The Compass

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Not a Theocracy

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Laura Rozen reports:

Overnight Saturday, Ghaemi, speaking to sources in Iran, said that there was an unconfirmed rumor that Mousavi, former Iranian president Hashemi Rafsanjani and former Iranian president Mohammed Khatami will soon issue a statement.

"Moussavi, Rafsanjani and Khatami are about to issue a joint-statement demanding a halt to the vote count and will demand a recount after an unsuccessful meeting with Khamenei that lasted until early this morning Tehran time," said Pooya Dayanim, a LA-based Iranian.

Ghaemi also said that Mohsen Makhmalbaf, a Paris-based Iranian film director, just did an interview with Radio Farda "in which he said he can say on behalf of Mousavi HQ, that the Interior Ministry had told them they are the winners, except they can't publicize it yet. And it was after that the events of last few hours unfolded. He was very certain in stating that."

"It sounds to me that the Mousavi camp was at first very cautious, and this is a very, very tense phase of this isssue," Parsi told The Cable overnight Saturday. The opposition "wants to take this to Khamenei and test their assumptions and see to what extent is Khamenei going to stand by Ahmadinejad and to what extent they can they convince him not to do so.

"They calculate, they need to do this first, before they do a public fight," Parsi continued. "They calculate, that they have to go the quiet route first.

"If they went directly into the streets ... it could have been a pretext to clamp down," Parsi added. "They don't want to do that without assuring themselves that they have no other options."

What's emerging here could be interesting. Iran hawks prefer to label the Iranian police state as simply "The Mullahs," but the legitimate clerics in this dispute are the ones standing with Mir-Hossein Mousavi against ONE Mullah and his secular police apparatus. If the election has been rigged in such a fashion, then what you are in fact seeing is the dropping of religious pretense in the "Islamic" Republic of Iran. This is a secular police state in action.

"Iran hands have used words like "coup" to describe what they believe may be taking place," writes Rozen.

Meanwhile, Mousavi himself perhaps put it best:


"I’m warning that I won’t surrender to this manipulation," he said, adding that the election outcome “is nothing but shaking the pillars of the Islamic Republic of Iran sacred system and governance of lie and dictatorship."

For more on Iran's secular transition, I highly recommend our own Meir Javedanfar's most recent piece.