Unfortunately, following desperate attacks by the clerical regime, the reformist movement in Iran appears to have its momentum slipping. Without sustained foreign aid or assistance, the Green Revolution has failed to overturn the Islamic Republic. Now we have word that two of the strongest voices against the stolen June elections have silenced themselves.
The statements from Mr. Karroubi, a former presidential candidate and speaker of Parliament, and Mr. Khatami, a former president, follow the lead of Mir Hussein Moussavi, another opposition leader, who on New Year’s Eve criticized the government but offered a prescription for solving the political crisis that for the first time did not include holding a new vote.
This is an unfortunate moment. And it’s just what the Islamists wanted. Without the support of these powerful men, resistance is likely to continue fading.
Update from Ryan Mauro: Just a few things to note here. The author of the article linked to here cites a New York Times report, which tells this tale of Karroubi and Mousavi giving up “according to Iranian news services.” Are we seriously expecting the regime’s media outlets to put their quotes in context?
I also looked up the original quotes and I think Karroubi was misunderstood. He said that he recognized Ahmadinejad as head of government because that is what Ayatollah Khamenei ruled, but that the election was rigged. He didn’t call him “president,” he simply observed that Ahmadinejad is in power and calling shots. He did so in such a way to be respectful of Khamenei, but at the same time tie him with Ahmadinejad. We’ll see in the coming weeks if Karroubi’s words were misinterpreted.