Page 1 of 2 Iran's Greens deserted
By Ismael Hossein-zadeh
One year after his feverishly contested re-election, Iranian President Mahmud
Ahmadinejad seems be to standing on firmer political ground than any other time
during his time in office . Having withstood relentless destabilization plots,
from within and outside Iran, his government is now more confident at home and
more respected abroad.
On a broader scale, the Islamic Republic of Iran is in many ways stronger and
more stable - notwithstanding the continued demonization of Ahmadinejad and
Iran by the forces of global domination and their frustrated allies.
Even on economic grounds, where pressures of sanctions, sabotage and
psychological warfare continue unabated, Iran has weathered the storm much
better than expected. In its May 2010
report on Iran, the International Monetary Fund points out that unemployment
and inflation, though high, have started to fall.
The report notes that "In the past two years ... inflation stood at 25.4 and
10.3 [percent] respectively: however in 2010 this rate will fall to 8.5 percent
for the first time". It predicts that Iranís foreign exchange reserves will
increase US$5 billion "and reach 88.5 [billion US$] in 2010". The healthy
accumulation of foreign exchange reserves stands in sharp contrast to depleted
reserves and huge debts in many countries around the world.
Iran has been quite successful in extending transportation, communication and
electrification networks to the countryside; providing free education and
healthcare services for the needy; and reducing poverty and inequality. As I
have pointed out previously:
Iran has also made considerable progress
in scientific research and technological know-how. All the oppressive economic
sanctions by US imperialism and its allies have not deterred Iran from forging
ahead with its economic development and industrialization plans. Indeed, Iran
has viewed imperialismís economic sanctions and technological boycotts as a
blessing in disguise: it has taken advantage of these sanctions and boycotts to
become self-reliant in many technological areas.
For example, Iran is now self-sufficient in producing many of its industrial
products such as home and electric appliances (television sets, washers and
dryers, refrigerators, washing machines, and the like), textiles, leather
products, pharmaceuticals, and agricultural products and processed food and
beverage products (including refined sugar and vegetable oil). The country has
also made considerable progress in manufacturing steel, copper products, paper,
rubber products, telecommunications equipment, cement, and industrial
machinery. Iran has the largest operational stock of industrial robots in West
Iran's progress in automobile and other motor vehicle production has especially
been impressive. Motor vehicles, including farming equipment, now count among
Iranís exports ... Most remarkable of Iranís industrial progress, however, can
be seen in the manufacture of various types of its armaments needs. Iran's
defense industry has taken great strides in the past 25 years, and now
manufactures many types of arms and equipment. Since 1992, Iran's Defense
Industries Organization (DIO) has produced its own tanks, armored personnel
carriers, guided missiles, radar systems, military vessels, submarines, and a
fighter plane ... As of 2006, Iran had exported weapons to 57 countries,
including NATO [North Atlantic Treaty Organization] members. 
In the international arena of geopolitical and diplomatic challenges, too, Iran
has recently scored a number of important points and won important new allies.
While the recent Iran-Brazil-Turkey agreement on nuclear fuel exchange has
proven Iranís willingness to reduce international tensions, it has also shown
the US and its allies as being unreasonable by dismissing this important
Likewise, US opposition to international calls to hold Israel accountable for
atrocities committed against the Gaza aid flotilla further exposed the arrogant
attitude and unilateral foreign policies of the United States and its allies.
They have also given further legitimacy and credibility to Iranís arguments
against US bullying. Iran is perhaps the only country in the Middle East that
determines its own economic, political and military policies independently of
foreign powersí advisers, guidelines and dictates - something that many people
in other countries in the region (and beyond) are envious about.
While the political standing of Ahmadinejad, as well as the economic and
geopolitical status of Iran, seems to have improved since his June 2009
re-election, the political fortunes of his major adversaries - Mir Hossein
Mousavi, Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, Mehdi Karroubi and Mohammad Khatami - have
significantly declined and their ''Green'' movement (modeled after the
color-coded revolutions in a number of former Soviet republics such Georgia and
Ukraine) is in disintegration. Rafsanjani, the "godfather" of the Greens, has
been so discredited and weakened politically that he is forced to swallow his
purported pride of power and independence and pay homage to Ayatollah Ali
Khamenei as the undisputed leader.
Mousavi, Ahmadinejad's main challenger, is also marginalized and the influence
he had a year ago has evaporated. Political statements posted on his website,
Kalemeh, are often ridiculed for being banal and hollow, not only by the
government and Ahmadinejad supporters but also by many former supporters, who
have gradually abandoned him.
The disintegration of the Green movement and decline in political fortunes of
its leaders has been widely attributed to a government crackdown. While
government suppression has occurred, it is not the main factor.
To begin with, the green movement ran a dishonest presidential campaign. Its
candidate, Mousavi, ran for president but refused to submit to the will of the
majority when it became clear that he had lost the election. This has led many
observers to believe that his presidential campaign was more akin to a coup
attempt - or, more accurately, coup-lite, versus traditional military coups -
than a bona fide election campaign.
This explains why Mousavi declared victory even before the polls were closed.
It also explains why he claimed that the election was stolen the moment he
learned that he had lost at the ballot box.
Initially, many Iranians believed that Mousavi must have had evidence of
"stolen election" to back his outlandish claim. That's why in the immediate
days following the poll they heeded his instructions and took to the streets in
outrage. But as it turned out that the news of a stolen election was false,
most of them, including many of his level-headed supporters, began to abandon
him and his Green movement.
Professor Mohammad Marandi of Tehran University points out that when Mousavi
"effectively accepted the support of the Western-funded Farsi media and the
Western-based opposition, through his silence, many more [Iranians] became
disillusioned and even disgusted ... There is no doubt that today people are
very angry with the foreign-backed Green movement and with the role that
Western governments, through financial support and other forms of support have
played in all this ... None of my colleagues, who had voted for Mousavi, would
vote for him again after what he did following the election. That doesn't mean
that they support President Ahmadinejad or that Mousavi has no supporters at
all, but only a small minority support him now."