A first-person report from Iran about the election
My friend Wilfried has a lot of family in Iran and is understandably worried about them right now. He recently called his uncle there and transcribed the conversation he had describing the situation in Iran, the elections, the protests, the violence, and his thoughts on the future of the country.
He originally posted this on his site, but it's collapsed under the load so I am mirroring it here.
The following is a rough conversation outline I just had with my uncle, who lives in Tehran. Sorry for the readability and grammar, I haven't had time to proofread and clarify yet; just wanted to get this out there in its most raw form. Draw any conclusions you'd like.
Italics = me
Rest = uncle
"tell me whats going on with the election"
Iranian people wanted the following aims
1. bring steps towards democracy
2. want to have good and free relation with entire world (incl US)
3. searching for Peace, are people who want peace with neighboring countries
4. want progress to have better situation and position
5. these are all aims which have been told by mousavi & karroubi & rezai
- we are told from these people that they are going to govern peace, good relationship with other countries, to bring peace to the country, to bring progress, and have good relations with even israel and the united states, and also they wanted to end, and have good relations to palestinans and not give economic support to terrorists in the palestinians.
these are their aims. those candidates told them 'we are going to do this'
but after the election, near 50 mil people have gone to election
- we are all sure that most votes have gone to mousavi
- we were sure he would win with more than 26+ million
- we found that mr ahmadinejad had 6-7 million. was backed by government and supreme leader
- reality is its like a coup de'tat, you see?
"tell me about the protests"
- when people have found out their vote hasnt counted, people reacted in good and democratic matter. went out of the house and had gatherings in different streets in tehran. all of these have been filmed and are on YouTube and Voice Of America (VOA).
- It is going on and on. it doesn't seem to stop.
- Every day, the people against mousavi have demonstration, of course.
- mousavi has demonstration today at 4-6pm in tehran. at azadi street @ revolution square. I think they will have some speech about the way and future of these demonstrations
"have you seen the demonstrations personally?"
- yes, i have seen them personally, but i didnt dare to go into them personally. there are too many army people there. they are very rough in their actions."
"they are violent?"
- thats right. they hit people with electric batons and want to make people fear them.
- In our own place, ekhbatan, 500k people (situated south west of tehran), we see the demonstrations during the 9pm-10pm (or 11 or 12) every night. they shout that "we want our vote" and "we want our president" and "we don't want this man, ahmadinejad" and "down with the dictator/down with ahmadinejad". Also, I witness some attack with the army with the people, where they knocked people and broke many windows between 2AM and 3AM both saturday and sunday night).
- Now we are waiting for the time of monday's demonstrations.
"just batons and tear gas or guns too?"
- we hear firings, but are told people are not the targets, that theyre not targeted.
- we heard news from shiraz that one univ. student was killed. am going to look at other media to confirm because our own media filters everything.
"what do you think is going to happen?"
- I think this is the kind of reaction people have. they have reached the conclusion that they cant live with this situation. that they want their country to progress, peaceful, to have good relations with other countries, and not to interfere with internal relations of other countries (palestine, iraq, etc). and we are serious about these things. we don't want to interfere. we need to have good relations with all the countries. until now we have no good relations with them. i am one of them who have voted for mr mousavi. all those who have voted for him, wnat that he fulfilles these object[ive]s: 1 - good relations. 2 - stop economic help to terroristic action. 3 - peace. 4 - progress, industrial and scientific proposals, and these are the main things that these people want... and they are going to follow their wantings. they are going to follow their needs.
- at the present time, the people are going to hear from their leaders[/candidates]
"so you think theyre waiting for the leadership to define what the next few days or weeks are going to look like?"
- yes exactly, absolutely, they are going to out their goals, and they want to have their own candidate presented as the president of iran, and i think we as people of iran will not stop to have our desired goal that is having mr mousavi as president
"even if mousavi becomes prez do you think the surpreme leader is going to allow change to happen?"
- of course we can't predict what will happen, but this is a process that has started already. I think the rate and fate of progress will reach the final point of democracy. i think people want and are willing to sacrifice all their lifes, and even much more than that. i cannot predict. we don't know what will happen. but just now we have confronted with this situation, that the supreme leader has very definitely interfered with the vote of the people.
"are you implying there may be some kind of change in the entire leadership of iran?
- i cannot see this is a process that we are just at the beginning or even the middle. we have to go and continue to see the process. it may be that the surpreme leader may bend to the will of the people. i think this is probable.
"you do think it is probable?"
- yes, maybe, but not too much. maybe 10 or 20%. and this depends on the behavior of people, for them to decide upon their own future and fate. but really the past history has shown us that this is very improbable. *laughs uncomfortably*"
"Some people here are concerned that the outcome may only strengthen the hardline/surpreme rulers' rule, and/or that israel will try to take advantage of this."
- absolutely thats right. ive heard that, and ive heard that some people in israel are very happy that ahmi has come back to power, and maybe that gives them some reason to have an attack. the thing is, we dont want these things. we dont want war. we want change. the same thing has mr obama stated, we want change, and we have demonstrated that we need and we want change to happen.
- also i wanted to add something else. i think our leader mr mousavi is against any violence, and i think they have selected kind of a policy that is very very similar to the policy of mahatma ghandi, the policy of anti-violence. he reached the desired conclusion as did dr martin luther king in the united states, in his way of leadership. the same thing i see in mr obama, the same thing we see in nelson mandela. and this will work, and we are with it. and i think the demonstration of those opponents of those of mr mousavi will be totally anti violence and against violence. the thing is all the intellectuals in the country, as are mousavi and korrabi, are for peace and want to stop interference in the other countries affairs. they have adopted the way of nonviolence, to keep going and to follow and to continue the process of this voting and this, to some extent, revolution.
"so you would think of this as an attempt of revolution?"
- yes, i think this is a step towards it
"one last thing - have you heard of the riot police being from lebanon"
- of course not yet. i have not heard anything about them bringing any lebanese police. i doubt it, but i am going to ask those people in khermanshah, and i will contact you.
"if you do hear anything about it, please let me know"
- i will tell you.
- at last i want you, and all those that are in the way of truth, that please inform the people of the states, whoever, that this time the iranian people want to half good relation with all the countries, and all the poeple. and this should be very clear for the american people that they shouldnt judge the iranian people as terrorists, or those who want to be in not a good way of living or thinking. actuallly, we are going to have democracy in all its objectives.
- i will inform you any news i have, including that which you are looking.
"Tashakor, Khali mamnoon"
-Ghorbonet beram, khodafez