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    Middle East
     Jun 16, 2010
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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 Asia.

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. [1]
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 agreement.

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." [2]

Continued 1 2  

Israel's gift to Iran's hardliners (Jun 11, '10)

Cracks appear in Mousavi's 'Green Path' (Aug 22, '09)

1. The state we're in

2. Russia peers into Kyrgyz void

3. Turkey: Stealth superpower

4. McChrystal faces 'Iraq' moment

5. China, US angle for Mekong influence

6. Kicking it with karate's grandmasters

7. Pakistan seals pipeline deal with Iran

8. Pyongyang purge echoes Stalin

9. The trillion-dollar failure

10. Gates closed out of China

(24 hours to 11:59pm. ET, Jun 14, 2010)


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