Why did Iran’s Greens fail?Iran’s Green movement failed ultimately because its leaders chose failure

Iran’s establishment Greens cynically attempted to use last week’s ballyhooed meeting of the Nonaligned Movement in Tehran to resuscitate their political fortunes. Their spokesperson recently penned a letter addressed to the U.N. Secretary General, pleading for him to visit Green leaders Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi, both of whom are under house arrest. They also invited Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi to publicly express solidarity with both men.

The results were predictably negative. Instead, Mr. Ban Ki Moon chose to sit down with the clerical regime’s supreme leader for tea and diplomatic niceties, and Morsi declared Mahmoud Ahmadinejad – the man who opposed Mousavi in 2009 – to be his “dear brother” as state-run media journalists clapped in approval.

One could argue that such lackluster results definitively prove that Iran’s Green movement is finished. But the truth is that the Green movement had already collapsed in the summer of 2009.

Much ink has been spilled since then in attempting to explain the movement’s demise. Several theories have been advanced, including the Iranian people’s reluctance to start another revolution, their cultural unpreparedness for democracy, and the lack of charismatic leadership, among others.

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