The Qom clergy, seen as the backbone of the [Iran's] religious establishment, said ... the election was skewed.

  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jul 06, 2009 2:23 AM GMT
    Buried under the momentous occasion of MJ's death, the religious establishment in Iran is beginning to align against the election. To put recent events into perspective, there was a year of protests before the Shah was toppled.


    "Top clerics and seminary students in Iran's holy city of Qom came out Saturday against the results of the election.

    The Qom clergy, seen as the backbone of the nation's religious establishment, said in a statement that the election was skewed.

    The statement is a significant strike against Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who sides with Ahmadinejad, the incumbent.

    The clerics' statement was issued by the Association of Teachers and Researchers of the Qom seminary school. It was released the same day that a former Iranian president, who backed the top opposition leader in the election, delivered strong and carefully worded support of the grass-roots protest movement.

    Former President Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani -- who heads the group responsible for appointing or removing the supreme leader and is a supporter of opposition leader Mir Hossein Moussavi -- said he doubted that "any wakened consciousness would be satisfied with the resulting situation," according to the semiofficial Iranian Labor News Agency.

    The controversial election prompted two weeks of widespread street protests and civil unrest that led to the death of at least 20 demonstrators and the arrest of more than 1,000, according to Iranian state-run media. The numbers of casualties and arrests could not be independently verified because the government has severely restricted international media coverage.

    The clerics of Qom said Iranians had reason to protest.

    "It is astonishing that an election, which in plain sight of all, extensively used public funds in order to promote one of the candidates and employed government power to bring in votes. The [state-run] national media was continuously working with different excuses to benefit and openly promote the advantages of one candidate only," the statement said.

    The statement went on to challenge the handling of ballots during the election, saying that the observers who were legally required to be present before the ballots' sealing were allowed into most voting stations only after the boxes had already been sealed.

    "Therefore we were faced with situations of having more votes than voters," the statement said. "It is very unfortunate that with the great haste in the announcement, there was considerable political capital invested from the supreme leadership."

    The government has responded that polling stations could have had more voters than residents because Iranians were allowed to vote at any polling station they chose; Iranians who were traveling on Election Day could have explained the difference.

    The clerics' statement also referred to "respected candidates whose rights were violated," singling out individuals such as Moussavi, whom many analysts had expected to win the election.

    Rafsanjani, a key politician in the Islamic republic, has become increasingly vocal about the election results.

    "People from across the country participated in the elections with excitement," ILNA quoted him as saying Saturday. "But unfortunately the events that occurred after that and the difficulties created for some left a bitter taste, and I don't think that any wakened consciousness would be satisfied with the resulting situation."

    He referred to the recent expressions of opinions across the country regarding the election crisis as a reflection of a power struggle "at the highest levels of the system."

    "I hope that with proper management and fortitude, in the next few days, we can be witnesses to the betterment of the situation, resolution of the difficulties and the decrease in the number of the families waiting for their loved ones," Rafsanjani said. "We must think about safeguarding the long-term interests and benefits of the system."

    While the protests over the election results mostly dissolved last week, those dissatisfied with the system continue to chant "Allahu Akbar" -- God is great -- from the rooftops in Tehran. Based on amateur footage viewed by CNN, the nighttime chanting went into its 21st consecutive day Friday."

    http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/meast/07/05/iran.election/index.html
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jul 06, 2009 2:34 AM GMT
    I've been reading this, sounds like the Grand Ayatollah/Supreme Leader is on shaky ground at the moment. Unlike the Pope, for example, he can be removed by the other senior clerics. That would change everything.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jul 06, 2009 3:11 AM GMT
    Well, with Obama and this botched election, it changes the whole perspective of the US in the region. Iran is having no success at selling this as meddling by the US....now they are trying to pump up Britain...they wont get anywhere that way either. They are doing a great job of showing islamic-based governments are autocratic, which will do great at undermining Iran's influence and al Qaida's. They are changing the muslim public's mind as effectively as Bush poisoned it.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jul 06, 2009 3:41 AM GMT
    Red_Vespa saidI've been reading this, sounds like the Grand Ayatollah/Supreme Leader is on shaky ground at the moment. Unlike the Pope, for example, he can be removed by the other senior clerics. That would change everything.


    Sure by law he can be removed, but the protests that just occurred are miniscule to what would come if that were to be reality. The reform clerics maximumly expect relaxing opposition to the opposition and freeing some dissidents, while allowing Mousavi to freely lead the reform movement, at least with operating websites and some civil freedoms for his supporters. He knows his chances for becoming President at this time are virtually zero, as the case is closed, but continuing his protests of the election results is just a signal to the ruling establishment that he is still here and not going anywhere. Don't forget He or any of the reform clerics are NOT on a real collision course with the regime....they are the among the founders of the Islamic system. It's just sad that they are using the people for an agenda that is at this time nothing but false promises of change and reform.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jul 06, 2009 4:00 AM GMT
    Refsangani has been consulting about removing the Ayatollah. I don't believe there is no collision course. The split has become evident.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jul 06, 2009 4:12 AM GMT
    LOL. Who told you Refsanjani wants to oust the supreme leader? Did he himself or the Associated Press convince you of that? The two men are like attached twins.

    As for the split, it has always existed and been evident to us Iranians, and the two may disagree but its more like Clinton and Obama disagreeing. It's not that major.
  • GQjock

    Posts: 11649

    Jul 06, 2009 2:49 PM GMT
    The bad thing is when you corner a rabid animal that's likely when it is they strike