Green Shoots, Green Movement


Providing some historical perspective on Iran's Greens, Michael Singh keeps hope alive:

All three opposition movements [of the 20th century] took years to consolidate before becoming powerful enough to force change on the regime. The Constitutional Revolution, which is thought of as emerging around 1905, as protests broke out over tariffs, was in fact a continuation of events that began in 1891, with the campaign to overturn an exclusive tobacco concession the shah had granted to the British. Similarly, Mossadeq’s National Front achieved power in 1951, but this was after decades of discontent with a monarchy that had descended into disorder following World War II. ... The Islamic Revolution of 1979, moreover, had roots going back to 1960–4, when riots against the shah swept the country and Ayatollah Khomeini and many other activists were exiled.

On the current unrest:

[T]he Green Movement is built on discontent that predates the June 2009 elections: it is the same dissatisfaction that led to Khatami’s landslide electoral victories in 1997 and 2001 and to the student protests between the late 1990s and today. Just as reform movements past were slow to build, today’s cannot be declared over because of the Green Movement’s apparent sluggishness.

Meanwhile, Ahmadi continues to alienate conservative hardliners.

(Photo caption from Life Goes On In Tehran: "A man selling two puppies on the side of the street. Technically pets are illegal in Iran. But that doesn't stop people from buying their cats and dogs. Even if it takes buying them from a shady dude! And for some reason pet food isn't illegal. So you can actually buy pet food in most stores.")