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Iran: Political Impotence

By Roya Monajem, Tehran

The mourning month of Moharam is traditionally the month of Tazieh (passion play) and it is interesting that it coincided with the final act of the puppet show of our Parliamentary Election. In reality wasn't the reformists' parliament the most impotent parliament so far in the history of Islamic Republic?

It is hard to confess that as in practice it implies another confession, that we again made the same mistake of being na´vely credulous in regard to our religious politicians. Our psychology no longer can endure so many bitter confessions in such a short period of time. Shock after shock has been our fate in the past quarter of century.

Somebody goes to the city of Mashhad, a foreign prince comes to the capital and those tiny ripples of hope that the arguments over the coming parliamentary election had brought about immediately vanish. And then again that suffocating feeling of absolute impotence starts to reign again. This is perhaps the most destructive feeling that nations in the so-called third world may experience. We are not only faced with our local decision-makers, but also with superpowers.

Can we really then believe that our votes play a role in the fate of our countries? Under such conditions what difference does it make to have a democratic system or a sheer dictatorial regime? Indeed this is the most tragic age for us. It seems that the only democratic and liberal state that we can experience is during the short anarchic times of revolutions! Then beside the voice of superpowers and that of the local regime, we (ordinary people) too find a voice. In such scenarios, the final act depends on which side the superpowers would decide to support.

It is now absolutely clear that the majority of people have turned their backs to the present regime. They have stayed in power because of the support of superpowers. And what happened in the past month clearly shows that another (or several) collusion(s) must have taken place behind the curtains. Does this mean that they are sure that no matter how discontent people may be, they are not in a revolutionary state of mind? And the most that will happen is that they will boycott the election? What is the use of a parliament in a dictatorial regime anyway?

On the other hand, as we Iranians are historically used to tyrant rulers, as long as we get our daily piece of dried bread we don't care who these rulers are: Greeks, Arabs, Mongols, Ottomans, Uzbeks, Afghans, Talibans, Anglo-Saxonized natives or what. The location of Persia along the Silk Road has indeed turned us into an international nation!

Just last year this time we were expecting US attacking our country after Iraq. According to many reports, not much resistance was expected. The reformists had already proved their impotence and foreign intervention was regarded as the sole way of 'redemption' from the grip of religious rulers.

However, it soon became clear that there is a change of strategy in relation to a military attack and enforcement of democracy on Iran. Are they scared that with further increase of political and social freedom here, a revolution may take place?

If that is so then on the contrary to what we were forced to believe in the past eight years - that if the conservatives win the election we are going to face a Taliban-like regime- things will definitely improve compared to these past eight years. Most probably we will witness a 'prosperous' period similar to Rafsanjani's so called Construction days.

And this is exactly what intensifies the feeling of political impotence and despair in those of us who refuse to be a member of sheep family.

... Payvand News - 2/20/04 ... --

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