Iran’s jeuness dorée, the educated bourgeoisie of the big cities took to the streets to express their desire to see an end to Islamic extremism, while the proletariat chanted for Mahmoud, Allah and oil revenue. We know of course that Iran was never particularly Islamic. In fact, one could say that Islamic fundamentalism was thrust upon them in 1979 and it is merely a moment in the complex and profound history of Persian civilisation.
But to come back to all this talk about Green versus Red, what should we make of this? First of all I should point out that Iran’s trouble is pretty much Britain's fault. They were the ones who planned the 1953 coup by convincing the CIA to destroy Iran’s democracy. The CIA duly obliged and Operation Ajax was a success. The Shah was put back in power, the SAVAK, Iran’s secret police, were taught all the newest techniques in covert murder and torture by the CIA; in short, order was restored. However, even the Shah, realising that it was better to be an enlightened and popular despot than a hated one, attempted to build up the country to a certain extent. It was, however, a disaster. His importation of American arms and aristocratic opulence had bankrupted the country. He then made a big career mistake. In order to save the economy he tried to raise the price of oil. “Oh no you don’t “ said Washington.
Top foreign policy-makers Zbigniew Brezinzski of Carter’s administration knew that Khomeini would rebel and foment a form of Islamic nationalism but the Western powers already had an answer for that: send in Saddam! It was a hugely profitable war for the US, who backed both sides. Remember the Iran-contra scandal? The upshot of all this is that it is difficult to determine what the Anglo-American establishment wants Iran to do right now. It is likely that they really want Moussavi as he seems to support neo-liberal economic policies. My suspicion is that the Israeli extreme right probably wants to see a civil war, as that would weaken Iran for the next decade or so.
“The breadth of Ahmadinejad's support was apparent in our pre-election survey. During the campaign, for instance, Moussavi emphasized his identity as an Azeri, the second-largest ethnic group in Iran after Persians, to woo Azeri voters. Our survey indicated, though, that Azeris favored Ahmadinejad by 2 to 1 over MoU.S.avi.
“Much commentary has portrayed Iranian youth and the Internet as harbingers of change in this election. But our poll found that only a third of Iranians even have access to the Internet, while 18-to-24-year-olds comprised the strongest voting bloc for Ahmadinejad of all age groups.
“The only demographic groups in which our survey found Moussavi leading or competitive with Ahmadinejad were university students and graduates, and the highest-income Iranians. When our poll was taken, almost a third of Iranians were also still undecided. Yet the baseline distributions we found then mirror the results reported by the Iranian authorities, indicating the possibility that the vote is not the product of widespread fraud.”