More than 10 days after the start of Iran’s protest, the state-controlled television and some of the news websites have started to explore the reasons for the uprising.
The state TV has been inviting reform-minded pundits and politicians to take part in debates with hard-liner figures, seeking ways out of the crisis that has paralyzed the country's political system. However, those taking part in the debates can by no means speak as openly as the protesters in the streets about key political issues.
The coverage of the uprising in the official press is minimal and often cryptic, but some news websites bravely discuss issues somewhat openly.
One of the efforts to shed light on the events and their reasons isan article by Jafar Mohammadi in Asr Iran website which was once part of the pro-reform media fleet. According to Asr Iran, Iranians do not have too many demands. They simply want a normal life like the people in Turkey, India, Malaysia and Viet Nam.
In the article headlined "Regime's Victory or Retreat," Asr Iran described the situation as "bitter and bloody" and said that the events taking place cannot be ignored. The website pointed out, "Iranian officials keep saying that protesters should be differentiated from rioters, but someone should ask them whether they allow any legal protests." The article asserted that when the government does not allow lawful demonstrations, protests could be derailed from their peaceful path and turn into violent events.
The article observed that although officials might be right that foreigners have an interest in the ongoing events, but they should note that it is their mismanagement that has exhausted and frustrated the people. Officials should look for foreign agents and infiltrators among themselves rather than among the protesters.
Asr Iran suggested that officials should look for individuals in the system that have made controversial remarks about hijab and the morality police during the past month. The suggestion reminds everyone of hard-line clerics such as the firebrand Friday Imam of Mashad, Ahmad Alamolhoda who has accused young women of showing their hair to satisfy pleasure-seeking men and charged that women who do not observe the compulsory hijab are the enemies of the prophet and has called for strict measures against "bad hijab" women. Asr Iran wrote that such officials have fanned the fire of unnecessary sensitivities about hijab and annoyed the public.
The website further criticized state officials for blaming the people for all the problems and evading their own responsibility even about the death of a young woman who was murdered by the morality police. About the protesters who were killed by the security forces, Asr Iran pointed to Interior Minister Ahmad Vahidi's comment who said people kill their enemies and leave their bodies among the protesters! Asr Iran asked: Isn't it really possible that a police officer has killed someone even by mistake?
"Don’t the officials watch videos that show the police's behavior? Why don't they at least apologize? Why don't they assume responsibility for what the police have done?" asked the website, adding that when the officials ignore these, the people will become even angrier."
The website reminded that expressing sympathy with the people would be the regime's biggest victory, but some of its officials see that as a retreat. The author warned that "Without the people, and by ignoring the people's demands, the Islamic Republic will no longer exist."