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Elections or Ouster
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posted April 24, 2001 23:57
Elections or Ouster
By Mustafa Saber
All last week, the official political atmosphere of Iran was filled with talk surrounding the ‘overthrow’ of the regime, including in the weekly prayer sermon, in statements by 2nd Khordad [also known as Reformists] members both inside and out of government, the media and in the judiciary’s press release. The head of the guardian council, Jannati, a right-winger, openly accused the 2nd Khordad camp of ‘intending to overthrow’ the government in his Friday prayer sermon. Keyhan newspaper’s headline read: ‘The Final American Plan to Overthrow.’ The judiciary sentenced tens of religious-nationalists to prison on charges of taking part in a ‘network’ aimed at overthrowing the regime. Jalaie-pour, from the 2nd Khordad camp, commented that ‘the extremist opponents of reform’ aim to overthrow the regime.
Therefore, everyone wants the ouster of the regime! What is going on? Undoubtedly, the Islamic Republic is on its way out. The spectre of its downfall, which has been looming above the regime since the youth protests of July 1999, is intensifying. Seeing the intent to overthrow the regime within others, barring oneself, is a reflection of this fact. It also has specific meaning. It is a form of ‘dialogue’ between them. The factional power struggle is nearing critical moments. The upcoming presidential elections is one of those turning points that will once again redefine the balance of power between the factions as well as between the people and the government. The question facing the Islamic Republic is a familiar one; which faction and policy has the ability to control the people and accordingly gain power and hegemony over the other faction? The answer is the same: none. Neither the suppression of the Right nor the ‘Reformism’ of the 2nd Khordad can provide a lasting response. A combination of the two such as during the Khatami period with a ‘crisis every 9 days’ is also not a lasting solution. The Islamic Republic cannot avoid an internal settlement and homogenising itself. Calling each other ‘intent on overthrowing’ the regime is the prelude to the intensification of the factional war. Each faction accuses the other of wanting to overthrow the regime so that it can later subjugate the other by force and violence. It is impossible to maintain equilibrium between the various herds of the Islamic regime through elections fraud, compromise between the ‘wise’ and give and take between the insiders. The ‘elections’ will result in the ‘overthrow’ of one faction by the other. The irony is that they know they will most likely not survive an internal settlement and homogenisation. When the system unhinges, it will be impossible to salvage given that the people have lost all patience with the lot of them. It is for this reason that Hajarian, from the 2nd Khordad camp, has suggested that the Majlis pursue the establishment of an arbitration forum before the elections.
The upcoming elections also present a fundamental question to the people: How can the Islamic regime be ousted and a better world built? Four years of ‘games’ between the 2nd Khordad and the Right has taught the people that they cannot hope for improvements within this framework. People are looking toward a different direction, to their own protests, the political opposition parties seeking the regime’s ouster and Communists. The outcome of the struggle between the people and the government will be determined in the streets, factories and universities not in the absurd ‘elections’ of the Islamic Republic. The concept of overthrow has been pushed to the forefront.
The above is a summary of an article by Mustafa Saber, a member of WPI’s Central Committee, published in Farsi in International Weekly No. 49 dated April 13, 2001.
All times are PT (US)
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