All the past presidential elections of Iran resulted in the election of the candidate recommended by VF (Vali-e-Faghih). Even Bani-Sadr was recommended by VF.


This does not mean that the other candidates were not considered by Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI), as safe candidates for the regime. But it meant that they were not IRI's top choice.


Iranian people turned the table around in Khatami's election. They used IRI's game against IRI itself.


Neither Khatami expected to be elected nor VF expected him to be elected. But after, the fact, they both had to act as advertised.


Khatami, raised from obscurity, by the Iranian people's decision of beating IRI at its own game, became the flag by the people, to use for pronouncing the people's own democratic demands.


The above reality meant that the process could end up in people's movement forming its *real* leaders. This is why the regime got scared and the killing of Foruhars was regime's attempt to stop  such a process.


But the killings backfired, as the rumors of plots to kill Khatami, and factions close to him, also surfaced. This is how things got out of hand for IRI establishment and its secret service.


Thus Khatami, and IRI factions close to him, rushed to publicly announce that Iran's intelligent services were involved in Foruhars and writers' murders, and he used the occasion to score points and get officials close to him into the information ministry.


The occasion of Students' Uprising, which started by another IRI internal fight, was when the process that had started by the killings of Foruhars, was resumed by vigilantes, but this time, against students, and leaders of Foruhars' Iranian Nation Party, and against some individuals related to the out-of-favor IRI factions.


This time Khatami was informed before hand, and nobody could tell him that vigilantes are trying to destroy him, and/or that vigilantes are after the factions close to him. So he was openly supportive of the repressive measures of the intelligent services.


This position of Khatami not only finished many false hopes of reforming IRI, but it put an end to all the dreams for reforms, from Rafsanjani, when he was president before Khatami, and from even Khamenei, before Rafsanjani, when Khamenei was president of this Islamic Republic.


It is obvious that the factions previously close to the current elite (such as Ayatollah Khoeini-hA, who was the master executor of hostage-taking), are not favored anymore. They are like the hezb-e tudeh, which although supported all the IRI killings of MKO, but later itself fell out of favor and was wiped out in 1981, facing firing squads.


Hezb-e Tudeh leaders were surprised in 1981, to say the least, when they got arrested. The same is happening with the current out-of-favor factions of IRI.


Today's events are reminders of the 1980-1981 events. The difference is that at that time, Bani-Sadr, who was chosen by VF, turned against the regime and fought it.  In contrast, this time, Khatami, who was not VF's #1 choice, but won by people's desire to turn IRI's election game against IRI itself, has sided with  the IRI establishment and the VF.


But there is one bigger difference. The difference is the wiping out of the last differing factions of IRI, factions that were part of the main atrocities of this regime. Factions that include individuals like Khakhali and Khoini-hA, and this means a lot more than the time when Tudeh Party was wiped out in 1981.


The above means the end of any hopes even for IRI internal factions to exist within the ruthless IRI dictatorship.  This is like the time when Shah could not even tolerate "hezb-e irAn-e novin" and "hezb-e mardom" and he went for "hezb-e rastAkhiz".


I believe the reason students stopped their demonstrations, was because they no longer believe in reform and to overthrow IRI , they understand they need to go underground. Just looking at their demands, one can see that are very mature.


I think the leadership for the new pro-democracy movement is also being formed, and the attempts by IRI to kill this process has actually hastened it.


I think forces like Mujahedin Khalgh will become more important, as the hopes for reform within IRI fades away.  I believe Iranian people's movement is headed for the overthrow of Islamic Republic of Iran and the leadership of the people's movement will neither be MKO nor Monarchy.


Just taking a look at the list of the arrested leaders of Iranian Nation Party, and other arrested individuals, gives a glimpse of how a new leadership of the movement of Iranian people is being formed inside Iran.


I do not think AyatollAh Khatami is any Gorbachev or Deng Xiao Bing, as Western analysts had viewed him.  He is neither someone like Gorbachev, who sided with people, when pro-democracy movement against Soviet establishment started, nor is he someone like Deng who was able, after the Tien-An Men, to guarantee that the regime stays out of people's lives and business.


Ayatollah Khatami is just another IRI faction, but a very weak one, whose record in bringing the ones responsible for murder of Foruhars is bleak but he was quick to threaten suppression of pro-democracy movement.


Ayatollah Khatami, at best, is equal to Dr. Amini or Sharif Emami at the time of the Shah.  He is a weak faction that may be dropped, if needed by the IRI establishment headed by VF, and regime's azhAris may replace him.  Neither the regime will sweat for it nor the people.


I believe Students' Pro-Democracy Movement was like the Khordad 1342, when the Iranian movement figured out that Saltanat cannot be reformed and must go.  It still took 15 years before Saltanat was gone, but 15th of Khordad was the end of any reformist hopes for Saltanat in the minds of most of the opposition.  In IRI case, it may take a lot shorter time than 15 years, but I believe, this is the direction of the Iranian movement at this time.


I think if the forced interviews and firing squads of 1980-1981, against the regime's opponents, was more like the 28Mordad of 1332, the current forced TV confessions and firing squads are more like the Khordad of 1342, when the regime is ready to massacre, as it is aware that the hopes for its reform are fading away and it knows it has the battle of life and death.  And the opponents will go underground.


These are tough times, especially for the ones who are facing torture and forced confessions in the Evin prison.  I believe any help for the Pro-Democracy Movement in Iran has never been as timely as now.


The cornerstone of the current Pro-Democracy Movement in Iran is the separation of state and religion which can only happen now, by the overthrow of the Islamic Republic of Iran. (IRI) must go and this is the only way to end a theocracy which interferes in every aspect of people's lives in Iran.  IRI is a regime that is acting worse than all the Communist Governments of the past in disrespecting the human rights.


Personally, there was a time, that I had hopes of reform in IRI.  Especially after Khatami's betrayal of Iranian Students, it has become more and more clear to me that any hope for the reform of IRI is a false hope.


Long Live the Pro-Democracy Movement of the Iranian People,

Sam Ghandchi








* The above article was first posted on SCI (soc.culture.iranian) Usenet newsgroup on July 26, 1999



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