I was told months ago that Khamenei and Mousavi had made a deal. Mousavi would run, and win, and then slowly introduce greater freedom. I didn’t believe it at the time, but it has seemed more and more plausible. When somebody at the Interior Ministry called Mousavi on election night to tell him to prepare a victory statement, that was part of the deal. But by then, the mullahs had seen their doom, and used the only weapons at their disposal: lies and violence. Some have asked why Khamenei used such grossly implausible numbers to “reelect” Ahmadinezhad, but that bespeaks ignorance of the mullahs: there is no lie that will shame them. No, the real question is why Zahra Rahnavard was given a free hand, and the real answer is that the mullahs, with Khamenei in the lead, made a blunder.
In any event, all of that is irrelevant now. The only thing that matters is winning and losing. Whatever plans Mousavi had for a gradual transformation of the Islamic Republic, they have been overtaken by events; the issue now is the survival of the system. Mousavi has called for a general strike on Tuesday. That is the right strategy, since he must demonstrate that the overwhelming majority of Iranians want an end to the regime. And the dissidents must show that they are not afraid of the thugs. Mousavi has said that they must use flowers, not guns, since he must aim at the disintegration of the armed killers, not at winning a gunfight.
There are reports of members of the Revolutionary Guards defecting to the dissidents. There is this report from an Iranian website (the only place i’ve seen it) according to which 16 senior Revolutionary Guards officials have been arrested:
Read the whole thing, starting at Page One.