Friday, September 25, 2009

Iran’s Post- Election Political Environment

Iran’s Post- Election Political Environment

A. A. Kazemi

September 25, 2009


« Il y’ a beaucoup de choses que ne valent pas la peine d’être dites, et il y’a beaucoup de gens qui ne valent pas que les autres choses leur soient dites, cela fait beaucoup de silence ! »

« There are many things that are not worthy to be said and there are many people whom are not worthy that the other things be said to them, this makes a lot of silence!”


Silence is Gold

Indeed, “silence is gold” at a time when public uprising swabs intellectual discourse. The last time I published an article was exactly on June 13, 2009, just the day after the presidential elections in Iran. The comment was a short review on the amazing result of the election and its plausible consequence for the country afterward. The title of the article bears good witness that we had to expect something unusual after the announcement of the results: Iran’s Elections 2009: The End of Hope for Peaceful Democratic Reforms.” I don’t intend here to imply that I had foreseen the social commotion that followed the election, but it is fair to say that there was some truth in the conclusions of the comment about the astonishing results which could spark the long-accumulated revulsion about political repression in Iran.

During the past months, I went into a “voluntary silence” for which I praise myself. There are many reasons for that: First, I had no reliable information about what truly happened during the elections and whether there was a material and substantive breach of law or fraud in the process; Second, thanks to the internet and international media, the whole world witnessed with bafflement and disgust the events after the election in Iran and there was no need to analyze or repeat the uncertain account of the facts in the heat of their unexpected development; and Finally, fear of being accused of a one-sided partisanship of the so-called “Green Movement,” that emerged in a dubious circumstances on the political landscape of Iran, pressed me to keep quiet for a while until the clouds of uncertainty pass away .

Walking in the Dark

When one has no coherent and reliable information about a developing situation, intelligent analysis is difficult and there is always the risk of falling in the trap of faked data, propaganda and disinformation. This whole state of affairs pushed me to abstain from “walking in the dark” by repeating the story of either rival parties (conservative hard-liners or reformists” or lamenting on the abhorring situation that our society and our people went through during the period of social turmoil and political crisis after the presidential election.

Now that things are apparently quieter and the crisis has been contained at least on the surface, the time is opportune to ponder upon the ramifications of the post-election events. Therefore, I intend to resume my occasional comments on the critical national and international issues related to our country.

A note of appreciation

During the past months, many friends, colleagues and students have expressed concern and inquietude regarding my situation and whereabouts, for which I am grateful. The post-election social uprising in Iran coincided with the summer vacation which was indeed a heavenly gift for me. I took the opportunity to retreat from the unpredictable social environment of Tehran to my homestead out of town with no internet and other means of communications, such as cell phone. Upon my return, I realized the amount of mails and messages which I missed during my absence.

New Academic Year and Fresh Expectations

My voluntary solitude away from overly heated political atmosphere in the capital provided me with the chance to go back to the nature and reflect upon things that never come to mind in normal conditions. Now that the new academic year has started, although there are still many question marks about what really happened during the presidential election in Iran and the unfortunate events aftermath, I hope to be able to share these solitary reflections with friends in my future commentaries and articles. /


Ali Asghar Kazemi is professor of Law and International Relations in Tehran, Iran. See:

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