You know, the reaction of the regime, which they could forecast that. I mean we knew that before the election, they had some news that they have talked to each other. That we go for– you know– that coup d´état and we will kill 200 people and imprison 2,000 people, and Iranians will sit down and everything will be suppressed.
This is what they calculated. But what they didn´t know about the tactics of the movement was– Iranians started to, you know, go ahead and come back. You know, one step ahead, two steps back. The first stage, the movement started to use the days of the regime. When I say “days of the regime,” are the ceremony days of regime, which, you know, regime invites the people for governmental marches. For instance, Quds Day, the last Friday of Ramadan to support the Palestinian against Israel.
Movement used these days to come to the street to shout for the movement slogans. After awhile these days were not safe for the people. You know, at the first actions, the days of regime were safe because they didn´t want to attack to the people, because they invited the people come to the streets.
But after three or four two or three month, regime started to not to respect even it´s own days. So, it was an agreement inside the movement not to go for any strict protests anymore. But save the lives and mobilize the people for other types of tactics. Non-cooperative tactics. Not to cooperate with regime. Boycotting, going for strikes. And wearing out the regime. Especially the suppression machine of regime, which is Revolutionary Guard.
And now we are in this stage of the movement. So I think that the impact of regime´s brutality was the legitimation of regime ins– inside Iran and in international community. And growing up, a kind of hatred against regime. The poll shows– the independent researchers– in Iran, that in summer 2009– about 68 percent of people believe that this regime should go– 64 percent. But right now the last poll shows that 94 percent of the people say that this regime should go.
You know, huge in very steep slope for the graph of the– you know– growth of unpopularity of regime, the legitimation of the regime. That was the main result of 15 month of brutality of regime. And I believe that in nonviolent movements– the legitimation is very important. The most important step, like Russian dolls. The other tactics and the other strategies will come out of this most important step. I mean the legitimation of the regime.
Non-cooperative tactics are boycotting the goods. Not paying the taxes. Not going to work. Civil disobedience. There are lots of tactics in this category. But the movement on these days is, first of all working on non-cooperative tactics, which will be based on first the economic crisis of the country.
Because as you know, the government of Ahmadinejad has created– because of the mismanagement, they have created lots of troubles in the economy of the country. A corrupted economy– many of the– many parts of the Revolutionary Guard– are corrupted now. They are involved in more than 800 big companies of Iran and more than 1,500 big projects of the country.
And this qualification, you know, has created lots of corruption in Iran. A kind of economy chaos in Iran. And international sanctions, which has started, especially that part of the sanctions which is targeted to Revolutionary Guard. It has been useful for the movement to squeeze the Revolutionary Guard to create cracks and some fissures inside Revolutionary Guard.
So, in this stage of revol– movement– we are thinking about– the tactics, which will be based on economy crisis in Iran, and from inside Iran is targeted toward Revolutionary Guard. I think that– the next move now– it´s November 5. November 5th, 2010. But– during not more than a month, the next stage of the movement will be started– which is going to– protest– of– increase of some governmental goods, like gasoline in Iran.
Because the government is going to increase the price of gasoline, increase the price of bread, electricity, gas, and several other– goods. So the tactics will go toward boycotting them, to protest them, to– not cooperate with the regime. And especially target on the goods, which are at the hands of Revolutionary Guard.
Mohsen Sazegara is a former deputy prime minister of Iran and founder of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps who now serves as a leading supporter of the Iranian Green Movement.
In the lead-up to the Islamic Revolution in Iran, Sazegara served as a leading student activist against the Shah. After the Shah left the country in 1979, Sazegara traveled to Tehran from Paris with the Ayatollah Khomeini, joined the government of the Islamic Republic, and helped establish the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps. Sazegara then served as deputy prime minister and in several other senior positions.
Eventually, Sazegara became disillusioned with Khomeini’s regime and left government to study history. He came to the conclusion that Khomeini’s government was acting in ways that were incompatible with the principles of Islam. Following the publication of his numerous writings in reformist papers and his calls for a referendum on the Iranian constitution, Sazegara was arrested and imprisoned several times. He protested his imprisonment with hunger strikes, which severely affected his health. He eventually was allowed to leave Iran to seek medical treatment.
Sazegara now lives in the United States and is an active supporter of the Iranian Green Movement. He serves as president of the Research Institute on Contemporary Iran and as a visiting fellow at the George W. Bush Institute in Dallas.
Iran is a Middle Eastern nation with a population of just over 77 million. Iran’s population is predominately Persian, and Persian is the official language. The Shia branch of Islam is the official state religion, and approximately 90-95 percent of the population belongs to the faith. The second-largest nation in the region, Iran contains some of the world’s largest oil and gas reserves. The energy industry makes up a large portion of Iran’s economy, and the nation is one of the founding members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).
The Islamic Republic of Iran is the world’s only remaining theocratic state, in which political leadership is vested in religious authorities. The Islamic Republic was created in 1979 following a revolution against the Shah of Iran, Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi. Although many elements of Iranian society led the revolution, ultimately Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini and his followers gained control of the country. In December 1979, the country adopted an Islamic constitution providing that “all civil, criminal, financial, economic, administrative, cultural, military, political and all other statutes and regulations be in keeping with Islamic [law].”
Following adoption of the new constitution, Khomeini became the “Supreme Leader,” the ultimate political and religious authority in the country. Ayatollah Sayyid Ali Hoseyni Khamenei has been Supreme Leader since Khomeini’s death in 1989. The Supreme Leader is selected by a body of Islamic scholars called the Assembly of Experts. The Supreme Leader is responsible for the military and security concerns of Iran and has the final say on all issues. The president of Iran, who is elected by the public from a list approved by the Guardian Council (a body comprised of clerics and jurists), is nominally responsible for administration of the executive branch and is subject to the authority of the Supreme Leader.
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was elected president in 2005. Ahmadinejad was viewed as an ultraconservative and his views a stark contrast from the relatively reformist policies of his predecessor, President Mohammad Khatami. Despite promises of equality and fighting corruption, Ahmadinejad and his administration cracked down on civil liberties and more strictly enforced religious-based morality laws.
Ahmadinejad was reelected in 2009 in an election widely viewed as fraudulent. Following the June 2009 election, hundreds of thousands of Iranians took to the streets in the largest protests in the country since 1979, which came to be known as the “Green Revolution.” The government responded to the peaceful protestors with a massive campaign of intimidation, violence, and limits on freedoms. Universities were closed down, media outlets and internet resources censored, and rights to assembly restricted.
In June 2013, Hassan Rouhani was elected President and replaced Ahmadinejad. Rouhani has a reputation as a relatively moderate reformer and has promised additional freedoms and rights. It remains to be seen whether or not these promises will be fulfilled.
According to Freedom House, Iran is one of the least-free countries in the world. In its most recent report, Iran received a score of six in both the political rights and civil liberties categories, where one represents most free and seven represents least free. Iran has been the subject of numerous resolutions at the United Nations condemning the country’s human rights record. Among other things, the government uses summary arrest and execution against its political opponents. The death penalty is applied even for nonviolent crimes, including adultery. Radio and television broadcasting are under the control of the government and provide only government-approved content. Women are denied equal rights in marriage and other areas.