The most interesting part of the article wasn't so much that the movement wants an Iranian Republic, but that they are clearly decoupling anti-Israel rhetoric and support for Palestinians from Iranian independence.
On Jerusalem Day, Sept. 18, officially intended to express anti-Semitism, the opposition showed that Iranians have no hostility toward Jews or Israel. One popular slogan was "Neither Hamas nor Hezbollah! I give my life for Iran!" Another was "Forget about Palestine! Think about our Iran!"It is crucial for the USA to reject Iranian opposition leaders to the current regimes as possible options. The Iranian protesters for democracy do not view them as viable alternatives.Most significantly, the movement that started as a protest against the alleged rigging of the election that gave a second term to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has been evolving. The crowds' initial slogan was "Where Is My Vote?" and the movement's accidental leaders, including former Prime Minister Mir Hossein Mousavi, tried hard to keep the protest confined to demands such as a recount of the votes and, ultimately, a runoff in accordance with the law.
The slogans of the protestors are no longer about election fraud. Today they include "Death to the Dictator," "Freedom Now," and "Iranian Republic, Not Islamic Republic!" One slogan is a direct message to President Barack Obama: "Obama, Are You With Us or With Them?"
In short, the protestors no longer regard the present regime as the legitimate government of the country.They clearly reject Iran's nuclear program, which is good for Israel.
Both Mr. Mousavi and Ayatollah Mahdi Karroubi, another defeated presidential candidate, tried to prevent attacks on the "Supreme Guide" Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in the hope of eventually making a deal with him. As part of such a deal, they promised to defend the Islamic Republic's nuclear program, according to sources close to the opposition. The crowds have rejected that by shouting: "Abandon uranium enrichment! Do something about the poor!"
President Obama should be supporting the protest movement, though the US has a poor record on such support, if one uses Tiananmen Square protests as a litmus test of what to expect.
Even more important -- President Obama should realize that linkage of the Palestinian issue with Iran's nuclear program doesn't serve anyone's interest, except that of Ahmadinejad.
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