by ALI CHENAR
11 Feb 2010 03:32
Thirty years ago Tehran could not sleep, either. Guns roared in Eshrat Abad and around army bases. The night before, Imperial Guards attacked an air force base where personnel showed sympathy for the revolution. It proved unfortunate, for air force officers had opened the armory and allowed people to arm themselves. Armed revolutionaries then attacked police stations, government buildings and army strongholds. An armored column had been attacked and its commanding general killed. In cities around the country armies could not maintain order, and in most places mosques had already become the command center of the revolution. Committees were forming. In Tehran, a provisional government announced its legitimacy, and time for Prime Minister Bakhtiar was running out. Tehran was anticipating the last day of Pahlavi's imperialist rule.
Tonight, no guns roar, no base falls under attack, and yet 22nd is anticipated as never before. Green Movement leaders have proclaimed it a day of protest. In reaction to their invitation, several arrests have already occurred. Agh Bahman, an Iranian blogger, wrote: "My father and mother were arrested today, my uncle and his wife were arrested yesterday." Another blog reads: "My classmate from college was arrested yesterday. Her brother is devastated." Many more have been arrested. Although there have been some released as well -- Mr. Beheshti and Mr. Tajik were freed yesterday, both senior advisors to Mr. Mousavi. Ironically, 30 years ago, Ayatollah Beheshti, Mr. Beheshti's father, probably participated in a meeting of the Council of the Revolution to decide a strategy of the revolution leadership; among revolutionary leaders his authority was second only to that of Ayatollah Khomeini.
Tonight, no guns roar and still it feels like the night before a battle. Notes have been exchanged; emissaries have communicated messages hoping to reach a compromise. Mr. Ali Motahari, a conservative MP with very close ties to supreme leader, published a letter to Mr. Mousavi last week. He asked Mr. Mousavi to consider the fact the unrest prevented the supreme leader from dealing with Mr. Ahmadinejad and the "excessive conduct" of his supporters. Mr. Mousavi was asked to accept the supreme leader's ruling and conduct himself as Ali Ibn Abitalib did, the first Imam and the rightful heir to Prophet Muhammad according to Shia belief, for the sake of the "Islamic unity" of the nation. Ironically, 30 years ago, Mr. Motahari's father, Ayatollah Motahari, the great Islamic ideologue, probably sat in the same meeting of the Council of Revolution with Mr. Beheshti's father. Tonight the sons are sleeping in opposing camps.
Defiantly Mr. Mousavi talked to students of the 22nd as the day for "all people to express all their demands." However, the truce has not been agreed upon. Rather, the opposing camps are preparing for a show of force.
Will violence prevail? I pray to God not. Mr. Motahari and many other conservatives have asked for calm and peace. And still there is no doubt that opposition demonstrations will not be welcomed. Some IRGC commanders are seething with anger. They called the 22nd the last day for Mousavi and Karroubi to give up their campaign or face the consequences. And still people are readying to march in silence as they did this past summer. For there is no turning back now.
The sun will rise in couple of hours and I do not know what will transpire, I do not know if this will be the last of great demonstrations protesting the results of last presidential election. Or it will be a turning point in history; I do not know if Green Movement will become realized. It is simply impossible to guess. Iran of today, as Iran of 30 years ago, intends to defy predictions, to betray forecasts.
And yet I know no matter what happens tomorrow, it won't be an end, only a new beginning. As it was 30 years ago.
Photo: Blogger Agha Bahman doesn't live in Iran, so his parents (pictured), along with other family members, have been arrested.
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