Protests to proceed in Iran despite Khamenei's statement: experts

Iran Materials 22 June 2009 16:49 (UTC +04:00)
Protests to proceed in Iran despite Khamenei's statement: experts

Azerbaijan, Baku, June 22 / Trend , D. Khatinoglu/  

The protest actions against results of presidential elections in Iran is still going despite the fact that Supreme Leader Khamenei confirmed Ahmadinejad's victory in the elections and urged opposition to keep calm.  

"The population will keep on expressing protest. Their potential is so strong that the people does not want to miss this opportunity," Iranian expert Isa Sahariz said.

During the speech prior to Friday prayer Iran's Supreme Religious Leader Ayatollah Khamenei called on the opposition to stop protest actions. Mehr reported on June 19 that Khamenei refused to annul the election results and said that Ahmadinejad won 24 million votes and views about falsification seems implausible. Ayatollah said that his position is close to that of Ahmadinejad.

Despite the statement by Khamenei, the demonstrations will continue, Iranian expert Reza Taghizadeh said over telephone from London. "In his speech at the Friday prayer Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei tried to threaten the rally participants. By saying "if blood is shed on squares, it will be on the conscience of candidates" Khamenei wanted to alienate the rally participants from the presidential candidates Mir-Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi," Taghizadeh said.

In response to Khamenei's statement, Mousavi spoke on Saturday before demonstrators and criticized it, saying that the authorities and police must ensure security of peaceful people. He did not mention Khamenei's name, however indirectly said in response to Supreme Leader said that the election results should be annulled and the vote should be held again. Mousavi said that he is determined in his decision and was ready to "death".

The opposition predicted the statement by the Supreme Leader and therefore decided not to retreat from its positions Saharhiz said.

The fact that Karroubi and Mousavi were not present when Khamenei made the statement, unlike other senior officials, shows that they foresaw Khamenei's position in advance, Taghizadeh said. "Threats against the opposition" by Khamenei have had their effect, but, nevertheless, the protest actions will not stop, he said.

U.S.-based Iranian political expert Mansour Farhang said following Khamenei's statement security forces forces and police will use physical violence against more active participants and "make people fall silent." "Khamenei is aware of the fraud that occurred during elections. His support for Ahmadinejad has shown that he is resolute in his decision and will not retreat," Farhang said over telephone from Florida.

Head of American-Iranian Council Hooshang Amirahmadi says under the current situation the opposition should take a step back. "Continuation of demonstrations will result in toughened reaction by security forces and police who will forcibly make people submit to the will of the Supreme Leader," Amirahmadi said to Trend over telephone from Washington.

All experts polled said there is split between all influential persons of the Iranian regime and Khamenei is trying to remove people with whom he had disagreements from political arena.  

The cause for the split is struggle for power and ideological differences, Farhang said. He said Khamenei is trying to demonstrate his strength by making such statements.

Professor of International Relations and Law Farhang believes that the Iranian regime has turned into a single regime within Sepah (Army of Guardians). The members of the Sepah constitute the overwhelming majority in parliament, cabinet and state bodies.

According to unofficial reports, 40 percent of the country's economy is concentrated in the hands of the Sepah. Over the past four years the Army of Guardians has invested several million dollars in oil, construction and other areas. 

Iran held presidential elections on June 12. Ahmadinejad won elections with 24.5 million votes. The loser candidates Mousavi and Karroubi argue that the election results were rigged and urge to hold re-election.