Translation of an article by Mohammad-Reza Shaalgooni, activist/writer/analyst with Raah-e Kargar/Workers' Path (Revolutionary Workers' Organization of Iran).
Why a 'Velvet Revolution'? People are preparing for a mass revolution
by: Mohamad-Reza Shalgooni / March 9, 2011
The security/intelligence officials of the regime, in order to explain the re-emergence of the people's anti-dictatorial uprising in Iran, are again resorting to thread-bare worn out conspiracies about the American strategy of 'velvet revolution'. Hossein Ta'eb, Revolutionary Guard's chief of intelligence (meaning, regime's real intelligence service) on Wednesday, March 2, in a gathering of the country's attorneys general, announced that, "The Americans are planning to tie the sanctions with the elimination of subsidies in the first quarter of 1390 [next year in the Iranian calendar, which starts on March 20], so as to portray people as unsatisfied, and then by the fourth quarter [they want to] have a velvet coup."
This reaction is an implicit admission, out of weakness, to the actual re-emergence of the movement, which only until even a month ago they were announcing as completely dead and finished. Such reactions also indicate how desperately they are trying to find a solution for the situation. Those who think that with such fantasies they can explain away the vast oppositional movement of the people as the creation of the Americans must have an IQ of less than 50. [...]
First of all, it must be reminded that the very act of resorting to the 'velvet revolution' story-spinning is revealingly embarrassing enough. 'Velvet revolution' is a phrase usually used for bloodless revolutions, which, in particular, became known after the uprising of the people of Czechoslovakia (toward the end of 1989). However, the phrase 'velvet revolution' or 'velvet coup', according to the security apparatus of the Islamic Republic, apparently refers to particular movements. First of these is the Bulldozer Revolution, which in October 2000 took shape in Belgrade and brought down Slobodan Milosevic; next was the Rose Revolution in November 2003 that forced Edward Shevardnadze to resign; after that, it was the Orange Revolution in Ukraine in November 2004 [...]. Another similar event was the Cedar Revolution in Lebanon, in April 2005, which was a reaction to Hariri's assassination and Syrian military presence in Lebanon. [...]
A look at all these events leaves no doubt that all those movements could only have occurred in countries whose governments, due to their corruption and oppression, could be threatened with the slightest of moves [on the part of people].
In his Friday prayers speech on June 18, 2009, attempting to prove the distinction between the Islamic Republic and those governments, Khamenei used the tale of the conspiracy of 'velvet revolution', and triumphantly declared that the planners of the sedition should know that Iran is not Georgia. However, the seventh-months long continuation of the protests by the people and the brutal and criminal suppression [of the activists] by the armies of paid thugs of the Supreme Leader's system revealed that Iran is far worse than Georgia and that Islamic Republic is a regime more on par with the Islamic dictatorship of Karimov in Uzbekistan: a government that in May 13, 2005, in the city of Andijan opened fire on unarmed demonstrators, killing hundreds and making a mount from their bodies. But, let us not forget the Iranian government's actions last year, killing our youth while they were participating in completely peaceful demonstrations, mounting their bodies in the cold-rooms of the vegetable market [in south Tehran; due to lack of room in morgues], and the tortures [and rapes] in detention centers like Kahrizak that go far beyond and are far more ruthless than what has occurred or been reported up to now in Karimov's dictatorship in Uzbekistan.
If it is the case that 'velvet revolutions' or 'velvet coups' occur only in countries suffering under corrupt and oppressive regimes, then all the sound and the fury by the security and the propaganda apparatuses of the Islamic Republic regarding the 'velvet revolution', must before anything else be interpreted as implicit and inadvertent admission on their part to the presence of dictatorship and complete lack of any rights for the people in Iran.
Take for example their claims that people's protest campaigns and demonstrations were a result of the propaganda by the BBC or Voice of America (VOA) etc. Can such a claim be anything other than an admission to political and cultural bankruptcy? [...]
The regime either has to say that the propaganda put out by BBC and VOA have some kind of magical properties that can easily send people out to face bullets, or else they have to admit that the Iranian people have had it so badly with the mullah's system that they can be nudged into a riot at any moment. In either case, the fear felt by the Islamic Republic regarding BBC or VOA and the like [...] indicates nothing as much as the political, intellectual, cultural and ethical bankruptcy of the mullah's regime.
The objectives of American imperialism and their allies in Iran and the region are well known. However, the hatred felt for the Islamic Republic by the people has reached such dimensions that not even the enmity between the U.S. and the regime can make the regime tolerable.
Additionally, for two reasons, the great Arab revolutionary storm has rendered obsolete regime's traditional use of the tactic of 'enemy at the gates' to justify its mass-detentions and imprisonments [of activists]. First, these revolutions, by attacking pro-American dictatorships and regimes, have severely reduced the space of maneuver for the U.S. itself in the region. The region's political atmosphere has changed to such a degree that the U.S. and its allies do not have a completely free hand in what they can do in our region. Second, these revolutions have shaken our dictatorship-ridden peoples so much that the abolition of dictatorship has become the primary demand of the masses in all the countries of the region. In a situation where, from the coasts of the Atlantic Ocean to the shores of the Gulf of Oman, dictatorships are trembling in fear of their people's revolt, the yarn spinning about foreign conspiracies is no longer under the sole monopoly of the Islamic Republic. These days, Ali Abdullah Saleh, Yemen's dictator (who on numerously occasions has kissed American leaders' hands) openly speaks of White House plans to topple his regime; Gadhafi also talks nonsense about the western powers' collusion with Al-Qaeda; even Mubarak, in his last speech, attacked foreign powers.
The truth is the Islamic Republic leaders know better than any that their existence is threatened not by any forces from outside its borders but by the people of this very country who have had enough. It is no accident that the regime tries with all its might to prevent any form of public assembly or gathering for protests by the people. [...] But, how long can the leaders of the regime continue this game?
All signs indicate that the Iranian people are preparing for a mass revolution. In such an inflammable atmosphere, in which even lighting a cigarette can start a huge fire, any small incident can start and spread a revolution, whether any a foreign conspiracy is afoot or not.
[See original source, in Persian, here.]