Skip to comments.Ayatollah Who Backs Suicide Bombs Aims To Be Iran's Spiritual Leader
Posted on 11/18/2006 7:46:45 PM PST by blam
Ayatollah who backs suicide bombs aims to be Iran's next spiritual leader
By Colin Freeman and Kay Biouki in Teheran, Sunday Telegraph
Last Updated: 12:28am GMT 19/11/2006
An ultra-conservative Iranian cleric who opposes all dialogue with the West is a frontrunner to become the country's next supreme spiritual leader.
In a move that would push Iran even further into the diplomatic wilderness, Ayatollah Mohammad Taghi Mesbah-Yazdi, 71, who publicly backs the use of suicide bombers against Israel, is campaigning to succeed Grand Ayatollah Ali Khameini, 67, as the head of the Islamic state.
Considered an extremist even by fellow mullahs, he was a fringe figure in Iran's theocracy until last year's election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, a fellow fundamentalist who views him as his ideological mentor. He is known to many Iranians as "Professor Crocodile" because of a notorious cartoon that depicted him weeping false tears over the jailing of a reformist journalist.
Mr Mesbah-Yazdi and his supporters will attempt to tighten the fundamentalists' political stranglehold next month, by standing in elections for the Assembly of Experts, an 86-strong group of theologians that would be responsible for nominating a replacement for Ayatollah Khamenei, whose health is rumoured to be ailing.
Opposing them will be a coalition of moderate conservatives led by Hashemi Rafsanjani, a former president, and members of the increasingly marginalised reformist movement, who have formed an alliance to prevent what both groups fear is a drift towards political extremism.
Appointing Mr Mesbah-Yazdi as supreme leader would be a massive blow to Western efforts to get Iran to cease its nuclear programme and backing of militants in Lebanon, Iraq and among the Palestinians. Although he has never spoken publicly on the issue, Mr Mesbah-Yazdi is thought to support the idea of an Iranian nuclear bomb.
Ali Ansari, an Iran specialist at the Royal Institute of International Affairs, said: "Mesbah-Yazdi is on the hard Right and very authoritarian. He doesn't even believe in democracy. Having him in power would lead to a much more hard-line puritanical rule in Iran. It would not be good news for the West."
The assembly of experts is elected every eight years and has the power to appoint, supervise and impeach the supreme leader, who, in practice, wields ultimate power. Although Ayatollah Khameini, who has been in office since 1989, is expected to remain for the time being, the assembly elected next month is almost certain eventually to decide his successor.
The run-up to the vote has been marred by complaints of rigging in favour of hardliners. The guardian council, a hardline conservative body that vets candidates, is accused of vetoing reform-minded clerics from taking part. Around half of nearly 500 applicants have been banned from standing.
In a letter to the council last week, Mehdi Karroubi, a reformist cleric, accused the council of "injustice" and misjudgement, saying that it would lead to "people's distrust in the authorities and the clergy". The reformists' despair has been deepened by fears that few of their disillusioned supporters will vote, despite the possible consequences of a hardline victory. Constant political interference in the electoral process has persuaded many Iranians that it is not worth voting, an attitude that many reformists concede helped Mr Ahmadinejad's victory at the polls last year.
"Many reformists have lost faith, although the hardliners will hope to organise a mass turn-out among their own supporters," Mr Ansari said.
Mr Mesbah-Yazdi, who will be standing for election to the assembly of experts, regularly meets Mr Ahmadinejad, whose presidential bid he endorsed in a fatwa, or holy order.
The cartoonist whose drawing earned "Professor Crocodile" his nickname suffered the same fate as the journalists whose frequent imprisonment was depicted. He, too, was sent to jail.
Persians, Arabs, Hassemites, etc. have no spine. If there was an ounce of courage in the bunch, at least one of these countries would have thrown off the shackles of muzi slavery by now.
He should be a leader by example.
He and Amadinajab ought to make a good pair.
What a shocker -- an Iranian mullah who doesn't believe in Democracy -- who would ever have imagined this happening!!
The MSM has been so far behind the curve in talking about Iran that it's mindboggling.
As you can see at the link shown above, Alan had pointed all this out months ago. On the oil matters, years ago!
Please take a look and pass it around to your friends and lists. It's about the best overview of the Iran situation you can have.
The link in the above reply is a new post by Alan on AntiMullah today.
Our SecDef Robert Gates calls for negotiations with Iran for security in the region in the 2004 CFR report he coauthored.
The Iraq Study Group will recommend we sit down and reason with the premier state sponsor of islamoterrorism.
No doubt Ahmadijihad will be satisfied with a little liebensraum.
European leaders (and many American leaders) seem to have had their heads in the sand RE: Iran, so it comes as no surprise to see the MSM doing the same.
It's like a 1938 nightmare all over again.
If he backs suicide bombs, then I suggest we provide him with a few ... from the business end of an A-10 Warthog, or perhaps from an F-16.
I hate to admit this, but the Bush Admin. has really become a bunch of wimps in how they fight this war.
Especially in Iraq, where I have to believe we know the whereabouts of many of the most extreme and violent Mullah leaders.
TAKE THEM THE FREAK OUT ALREADY.
I mean, if Iraq expects us to take them seriously, then they have to stop protecting these phony religious hate mongers.
Considered an extremist even by fellow mullahs, he was a fringe figure in Iran's theocracy until last year's election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, a fellow fundamentalist who views him as his ideological mentor.
I wonder just how much of a fringe figure he was, given his protege was "elected" president.
Thanks, will do.
In fact, I expect a lot of friends to show up! Stay well.............FRegards
Thank you for the ping FARS.
Good post Phil.
Are you expecting the SCO to take Iran out???