Mir Hossein Mousavi's attempt to protect the protesters may destroy the momentum of his movement
The Guardian, Sunday 21 June 2009
"Like a street protester fleeing a police baton charge, Mir Hossein Mousavi, Iran's reluctant radical, spent the weekend frantically ducking and weaving in a bid to sustain his people's insurgency and at the same time avoid provoking a bloodbath on the streets of Tehran. But as momentum slows in the face of an all-smothering state security clampdown, time is running short.......
Other key opponents of the Khamenei-Ahmadinejad axis failed to step up to the plate at the weekend, leaving the protesters out on their own. Mehdi Karroubi, another thwarted presidential candidate, abruptly cancelled participation in Saturday's abortive rally. Ali Larijani, the Majlis (parliament) speaker, previously critical of regime tactics, took refuge today in joining the supreme leader's attacks on foreign meddling in Iran's internal affairs.
(left) Rafsanjani with the beheading king of S.A.
Most tellingly of all perhaps, Rafsanjani, having boycotted Khamenei's Friday sermon, has been silent, leaving Mousavi to stew. The reported arrest of several family members may be a factor. But maybe Rafsanjani knows his internal coup against Ahmadinejad, plotted over many months and financed from his own bulging purse, has failed.
Right now the perception grows that Iran's transformatory moment finally arrived at the weekend, only to slip from the protesters' grasp in a cloud of teargas, terror and vacillating political trepidation. Perhaps, for them, all is not yet lost. But as matters stand, Mousavi, the reluctant radical, will be remembered as the nearly man."