So it’s official. The Guardian Council, Iran’s legislative body, has announced there will be no annulment of the widely disputed presidential election results. Not surprising, of course.
It was pretty obvious that the GC would say no to a re-election. Just a few days ago Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said, in a news conference, that these protests would not push the ruling elite into a corner. He said the rallies wouldn’t force his government to re-examine the election results. He stayed true to his word.
Khamenei also ordered Iranians to stay off the streets. But, thankfully, that didn’t happen. The street revolution continues, the Twitter revolution continues and the government, hiding behind the cloak of a loose interpretation of Islam, must be feeling a bit apprehensive.
The news that these results won’t be annulled will likely anger opposition supporters. It is however important that peace in the streets is maintained. Violent protests won’t solve anything.
And violence as a reaction to peace is not a true democratic response. But that’s what the people in Iran are fighting for. Democracy, freedom, human rights and equality, which many believe can only be achieved through a separation of Mosque and state.
Of course, no one wants to relive Neda’s tragic death. Her murder and bravery now serves as a symbol of how brutal a government that receives its mandate from the cosmos can be, and how oppressed the men and women of Iran are. She will never be forgotten.
In response to all the deaths, Reform candidate Mehdi Karroubi recently called for mourning days across Iran. I wonder whether it will play out like it did in 1978, when every 40 days the death of a fellow revolutionary was mourned publicly.
The parallels between the ’09 and ’79 demonstrations are great. The fact that about 70 per cent of Iran’s population was not alive in ’79 is telling in itself. The ultimate goal of both revolutions is the same. Freedom. History can repeat itself.
The ’79 revolution was horrendous, though. Many were killed, beaten and tortured. And as Samira Moyheddin Mohyeddin, a young woman at a solidarity rally in Toronto, put it, speaking of the youth in Iran “we did not bring this government to fruition, this is not the type of system that we want.”
She is calling for a free democratic society. To sever the unwanted and now frayed ties that bind Mosque and state in Iran.
The youth in Iran have yearned for freedom and real democracy, not theocracy, for a long time. And now, as Iranian-Canadian CBC broadcaster Jian Ghomeshi put it “the floodgates have opened.” The youth are spilling out in are numbers, previously held back by arbitrary laws forbidding the right to assembly and free speech.
Only time will tell if this generation is successful in their fight. Many have already vocalized their willingness to die for their brothers and sisters. Death for democracy, death to ensure their brothers and sisters are not killed.
But now, no matter what happens this historically brave and rebellious collection of youth will never let Iran trip and fall back into the oppressive and suppressive society it once was.
The fight for democracy is on. The question now is not IF it will be won, but WHEN it will be won.