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Iran Tourism and Election

eTurboNews Iran update from Tehran

eTN and wire input  Jun 16, 2009

eTurboNews received a great number of communication from readers in Iran.
We can not call out of Iran at this time if we call sure we have have problem with security ministry.

"Well in the morning every thing is normal...everybody go to work and nothing...and in the after noon in some few certain places (famous squares) people come out wearing green and at night people go on rooftops.
Foreign reporters are doing ok and they are fine...police want poeple to not have gatherings in streets.
normal life is on and just few streets are involved...don't worry about tourists...normal life is on... and it's preferable to not pass just those certain streets."

Iran PRESS TV reports: Amid reports of more planned pro-Moussavi rallies, the defeated Iranian candidate urges his supporters to keep calm and vigilant and to not fall into 'traps'.

In statement Mir-Hossein Moussavi, who suffered a crushing defeat in Friday's poll, said he would not attend rallies reportedly planned for Tuesday, Ghalamnews reported.

Moussavi supporters, who cry foul over the results of the hotly-contested election, reportedly plan to stage more civil rallies to protest what they call 'vote-rigging' in the poll

In the current post-election turmoil, when the reformist challenger to Ahmadinejad has petitioned the relevant authorities to void the presidential elections results and hold new elections, it is easy, too easy, to jump to conclusions about who is right or wrong in Iran today, as if Mousavi and the other reformist candidate Mehdi Karrubi, have the final say on the fraudulent nature of the elections results, hotly contested in the streets of Tehran and a number of other Iranian cities today.

The western media has adopted at face value Mousavi's allegation of rigged elections and the stream of images from Iran, showing the defiant mostly young Iranians battling the riot police, etc., has showered us with the tendency to dismiss any suggestion that the Mousavi camp bear some blame for what has transpired in Iran, that is, a major political crisis. Here is one plausible explanation:

Initially, the ruling elite had no intention of any "election engineering" and, in fact, lowered its guards by allowing a fiercely competitive race that galvanized the public attention through the TV debates, unfettered campaigns, etc. but then as we got closer and closer to the June 12 appointed hour, it became patently obvious that the reformist camp was pushing the envelope to new, and from the vantage point of system coherence, intolerable heights that, in turn, required a stern reaction.

With respect to Mr. Mir Hossein Mousavi, who is today appealing to the spiritual leader and pledging loyalty to the principle of rule of jurisprudence, velayat-e faghih, it is noteworthy that throughout the campaign Mousavi showed no deference whatsoever to the leader and, in fact, crossed the red line when he showed his secularist true colour in his speech at Tehran University, which can be seen on youtube, where he explicitly called on the clergy to not get involved in politics and maintain their independence from government.

During his long absence, Iran has been much transformed and, per the words of a University political scientist, a "regional power house under the leadership of ayatollah Khamenei" has emerged that, perhaps, Mr. Mousavi has no keen knowledge of, in light of his vitriolitic attacks on the regime's foreign policies, calling Iran's foreign policy a "disaster."

Ayatollah Khamenei was quick to respond to Mousavi's mostly unfounded criticism, by issuing a statement that questioned the views that claim Iran has been "isolated." Ahmhadinejad himself aptly rebuffed Mousavi in their TV debate, when he pointed at the 60 world leaders who have visited Iran during his term, adding that 118 nations of the Non-Aligned Movement have been supporting Iran.

That is true, and sadly neither Mousavi nor Karrubi ever showed any understanding of the country's dynamic foreign policy, e.g., the fact that Iran today is at the forefront of the NAM movement and its regional power and influence has substantially increased. Instead of constantly trashing Iran's foreign achievements, a fair opposition candidate would have praised the positive while criticising the negative and, yet, there was a conspicuous lack of balance in Mousavi's assessments of Iran's foreign policy performance.

Nor was Mousavi consistent all the time. Case in point, while in his Farsi speeches he criticised Ahmadinejad's hitherto unanswered letter to Obama, in his latest interview with an Arabic satellite channel, he sang a different tune by referring to the letter as a sign of Iran's proactive diplomacy. Also, he would defend Iran's program without ever giving Ahmadinejad any credit for the strides that Iran has taken in its nuclear program in the past four years. "We had three centrifuges when I came in and we have over 7000 now," Ahmadinejad pointed out during the debate, to Mousavi's oblivious ears.

How did a man known previously as an unreconstructed leftist, who is still so enamored of planned economy, with no ties whatsoever to the Second Khordad reformist movement end up at the helms of this movement and, now, with his great refusal to accept the elections' verdict without showing much evidence of voter fraud, has thrown that movement in a crisis of survival? That is surely a question for future historians to ponder, for at the moment with passions running high in Iran, Mousavi is simply viewed as a symbol of resistance to religious tyranny.

But what about the tyranny of simplistic and distorted portrayal of Iran's achievements and his tacit questioning of the highest religious authority, that is a prerequisite for candidacy in today's Iran, aforementioned? Mr. Mousavi may be right about some voter irregularities but to remain steadfast on his wild claim on June 12, before the vote count had began, that he is the "definite winner," leaves a lot to be desired.

In conclusion, a more prudent politician would try to utilize the millions of votes cast on his behalf into bargaining chips for influence and even policy input in the next administration, instead of wearing the hat of a martyristic hero and thus basking in the glow of regime-bashing, a regime that has done much to empower the ordinary Iranians and enhance Iran's power in the international arena.

eTurboNews Iran update from Tehran
PICTURE AL JAZEERA:A supporter of Mousavi makes a statement during post-election unrest in Tehran

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