Iranian opposition coalesce into a single movement
posted at 2:57 pm on August 18, 2009 by Ed Morrissey
Far from stamping out the resistance movement triggered by a foolishly-rigged presidential election, the heavy-handed tactics of the Iranian mullahcracy has galvanized opposition to the regime. The AP reports that all of the leading figures of the protests following the rigged election have agreed to create a single movement for change in Iran. The show of unity will challenge Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and his ruling clique:
Iran’s top reformist leaders are all joining the “Green Path of Hope,” a political movement created to challenge the ruling system after a government crackdown crushed massive street protests.
The movement was created by Mir Hossein Mousavi, the top opposition candidate in disputed June 12 presidential elections.
Ali Reza Beheshti, a top aide to Mousavi, said Tuesday that former president Mohammad Khatami and defeated reformist candidate Mahdi Karroubi are joining the movement.
Beheshti is quoted in several reformist websites as saying that the “Green Path of Hope” will be a rallying point for the opposition to continue its campaign against the government of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, which it calls illegitimate.
The unity is fairly impressive. Two months after the protests filled the streets of Tehran, the various politicians — most of whom had been part of that same ruling clique — have avoided a power struggle of their own. That demonstrates the fervor of their protests, and also how little this has to do with a clash of personalities between Mousavi and Khamenei. It underscores the sincerity of the movement, at least for the moment.
Meanwhile, the regime continues its show trials and punishment for political speech:
Two prominent Iranian opposition activists have been hospitalized, one after being beaten by his jailers for refusing to attend trial, the other from a nine-day hunger strike, a reformist news Web site reported Tuesday. …
The defendants at the mass trial include a former Iranian vice president and other former senior government officials linked to the country’s pro-reform movement, French and Iranian-American academics, employees of the British and French embassies, and an Iranian-Canadian reporter for Newsweek magazine.
They are charged with plotting a “soft revolution” against the Islamic theocracy. The opposition denies the accusations and dismisses what it calls a “show trial.”
The Iranians have not yet gone quietly into the night. The show trials will likely generate more opposition rather than intimidate the GPH movement. The next few weeks and months should be interesting to watch.
Update: Khamenei’s response? What Would The Mahdi Do?