After reading Nora Mulready on Iran, and what was coming out of Chatham House and St Andrews’ Institute of Iranian Studies, and the Stop the War’s (sic) incongruous neutrality*, I got to wondering about Marjane Satrapi, author of the animated graphic novel Persepolis. Marjane’s family suffered during the upheaval of the late ’70s and early ’80s – some were tortured and executed by the Shah, some by the clerics. Persepolis was so perceptive about the 1979 revolution, counter-revolution, betrayal of the Iranian left and the lassitude of the European left. What did she have to say about the Iranian election?
She is a supporter of the reformist candidate Mousavi. With fellow luminary Iranian director, Mohsen Makhmalbaf, she has called the election a coup and presented the results of a count which declared Mousavi the winner.
Here they are testifying in the EU Parliament in Brussels back on June 17th, Makhmalbaf in (I think) Farsi, with Satrapi translating:
“The document said liberal cleric and former parliament speaker Mehdi Karroubi came second in the election with a total of 13.3 million votes, while president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad came third with only 5.49 million votes.
However, there is no certainty about the legitimacy of the document.
“Ahmadinejad received only 12 percent of the vote, not 65 percent,” said Marjane Satrapi, who was the director of Oscar-nominated film Persepolis.
Makhmalbaf, a representative for Mousavi abroad, called the declaration of Ahmadinejad’s victory a “coup d’etat” and appealed to the international community not to recognise it.
He explained that Mousavi had called him from Tehran, asking him to inform the world of what is really going on in Iran.
“What happened is not an electoral fraud, but a coup d’etat,” he said.
Makhmalbaf claimed that Mousavi was informed of Ahmadinejad’s victory by the interior ministry and told to prepare a speech.
“Few minutes later, an army general entered his (Mousavi) office, and told him that they would not allow a green revolution (green is the colour used by Mousavi for his campaign),” he said.
“It did not take long, until the State TV declared Ahmadinejad winner with more than 65 percent”.
“If anyone asked themselves whether the Iranian people are ready for democracy, the answer is yes, and we showed it by voting, but we were robbed of the vote. Now we need international support.”
*Stop the War’s web site is sporting a cheering banner declaring ‘IRAN NEEDS YOUR HELP’. If you click its About This Banner link, you get:
“The banner was created by the owner of the stopwar.org.uk domain in response to the StWC loss of direction and hypocritical response to the Iranian election compared to an arguably comparable situation in the US in 2004.
In particular, the domain owner believes that the current attitude of StWC as per its statement, fails to realise the opportunity that we must all seize to make the world safer, especially for the citizens of the Middle East.
The domain owner believes StWC is losing its way, losing its vision, and losing its soul, by letting so-called ‘leftist’ rhetoric and nonsense prevent it supporting vigorously (as it once would have) the democratic wishes and freedom-of-communication of the peoples of Iran, who are crying out for the world to support them at this time.
As Hossein Mousavi’s external spokesman Mohsen Makhmalbaf said:
“We [Iranians] are a bit unfortunate. When we had our Obama [meaning President Khatami], that was the time of President Bush in the United States. Now that [the United States] has Obama, we have our Bush here [in Iran]. In order to resolve the problems between the two countries, we should have two Obamas on the two sides. It doesn’t mean that everything depends on these two people, but this is one of the main factors.”
There is some history here. The owner of the stopwar.org domain has been attempting to communicate with the StWC office for several months, to arrange transfer of domain ownership to them, without response. The StWC statement on the Iranian situation was so poor, so lacking in the vision, soul, and objective morality that created the Coalition, that this action was deemed appropriate, until the Iranian situation is resolved.
Update: more fishy numbers.