Is Mousavi different than a Week Ago?


From my reading of twitter’s live feeds about the street protests in tehran #iranelection, #tehran, #iran9; it seems to me that the students, intellectuals and other reformists who are curently risking their lives on the streets of tehran desire more than just seeing the election of their candidate validated.

I do not know a lot about Mousavi, but from what i am reading is seems during the campaign, Mousavi ran as a borderline reformer; he was more part of the iranian political elite and theocracy than he was a symbol of resistance. If anyhing it is likely he would be a more reliable pawn of the theocratic elites.  

Until last saturday…

Now he is a hero of a democratic movement.  His stature as a beacon for democracy has grown enormously  in the 3 days since the election because of millions of people flooding the streets and millions more tweeting support. What we are seeing of course is a tsunami of social forces that have been dormant for 30 years and now unleashed, are flooding the streets of Tehran and the global internet. 

The significance of this sheer human release, however, remains unknown.  Mousavi may be a symbol of the street revolution today, but the revolution is already much larger than he is.  

It will be interesting to observe the role he assumes as this plays out. Might he still go on iran tv and urge compromise and reconciliation, which is what I fear, or might he assume the mantle of the opposition, and having been emboldened by events, urge his supporters to to  fight  in the streets for genuine reform: starting with a re-vote (not a re-count) and then systemic reform that institutionalizes freedom of speech and dissent, and perhaps even separates the existing theocracy from the levers of government power.

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