After Iranian supreme leader's speech, reformists have to change their tactics: head of American-Iranian Council (INTERVIEW)

Iran Materials 20 June 2009 20:26 (UTC +04:00)

Azerbaijan, Baku, June 20 / Trend , T.Jafarov /

Interview of Trend Persian Desk with the Head of American-Iranian Council Hooshang Amirahmadi. 

Trend : What is Your estimation of the situation in Iran after the statement by Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei on June 19 (at the Friday prayer)?

Hooshang Amirahmadi: Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei's support for Ahmadinejad was expected. Khamenei has repeatedly declared his support. Ahmadinejad, in particular, more than all tries to fulfill Khamenei's desire. Unfortunately, the elections in Iran have gone far from its core and become a war between two political camps. The two camps of the Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI) - reformists and conservatives - make mutual accusations rather than to make healthy competition, each trying to eliminate its opponent. Now we see the results of their actions. From the first days, the reformists and conservatives have begun to build support for themselves. Khamenei saw that the reformists were against not only Ahmadinejad, but also against the regime of the Islamic Republic. On the one hand - Ahmadinejad, Khamenei, powerful structures, and on the other side - the opposition forces. The fact that the events occurred in this way and the elections have turned into a fight inside the regime between the camps was incorrect. In such a situation, Khamenei had no choice as to stand in the way of opposition forces. Speeches by the opposition against the regime of the Islamic Republic forced Ayatollah Khamenei to abandon his neutral position. Such development of events in the current situation hurts everyone. I think that after this statement by the Supreme Leader Khamenei, the reformists have to change their tactics. They should not call on people to gather on the squares. If the leaders of reformist camp really want street fights and blood of people, they can leave the situation unchanged. And possibly the conservatives want to ensure that such events took place to destroy the opposition. We must not forget that the power is in the hands of conservatives. Reformists won the support of the population and young people, but they were "unarmed". I think that in order to move forward in the future, now the reformists need to take a step back. Up to now, they have reached very good results. They lost the elections, but did not lose people's support. People still support them. People want the person elected by them to be president, it's natural. They have achieved great successes, and at this time, possibly the regime of the Islamic Republic of Iran understands it a little.

Q: Iranian opposition forces claim that people participate in the demonstrations without calls of any political parties. What do You think, after the retreat of the opposition leaders, will the people step back?

A: Opposition leaders say they do not call people to participate in demonstrations and that political parties do not call upon people to gather in streets, but it is a mistaken view. Reformists have many times called upon people to join demonstrations. These calls were distributed on Internet sites. In their statements, reformists have called upon people to attend demonstrations, give guidance what color clothes to wear during the demonstrations, as well as what slogans to chant. This indicates that the population participates in meetings at the call of the opposition. This is shamelessly to push people to the demonstrations, and then to say that they themselves went out to streets. But there are also those who joined demonstrations themselves, without any call, and they are not supporters of Mousavi. Likely they act against the Islamic Republic, and therefore participate in the events. Participants in the demonstrations are divided into three groups. The first group consists of sensible youth, who are protesting against the government of Iran and the accumulated problems. Amongst them there are both supporters of Mousavi and supporters of Karroubi. Many of them are believers. The first group of protesters requires problem-solving rather than regime change. The second group also consists mainly of sensible young people, who are interested in problems related to the falsification of elections and in Mousavi. They want regime change in the Islamic Republic. There is also a third group of protesters, who, taking advantage of the situation, wants to strengthen the tension in the country. This group includes citizens of other states. It needs to prevent the threat from this group. It is necessary to take into account if the situation in the country deteriorates, then nobody will win from this. Increased tension in Iran is dangerous for the Iranian people, the state and the region as a whole. Unfortunately, there are forces that want to create chaos, but it is good that they are not so much. I think that the loser in the elections in Iran did not lose everything, and winner did not win everything. So, the losers in the elections can be actively involved in the development of the country. Ahmadinejad should use the potential of their opponents, who lost elections. Unfortunately, the problem of Ahmadinejad's government is that if they won the election, they do not use the capacity of the opponents. This approach is wrong, it needs to work together and try to overcome the problems facing the country.

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