Wednesday, June 10, 2009

No! Not Vaclav Havel!

As noted in the previous post, Mir Hussein Mousavi's backers have just been called Nazis and Zionist sympathizers. An official from the Revolutionary Guard, however, has decided those analogies are inadequate, and is warning that they might be a new version of Czech anti-communists from the Velvet Revolution:
"The message from the Guards' political chief, Yadollah Javani, appeared to carry twin purposes: to rattle Mousavi's backers just before the polls and to warn that it would not tolerate the formation of a post-election political force under the banner of Mousavi's 'green movement' — the signature color of his campaign.

"In a statement on the Guards' Web site, Javani drew parallels between Mousavi's campaign and the 'velvet revolution' that led to the 1989 ouster of the communist government in then-Czechoslovakia.

"'There are many indications that some extremist (reformist) groups, have designed a colorful revolution ... using a specific color for the first time in an election,' the statement said.

"Calling that a 'sign of kicking off a velvet revolution project in the presidential elections,' Javani vowed that any 'attempt for velvet revolution will be nipped in the bud.'

"Javani also accused the reformists of planning to claim vote rigging and provoke street violence if Mousavi loses."

This article is using the framework of reformists opposed to an implicitly monolithic clerical establishment, which I've long argued is inadequate to understand Iranian politics. It's not clear to me that the IRGC itself is unified enough such that it could be an effective force if things got really dicey after the election. I agree, however, that Javani is trying to prevent Mousavi from becoming an Iranian version of Levon Ter-Petrossian, should he be considering that.

(Crossposted to American Footprints)



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