Skip to comments.C.I.A. Says Iran Elections Portend New Era of Repression
Posted on 02/25/2004 11:45:22 PM PST by F14 Pilot
Washington Jan. 25 With the victory of religious hardliners in last week's parliamentary elections in Iran, the Central Intelligence Agency is warning of a new era of repression and inflexibility by the country's clerical regime.
A new C.I.A. assessment, shared with Congress this week and described by intelligence officials, says the election has dealt a severe blow to Iranian reformers and strengthened authoritarian rule. The assessment says that a new ascendancy of conservatives will make it unlikely that Iran will change its foreign policy course.
The State Department has condemned the election as unfair, because of the way hardliners manipulated the rules to prevent thousands of their opponents from competing in the contests. But the C.I.A. assessment also blames Iran's president, Mohammad Khatami, and his allies for having squandered their political capital through "their refusal to back bold promises with equally bold actions."
The assessment describes the Iranian regime, led by Ayatollah Ali Khamanei, the country's supreme leader, as "secure for now," but it says that the election results will ultimately "only further deepen the discontent with clerical rule, which is now discredited and publicly criticized as never before."
The detailed judgment was reflected in public testimony to the Senate intelligence committee on Tuesday by George J. Tenet, the director of central intelligence. It comes at a time when the Bush administration and the International Atomic Energy Agency are pressing Iran to disclose more information about its covert nuclear program, and suggests that Iran is not likely to reconsider its resistance to that effort.
While Iran has agreed to open itself to more inspections from the international agency, and has acknowledged producing low-enriched uranium for use in a civilian nuclear power program, it is also "trying to preserve its WMD options," Mr. Tenet said, using an acronym for weapons of mass destruction.
Iran also continues to support terrorist groups, including Hezbollah, according to the C.I.A. assessment, and is seeking to counter American influence in Iraq through a number of means, including clandestine activity.
"The strengthening of authoritarian rule will make breaking out of old foreign policy patterns more difficult," Mr. Tenet told the committee. Still, he added, "Because Khamanei and his allies have kept a close reign on foreign policy, we do not expect the defeat of the reformists to lead to a sudden change in Iranian policy."
Based on the election results, the conservatives are expected to hold at least a 146-seat majority in Iran's 290-seat Parliament when the legislative body convenes in June. The various hard-line factions are united in their support for the absolute rule of Ayatollah Khamenei, though there are disagreements among them on issues like social freedom, economic policy and relations with the United States.
Mr. Tenet told the Senate committee that the C.I.A. expected Ayatollah Khamenei's regime to shut down many outlets for political dissent, and possibly to "resort to new heavy-handedness that produces public outrage and protest." At least eight people were killed and 30 injured in election-related violence last weekend.
In the last year, critics of Ayatollah Khamenei's regime took bold new steps in registering their opposition to it, including the publication of open letters that called for an end to absolute clerical rule. Those protests followed others, like the student riots in 1999, that represent direct challenge to the regime.
Even so, the C.I.A. assessment describes apathy rather than confrontation as the prevailing mood among the Iranian public, and Mr. Tenet said in his testimony that "regime intimidation has cowed the populace."
"This mix keeps the regime secure for now," he said.
In the months after the American invasion of Iraq last year, some Bush administration officials warned loudly about attempts by Iran's Shiite Muslim government to influence events in Iraq through proxies including the Badr brigade, an Iranian-trained militia affiliated with a major Iraqi Shiite opposition group.
In his testimony, Mr. Tenet said the C.I.A. expected that Iran would continue to use its media, aid money, and diplomacy, as well as clandestine operations, "to advance its interests and counter U.S. influence in Iraq."
"We judge that Iran wants an Iraqi government that does not threaten Tehran, is not a U.S. puppet, can maintain the country's territorial integrity, and has a strong Shia representation," Mr. Tenet said.
Ping for freedom in Iran
No. Nuking the Iranians would be like killing a slave in order to free him. Besides, the people are pro-American; only their junta is not. Follow the link on the post following yours.
According to what I've read on the various Iran threads (incl. the daily thread), Tenet is quite wrong. There was a deliberate effort to boycott the elections to express a "no confidence" in the "reformers." The boycott was not as extensive as hoped, but significant enough. I also recall seeing a report that a significant percentage of the ballots were left blank.
That is not an expression of apathy.
Hi, Eala . . . Don't you mean this year? Remember, they are 99% muslim. I knew "the people" of iran in 1980. I didn't see even one pro-American iranian then, there or abroad. Don't need friends like that. Don't believe in friends like that. Besides, I've read the Koran, or at least enough of it to know where they really stand.
I think we must get rid of that regime even more urgently than we had to get rid of Tojo's Japan. As then, anything goes.
We have some Iranians on the list here (though I don't know exactly who). I hope they will speak more directly to your points.
But I agree with you -- the regime must go. And the sooner the better.
Just stay out of my foxhole when the fighting begins. No DUmmies allowed. You are truly an idiot if you think muslims can ever be your friend or ever return your laughable friendship for them. You have been hopelessly brainwashed and dumbed down by your NEA teachers. I WILL NEVER pretend muslims nor their idiot boosters are worthy of respect, friendship or anything other than annihilation. Here's what your friends have done, you deluded punk.
You're no conservative, but just another 'rat in RINO clothing if you think ANYONE who has any sympathy whatsoever for these murderers deserves our help (and don't tell me how they are not the same people but are suddenly, somehow magically, our new friends now). If your intention was to disgust me, you've succeeded. You don't belong here.
Tenet was Deutch's handpicked successor. Deutch's stated intention at the front end was "to f--- them".
Deutch left under investigation for compromising 17,000 CIA files on his unsecure home computer.
Deutch was covered for by his DO Nora Slatkin who did for CIA what Hazel O'Leary did for Energy.
Deutch rewarded Slatkin with a position on Citibank's board.
Tenet is revealed in Richard Miniter, Losing bin Laden: How Bill Clinton's Failures Unleashed Global Terror, Regnery, 2003, as blind, deaf, dumb, with feet of clay and the standard CYA we're-not-always-right-but-we're-never-wrong bullheadedness that led directly to September 11, 2001.
Tenet's equation of organized boycott to apathy is beyond asinine.
Tenet's brilliant deduction that the hardline election victory signals a new wave of repression is blinding in its genius.
It was Tenet who refused to admit that Mohammed Atta met with al Ani Saddam's intel chief in Prague in April 2001--was it to sip mint tea I don't think so.
Robert Baer in See No Evil: The True Story of a Ground Soldier in the CIA's War On Terror, Crown, 2002, relates how Baer, a twenty-plus-year CIA case officer, had proof Iran was responsible for the 1983 Beirut Embassy bombing killing more than sixty--and what was the reaction of his superiors?
Baer was smeared with an assassination charge vis-a-vis Saddam Hussein and interrogated by FBI agents at the behest of Lake the National Security Advisor.
We are poorly served by Tenet--to say the least. A more accurate statement would be he belongs in Leavenworth for criminal negligence.
Carter's Stansfield Turner as DCI fired 820 case officers Halloween 1977 and the agency has bled from that and other Democrat wounds since--Church, Torricelli, et al.
We need a CIA with a set, which would begin with giving Tenet a boot up the ass and bringing back Woolsey who saw in 1993 that Iraq was behind the WTC I attack.
Whackjob: "You were raised Muslim so you know nothing! (rant)"
Freedom44: "Er, no, I was raised Christian."
Whackjob: "You were raised Christian so you know nothing! (rant)"
None are so blind as those who will not see. And now we know Whackjob by its fruits. One angry, nay, bitter soul -- it must live a very lonely life.
For instance, I followed the '67 war closely at the time it happened. I knew what it meant for peace in the world. I was aware of arab and muslim contempt for Western Civilization. I knew, for instance, way before the Munich Olympics in 1972, probably by the end of 1969, that there would almost surely be an incident there. I was in Germany at the time and specifically remember warning several of my Army buddies who were planning to go to steer clear of the Olympics that year. They thought I was crazy, but security officials had worried out loud publicly about it, Palestinians had hinted at it, and there had been several articles predicting muslims would try something. I was keenly aware of the support the murderers-to-be enjoyed throughout the Middle East. Some people on FR, I won't mention any names (but you're definitely not one of them, F14 Pilot), it seems had barely heard of islam until 9/11. And now they're preaching to us that islam is a religion of peace. Sorry if I don't have any patience with them. They are like children who were born yesterday, spouting the PC crap that's been spoon fed to them since infancy.
The real question in my mind is, given what islam stands for, the slaughter of infidels or the imposition of dhimmitude on them, etc., why have we never seen mass denunciations of islam by so-called "good muslims?" I think the answer is obvious.