Friday, 26 June 2009

The Horror of Iran

I have kept silent on the terrible situation in Iran because, quite frankly, I don't have an answer, or a 'take' or really an idea of what should be done and the best way for us, as in the West, to respond.

Should we merely make vocal claims of support, shouting across the Elburz Mountains to be dismissed as interfering Westerners, sowing seeds of selfish regime change and perhaps scuppering the chance for some level of reform? Or should we engage in diplomatic tit-for-tats, discuss sanctions and shake our heads disapprovingly at the way the protesters are being suppressed so violently, when we ourselves struggle with handling public displays of disaffection?

I have no idea but I do know that any Western involvement will only cause harm and even without it, those in power in Iran use the West as a whipping boy to terrify and galvanise it's followers.

Regime change is not our place, even though watching the protesters being killed, beaten and treated so terribly makes me feel desperate to do something to help them, makes the fire of indignation rise up...but surely Iran must go on it's own journey and be all the better for it. Intervention will not bring lasting change (see Iraq for reference).

I don't even know to what degree the election was fixed, I have a feeling that some of it was hashed but I also know the West has underestimated the lack of appetite for reform in the vast majority of the country, which for all intents and purposes is quite conservative.

I wasn't even going to blog on it, until the crisis in Iran got it's media martyr in Neda Agha-Soltan, it's very own YouTube horror story, a young female protester who was shot dead and whose last moments; as the blood runs from her mouth and nose, were captured on film, a document of the very real cost of protesting in Iran, a crushing and heartbreaking reminder of how high the stakes are to many Iranians and what thousands are willing to risk in order to voice their pain at this stolen election.

Oh the horror, oh the utter horror...


  1. My most common reaction when watching the events unfold in Iran is a mixture of awe and shame. Awe because of the courage of the people who are protesting, and shame at the way Americans dont seem to value their own democracy like the Iranians do.

  2. did you really have to post that video? watching someone die is not nice ya know..

  3. I thought long and hard about posting it Mohamed and it seems that the family of Neda want here final moments to be utilised as a tool for change, so as to bring some sort of value to her terrible passing.

    I don't know if that's right but it needs to be brought home hard.


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