The commemoration of the demonstration organised by supporters of the Iranian regime on the 30th of December 2009 by senior Iranian officials sheds light on the political differences between reformists and hardliners a month before the parliamentary and assembly of experts elections.
Last week saw an unprecedented celebration of the protests that took place on the “9th of Day” (the 30th of December according to the Iranian calendar), and extremist movements and supporters of the Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei exploited the occasion to warn of “the big sedition to come” which will be bigger than the “sedition” of the Iranian Green Movement’s protests.
The lecturer at the Friday sermon in Tehran demanded that Iranians exercise caution during the elections “to avoid any shortcoming that may affect the security of the country and the rise of a new political pole against the Vilayat-e Faqih” (a theory in Shia Islam which holds that Islam gives an Islamic jurist custodianship over people). He also described the “9th of Day” as “the day of God and the miracle of the revolution” due to his belief that the “sedition” of the reformers in 2009 was more dangerous than the first Gulf war between Iran and Iraq. He also claimed that “the hand of Imam Mahdi” was behind the “thwarting of the sedition” and ending the crisis which lasted approximately eight months in Tehran.
The Iranian authorities mobilised government officials, students of schools and universities and military personnel to support the demonstrations of the extremist movements on the 30th of December 2009, after a chain of weekly protests organised by the reformers against the results of the elections which declared Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as the president for a second time. The “9th of Day” demonstrations were distinguished by the lack of tear gas use on protestors in addition to the fact that the authorities did not arrest anyone for protesting.
On a side note, The American Wall Street Journal yesterday reported that the White House has decided to postpone making a decision regarding sanctions on Iran because of its ballistic missile programme, and American officials are quoted as saying that Washington “remains committed to combating Iran’s missile program” and that the sanctions developed by the U.S. Treasury Department “remain on the table”.