Sunday, July 22, 2007

In the name of democracy: When the Islamic Republic shot itself in the foot

The following report is actually a translated version of what I wrote on my Persian blog regarding the confessions show that was aired on Iran's state-run TV last week. A fellow-Iranian blogger Arash Kamangir was kind enough to translate it into English and put it on his weblog originally:

This is the English translation of a Persian post by Khashayar Kheirkhah about the Esfandiari-Tajbakhsh-Jahanbegloo confession-show. I just remind you that some of his sentences had to be sliced into shorter ones for the sake of an intelligible translation.


Ten opposition televisions, accompanied by Voice of America, Radio Israel, BBC, etc were unable to carry out what the Islamic Republic television did to itself last night. What was shown clearly advocated for the American administration’s emphasis on spreading democracy and social institutions. The program, at the same time, demonstrated the Islamic Republic’s horror from the youth and the students and their efforts towards goals such as democracy. Nothing could have done all this better than the program the Islamic Republic aired, because of these reasons.

1- The Islamic Republic has been trying for twenty eight years to convince the people that “America cannot do anything”. What channel one showed last night, not only proved this sentence false, but also used several documents to prove that, if the American administration wants, they can overthrow a regime in two hours, as it happened in Kyrgyzstan.

2- Many Iranian do believe in conspiracy theory and have no doubt whatsoever that nothing happens in Iran unless the states and UK want so. The Islamic Republic has tried for twenty eight years to convince the nation that the Islamic Revolution was not an international conspiracy led by Jimmy Carter, as many Iranian think. They have tried to assign the revolution with Godly sources. The last night show utterly emphasized on the American role in toppling regimes and this strengthened the public belief in the importance of American policies. That also contradicted Ahmadinejad repeated claims for American deficiency.

3- What amazes me is that although the Islamic Republic calls itself a master in propaganda, they utterly emphasized the importance of youth and students in changing regimes. Even if they were trying to justify oppression, by showing Kyrgyz youth’s secret gatherings, they carried the message that “the youth can topple a regime”.

4- I think this was the first time the national television let the nation listen to George Bush and John Mc Cain talk about America’s support of freedom and democracy. The show referred to Bush’s speech, where he promises that one day the message of freedom will reach all the nations. More importantly, they quoted a Kyrgyz political activist that “the American president calls on those who live under oppressive regimes that the US will not forget them and will not forgive their oppressors”. The Islamic Republic spends millions of dollars every year to stop these messages from reaching the nation.

5- Mrs. Esfandiari and Mrs Tajbakhs and Jahanbegloo were given such complex notes to read that I think many of the spectators did not make sense of it and the question for many was “what offense have these people committed?” I will refer to the mention that Mr Tajbakhsh did not know Persian till 1997 and the emphasis on the word “agent”.

In conclusion, the first part of this useless television show was a horrible defeat for the Islamic Republic propaganda, or as they say in English, they shot themselves in the foot. Not only it did not carry the intended message, but also it proved the ultimate weakness of the regime of Iran when it comes to the freedom-seeking movements and its horror from anti-dictatorship concepts such as democracy.