The Blanket

The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent
The Future of Iran
Pedram Moallemian • 12 January 2004

What is going on in Iran these days has largely remained below radars with limited coverage in mainstream media. Perhaps rightly so. The fictional or real struggle between the "hardliners" and "reformers" is way past its expiry date and is neither news nor even interesting anymore.

Sadly so, it's not only the media that feels this way. Majority of Iranians are also tired of the games and have no patience for another round of the same back and forth contest played over the last 7 years.

The faction considered to be more liberal, came to power with a large movement of popular support. Of course, with the present structure, "power" is not the appropriate term as most of that is ceded to one unelected person with the title of "Supreme Leader".

Iranians elected President Khatami (twice) and then a new Parliament in challenging the wishes of this exact "leader". What they wanted was change and a vote for so-called "reformers" was more a vote against what they had as oppose to what they wanted.

There has been little doubt that what they ultimately want, is far beyond what these "moderates" are willing or able to deliver. And they have had over 7 years to prove it over and over again. In every mass movement towards more freedoms in these years, people have been abandoned by their elected representatives.

In the student uprising and then again in multiple nights of unrest in Tehran, these "reformers" chose the wrong side. Khatami was mostly absent in both occasions and even classified the protestors as "hooligans".

So, now that it's their turn to be scolded by the same "extremists", they seek a popular support that is non-existent. I am sure images of a velvet revolution went through the heads of many protesting MP's as they started their sit-in. But as they kept a lookout for the masses that will come in, take over the building and carry them on their shoulders to victory, nobody showed up.

They are too late. Their credibility with the masses evaporated the minute they chose to hang on to their offices, instead of backing the popular dissent movement. Iranians trusted yet another group one more time and once again they were defrauded.

Where will this go now is unclear. An old Persian proverb says "give them death, so they'll be happy with a fever." This may just be the strategy chosen by the leader's team. Disqualify everyone, then bend a bit and allow some in to keep everyone quiet. On the other hand, If reformers boycott the upcoming elections, the provincial governors resign and no changes are made, it may also cause some cabinet members and the President himself to also resign. Something he should?ve done the minute it became apparent his office is without any real power, years ago. This may create an opening for the great savior to enter the foyer once again with his own team and take over with the image of the great conciliator. This will of course be the role of former president Rafsanjani, the man many believe is still the real source of influence in Iran.

Regardless of the outcome, it is safe to expect that in the short-term, no major changes will be delivered by either side of this current tussle. This will only be yet another step, another experience in the long road to the destination most Iranians have chosen as their final objective; a free and democratic Iran.


Pedram Moallemian is a political and human rights activist whose web log can be found at



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The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent



All censorships exist to prevent any one from challenging current conceptions and existing institutions. All progress is initiated by challenging current conceptions, and executed by supplanting existing institutions. Consequently the first condition of progress is the removal of censorships.
- George Bernard Shaw

Index: Current Articles

16 January 2004


Other Articles From This Issue:


Response by the Maghaberry POWs to the 'Compact Propsals for Separated Prisoners
PRO Maghaberry POWs


Horses or Zebras?
Paul Fitzsimmons


The Future of Iran

Pedram Moallemian


Anthony McIntyre


A State of the Union Address

Eamon Sweeney


11 January 2004


A Subtle But Brilliant Use of the IRA
Anthony McIntyre


The Process of ‘Constitutionalisation’
Breandán Morley


A Victory for Extremism
James Fitzharris


Demilitarise Divis Tower
Kathleen O Halloran


History Repeating Itself

Eamon Sweeney


Say What You Like, the Brits Sure Do Know the Irish
Fr. Sean Mc Manus


Rafah Today: Demolishing Houses
Mohammed Omer




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