Sunday, May 31, 2009

Change for Iran

This is a campaign video made by supporters of Karrubi-Karbaschi team. Regardless of whether these promises can be achieved or not by any president within the current framework of the Islamic Republic, it demonstrates beautifully the list of priorities of what some of the very minimum demands of Iranian people are.

Each point is demonstrated with the lifting of a poster which spells out the change with a relevant film footage in the background.

The demands in the order shown in the film footage:

- Protection of our Civil Rights
- Help for the Deprived
- Kid pushes away the box of charity handouts and lifts the poster which says 'Nationalisation of Oil Income'
- Reducing tensions in the global arena
- Free access to information
- Protection of women who are supporting their families
- Condemnation of domestic violence against women
- Education for all
- Improving public safety and security
- Rights for religious and ethnic minorities
- Support for NGOs
- Public participation

Then the posters say, 'We have come for change' followed by 'Change for Iran'.

Sorry CASMII supporters, nothing about sanctions again!


Babak said...

This has GOT to be the most ridiculous thing I have seen in my life... They have "westernized" their political ads, and one doesn't know whether to laugh or cry... The islamic republic strikes again.. I wonder how long before some columnist in the NYTimes brings this up as " A new hope for Iran"... Masgharebazi, thats what it is...

barmakid said...

How is this maskharebazi, Babak? Harfhaye khodet maskharast. They bring up real issues in the ad - issues that are being portrayed to our extraordinarily young population in a manner that appeals to them - and all you have to say is that it's maskhareh? Sigh...Another example of how disconnected some of us are from Iranian society.

What would you rather have Karbaschi do, recite the Quran?

The "West" does not have a monopoly on political advertisement through modern methods - you just think they do because you live there. It's funny to me how Iranians over here laugh at badly produced Iranian ads and films, but cry that the Iranians are copying the West when they make nice ads that RESONATE WITH THE TARGET AUDIENCE.

The fact that ads like these are being made is testament to the fact that the general youth of our population has eroded the regime's conservativeness (and their strict electoral process). They are beginning to understand the youth's disenchantment, not just with elections, but with the life Iranian society has to offer them. It is an example that the regime is conscious of its disaffected youth (70% of the population).

How long do you think they can continue to bring up issues like civil rights and not address them? They will be addressed. Every election cycle (although controlled) has an effect on our population - a liberating one. Shayat natoonim ba enghelab jam'eamoono taghir konim, vali betadrij taghir be dast miyarim - bavar kon.


p.s. Azarmehr, have you seen Karbashci's other ads? This is a good one:

Azarmehr said...

I am going to write what I personally think is the right thing to do on 12th June over the next few days.

For now some of the things I have already made up my mind on and talked about during a conference at the Foreign Press Association on Friday.

- Those who want change in Iran should attend all the rallies and meetings they can over the next few weeks. This is one window of opportunity where we can connect to the people, bring the issues to the public attention, make public discuss the issues, push the candidates and question them, make them make promises, remind the public about the past responsibilities of the candidates, what promises they have made in the past and not delivered, use this period to organise, extend network and raise the awareness of people. Anyone who wants change in Iran but stays at home from now until 12th June is a fool and a bafoon.

- Whatever you may think of Karbaschi, he is one of the most able managers inside Iran who can deliver. The fact that Khatami abandoned him and did not stand by him when he was jailed, reveals the true character of Khatami.
Khatami has proved that he can not use the momentum to bring about change.

- More important than evaluating a candidate in Iran is to evaluate his team and his friends and his backers.

René O'Deay said...

The rest of the world is hoping for real change for your country.

Better if you can do it yourselves, rather than .... well...

Babak said...

barmakid: It will tell u exactly why.... A dictatorship where the people that are in power, i.e. the mullahs and their henchmen, hold scam election every 4 years to give the people and the rest of the world the "image" of Iran being a democracy... Whats is masghareh and sad is that people like you choose to believe in their lies and "sargarmkonegi" about how the "reformist" candidate is going to change Iran... I agree that real issues are brought up in the ad, most definitely, and Iran has all those problems, however its all just play for the galleries... Sigh all u want, I have been to Iran several times in the last years, so talk for yourself regarding being "disconnected"..
And no, I don't believed the regime will address issues regarding civil liberties, because when they really start doing that, that means their power will slip out of their hands, and they know that... The youth of Iran are thinking what they do in those ads and in the campaigns might do some good for the future, but I dont think that... This regime is genius when it comes to PR, if u havent realized that already...

And now, I yield the floor...

barmakid said...


I think you missed my point. I know what you are saying is true, I don't refute that, but... I guess the best way for me to illustrate my point is for you to compare the elections held in 1997 or 1993 with the one being conducted now.

Every election cycle has a liberating effect - and eventually it won't be a "sargarmkon."

For instance, when they established these elections they intended for the presidency to be a shield insulating public criticism and discontent from the rahbar. It worked and is working, but less and less each time. Not only from the bottom up, but from the top down! Khamenei has constantly shifted and adapted his views and posture according to the public's mood. You simply can't insulate a dictator from democratic underpinnings - democratic forces will seep through, even if seeping is all they can do.

Furthermore, the regime never anticipated the effect of modern technology.

Have you seen the role Facebook is playing in these elections? They had to censor it - and they really can't! (see Falun Gong anti-censor software provided by Chinese dissidents to the Iranian population).

It's much harder to keep the population quiescent than it was even 10 years ago, let alone 20 years ago (as the Cuban leadership has realized).

Azarmehr is right, how long will they be able to promise things and renege on their promises? And Azarmehr, was your post referring to people in Iran or in the UK?

Anyways, I can't help but to be an optimist. Which reminds me of the old joke of the optimist and the pessimist:

The pessimist says, "Things can't get any worse!" The optimist says, "Oh yes they can." :))

Worse for the regime, that is....


p.s. And now, I yield the floor back....

Azarmehr said...

'was your post referring to people in Iran or in the UK?'

How could the post have been about the people in UK????

Honestly the standard of graduates these days :(

barmakid said...

Don't be so sad.

That's what I thought - but how are your posts going to reach people in Iran?

And this was not your view during the parliamentary elections - I'm glad this graduate could bring you around.


p.s. did you get my post to the thread before this?

Azarmehr said...


Yes I did receive your previous comment to this thread, check your email.

You are right my posts are not for the Iranian audience inside Iran, I wasn't trying to tell the Iranian people what to do, I was just giving out my opinion. What was not my view during the parliamentary election?

Winston said...

These changes won't happen under the rule of the Mullahs...

m.b said...

barmakid...these issues have been known for at least 1 every election they bring up these issues wich are really what we say.of course we all want a free iran..of course we all want a democratic iran.. there is no doubt in it..but my point is that these akhonds are not able to provide us these matter karobi or khatami or rafsanjani... dont pay attention to what they say before elections go and find wheter they have done their promises after they are elected .. did khatami keep his promises 12 years ago ? no he didnt.. will karobi does something for the so called "70% of the population" after election? definately he wont.. ( m.b)

Anonymous said...

Morphing a theocracy:

Read all the related comments too.

Sohrab said...

I can see what barmakid is saying here. And I think it's very thoughtful.

He's saying: YES, the elections are rigged to prevent real change. YES, the system is structurally corrupt. YES, the IRI is fundamentally undemocratic. He's not refuting any of these things.

But he's saying each electoral cycle, even when the youth are fully aware that they are dealing with a complete sham, will ultimately strengthen the democratic consciousness of the people and give them an opportunity to 'practice' democracy (hopefully in preparation for the real thing).

Wow, am I agreeing with barmakid?

barmakid said...


Yes!! Thank you for summing up my argument so pithily. When I saw you had posted I thought it was going to be some Straussian I-am-not-a-relativist let's-bring-democracy-to-Iran BS, but no, oddly enough - we are in agreement!! (somebody remember this day).

M.B. jan,

I don't disagree with you, but if you look at how Sohrab summed up my argument this is what I truly believe. And it has nothing to do with Akhunds, it's social science. Iranians are no different than Ukranians, Russians, Saudis, or the Chinese - we can look at their politics with the same general foundation (that they are all human beings and they act and react to similar things when in similar situations).

For Example:

The Saudis don't even have national elections (only rigged municipal ones), so they don't even have a national debate about the things that are wrong with their society. Or for that matter, commercials like Karoubi's or Khatami's are never even produced (no matter if they are bullsh*t or not). This means there is no active agent for change - nothing that makes people talk and think about it: Nothing.

Yet, in Iran even though most people have come to realize that their elections are a hollow event, i.e. it's just for show, what they are realizing is that they are having national debates about economic policy, komitehs, civil rights, and a whole host of other issues.

We are talking and thinking about change at least - and given so, we are bound to get it.

What you are saying, M.B., is similar to an American criticism. Everybody over here said that Obama couldn't change anything and that he's just a good speech-maker (which is code for good bull-sh*tter). They said that he would do the same things that all the other politicians do - which has turned out to be true on some points and utterly false on others.

Politicians have been talking about fixing health care in the United States for over 20 years now - and we've seen nothing happen.

It's not just Iranians who get bamboozled by their leaders during elections - every nation does. But having those elections is something every nation understands the value of.


p.s. Sohrab, there's a great BBC documentary partly about Strauss and his influence on today's crop of leaders called "The Power of Nightmares: The Rise of the Politics of Fear," you should check it out.

m.b said...

hey barmakid...what iam trying to say is that the way we iraninan are fighting for our rights is not effective...maybe election in your country works but this strategy doesnt work in iran and we all know it for a fact..i told you once what we need in iran is not another eelection..we need something much deeper we need another referendum or in my opinion we need another eveloution . if we are seeking for a change this is the price we have to pay like the price our fathers payed 30 years ago.if we really want freedom if we really want democracy, election is not the way

Asher Abrams said...

Got to love this comment at the YouTube site:

'As an american I know what a shit head leader can do to a country. Ahmandinejad is just as big of a shit head as Bush was. ...'

Anonymous said...

This is only one demand that the Iranian people have and that is to demise of the whole of this decrepit and stupid system in its entirety... everything else can be archived after liberation....

calgacus said...

Seems like a much better political ad than a lot of the ones we have in the UK - and for far more progressive things than most of them. Other than a few small socialist parties (notably Tommy Sheridan's solidarity) no party here calls for nationalisation of the oil industry.

It seems to me that there could well be another Iranian revolution - and hopefully it'll lead to democracy and not be hijacked by one faction this time. Mousavi has scared Khameini into blatant election rigging by campaigning on a platform of transferring control of the police force from the unelected 'Supreme Leader' to the elected President