The Anniversary Of The Green Movement


Iran's election was a year ago this month. Karim Sadjadpour marks the occasion:

Mousavi and Karroubi’s excessive reliance on street protests is misguided. While their courageous supporters espouse tolerance and practice non-violence, they are overwhelmed by armed government forces who are willing to kill and die to retain power.

If the Green Movement is to mount a serious challenge to the government it must incorporate support from bazaar merchants, workers in major industries, transportation unions, and government workers. Sustained strikes by these groups would bring the country’s economy to a halt. This is a tall order, however, given that Iran’s labor groups, while deeply discontented, are just as amorphous as the Green Movement itself.

What’s more, Mousavi and Karroubi, perhaps chastened in part by the unfulfilled promises and excesses of the Islamic Revolution – are seemingly in no hurry to see abrupt change. Instead, they have pursued a gradualist approach that aims to co-opt and recruit disaffected members of the traditional classes, including clergy and Revolutionary Guardsmen, to the Green Movement.

(Photo: Supporters of presidential candidate for Iran, Mir Hossein Mousavi, gather during a campaign rally at Haydarniya Stadium on June 9, 2009 in Tehran, Iran. By Majid/Getty Images.)