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Question & Answer on the Iran Crisis


(July 7, 2009) — Right after the June 12 elections in Iran, the Campaign for Peace and Democracy issued a statement expressing our strong support for the masses of Iranians protesting electoral fraud and our horror at the ferocious response of the government. Our statement concluded: "We express our deep concern for their well-being in the face of brutal repression and our fervent wishes for the strengthening and deepening of the movement for justice and democracy in Iran." Since the elections, some on the left, and others as well, have questioned the legitimacy of and the need for solidarity with the anti-Ahmadinejad movement. The Campaign’s position of solidarity with the Iranian protesters has not changed, but we think those questions need to be squarely addressed.

 

Below are the questions we take up. Questions three, four and five deal with the issue of electoral fraud; readers who are not interested in this rather technical discussion are invited to go on to question six. And we should say at the outset that our support for the protest movement is not determined by the technicalities of electoral manipulation, as important as they are. What is decisive is that huge masses of Iranians are convinced that the election was rigged and that they went into the streets, at great personal risk, to demand democracy and an end to theocratic repression.  

 

1.      Was the June 12, 2009 election fair?

2.      Isn’t it true that the Guardian Council is indirectly elected by the Iranian people?

3.      Was there fraud, and was it on a scale to alter the outcome?

4.      Didn’t a poll conducted by U.S.-based organizations conclude that Ahmadinejad won the election?

5.      Didn’t Ahmadinejad get lots of votes from conservative religious Iranians among the rural population and the urban poor? Might not these votes have been enough to overwhelm his opponents?

6.      Hasn’t the U.S. (and Israel) been interfering in Iran and promoting regime change, including by means of supporting all sorts of "pro-democracy" groups?

7.      Has the Western media been biased against the Iranian government?

8.      Is Mousavi a leftist? A neoliberal? What is the relation between Mousavi and the demonstrators in the streets?

9.      Is Ahmadinejad good for world anti-imperialism?

10.  Is Ahmadinejad more progressive than his opponents in terms of social and economic policy? Is he a champion of the Iranian poor?