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The Morning After

by HAMID FAROKHNIA in Tehran

19 Jun 2010 18:5019 Comments

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Birth of a popular uprising.

I knew that a shockwave would sweep the country when Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's victory in the presidential election was announced. Practically everyone who had voted Green for Mir Hossein Mousavi was under the naive, though noble illusion that he would be declared the winner. Many people had not stayed up the night of June 12 and thus did not immediately learn of the big surprise. After weeks of catharsis and jubilation on the part of millions who had grown confident in victory, there would inevitably be a powerful reaction to the discovery of defeat. But what kind of reaction?

Someone called. It was 9 a.m. Mousavi's central headquarters had been raided. A huge force, including dozens of special riot police on motor bikes, was assembling at the Interior Ministry building on Fatemi Avenue. "They have some kind of space suit on," blared the voice on the other end of the line. "What? Space suits? What the hell are you talking about?" I asked incredulously. It was the first time anybody had seen the fearsome Special Units cops with their strange anti-riot gear and roaring bikes on the streets of the capital. Iran would see a lot of these ferocious-looking men in the months to come.

The first question that struck me was why the Interior Ministry building? Why not the Parliament or the National Radio and TV complex or the president's headquarters? The answer wasn't hard to figure out. It was inside the hermetically sealed "vote-counting chamber" within the Ministry building that millions of citizens' votes were vacated on the evening of June 12. As was later revealed, even Interior Minister Sadegh Mahsouli himself was not allowed entry to the room that day -- though Kamran Daneshjoo, now minister of science, research, and technology, was present the entire time.

At 11 a.m., there were no outward signs of protest or outrage. Everyone was benumbed, as when one has just heard shocking news. The mind takes time to process it. That's what was going on. The people I saw on the streets or reached on the phone were simply speechless.

After numbness comes anger or grief. But which? That was probably the big question on the minds of the perpetrators of one of the biggest frauds in history that morning.

By 1 p.m., there were still no reports of disturbances or even a spillover from the last few weeks -- cars honking loudly, people chanting slogans, hands flashing the "V" sign. None of that. An eerie quiet pervaded the streets of Tehran.

Something told me to head to Vanak Square instead of the Interior Ministry building. My instincts were in good form because that was where the first mass protest gathering in Iran's recent history took shape. It was 1:30 when I arrived at the square. Around three thousand people had spontaneously come together. Among them were perhaps five hundred regular NAJA personnel. They didn't do anything. Neither did the rest of those who had gathered.

I had read about the behavior of crowds, the way a crowd acts like a unitary organism with a mind of its own. I wasn't to be disappointed. The crowd surged and moved downtown toward Vali Asr Square with no leadership or prodding from anyone. As it moved, it grew, with people joining in from different directions. Some along the sides of the route cheered. Many more looked bewildered at this first manifestation of public will in decades.

Near Tavanir, a bus full of soldiers drove up from south. It came to a stop about 30 yards from the crowd, which halted as well. I was about midway in between. And then something strange happened. A NAJA officer stepped forward. Instead of ordering the soldiers to charge the crowd, he directed the driver to make a U-turn. That was easy to do since half the street was totally free of cars -- the side the crowd was marching on. Still it was impressive how quickly the bus driver maneuvered the large vehicle into a 180-degree turn. The soldiers were not attacking and dispersing the crowd. They were retreating! The crowd, which had doubled in size en route from Vanak Square, cheered wildly. A few people threw light objects at the bus.

I had an appointment to make at the Africa movie house; it was easy to do since there was no traffic on our side of Valiasr. I decided to head over quickly to the nearby Interior Ministry building to check things out. There they were, the space-suited cops with their bikes and dozens and dozens of plainclothes types milling about. Fatemi was emptied of cars.

I rushed to the Africa theater to make my appointment. It must have been around 3:45. I
finished up my meeting quickly so I could be there when the police confronted the protesters. I stopped a taxi-bike on Vali Asr, jumped into the back seat (without haggling over the rate for once), and asked to be taken toward Beheshti. My driver was an adroit bicyclist. He maneuvered his way expertly through the atrocious traffic and in no time got me south of Motahari (formerly Abasabad). This was the first place that the two sides threw stones at each other.

I got off the bike and ran up on the sidewalk in search of the space-suited cops and the surging crowd I had left behind. Sure enough a clash, the first of its kind, erupted just yards from where I was: a couple of hundred security forces, armed to the teeth, along with their vigilante hangers-on one on side and the crowd of ordinary citizens on the other. This was at the juncture of Vali Asr and Motahari. I ran into a store where about a dozen others huddled. The owner closed the shutter and we peered through the cracks. It was
like watching a movie, except it was very real. The roaring bikes -- the first time we had seen them used en masse -- created an intense scene.

At first, the crowd on the north side of Motahari withdrew in the face of the advancing goons. But some in the front ranks stood their ground and threw stones at the bikers. In turn, some of the police dismounted and threw stones at the people. From our vantage point in the store, what we noticed was the bravery of a few indomitable souls -- including more than a few young girls -- who didn't turn back. The entire street was completely emptied of pedestrians and cars. This was around 4:30, near the peak of rush hour. I figured several thousand were watching this unforgettable episode -- some from the jammed stores, some from the surrounding high rises, some from the cars stopped on the side streets, and of course the rest of the protesting crowd who were seeking shelter in the vicinity.

There was a series of to-and-fros between the cops and the four dozen or so brave protesters who had stood their ground. To our amazement, the goons eventually halted and beat a hasty retreat. There was a spontaneous roar of applause from our store.

The store owner lifted the shutter and we stepped out one by one, kissing and thanking him profusely for his kindness. I walked up to the north side without pausing. It was a strange scene to behold. Hundreds of cars were parked in the middle of Motahari as their former occupants stood and watched the goings-on. Hundreds of people walked around in a state half elated, half befuddled. Stones, thousands of them it seemed, littered the ground.

Suddenly, without warning, dozens of baton-wielding NAJA special forces charged us from one of the side streets. Some in the crowd ran, but others again stood their ground. It was
mano a mano. Those odd-looking space suits were designed to repulse strikes to the body, and they appeared to be very effective. On top of that and their combat training, the NAJA special forces tended to be large, burly types. Still, the crowd was able to apply a beating to several of them. As they once again retreated, thousands of people in the high rises and among the parked cars booed them loudly.

The victory was short-lived. Backup arrived from south of Vali Asr: more NAJA personnel on foot, plus the vigilantes. It was time to get out of there. Along with many others, I ran as fast as I could -- first north and then east to one of the side streets between Beheshti and Motahari. But the security detachment had grown very large. No matter where one ran,
there were policemen and vigilantes who had been directed to use violence liberally.

I dashed through an open door, one of many I saw that day. It turned out to be a clinic. At least 50 people had taken shelter within the vestibule. The entrance was closed behind me. We watched police march in formation across the full breadth of the street, indiscriminately beating anyone who got close to them -- albeit not terribly brutally as yet.

At one point, two workers on a bike approached and sheepishly asked if they could pass by. They were immediately set upon by four of the cops. A solitary woman in a black chador walked past them up to the clinic and rang the bell. She was let in. I told her she was very brave not to worry about being beaten. She was about 30. "This is such a joke," she said haughtily. Referring to the protesters, she continued, "Bunch of stupid sissies making noise is nothing to stop me from going about my business today."

Once the cops had marched past the clinic, I stepped out, despite expressions of concern from those around me. On the street, I joined a handful of others who had been hiding out in nearby homes and offices. We had scarcely walked a few meters before we were charged by another group of cops. Time to run again. We ran all the way to the street's end at Mirza Shirazi. Traffic was jammed there and everyone looked at us, protesters and cops, with mouths agape.

Until then, I had thought those of us who hadn't dispersed amounted to no more than a few hundred protesters. But at the intersection of Motahari and Mirza Shirazi, and everywhere I turned, I saw many like myself, braving the cops. There must have been at least ten thousand people on Motahari.

Bonfires burned every few yards. Hundreds of riot-control cops marched in formation, trying to clear the intersections and extinguish the fires. The fight seemed more even now. Still, while we were fortified by the sight of so many others like ourselves, we still felt very vulnerable as fierce-looking police clubbed people freely.

Then something changed the equation, something I'll never forget. As we were trying to flee the cops assigned to our corner of Motahari, we noticed a gigantic fire perhaps 10 meters high building on the horizon. "What is it?" people asked each other. Even the policemen turned around to look at it. Suddenly the explanation reached us. "It is a burning bus," everyone repeated.

In no time, protesters near my location stopped a city bus -- one of those long, accordion ones -- and asked the driver whether it was publicly or privately owned. The commuters inside couldn't care less what the answer was, and exited forthwith. Within minutes, it went up in a giant ball of flame. The same thing happened at every other juncture we could see on Motahari. The burning buses immediately changed the balance of forces on the streets. We no longer felt so vulnerable and the cops largely withdrew from the scene.

It was undeniable: This was no run-of-the-mill riot, but a grand social upheaval on the scale of a revolution. The government could not hush up this nascent movement. That day, there were thousands of dramas, large and small. Here's one I saw that has stuck in my memory.

As the protesters set fire to the accordion bus, I noticed a fortyish-looking man meticulously taking pictures of each of the 25 or 30 people involved. He would come within a few feet of a particular person, do his job, then move on to the next. As everyone was caught up in the moment, none of his photographic subjects noticed what he was up to.

I knew immediately that he was a fundamentalist. He had all the trademarks: a well-trimmed beard, long buttoned-up sleeves, ironed pants, and white socks with black shoes. This realization created a grave dilemma for me. If I warned the protesters of what he was doing, he might have been instantly lynched -- each picture, if it found its way to the authorities, was a potential death sentence for each man and woman burning that bus. If I didn't do anything, he would surely turn in the pictures, with dire consequences.

Providence relieved me of my moral dilemma. Someone else got wind of what he was doing, and he was swiftly surrounded by three dozen protesters, a mass citizen's arrest. He was not lynched or even beaten, but many shouted angrily at him. He was held by some of the protesters, but remarkably, he wouldn't let go of his camera. They really had to twist his elbow before he dropped it. Still I saw the fear of death in his eyes. His mien was white as chalk. Yes, if you are interested in getting people killed, you would expect retribution of a similar kind. But why wouldn't he let go of the damn camera?

As the burning bus grew into a huge conflagration just meters away, the protesters debated what to do with him. After 15 minutes of deliberation -- an ad hoc people's tribunal -- he was released. This was truly amazing. A revolution was born that was unlike any other I had known of. Not one among the very young protesters wanted to inflict physical pain on the man, let alone string him up. The contrast with the 1979 Revolution and its bloody cycles of revenge was glaring.

There was another significant aspect to what I had seen: the utter abandon with which the fundamentalist had gone about his grisly act. Far from evidence of individual stupidity, it revealed how ill-prepared these people were for the birth of the democratic movement. Like the chador-clad woman in the clinic, he thought he was invincible and dealing with a
bunch of stupid sissies -- hence his brazen nonchalance. As I recall the events of that day, it is this man who symbolizes a regime long fed on a diet of self-delusion, singularly unable to see its own defects and the people's rising power.

Hamid Farokhnia, who writes under a pen name, is a staff writer at Iran Labor Report and covers the capital for Tehran Bureau.

Copyright © 2010 Tehran Bureau

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19 Comments

Interesting article. But for reasons I think the author did not intend.
It shows very clearly that those who support the regime are obviously ready for any threat to their power. Whereas those against the regime (those labelled by this author as "the people") haven't much of an idea of how to dispose the authoritites.

Civil disobiendence will not work in this instance any more than it did in China in 1989. Just as in China, in Iran today there are many more people willing to kill for the regime than there are those willing to die to eliminate it.

In general, the average Iranian knows that even if the protestors do overthrow this regime, it will be replaced by a very similar regime. Most people are not going to get themselves killed or tortured or imprisoned for such little change.

The reason the Islamic revolution of the 70's in Iran was successful was that it offered a real change. Much of it was nonsense. But the majority of those invovled realized one thing. They would be given authority to control other peoples' lives. They could tell others how to live, or something bad might happen to them. Whereas, previously it was the other way around. Quite a change. Quite a reason to risk one's life.

Just as the woman and fundalmentalist man in this story, most Iranians know that actively disobaying this regime means pretty bad things. And most people need a good reason to face such things.

The "opposition" in Iran has not provided that reason. They have only offered slight changes. Islamic law with a human face. But for the most part they have offered no changes whatsoever. Islamic law applied by candidate x or candidate y is the same.

muhammad billy bob / June 20, 2010 1:35 AM

GREAT photo

samira / June 20, 2010 3:00 AM

I would just add there was no "Tiananmen" moment in Iran. And by the power of the Islamic Republic, there has been no "Kyrgyzstan" moment, either. For that, we can all express a high sense of relief.

Pirouz / June 20, 2010 6:39 AM

M Billy Bob,

"The reason the Islamic revolution of the 70's in Iran was successful was that it offered a real change. Much of it was nonsense. But the majority of those invovled realized one thing. They would be given authority to control other peoples' lives. They could tell others how to live, or something bad might happen to them. Whereas, previously it was the other way around. Quite a change. Quite a reason to risk one's life."

Wow. I'm not sure you mean what you say. In 1953 the CIA helped Britain overthrow the new democracy in Iran to return the oil development (by the predecessor of BP) to colonial status, where the conquering empires can get resources on the cheap. The Shah of Iran was installed and gave favorable treatment to foreign oil interests. He was one of our guys!

Remember SAVAK, his secret police? The suppression and torture made radical Islam (the first we had seen in response to our foreign policy) seem like a dream to the suppressed Iranians. Revolt they did and life was better, but not as good as the American life presented on satellite television in Iran. So 30 years later, there is internal unrest.

But both sides claim legitimate concerns. One side is overly trusting and would welcome a regime change to a more western style democracy. The other side, given the history experienced, would rather have nuclear weapons to prevent any imperial assault to reclaim Iran's oil resources. Remember we have thousands of nuclear weapons and have used them. Iran has none.

We pre-emptively entered into war on Iraq, because we were told they could attack us at any time with weapons of mass destruction. None were found, as many investigators had told us before the war. Who holds the military industrial complex responsible for destroying the lives of innocent Iraqis and forcing us to pay for it? Obviously it can only be us.

Obama, Bush and all presidents after WWII have been slaves, willing or not, to our military industrial complex.

Mountainbiker / June 20, 2010 9:20 AM

What do the people want??? A friend of mine on FB says that they want a continuation of Islamic rule but more freedom. Is this true?? Are there other groups who want a totally secular Iran with freedom of religion allowed?? What does Musavi want??

Chaya / June 20, 2010 3:20 PM

What I should have, and meant to say was that the 70's Islamic revolution allowed different people to control differnet people's lives.

To claim that the Islamic revoltion has made things better is not really true. It has made things better for the favored of this regime, while those that are not favored have faced worse conditions. Whereas previously those that are now favored were unfavored, and vice versa.


With regard to U.S. presidents being slaves to military industrial complexes, that is true nonsense. U.S. presidents are not slaves to anything. Their #1 goal is to remain in power. How do U.S. presidents do this. They use taxpayers money to buy votes by spending as much of that money on as many uselss, or useful things as they can. Usually these spending items are for those over 65, the ones who vote. The vast, vast majority of the U.S. federal spending is to programs for the over 65 crowd. Military spending comes in way down the line. And of course these 65 and olders' don't really care much which military adventure the POTUS wants to involve young people in, it's no skin off their nose.

Presidents, and congresspeople, of the U.S. know exactly what they are doing. They are getting themselves re-elected. The fault is not with the politicans who smartly follow this proven tactic. It is with the people who vote and allow them to do such things. The people who vote for these people do so for personal gain, at the expense of their neighbors. Somewhat like the Islamists Iranians. They wanted power to force others to their benefit.

muhammmad billy bob / June 20, 2010 11:53 PM

Chaya,

I am sorry but you are lied to. Iranian people yern for an end to this nightmare called the Barbaric Republic. To be in Iran and ask for anything but carries a death sentence. They have no choice but to play along for a supposedly more moderate version. Have you read the constitution of Iran? Do you know about the Sharia law? Democracy? I rest my case. This is nothing but a cheap make belief.

Billy the Bob,

I have told you before and I will tell you again. If you want to comment on Iran you need to learn about its past and present. Many of people that are in charge today were on the Shah's payroll, as in free money. Today, instead of thousands they and their families own millions, billions and even trillions as in the money confiscated by the British government from one of their kids not too long ago. It is called greed in the name of God. It was never about democracy as far the clegy was concerned and the governments that backed them and some still do.

Niloofar / June 21, 2010 2:59 AM

Niloohor,

Ok educate me then. How many of there that are "in charge" of Iran today were on the Shah's payroll? If you don't have exact numbers that would be ok. A percentage would be fine.

The shah's regime was quite a long time ago. I would think there are very few Iranians today that were of working age during the shah's era. That was 31 years ago. To be very generous, you would have to be at least 56 years old to have played even the smallest of significant roles in the shah's regime.
..................
Of course the revolution was not about democracy. It was about power and controlling others' lives.

muhammad billy bob / June 21, 2010 4:48 PM

Billy the Bobhor,

The money is given to the grand thief aka grand ayatollah and he passes it down to his gang of sheep in various ranks. Rafsanjani, Khamenei, Khatami and all the other ancient idiots that show up to lead the Friday prayers. Take your pick. Even the holy cities of Shia dominated southern Iraq, if you take Iran and Iranians out of that equation they will fall apart. The amount of money that has been historically transfered there from Iran is unbelievable and more recently it includes southern Lebanon. They are parasites that feed off the Iranian people.Everyone of them has his own gang and controls certain part of the country/region what have you. It is business through and through.

Niloofar / June 21, 2010 9:12 PM

Niloohor,

And what you just wrote is different from what I wrote..how? Controlling others' lives includes controlling their labor and their wealth.

Do you have any real opposition to my post? If so, please state it. Not just give me what I just wrote in different form.

muhammad billy bob / June 22, 2010 1:04 AM

Billy the Bobhor,

No, be my guest. Persian hospitality is common knowledge.

Niloofar / June 22, 2010 2:26 AM

Niloofar,

Be your guest? As in, do I disagree with your post?...No I do not. I do not understand why you seem to disagree with mine. It's the same.

Southern (U.S.) hospitality is just as common knowledge.

Muhammad billy bob / June 22, 2010 6:50 PM

Billy Bob,

I likes you now. Let me level with you. Your arguement about Kurdistan really got into me. Iran is facing some tough times ahead. This is not the time for separation of any kind. I am all for human rights, democracy and all the good things for our brave Kurdish people. We have all suffered and it is time to put things right for all of us. A peaceful Middle East will lead to all those American boys coming home to their families too. People are people and the United States is my home too and has been for as long as I rememeber. Peace.

Niloofar / June 22, 2010 10:48 PM

Niloofar,

I like you, also. I think you are a true Iranian patriot that cares deeply for the people of his homeland. I find this very admirable, and I'd like to help hose like you, especially those suffering in Iran, as much as I possible can.

I very much see your call to unity. And sympathize greatly for unity of all who desire true personal liberty.

Being from North Carolina, I am from a unique demographic in the U.S. My state was defeated in a war with the U.S. and occupied by the U.S. army for 20 years. My great-granfather who lived to 98 years old told me of the occupation himself. At the same time my state is, and has always been the largest contributor of U.S. troops. Myself, and my family are just an ordinary example of this. My father flew B-52's in Vietnam, I served in the 1st gulf war, and my brother returned a year ago from serving in Iraq. My neighbors son was killed in Afganistan, my cousin is currently in Afganistan.etc.

Other than those who live there, no one wants to see peace in the middle east more than me, my family and my nieghbors.

muhammad billy bob / June 23, 2010 3:04 AM

ooops. Billy Bob, Niloofar is a she.
Your family's back ground is certainly impressive and you are a veteran yourself. I am fairly familiar with the civil war era history of North Carolina since I had to do a few papers on the Civil war back in my college days. It is quite interesting. I believe the motivation behind the war was mainly the economics of the era. What do you think? Billy Bob what I found extremely interesting was the mannerism of the opposing officers and how gentlemanlly they encountered each other in their meetings. They were all West point graduates. A common denominator perhaps? But it proved to be a bloody encounter after all. My best to your family.

Niloofar / June 24, 2010 1:52 AM

Niloofar,

I am very sorry, ma'am. I am now very, very ashamed of how I transformed your name. It means very different things if you're talking to a man or woman.

My family and I are just average in NC. Everyone here has family that serve in the military. I still do not know what that says about us. It may mean we're not very bright, it may mean we're very niave, or it may mean we love our community enough to die for them. Latley, I've been to too many memorial services of men who've died way too young. It makes one do some soul searching.

I think the civil war had to do with economics, power to control the economics, and intrestingly to Iranians, a rather fervent religious movement. Did you know prior to 1864 the words "in God we trust" was not on any U.S. money? Nonetheless, the people of my region of NC (the mountains) pretty much tried to stay out of it. We were, and are, poor and had no real stake in the outcome.Of course this region was the first to fight the U.S. government in the late 1700's during the whiskey rebellion, when the new U.S. government tried to tax whiskey, which was used to barter among other things! in this region. I guess we've always been anti-authority.

muhammad billy bob / June 24, 2010 6:52 PM

to bob - if you are genuinely concerned to bring peaceful change in Iran than it is best to ask your politicians to keep their noses out of its affairs and do the decent thing. Iran is entitled to a peaceful nuclear program and it was the US that actually introduced it to Iran under the 1950s 'Atoms for Peace' programme. All Obama and the political establishment has to do is to make a genuine offer to Iran for a recommencement of this programme and to resolve all bilateral issues in a rational manner through direct unmediated talks. Let Obama actually unclench his fist then you will see results. At present US policy is hostage to Israeli interests and therefore there is no coherent approach to Iran, regardless of who is its President (there would have been no difference in policy between Mosavi and Ahmedinejad - and quite frankly there is no immediate chance of the Islamic Republic becoming and Iranian Republic, for the mere fact that even the opposition is tinged with religious colours, therefore the US should learn to accept facts and deal with matters as they are and not as they want them to be as they have done in China, post- Tiannamen.

Why as a 'democratic' country do the US people not elect governments and congress men that actually promote peace in the world and not war. The US remains the world's largest seller of weapons and supports the most militarised of all states - Israel, Pakistan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and all the other littoral states in the region, because selling one F-16 brings in a cool $500m! You should question what is going on in your country and leave Iranians to solve their problems in their own way which they will if there is no foreign intereference.

rezvan / June 27, 2010 5:06 PM

Rezvan,

I think you are confusing me with someone who is in the majority in my country. I am not. I do try very hard, Spend many hours and alot of my hard earned labor trying to convince my fellow citizens that foreign affairs should be left up to their people to screw up.

That being said.............Iran is screwing up it affairs. Iran doesn't need any intervention from the U.S. to do that. Your statement that all the U.S. has to do is ask for a renouncement, is just silly, honestly. Would you believe anything said by people who claim to be "most democractic and stable country in the world" when it is probably the least? These people do not seem to know how to tell the truth.


I'm just trying to give a little realistic advice. If the Iranian government wants to develop nuclear power facilities, Why not let in U.N. inspectors? I know it's "an affront to your national integrity" etc., but what is really the harm? If they want to develop nuclear weapons just say so. They are a long, long way off on either.

Contrary to your paranonia, the U.S. and almost all of it's citizens do not care about Iran one bit. They don't care about Israel, or Saudi Arabia, or Egypt. What they do care about is when a people say "death to america". Doesn't really bother me that much. I know that the Iranian government has no such capabiltity. Just alot of hot air. Hey, if the Iranian government would quit saying at every friday prayer meeting/ political rally they want to kill americans, Israeli's, Sunni's etc. We'd sell you guys some F-16's too! That's what we care about. Making money. We want to make our, and our childerns lives better.

Just as Iranians, we want our kids to be educated, be free to choose their lifestyle,live in the best possible way. This does not include being threatened by others. That's all the U.S. government needs. Do not threaten them. I don't. There are lots of things that the U.S. government does that I disagree with. I don't tell them I'm going to build nuclear weapons at the same time chanting death to america. I use other, more practical ways to change U.S. government policy.

muhammad billy bob / June 28, 2010 9:36 PM

rezvan,

Let's take a look at "foreign intervention" in Iran shall we?

What exactly is the foreign intervention in Iran? Let's be honest here shall we?...Sanctions are the most obvious. Is this an intervention? Not in the classical sense. I don't believe in economic sanctions, but this is not an intervention. This is other governments not allowing it's people to trade with Iranians. There is no imposition on the Iranian people. Just on other people from other nations. I personally believe free trade brings about 100 more times freedom than restricting it.

What are the other "foreign interventions"? Governments around the world are making "statements" denouncing the Iranian government. Is this "foreign intervention"? Hardly. The Iranian people are quite capable of deciding how to take these statements. How is this "foreign intervention"? Do you think the Iranian people are not competent enough to decide if these foreigners are logical or not??? Then there is all these CIA people out to get the Iranian government. Yes, these CIA people who go hiking on the Iran-Iraq border just looking for a weak spots to cross over into Iran. Maybe, the international airport in Tehran would be a better place for CIA, and MI-whatever agents to enter? Hummm.

"Foreign interventions"......I'd guess that you are "foreign" to Iran. Seeing as how this is an obscure american website. And I believe this website is blocked in Iran, (mustn't let the people see something their not supposed to).Do you live in Iran? If not, don't intervene. As a matter of fact, if you do not live in Iran full-time, your opinion means nothing to the Iranian people. Take care of your own country. And their problems. There are plenty around the world.

muhammad billy bob / June 29, 2010 5:18 AM