Analysis/Interview. By Jason Fuchs, GIS UN Correspondent.
The Full Article : http://azadeganiran.com/PDF/ExtractfromDefense-June17-Election.pdf
As political turmoil and public protest intensified in Iran on June 15, 2009, Dr Assad Homayoun1, one of the most significant leaders of Iran’s exiled nationalist opposition, injected his voice into the debate and issued a call for the Iranian people to rise up against the administration of Pres. Mahmud Ahmadi-Nejad and equally against the leadership of “Supreme Leader” “Ayatollah” Ali Hoseini-Khamene‘i. Dr Homayoun told GIS/Defense & Foreign Affairs that reports he had received from a variety of senior military and intelligence sources inside the Tehran leadership structure indicated:
(a) A significant trend by the Armed Forces to make it clear that they were opposed to the Ahmadi-Nehad Administration’s suppression of the Iranian civil populace;
(b) A refusal by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC: Pasdaran), and its intelligence wing, and the Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) [Vezarat-e Ettela'at va Amniat-e Keshvar (VEVAK)], to participate in the suppression of the Iranian population; and
(c) A deliberate decision by “Supreme Leader” Ali Hoseini-Khamene‘i to stay with support for Ahmadi-Nejad, despite the potential threat which Ahmadi-Nejad may pose to the current clerical leadership itself, both as a result of the unrest he had unleashed and because of Ahmadi-Nejad’s loyalty to his own religious patron, Ayatollah Mohammed Taqi Mesbah-Yazdi, in Qom. It has been suggested for some time that Ahmadi-Nejad had planned to see Mesbah-Yazdi eventually become “Supreme Leader”.
In a conversation with Defense & Foreign Affairs, Dr Homayoun also declared that it was time for US Pres. Barack Obama to take “daring action” and “stand unequivocally with the Iranian people as they struggle to end the Islamic Republic and recapture their freedom”.
Dr Homayoun is President of the Azadegan Foundation, an Iranian nationalist group, and he remains one of the few Iranian opposition leaders untainted by the financial backing of foreign intelligence services. Following the contested Iranian presidential election of June 12, 2009, which saw incumbent Pres. Ahmadi-Nejad re-elected with what the Iranian Interior Ministry declared to be a 63.62 percent share of the popular vote, demonstrations erupted in Tehran and throughout Iran’s major metropolitan areas in support of the candidacy of former Prime Minister Mir-Hossein Mousavi Khameneh. Mousavi continued to maintain that election results had been falsified by supporters the Ahmadi-Nejad Administration and, as of June 15, 2009, although Iran’s Supreme Leader “Ayatollah” Khamene‘i had promised to investigate Mousavi’s claims, anti-government demonstrations continued throughout the country. While the incumbent Ahmadi-Nejad Government had “requested” the evacuation of all foreign journalists effective immediately, reports continued to trickle out of an increasingly violent and comprehensive crackdown against supporters of Mousavi in particular and perceived anti-regime elements in general. This included the arrest of some 150 political activists over the weekend of June 13-14, 2009, including the arrest of former Deputy Interior Minister Mostafa Tajzadeh, coupled with reportedly brutal suppression of street demonstrations, specifically on university campuses. Reports filtering out of Iran via social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook indicated that, by the night of June 16, 2009, as many as 30 students and others had been killed in raids on dormitories and other sites in Tehran and Shiraz and that as many as 100 students were now “missing” as a result of those operations, undertaken — it was understood — by members of the irregular militias of the Basij and Ansar HizbAllah. Early Monday, June 15, 2009, further reports began to filter out via the Twitter page of an individual claiming to be a “government worker” in north-west Tehran, claiming that police forces were now targeting government officials. At 02.00 hrs local time, the individual, using the name Hadmid Masoudad, reported on an incident occurring outside his home, writing: “ A situation is starting outside of my house!” He then wrote two minutes later: “The police are trying to take government employees out of their homes and arrest them.” And, as of the publication of this report, that was Masoudad’s last post. On June 15 and 16, 2009, this analyst spoke with Dr Homayoun, a former senior Iranian diplomat currently residing in exile the United States. He was in charge of political affairs at the Iranian Embassy in Washington DC for 12 years and, just before the 1979 revolution, was Minister and Chargé of the Embassy. Dr Homayoun, who is in daily contact with sources inside the Islamic Republic, described the election in Iran as “to some extent, similar to an election in the West, but with one rather significant difference: the loser will be declared the winner as part of a coup engineered in broad daylight by upper echelons of the military/clerical regime, specifically ‘Ayatollah’ Khamene‘i working with Pres. Ahmadi-Nejad and supported by Pasdaran and the Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) with, as I understand it, much of the actual machinations being managed by the Supreme Leader’s son, Mojtaba Khamene‘i.” One factor, however, was that it now appeared that Ahmadi-Nejad’s control of the Pasdaran and MOIS may not be anything like as firm as it had been, particularly in light of the current refusal of both bodies to participate willingly in the crackdown on Iranian citizens. Both bodies had made this fairly clear in the past, which was why the Basij was created, using substantially foreign fighters, and why Ansar HizbAllah, an essentially non-governmental militia, was also being used for internal suppression. Dr Homayoun was perhaps the first to highlight the rôle of Mojtaba in recent events. GIS sources had noted Mojtaba’s ascent in the clerical hierarchy in 2004 when reports from sources close to Saudi King ‘Abdallah bin ‘Abd al-’Aziz al Sa’ud and leaked to the Saudi daily Al-Sharq al-Awsat linked Mojtaba to a failed plot to assassinate several CIA agents in the Azerbaijani capital of Baku in the Summer of 2004. Mojtaba was subsequently tasked with liaising between the Supreme Leader and members of Sunni jihadist groups, including al-Qaida, which had to that point been the responsibility of the Pasdaran’s al-Quds Forces, for some time handled by Ahmed Vahidi, and later Qassem Soleimaini. When Soleimani’s focus shifted to anti-Coalition operations in Iraq in 2004, Mojtaba had apparently taken control of non-Iraq related jihadi relations for Tehran before playing what Dr Homayoun described as a central rôle in the “rigging” of the 2009 Iranian elections.It was also significant to note that the staging, or falsification, of the 2009 election was not unique. Evidence, along with reports from sources inside the clerical leadership, have indicated that literally every election since the 1979 revolution had been stage-managed and that outcomes had nothing to do with the voting. It would, then, have been a significant transformation if the 2009 election had been different. Dr Homayoun went on to note, “Historically, a coup occurs against the ruling regime, but here, we are seeing a coup d’état launched directly against the will of the people. Some 500 correspondents of the international press in Tehran have attested to the manipulation by the regime of the election and the manufacturing of the results. Three days prior to the election, mobile phones and communication systemswere taken down and now opposition access to the media has been denied.” Of Mousavi, he explained that the Iranian people appeared to now view him as “a bridge from the Islamic Republic to a secular Iran” and he further stressed that the Iranian people would not back down even in the face of the regime’s violent pushback, even though he cautioned against seeing Mousavi as anything like a “Yeltsin-like transitional figure”. “The Iranian people will never forget the murder of its sons and daughters at the hands of a demonstrably illegitimate Islamist leadership. The people of Iran will continue this struggle, will continue to resist, will continue to shed their sweat, their tears, their very blood so that this generation of Iranians may be the last to know the taste of tyranny, so that the next generation will be the first in three decades to be born into a free Iran.” As for the reaction of Pres. Obama, Dr Homayoun reiterated that Washington and the entire free world must stand with the Iranian people. “This will be a real test of Obama’s statesmanship. If he admits to and apologizes for the US involvement in the 1953 anti-Mossadegh coup as he did in Cairo because he believed it denied the Iranian people their freedom, how could he then negotiate and legitimize a totalitarian regime which stole the vote of the Iranian people today? To do so would not be to absolve the sins of 1953, but rather to compound them. Failure to stand for the freedom of the Iranian people a half century ago is not an argument for repeating the same mistake 50-some years later.” He noted: “Iran is pregnant with unprecedented events. Today the will of the people is the will of God and it depends in no small part on Pres. Obama how to deal with the current situation. Pres. Obama has called for the Iranian regime to unclench its fist and grasp his Administration’s outstretched hand. I ask him today to listen not to the wardens of the jail that is the Islamic Republic, but instead to its hopeful prisoners who look to you, to America, to the West with its hand outstretched, unclenched and desperate for you, Mr President, to reach out, grasp back, and simply say, ‘We stand with you.’” Dr Homayoun added: “The Supreme Leader and Pres. Ahmadi-Nejad perceive this election and the subsequent suppression of the opposition as a key turning point in the export of Khomeini’s Islamic Revolution. I agree with their general analysis of this moment’s historical import, but for perhaps different reasons.” “Winston Churchill titled the fourth book in his six-volume history of World War II ‘The Hinge of Fate’. In it, Churchill detailed what he termed the critical tipping point years of that global conflict ending with the Battle of El Alamein in the Autumn of 1942. Of that decisive encounter, Churchill wrote: ‘It marked in fact the turning of the Hinge of Fate. It may almost be said: “Before El Alamein we never had a victory. After El Alamein we never had a defeat.”’ For the Iranian people, if Pres. Obama, the United States and the free world stand with us, the election of July 12, 2009 — that moment that the regime hoped would mark a watershed for its Islamist empire — will instead stand for something very different. Perhaps it will stand for the Iranian people’s El Alamein, the day the people of Iran, with the free world behind them, shout from the roof-tops, marg bar dictator, as they do literally this very moment from Tehran to Tabriz. Which means that one of these tomorrows will finally be the day that an Iranian can declare, to paraphrase an American civil rights hero, ‘Azadi be har ghaimat, azadi be har ghaimat, insh’Allah, azadi be har ghaimat.’” In English, roughly: Free at last, free at last, thank God Almighty, free at last.