitimacy to elections. The Council is made up of 12 Iranian jurists, and it is this council that is being asked to do an investigation.

So, basically you have an absolutely chaotic situation, where the potential for a united Iran is almost nil-which may or may not be a bad thing depending on your opinion. But, the scary thing about all of this is not what the various political leaders are doing. The truly frightening thing is the suppression of the media and the limited information that is being allowed outside of Iran. The enormous protests that are occurring in Iran definitely indicate a very off-kilter election, since according to the “official results”, Ahmadinejad won by a landslide. What is going to happen I wonder? One thing I know is this-the world does need to recognize that what is going on is very much wrong. Regardless of the results of the election, the protestors are being attacked, arrested and, at times, killed. This video that I am including in this post may or may not be simply propaganda and hype, but it makes a profound point all the same.

Further Readings

Canadian journalist arrested in Iran

2009 Iranian election protests

Death toll rises in Iran vote protests

Defiant, Iran’s Mousavi urges more protests

Edmontonians protest violence in Iran

GOP senator: Obama ’timid, passive’ on Iran

Streets of Tehran left empty as protesters wait in vain for sign

‘The Iranian government cannot hide the truth’

Iranian Protestors


  1. The question is whether or not the revolution will stay peaceful. As soon as the government is taken by force it will be the beginning of yet another totalitarian regime and the people will be oppressed yet again by those who promised freedom from oppression. The only way to promote true democracy would be to hold another election with the votes counted by an unbiased party.

  2. Very true, but easier said than done. In order to hold a proper election and find an unbiased party, it is neccessary to have a government that is willing to do so. Otherwise, if the standing government is corrupt, than there is no real way that a free election can occur. It’s definitely a hard situation. But I agree, a government taken by force delegitimizes the government that results.

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