Source: Campaign for Peace and Democracy (www.cpdweb.org)
NEW YORK, July 8, 2009 - Today the New York-based Campaign for Peace and
Democracy circulated a Question and Answer on the Iran Crisis. The text is
below. For more information about CPD, see the end of this message.
Question & Answer on the Iran Crisis
By Stephen R. Shalom, Thomas Harrison, Joanne Landy and Jesse Lemisch
Campaign for Peace and Democracy
July 7, 2009
Right after the June 12
elections in Iran, the Campaign for Peace and Democracy issued a
expressing our strong support for the masses of Iranians protesting electoral
fraud and our horror at the ferocious response of the government. Our statement
concluded: "We express our deep concern for their well-being in the face of
brutal repression and our fervent wishes for the strengthening and deepening of
the movement for justice and democracy in Iran." Since the elections, some on
the left, and others as well, have questioned the legitimacy of and the need for
solidarity with the anti-Ahmadinejad movement. The Campaign's position of
solidarity with the Iranian protesters has not changed, but we think those
questions need to be squarely addressed.
Below are the questions we take up. Questions three, four and five deal with the
issue of electoral fraud; readers who are not interested in this rather
technical discussion are invited to go on to question six. And we should say at
the outset that our support for the protest movement is not determined by the
technicalities of electoral manipulation, as important as they are. What is
decisive is that huge masses of Iranians are convinced that the election was
rigged and that they went into the streets, at great personal risk, to demand
democracy and an end to theocratic repression.
Was the June 12, 2009 election fair?
Isn't it true that the Guardian Council is indirectly elected by the
Was there fraud, and was it on a scale to alter the outcome?
Didn't a poll conducted by U.S.-based organizations conclude that
Ahmadinejad won the election?
Didn't Ahmadinejad get lots of votes from conservative religious
Iranians among the rural population and the urban poor? Might not these votes
have been enough to overwhelm his opponents?
Hasn't the U.S. (and Israel) been interfering in Iran and promoting
regime change, including by means of supporting all sorts of "pro-democracy"
Has the Western media been biased against the Iranian government?
Is Mousavi a leftist? A neoliberal? What is the relation between Mousavi
and the demonstrators in the streets?
Is Ahmadinejad good for world anti-imperialism?
Is Ahmadinejad more progressive than his opponents in terms of social and
economic policy? Is he a champion of the Iranian poor?
What do we want the U.S. government to do about the current situation in
What should we do about the current situation in Iran?
Is it right to advocate a different form of government in Iran?
1. Was the June 12, 2009 election fair?
if every vote was counted fairly, this was not a fair election. 475 people
wished to run for president, but the un-elected Guardian Council, which vets all
candidates for supposed conformity to Islamic principles, rejected all but 4.
elections also require free press, free expression, and freedom to organize, all
of which have been severely curtailed."
2. You call the Guardian
Council un-elected, but isn't it true that it is indirectly elected by the
eight years the Assembly of Experts is popularly elected. Candidates must be
clerics and must be approved by the Guardian Council. The Assembly of Experts
then chooses a supreme leader, who rules for life (though he can be removed by
the Assembly of Experts for un-Islamic behavior). The supreme leader appoints
the head of the judiciary. The supreme leader chooses half of the 12 members of
the Guardian Council and the judiciary nominates the other six, to be ratified
by the Parliament. The Guardian Council then vets all future candidates for
president, parliament, and the Assembly of Experts.
once this system was in place the possibilities of fundamentally changing it
have been essentially nil. If 98 percent of the Iranian people decided tomorrow
that they opposed an Islamic state, the rules would still enable the theocracy
to continue in power forever -- because the only people who could change things
have themselves to be vetted by the theocratic rulers. Even amending the
constitution requires the approval of the supreme leader.
is not a dictatorship of the Saudi Arabian sort, where there are no elections
and where people have zero input. But the basic prerequisite of a democratic
system -- that the people can change their government -- is missing.
3. OK, but was there fraud?
And was it on a scale to alter the outcome?
was certainly fraud: The Iranian government acknowledges that in 50 cities there
were more votes cast than registered voters. (In Iran, voters can cast their
ballots in districts other than those in which they reside, but "many districts
where the excess votes were recorded are small, remote places rarely visited by
business travelers or tourists.") Moreover, the vote total also exceeded the
number of registered voters in two provinces. (Province-wide excess is more
significant than city-wide, because people would be less likely to vote in
another province than another city.) Perhaps the most damning indication of
fraud was the fact that Mousavi's observers, as well as those of the other
opposition candidates, were frequently not allowed to be present when ballots
were counted and the ballot boxes sealed -- a flagrant violation of Iranian
law. Moreover, supporters of opposition candidates had planned to
independently monitor the results by text messaging local vote tallies to a
central location, but the government suddenly shut down text messaging, making
question, though, is whether the extent of fraud was sufficient to change the
results of the election. We can't be fully sure. But there is very powerful
evidence that either no one emerged with a majority, which would have required a
run-off election, or that Mousavi won outright.
According to an analysis by researchers at Chatham House, a British think tank,
and the Institute of Iranian Studies at the University of St Andrews:
third of all provinces, the official results would require that Ahmadinejad took
not only all former conservative voters, and all former centrist voters, and all
new voters, but also up to 44% of former Reformist voters, despite a decade of
conflict between these two groups."
Ahmadinejad's victory in 2005, when many reformists boycotted the elections and
questions of fraud were raised, the hardliners lost their control of local
councils in 2007. So an Ahmadinejad sweep in 2009 -- when reformist leaders,
responding to a growing wave of discontent with the regime, were newly energized
to challenge the President -- is hard to credit.
Ahmadinejad allegedly won in areas where other candidates had strong ties and
support, including their home provinces. Some have suggested that this was a
result of people not wanting to "waste" their votes on candidates unlikely to
win. But in Iran, elections are in two stages: if no candidate gets a
majority in round one, then there is a run-off. So there was no reason for
anyone to refrain from voting for her preferred candidate in the first round.
4. Didn't a poll conducted
by U.S.-based organizations conclude that Ahmadinejad won the election?
poll, conducted by Terror Free Tomorrow and the New America Foundation, found
that Ahmadinejad was favored over Mousavi by two to one. But the poll was
conducted between May 11 and May 20, 2009, before the official beginning of the
three-week election campaign, and before the (first-ever) televised presidential
debates. These debates were a turning point: millions of Iranians saw displayed
the deep divisions in the leadership of the Islamic Republic. They sensed that
there was now an opportunity for real change.
importantly, however, Ahmadinejad received the support of only a third of the
poll respondents, with almost half either refusing to answer or saying they
hadn't yet made up their minds:
the stage of the campaign for President when our poll was taken, 34 percent of
Iranians surveyed said they will vote for incumbent President Ahmadinejad. Mr.
Ahmadinejad's closest rival, Mir Hussein Moussavi, was the choice of 14 percent,
with 27 percent stating that they still do not know who they will vote for.
President Ahmadinejad's other rivals, Mehdi Karroubi and Mohsen Rezai, were the
choice of 2 percent and 1 percent, respectively.
close examination of our survey results reveals that the race may actually be
closer than a first look at the numbers would indicate. More than 60 percent of
those who state they don't know who they will vote for in the Presidential
elections reflect individuals who favor political reform and change in the
government acts in secret, conducts an election lacking in transparency, and
bars and restricts foreign journalists and the free flow of information, it
makes sense not to accept its claims.
5. But didn't Ahmadinejad
get lots of votes from conservative religious Iranians among the rural
population and the urban poor? Might not these votes have been enough to
overwhelm his opponents?
Ahmadinejad's support from ultraconservative voters was certainly not
insignificant. In addition, his social welfare programs, funded from oil
revenues, have undoubtedly induced many among the poor to give him their
allegiance (see below). And then there are the members of the security apparatus
-- the Revolutionary Guards and the Basij, the pro-government religious
paramilitary force -- who, together with their families, number in the millions.
But there is no evidence that these were enough to give him the huge majorities
he claims. As for peasants and villagers, only 35 percent of Iranian voters live
in rural areas. And in any event, there is good reason to believe that rural
voters are not strongly pro-Ahmadinejad. As Chatham House noted, "In 2005, as
in 2001 and 1997, conservative candidates, and Ahmadinejad in particular, were
markedly unpopular in rural areas. That the countryside always votes
conservative is a myth. The claim that this year Ahmadinejad swept the board in
more rural provinces flies in the face of these trends."
6. Hasn't the U.S. (and
Israel) been interfering in Iran and promoting regime change, including by means
of supporting all sorts of "pro-democracy" groups?
1950s and 60s, rightwingers charged that the U.S. civil rights movement was
actually controlled by the Soviet Union, through the U.S. Communist Party. Of
course Communists were involved in the civil rights movement and no doubt Moscow
approved. But that's a far cry from indicating that the Soviet Union was a
decisive force in the civil rights movement, let alone that it controlled the
is no doubt that U.S. agents, as well as those of other countries, are hard at
work in Iran, as elsewhere. It is well known that Washington has meddled in the
politics of Venezuela and Bolivia, as well as Georgia, Ukraine and Lebanon, to
take only the most recent examples. Congress has even set up a special fund for
"democracy promotion" in Iran. But foreign meddling does not prove foreign
control. And foreign meddling does not automatically discredit mass movements or
their goals; it depends on who is calling the shots. In any event, there is no
evidence that the CIA or any other arm of U.S. intelligence -- or Mossad -- had
anything to do with initiating or leading the protests in Iran. And it is absurd
to see a parallel between the rightwing elements in Venezuela and Bolivia -- who
are not fighting for greater popular control over their governments -- and the
millions of protesters who have demanded democracy in Iran.
1953 U.S. and British intelligence engineered a coup to oust the
democratically-elected Mossadeq government in Iran. But that coup involved
bribing street gangs and a treasonous military. There was nothing like the mass
upsurge that we've recently seen in Iran, and there has been not a scrap of
credible evidence that the millions of people in the streets these past few
weeks were brought out by CIA money.
contrary, for years now leading Iranian human rights activists, feminists, trade
unionists -- people like Shirin Ebadi and Akbar Ganji -- have taken the position
that Iranian dissidents should not accept U.S. financial support. They have
a consistent record of opposing U.S. bullying, sanctions and threats of war,
and they know that any hint of links to Washington would be the kiss of death in
Recently, Iranian state television has broadcast footage of alleged rioters
stating "We were under the influence of Voice of America Persia and the BBC" and
some detainees -- politicians, journalists, and others -- are said to have
confessed to all sorts of Western plots. Surely, though, no one should take
such claims, elicited under torture or duress, seriously.
7. Has the Western media
been biased against the Iranian government?
Mainstream Western media have clearly been more interested in pointing out
electoral fraud and repression in Iran than in states that are closely allied
with Washington. But this doesn't mean that there has been no fraud or
repression in Iran.
example, a video of the killing of Neda Agha Soltan spread widely on the
internet and the media was quick to turn her death into a icon of the brutality
of the Iranian government. We never saw a similar response to the many victims
of government atrocities in Haiti or Egypt or Colombia. Nevertheless, the claim
by some Iranian officials that she was killed by the CIA or by other
demonstrators just to make the regime look bad is totally lacking in
Western media have always selectively publicized and often exaggerated the
crimes of official enemies. But we shouldn't conclude from this that crimes have
not been committed. And in the case of Iran, there is no good evidence so far
that Western news reports on the government's electoral fraud and violent
repression of dissent have been fundamentally inaccurate.
8. Is Mousavi a leftist? A
neoliberal? What is the relation between Mousavi and the demonstrators in the
Mousavi's politics and economic program are not very clear. He is in many ways a
pillar of the Establishment -- approved as a candidate by the Guardian Council
and a former prime minister who served under Ayatollah Khomeini in the 1980s. He
had a reputation for being one of the leaders more sympathetic to welfare state
programs. Under his prime ministership many such programs were enacted, but also
leftists were brutally repressed. With Washington's assistance: using U.S.
intelligence information, the Iranian government rounded up members of the
pro-Soviet Tudeh Party and conducted mass executions, virtually eliminating the
Tudeh in Iran and killing many other leftists as well. It has been argued
that the repression was carried out by the ministry of intelligence and the
judiciary, and that these institutions were not in fact under his control even
though he was prime minister. Whether or not this is the case, at a minimum
Mousavi neither resigned nor publicly protested the violent repression that took
place when he was prime minister, and thus he cannot be absolved of
recently, he has been an ally of the powerful billionaire cleric and former
president Hashemi Rafsanjani, who is close to major private business interests.
Mousavi supports turning over many of the publicly-owned sectors of the Iranian
economy to private hands, but so does Ahmadinejad, who boasts that he has
privatized more public assets than his predecessors, and in fact
privatization has been going on for several years and is mandated by recently
passed legislation. In his campaign for the presidency, Mousavi called for
loosening some of the Islamic Republic's restrictions on personal liberties,
especially as concern women's rights. But Mousavi came to embody the aspirations
of millions of Iranians for more than this -- for an end to the terrorism of the
Basijis and the Revolutionary Guards and for an even broader democratization of
the Islamic Republic. Undoubtedly, some of them hoped -- as do we -- that the
protests would be a first step towards dismantling the fundamentally
anti-democratic system of clerical rule itself.
the weeks that followed the election, demonstrators protested voting fraud, but
also called increasingly for equality and freedom -- "down with dictatorship!"
The marches may have been started mainly by students and liberal-minded middle
class people, but they were quickly joined by growing numbers of workers,
elderly people and women in conservative chadors.
seems that Mousavi's electoral organization did not anticipate the massive
outpouring of protest after the election and was unable (and perhaps unwilling,
given Mousavi's Establishment ties) to provide any organization or real
leadership. The ferocious violence of the security forces has left the
protesters, and the general public in Iran, stunned and understandably
intimidated. However, their outrage is deep, and it will not go away. Protest
may soon return to the streets and rooftops. And many are looking for other
forms of protest. Mousavi, Khatami and Rafsanjani have not made their peace with
Ahmadinejad, and the split in Iran's clerical establishment deepens.
millions who have gone into the streets have already shown themselves capable of
acting independently of Mousavi, and, as has often been the case in democratic
struggles historically around the world, there is good reason to believe that
the masses of protesters who have entered into the fight for limited demands can
transcend the political, social and economic program of the movement's initial
leaders. In Iran, this is especially the case if trade unions are able to use
the opening created by today's challenges to Ahmadinejad to assert the interests
of the poor and lend their organized strength to the movement.
9. Is Ahmadinejad good for
is a foolish argument in some sectors of the left that holds that any state that
is opposed by the U.S. government is therefore automatically playing a
progressive, anti-imperialist role and should be supported. On these grounds,
many such "leftists" have acted as apologists for murderous dictators like
Milosevic and Saddam Hussein. The Campaign for Peace and Democracy has always
argued that we can oppose U.S. imperial policy without thereby having
necessarily to back the states against which it is directed.
Ironically, despite their current rhetoric, some U.S. neoconservatives favored
an Ahmadinejad victory. They knew that on the main issues dividing the U.S.
and Iran -- Tehran's pursuit of nuclear energy, its support for Hamas and
Hezbollah, and its insistence on forcing Israel to withdraw completely from the
Occupied Territories -- Ahmadinejad's position was no different from that of
Mousavi or that of Iranian public opinion. But Ahmadinejad, with his
confrontational style and his outrageous "questioning" of the Holocaust, is a
much easier leader to hate and fear; his continuing grip on power therefore
serves the goals of neoconservative hawks and Israeli hardliners. And they
know that Iranian public opinion solidly supports the cause of Palestinian
rights; and that Ahmadinejad's anti-Jewish rhetoric has harmed, not helped, the
of these "leftists" say that whatever Ahmadinejad's faults, the mass upsurge in
Iran plays into the hands of U.S. imperialism. On the contrary, a people's
pro-democracy movement is the worst fear of the many authoritarian regimes on
which Washington relies to maintain its hegemony; such as the rulers of Egypt,
Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Pakistan and elsewhere. And not just among U.S. clients.
It is significant that news of the demonstrations was heavily censored in China
and Myanmar, and that the Russian government was one of the first to
congratulate Ahmadinejad on his "victory."
Hugo Chavez too congratulated
Ahmadinejad. As Reese Erlich, author of The Iran Agenda who frequently
appears on Democracy Now!, has commented,
diplomatic level, Venezuela and Iran share some things in common. Both are under
attack from the U.S., including past efforts at 'regime change.' Venezuela and
other governments around the world will have to deal with Ahmadinejad as the de
facto president, so questioning the election could cause diplomatic problems.
that's no excuse."
10. Is Ahmadinejad more
progressive than his opponents in terms of social and economic policy? Is he a
champion of the Iranian poor?
leftists we are very familiar with rightwing politicians disingenuously claiming
to care about the poor and the working class. The Islamic Republic has long
included a social welfare component to help it maintain support. Ahmadinejad has
undertaken some populist programs, utilizing some of the revenues generated by
the sharply higher price of oil. But, even ignoring the fact that basic
democratic rights and women's rights are hardly the exclusive concern of the
well-to-do, the Islamic Republic, and especially Ahmadinejad's presidency, have
not been good for the workers and the poor of Iran.
Anyone purporting to support the
working class has to back independent unions so that workers can defend their
own interests both in the work place and in the society at large. However, Iran
has still not ratified international labor conventions guaranteeing freedom of
association and collective bargaining and abolishing child labor, and unions
in Iran have been subjected to horrendous repression. As the International
Campaign for Human Rights in Iran has reported:
"Iranian workers are still unable
to form independent trade unions, a right denied both within Iran's labor code
and de facto repressed by the government in action. The government
routinely arrests and prosecutes workers demanding their most basic rights, such
as demands for wages unpaid, sometimes for periods as long as 36 months.
Security forces often attack peaceful gatherings by workers, harass their
families, and even kill them, as happened during a gathering by copper miners in
Shahr Babak, near the city of Kerman, in 2004."
Under Ahmadinejad's presidency,
the situation has been especially grim:
leading trade unionists, Mansour Osanloo and Mahmoud Salehi, are currently in
prison. Another one, Majid Hamidi, recently the target of an assassination
attempt, is hospitalized. In addition to being imprisoned and fined, eleven
other workers were flogged in February 2008 for the crime of participating in a
peaceful gathering to commemorate International Labor Day, May 1st.
"In January 2006, security forces
arrested nearly a thousand members of the Syndicate of Workers of Tehran and
Suburbs Bus Company, attacked some of their homes, beat their families, and even
detained the wives and children of the leading members, to prevent a planned
strike. Since then, most members of the Syndicate's central council have been
targets of prosecution and imprisonment. The Syndicate's leader, Mansour
Osanloo, is currently serving a five- year sentence, while he suffers from eye
injuries due to earlier beatings, and is in danger of going blind. Fifty-four
members of the Syndicate have been fired from their jobs and are prosecuted in
courts for their peaceful activities."
Teachers' attempts to organize and collectively bargain have also met violent
this past May Day, the government beat participants in a peaceful labor event
and arrested the leaders. And in June, a committee of the International
Labour Organization cited Iran for the "grave situation relating to freedom of
association in the country.
makes the need for unions in Iran so important is that large numbers of workers
are forced to work under temporary contracts that permit even more exploitation
of labor than usual. One common practice is for workers to be fired and then
rehired every three months as a way to deny them pensions and other benefits.
11. What do we want the U.S.
government to do about the current situation in Iran?
is a great deal that the Administration can do. Obama should promise that the
U.S. will never launch a military attack on Iran or support an Israeli attack.
He should commit the United States not to support terrorism or sabotage
operations in Iran, and immediately order the cessation of any such activities
that may still be occurring. He should lift sanctions against Iran -- certainly
not as a reward to Ahmadinejad for stealing the election, but because the
sanctions have a negative impact on the Iranian people and provide one of the
main justifications for Ahmadinejad's iron rule. He should take major
initiatives toward disarmament of U.S. nuclear and conventional weapons, and he
should withdraw all U.S. troops from Iraq, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and
Pakistan. And he should work to promote a nuclear-free Middle East, which
includes Israel. By reducing these threats, Obama would thereby be removing one
of the main rationalizations for Iranian repression (as well as for its nuclear
12. What should we
do about the current situation in Iran?
need to make it clear to the Iranian people that there is "another America," one
that is independent of the government and opposed to its oppressive and
anti-democratic foreign policy. Our support comes with no strings
attached and no hidden agenda. Iranians should be made aware that it is American
progressives -- not the U.S. government or the hypocrites of the right -- who
offer genuine solidarity.
13. Is it right to advocate
a different form of government in Iran?
leftists, the Campaign for Peace and Democracy supports radical change
everywhere that people do not have full control over their political and
economic lives. We advocate such change in the United States, in France, in
Russia, in China. And we support it in Iran too. But we do not support the
United States government -- or Britain or Israel or any other country --
imposing "regime change" outside its borders by force. What was wrong with
Bush's invasion of Iraq in 2003 was not that the regime of Saddam Hussein
was overthrown -- his was a hideous regime and anyone concerned with human
decency wanted it ended -- but that Bush asserted that the United States had the
right to invade. Political change imposed by a foreign army, or brought about by
the covert operations of foreign intelligence agencies, is unacceptable, and it
is especially unacceptable when the foreign power concerned has a long history
of interventions for its own sordid motives: to impose its domination, to
control oil resources, to establish military bases.
we support the Iranian people if they act to end autocratic rule in Iran? Of
course! This is a government that, in addition to its just-completed election
fraud and vicious attacks on its own citizens, imprisons, tortures, publicly
flogs and hangs political opponents, labor activists, gays, and "apostates," and
still prescribes execution by stoning as the penalty for adultery. The Head of
the Judiciary declared a moratorium on executions by stoning in 2002, but at
least five people are known to have been stoned to death since then, two of them
on December 26, 2008. Workers have no right to strike. A woman's testimony
is worth half that of a man's and women have limited rights to divorce and child
custody. The regime imposes gender apartheid, segregating women in many public
places. Veiling is compulsory and enforced by threats, fines and imprisonment.
We should support Iranians' efforts to end these barbaric practices.
1. See, for example, Amnesty International, "Iran:
Worsening repression of dissent as election approaches," 1 February 2009,
MDE 13/012/2009; Amnesty International, "Iran's
presidential election amid unrest and ongoing human rights violations," 5
June 2009; Amnesty International, "Iran:
Election amid repression of dissent and unrest," 9 June 2009, MDE
2. See BBC, "Iran:
Who Holds the Power"
Michael Slackman, "Amid
Crackdown, Iran Admits Voting Errors," New York Times, June 23, 2009.
4. Ali Ansari, ed., Preliminary Analysis of the Voting Figures in Iran's 2009
Presidential Election, Chatham House and the Institute of Iranian Studies,
University of St Andrews, 21 June 2009,
5. Kaveh Ehsani, Arang Keshavarzian and Norma Claire Moruzzi, "Tehran, June
2009," Middle East Report Online, June 28, 2009,
6. Ansari, op. cit.
7. George Friedman, "The
Iranian Election and the Revolution Test," Stratfor, June 22, 2009; Esam Al-Amin,
"A Hard Look at the Numbers: What Actually Happened in the Iranian Presidential
Election?" CounterPunch, June 22, 2009,
8. Terror-Free Tomorrow & New America Foundation, "Ahmadinejad
Front Runner in Upcoming Presidential Elections; Iranians Continue to Back
Compromise and Better Relations with US and West; Results of a New Nationwide
Public Opinion Survey of Iran before the June 12, 2009 Presidential Elections,"
June 2009 .
9. Eric Hoogland, "Iran's Rural Vote and Election Fraud," June 17, 2009, Agence
10. Ansari, op. cit.
11. Karl Vick and David Finkel, "U.S.
Push for Democracy Could Backfire Inside Iran," Washington Post,
March 14, 2006; Akbar Ganji, "Why
Iran's Democrats Shun Aid," Washington Post, Oct. 26, 2007 ; Patrick
Civil Society Urges US to End 'Democracy Fund,' Ease Sanctions," 16 July
12. See, for example, "Iran's Civil Society Movement Sets Up 'National Peace
Council'," CASMII Press Release, 10 July 2008,
13. AFP, "Iran
shows footage of 'rioters influenced by Western media'," 23 June 2009 ;
Michael Slackman, "Top
Reformers Admitted Plot, Iran Declares," New York Times, July 4,
2009; CNN, "Newsweek
reporter in Iran reportedly 'confesses'," July 1, 2009.
14. Of course, when similar torture was carried out by the U.S. government, U.S.
media only referred to "harsh interrogation techniques." See Glenn Greenwald, "The
NYT calls Iranian interrogation tactics 'torture'," Salon, July 4, 2009.
15. Thomas Erdbrink and William Branigin, "Iranian
cleric says protesters wage war against God," Boston Globe, June 27,
16. The Tower Commission Report, President's Special Review Board, New
York: Bantam Books/Times Books, 1987, pp. 103-04.
17. Ehsani, et al., op. cit.
18. Billy Wharton, "Selling
Iran: Ahmadinejad, Privatization and a Bus Driver Who Said No," Dissident
Voice, June 28th, 2009.
19. Stephen Zunes, "Why U.S. Neocons Want Ahmadinejad to Win," AlterNet, June
20. See Obama's
assessment of the lack of difference between Mousavi and Ahmadinejad ; on
public opinion, see Terror Free Tomorrow poll cited above.
21. Joshua Mitnick, "Why Iran's Ahmadinejad is preferred in Israel; The
incumbent president will be easier to isolate than reformist leader Mr. Mousavi,
say some leading Israeli policymakers," Christian Science Monitor, June 21,
22. Reese Erlich, "Iran and Leftist Confusion," ZNet, June 29, 2009,
23. See ILO, "Ratifications of the Fundamental human rights Conventions by
24. International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, "Workers' Rights,"
25. Amnesty International, "Iran: Prisoners of conscience / fear of torture or
ill-treatment," 10 June 2009, MDE 13/054/2009,
26. International Labour Organization, "ILO
Governing Body elects new Chairperson -- Committee on Freedom of Association
cites Myanmar, Cambodia and Islamic Republic of Iran," Press release, 19
June 2009, ILO/09/41.
27. Amnesty International, "Iran: New executions demonstrate need for
unequivocal legal ban of stoning," 15 January 2009, MDE 13/004/2009,
About: THE CAMPAIGN FOR PEACE AND
DEMOCRACY (CPD) advocates a new, progressive and non-militaristic U.S. foreign
policy -- one that encourages democracy, justice and social change. Founded in
1982, the Campaign opposed the Cold War by promoting "detente from below." It
engaged Western peace activists in the defense of the rights of democratic
dissidents in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, and enlisted East-bloc human
rights activists against anti-democratic U.S. policies in countries like
Nicaragua and Chile. The Campaign sees movements for peace, social justice and
democratic rights, taken together, as the embryo of an alternative to great
power politics and to the domination of society by privileged elites.
Other recent CPD campaigns include: an open letter to Iranian officials in
defense of human rights leader Shirin Ebadi, published by the New York Review of
http://www.nybooks.com/articles/22511; Support for Czech opponents of the
U.S. military radar in the Czech Republic; and a statement on Gaza entitled "No
More Blank Check for Israel!." All of these are available at the CPD website.
Campaign for Peace and Democracy
2790 Broadway, #12, NY, NY 10025
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