Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Football Politics

The highly political and volatile atmosphere in Iran is now reflected in all aspects of public life. Football matches or the Derby as they call it has been considered as an opportunity to express opposition to government policies and a demonstration of the Green Power. A major match which was broadcast live from the national radio and TV last month was overshadowed by a large majority of spectators wearing green or banishing green banners. They also chanted slogans protesting against election outcome. As a result the State TV initially switched to black and white and in the second round they were obliged to cut all sounds and scenes from spectators. Last Friday another major match was held with unprecedented security measures, banning any form of green dress or sign . Protesters were warned of the dire consequences of using the opportunity to voice their concerns. People who had attended the game reported that they had been searched in at least three rounds. Yet inspite of the exceptionally tight security spectators chanted slogans in support of Mir Hossein Mousavi so that their voices were clearly heard on national TV and radio. Universities have face a similar predicament. Starting from Tehran University last week , protests have now spread to many cities nationwide. Journalists , students and activists are still being arrested while three more newspapers were banned this week taking the toll to 7 papers this month only. More than three months have elapsed from the Presidential elections, many Reformist leaders are still detained and await legal procedures for charges of the nature that they themselves do not yet know. While government officials have acknowledged illegal and irregular procedures and behaviour in certain detainment facilities, no court or legal procedure has been initiated against these people. Many political and religious leaders speak about the necessity to come to a logical and peaceful resolution and express deep concern about the consequences of the the harsh and repressive behaviour of the government.
The Government hopes that it can improve the dire economic conditions through short term economic measures as well as improvement of relations with the United States. This is in itself a significant development which is rapidly taking pace. Radical friends of the ruling faction who are addicted to producing hot rhetoric about the Great Satan will have to wait for the time. I might write a post about that in the future.

1 comment:

Carl said...

Yes the political and volatile atmosphere in Iran is now reflected in all aspects of public life, a great post about the football politics.
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