The Huffington Post
Posted: June 22, 2009
By Sanjeev Bery
CNN.com columnist Ruben Navarrette Jr. is the latest to join the chorus of voices calling on President Obama to get tougher with the Iranian government. While tempting, the CNN commentator’s words fail to consider the legacy of 25 years of U.S. intervention against Iranian democracy.
Filed under Bery's pen, Iran
“The last thing we should do is give Mr. Ahmadinejad an opportunity to evoke the 1953 American-sponsored coup, which ousted Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadegh and returned Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi to power. Doing so would only allow him to cast himself as a modern-day Mossadegh, standing up for principle against a Western puppet.”
U.S. Senator John Kerry
Opinion: “With Iran, Think Before You Speak”
June 17, 2009; The New York Times
Over at 0×6675636B, an Iranian expat has posted a translated version of Ayatollah Montazeri’s letter criticizing the Iranian elections and government crackdown. The full translation is below.
First, a few quick quotes from the Ayatollah’s statement:
“A legitimate state must respect all points of view. It may not oppress critical views. I fear that this will lead to the loss of people’s faith in Islam.”
“…a government not respecting the people’s vote has no religious or political legitimacy.”
“I ask the police and army personnel not to “sell their religion”, and be aware that receiving orders will not excuse them before God.”
McClatchy News is reporting that one of Iran’s most senior clerics, Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri, has called the election rigged. He has also criticized the government crackdown on Mousavi supporters. Montazeri himself was a leader of the 1979 revolution and a one-time rival to the Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei for the nation’s top position.
And yes, he has his own website. Got Farsi?
Iran’s senior ayatollah slams election, confirming split
Tue, Jun. 16, 2009
By Warren P. Strobel and Jonathan S. Landay
TEHRAN, Iran — Supporters of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his main rival in the disputed presidential election, Mir Hossein Mousavi, massed in competing rallies Tuesday as the country’s most senior Islamic cleric threw his weight behind opposition charges that Ahmadinejad’s re-election was rigged.
“No one in their right mind can believe” the official results from Friday’s contest, Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri said of the landslide victory claimed by Ahmadinejad. Continue reading
It is worth noting what the Iranian presidency doesn’t directly control — the military, the media, and the justice system.
If you want even more detail, check out the BBC’s interactive flow chart.
The Huffington Post
by Sanjeev Bery, Sahar Shafqat
It is always easy to tell someone else what they need to do. Just point your finger, clear your throat, and boldly offer your advice. Don’t worry about the realities of history — just speak your mind.
In his recent essay, “The Dilemma of the ‘good’ Muslim,” Deepak Chopra is guilty of exactly this. He ignores the complexities of history and blithely proclaims that Muslims should take responsibility for a whole host of enemies: oligarchs, military regimes, anti-Semites, jihadis. Chopra declares: “We — and here I mean the entire world — need the vast majority of Muslims to wake up and then to stand up.”