The Revolution Is Not Over

Today saw another outburst of protest and violence under the cover of a legal, permitted honoring of Mohammad Beheshti, one of the founders of the 1979 revolution who died in a bombing on June 28, 1981. Videos are below here and here. Rafsanjani took the occasion to make these cryptic remarks:

“The recent events were a complex plot by suspicious elements that wanted to create a gap between people and the establishment and was aimed at people to lose their confidence in the establishment. Whenever people have entered the scene such plots have been neutralized.”

The coup leaders have also further alienated the EU by arresting Iranian employees of the British embassy in furtherance of their unhinged belief that the revolution was a plot hatched in Buckingham Palace. A reader tries to make sense of the latest developments:

Trying to figure out what is going on in Iran behind the scenes is obviously tricky and fraught with potential error, but I'll list out my evidence and then my speculation for your consideration.

1) Larijani and a majority of the conservative-led Majlis did not show up for Ahmadinejad's victory party.

2) Larijani announces the formation of a committee to investigate violence against students and protesters, prompting some calls for his impeachment.

3) Rafsanjani issues a cryptic statement, calling for fair investigations into the vote.

4) Rafsanjani's daughter attends the rally today, according to reports.

5) Guardian Council makes more concessions to try to get Mousavi's participation in the recount, now including involving more people than they'd originally suggested for the review board.

6) Businesses are reporting huge drops in shoppers in Tehran's bazaar and elsewhere, as the city suffers being under lockdown.

 7) Khamenei conspicuously singles out Rafsanjani for praise in his Friday prayers over a week ago.

Here's my speculation.

Khamenei is afraid that Rafsanjani could depose him, but Rafsanjani is unwilling to depose Khamenei unilaterally as he rightly fears that such a move might not succeed as the military might move against him regardless of votes he may have or not have in Qom. Regardless, the two are warily eyeing each other and thus Khamenei is open to some pressure from Rafsanjani even though Rafsanjani is unwilling to move dramatically against him.

The continued tension in Tehran isn't being dispelled by the police state tactics, and it is hurting business; this could lead to a downward spiral if the government maintains its attempt to quell dissent through massive police presence.

Today's demonstration clearly indicates people aren't "back to business as usual" --- they're angry, disturbed, and still willing to demonstrate in large numbers whenever they get the chance. Clearly the government has a hard task --- and their crude efforts to contain the crisis are not convincing the people. My guess is that Rafsanjani may be trying to force the government to bring Mousavi and Karroubi together to certify the election result in order to restore Iranian stability.

The government is thus getting more desperate to get them to participate, because they may be beginning to realize that the anger among the people is having a long term impact on the country. My guess is that this also serves to somewhat restrain the government. It's evident possibly even majorities of a number of councils and parliament are suspicious of the election outcome. I don't think this revolution is anywhere close to over.