Sunday, 30 December 2012

Iran Live Coverage: Celebrating Victory Over Protests

Pro-Regime Rally, 30 December 20090700 GMT: Today is the third anniversary of the regime's mass rally of 30 December 2009, when it mobilised a counter-demonstration to the Green Movement's prominent challenge --- not only to the disputed Presidential election, but also the regime's actions in its aftermath --- which had taken place three days earlier.

It is a myth that the regime --- having tried for months to suppress dissent through detentions, killings, intimidation, and cutting of communications --- successed on that 9 Dey, the date in the Persian calendar. Leading officials still worried over their position, to the point in January where key figures such as Speaker of Parliament Ali Larijani and Tehran Mayor Mohammad-Baqer Qalibaf planned for the removal of President Ahmadinejad. Relief for Ahmadinejad and the Supreme Leader would only come on 11 February 2010, when the Green Movement failed to organise a significant protest on the anniversary of the 1979 Revolution.

Yet for the politicians, military, and some ayatollahs, that is a powerful myth --- or at least they hope they can make it so. On Friday, clerics including Tehran's Friday Prayer leader hailed the victory over "sedition". The head of the Revolutionary Guards, Mohammad Ali Jafari, proclaimed on Saturday that Iran had triumphed over a threat even greater than that of the Iran-Iraq War of the 1980s. Qalibaf, possibly with an eye on the 2013 Presidential election, said that no one involved in the protests of 2009 could be allowed back into the Iranian system.

However, there appears to be a twist in the celebrations. While State news agency IRNA posts a love letter to Iranians achieving the "victory of the divine" three years ago, other leading media set aside the event. Fars headlines with the continuing story of the $2.6 billion bank fraud from 2010, still unresolved and with only a small fraction of the money reclaimed. Press TV prefers a series of press releases from President Ahmadinejad's office on his meetings with foreign ambassadors.

In part, that mixed coverage is because in the Persian calendar 9 Dey falls on 29 December this year, rather than 30 December. So, for example, Mehr chose to run its commemoration with photographs and cheerleading text --- "the day of street marches by people in Iranian cities -unprecedented in history- to show their full support for the Islamic Republic" --- on Saturday. Even so, it is notable how quickly the theme of victory has been surpassed in some outlets by today's political and economic complications.

And just for the record, so far there have been no mass rallies in support of the regime today.

from EA WorldView: EA Iran

Posted via email from lissping