Page last updated at 19:05 GMT, Friday, 19 June 2009 20:05 UK
West 'seeks Iran disintegration'



Protestors in Tehran on 18 June 2009

Young Iranians have been sharing their thoughts with the BBC news website on life in Iran during the protests and the possibilities for change.

SISYPHUS, 26, STUDENT,SHIRAZ

I live in Shiraz and it is not like Tehran where there is almost always a protest. I have not been in any protests myself but I closely follow the events and some friends of mine in Tehran keep me posted on the latest news. For a time I was hopeful that these protests would lead to some dramatic changes but I don't think this is going to happen.

Protestors in Tehran on the 18 June 2009

People were doubtful if Khamenei would step down from his hardline stance and his speech today confirmed that he would never stop supporting the selected president.

People all feel they have been betrayed. I know lots of them who took part in the election in this regime for the first time including my father but the massive rigging ruined all the hopes of change.

Iranians have some terrible habits. One of them is that their "historic memory" is so weak. They easily forget things; and their other bad habit is that they are used to coping with everyone and everything.

I think the protests will calm down after a few weeks and they will all go back to their normal life because they have got to eat. The recent unrests have had a heavy impact on the market. They will finally say: Well we put up with Ahmadinejad for four years, we have to do it again.

Their main concern is the economy and the soaring inflation rate in Iran. Their other worry is the antagonistic state of affairs with Israel. Iranians are peace-loving people. We do not hate the world or Israel or America. We are everybody's friend, but unfortunately the state media has been drawing such a black pictures of Iran in the world that everybody thinks we are a bunch of Islamic fanatics.

What the authorities say only represent their frame of mind and not that of the people of Iran
Sisyphus, Shiraz

Eighty per cent of the people I know do not even practice their faith. We are just born Muslims. We are not terrorists and what the authorities say only represents their frame of mind and not that of the people of Iran. Ahmadinejad and people like him do not represent Iran. They only represent the people who have appointed them.

You can easily see the difference by taking a cursory look at the people who take part in the government-staged rallies and the spontaneous pro-Moussavi rallies.

In the government-staged rallies you see a bunch of old, bearded people and women dressed in black chadors, but supporters of Moussavi are young, educated, and open-minded.

Back to the subject of protests, none of the friends I have talked to were expecting a drastic change. They all knew what Khamenei would say and his remarks did not come to us as a surprise. People openly comment on the current affairs but only with their friends and not strangers because they think there is always this Big Brother and he is always out there but we just can't see him.

Protestors in Tehran on 18 June 2009

In the first few days after the election, or I'd better say selection, people all talked of massive rigging and that their votes had been stolen. We all want change but we know this regime is so brutal that they won't hesitate to shed blood.

People of the world must know that the Iranian people are very different from the government. We all want religion to be separated from government and we want some air to breathe freely.

Most of the educated young are emigrating from Iran and this flow of immigration will increase in the next four years. I am also thinking of emigrating next year.

OMID, 35, EMPLOYED, TEHRAN

I have been working outside of Tehran this week, so haven't been at any of the rallies but some of my colleagues have participated. Frankly, I am very proud of my people now. Before I felt that all the years of suppression and economic recession in Iran had affected the mind of my people. I thought that had made them narrow minded and closed minded.

But, after seeing the people on the streets before the election, I became optimistic. There was a light of hope in their eyes. I understood that the lies had not worked. The closeness of society and pretending that everything is right had not worked. People were anxious for a change.

Protestors in Tehran on 18 June 2009

That was why many many people attended the election. I felt that Iranians really are concerned about their future, about their country's future. That was so important for me.

People are afraid of being arrested, but for some reason they continue going to rallies. Maybe because till now there was no leader, there was not a person to challenge the government and call the present president a liar. That was a big blow to the government and its supporters.

The other really important factor has been communication. Internet and satellite helped the activists a lot and let others enlighten the minds of people and that is the most dangerous thing the regime is afraid of.

Everyday I have received a couple of emails relating to the rallies, or photos etc. The worrying thing is that for two days I have not received such emails. There is a lot of censorship in the capital and the internet speed is so low that it is not possible to log in. My people have the right to know.

It was interesting that there was a programme by the BBC about the outcome of four years of Ahmadinejad's presidency on the economic situation of Iran, but this was in English.

I think that after today's speech by Khamenei, people will not dare take part in rallies anymore
Omid, Tehran

What percentage of people in Iran understand English and what percentage have access to satellite? I think it would be good if this programme was in Farsi and I think it would be good if other countries invested in getting better access for our poor people, villages and small cities to such programmes.

Our national TV is full of hatred, down with this country and down with that country, etc. - always brainwashing the people about the existence of an enemy. Unfortunately I think only a narrow margin of people have access to internet or satellite TV. We need your help with this, to brighten the mind of people who do not have access to the right information.

Protestors in Tehran on the 18 June 2009

The other important thing is to create hope and encouragement in my people. I think that after today's speech by Khamenei, people will not dare take part in rallies anymore (I hope I will be proved wrong) and there will not be a re-election (I hope I will be wrong on this one also). If this happens, Iranians will be very discouraged which would not be productive at all.

It is important to educate Iranians that democracy cannot be created overnight and they should look at the improvements rather than the final goal.

In this way, they will not consider themselves as losers but actually winners. Probably the story of how other countries created the democracy in their society would help.



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