Al Jazeera Returns to Streets of Tehran

“About 4 kilometers behind me, there is a square in Tehran called Enqelab Square, which means revolution.  A couple of hundreds of meters that way is the famous monument of Azadi Square, which means freedom.  The road between Revolution and Freedom Squares has been the scene of some of the greatest rallies in Iran.  Freedom Square was the destination of the largest rally of Mir-Hossein Mousavi supporters three days after the election.  Some say that millions took part.  The protesters are gone now.  But Ali Esmaili, who was one of them, cannot forget that day.” — Alireza Ronaghi

“The sole winners of the presidential election of 2009 were the Iranian people, whoever they voted for — some 40 million of them, out of an eligible voting population of 48 million, upward of 80 per cent.  This election showed the democratic will of Iranians has matured beyond any point of return, no matter how violently the unelected officials of the Islamic Republic wish to reverse it.  It is too late.  As made evident during the presidential election of 2009, Iranians are perfectly capable of organising themselves around competing views, campaigning for their preferred candidates, peacefully going to polling stations and casting their vote.  It is high time that the Shia clerics pack their belongings and go back to their seminaries, and for regime change charlatans like Paul Wolfowitz to retire in ignominy, and for career opportunist comprador intellectuals of one think tank or another in Washington DC or Stanford University to go back to the half decent teaching position they had before.” — Hamid Dabashi

“Iran’s social contradictions have once more erupted into conflict.  It does not help for us to wave the flag of intervention, or even to throw our support between one or the other camp in this current situation.  Mass action within Iran is now a well-developed institution.  In 1953, the U. S. could conduct a coup in the country.  In 1979, mass action made it impossible.  It remains the basic instinct of the population.  The best solidarity from afar is to be analytical, not emotional about what is occurring.  Sober analysis of the situation might help us appreciate the fluidity of the politics, the difficulty of finding in this crisis an easy way forward for the left.  Things are easier in the case of the Honduras, where the Generals are not only trained by the U. S. at Fort Benning but where it seems plain that the U. S. State Department might bank on this coup to send a message against Bolivarianism across Central and South America.  Here we have a clear role, to demand an end to interference in Central America and an end to the School of the Americas.  Here our task is simpler, because we are, after all, agents in the demise of the most progressive government Honduras has seen in decades.  This is genuine solidarity, where our muscle counts for the good side of history.  Shoulders to the wheel, comrades!” — Vijay Prashad

“Well, I am not angry, but hopeful.” — Shahrazad

This report was brought online on 1 July 2009.