As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Friday, July 17, 2009

Another Wave In Iran

Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani delivered the Friday prayers in Tehran today, Nico Pitney has all the details. Here are some of Rafsanjani's words:

I hope this sermon will pave a way out of this current situation. A situation that can be considered a crisis.

'Unfortunately the opportunity given by the Supreme Leader (5 extra days to submit election fraud evidence) wasn't used properly, but that's over now. People shouldn't be in prison. Let them get back to their families. Our enemies are laughing at us (b/c we have put our people in prison). Don't limit the media if they operate within the law.'

'We are now past the stage where the Guardian Council could have restored the peoples trust. We must be able to tolerate one another. We must compensate the families that have been harmed. We must let the press be free, we should refrain from intimidation. We are all one family. We (he must be referring to the opposition) have been involved in government for 30 years.'

'Which ever of those elements of our governance (Islamic or Republic) is not respected, then we have failed our revolution. Towards the end of the election campaign, some people were abusing the system, using the national television and radio... [speech in interrupted by jeers]... The majority of the people are suspicious of the election. Today is a bitter day. It is a bitter time. Everyone is losing. We need unity. We need unity more than ever today, given the numerous threats facing our nation.'

'You all know me, i do not and never do take sides. But my opinion is that we must find a path of unity. My solution: the assembly of experts has been consulted and we conclude that the trust of the people must be restored. This must be our priority. Everyone is within the framework of the law. We must proceed within the framework of the law. We should follow the legal paths. Restoring the peoples trust will not happen over night. Everyone should be able to say their words. IRIB and radio should give everyone a chance.'

So he admitted the doubt in the election and called for an end to repression, the release of political prisoners, etc. Basiji militia responded by dispersing the thousands in the crowd with batons and tear gas. There are reports that the Basiji had knives and stabbed several people around Tehran University.

Take a look at this crowd and tell me if you think this will end anytime soon. The regime has lost the trust of too many people. They can only hold out for so long.

Rafsanjani's key line? "The Imam [Khomeini] would always quote the Prophet [Muhammad] who would say to Ali [Muhammad's successor]: leave the people if they do not want you."

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