(Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty) | April 8, 2010
By Golnaz Esfandiari

Some Iranians have been watching the events in Kyrgyzstan with interest, while drawing parallels with the post-election crisis in their own country.

They have expressed envy over what they see as the success of the Kyrgyz opposition to oust the government and frustration over the failure of Iran’s opposition Green movement to bring changes.

Reports about the Kyrgyz developments and videos of the unrest were widely shared among Iranians on Facebook and also on Farsi news websites.

Former Vice president and blogger Mohammad Ali Abtahi, who was among those jailed in the post-election crackdown, wrote on Facebook that he has been following the events in Kyrgyzstan closely. “It’s strange how in one afternoon they managed to change the government,” wrote Abtahi, who said he was in Bishkek several years ago.

One blogger and human rights activist wrote, “The government of Kyrgyzstan collapsed. I am hoping for the collapse of other governments.”

A young girl responded by saying, “Ours will also collapse, be patient.”

Another young Iranian asked whether the Kyrgyz opposition had any “training courses.”

One young man, however, wrote that the situation in Kyrgyzstan cannot be compared to the situation in Iran: “We don’t want bloodshed and we don’t want another revolution.”

Many commented on the Kyrgyz events on Radio Farda’s website, including Arash from Rasht, who wrote, “I believe the Kyrgyz people acted more effectively than us. Some of us are still after reforming an establishment that has proved it cannot be reformed.”

“The people of Iran must watch this, they could, we can too,” wrote Minou.

Another reader had a more careful reaction: “I’m not very optimistic and I’m afraid they will face the same calamity as we Iranians faced in 1979. We have to wait and see whether they will really put in place a democratic system in Kyrgyzstan.”

On the popular web portal “Balatarin,” bloggers noted that Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiev was among those heads of state that had congratulated Iran’s President Mahmud Ahmadinejad following his disputed reelection last year. They posted a link to Bakiev’s message.

A blogger named “sight” posted a item titled “The Story of Kyrgyzstan and the Green Movement“:

“They say a group of people reached a river and stood there. One said that the speed of the water is very fast and went back. Another one said, ‘we have to wait until the water is calmer.’ One talked about building a bridge while another one talked of unity and said if they all would hold each other’s hands, the river would not be able to do anything against them. One said the water is cold and that stepping into it could bring diseases. Another one called for resistance against the water current. Meanwhile, the river was flowing with more force. All of sudden,someone arrived, rolleed up his pants, and crossed the river. He didn’t even look at the surprised faces of those standing on the other side of the river.”

A commentary posted on the “Akhbar Rooz” news website had a similar message:

“The Kyrgyz events are important for us and we have to follow them carefully because it shows that unlike what the reformists say and write, there are other ways to fight dictartorship.”

–Golnaz Esfandiari