Skip to comments.Battle for Iran Shifts from Streets to the Heart of Power
Posted on 06/27/2009 6:44:11 PM PDT by STE=Q
The power struggle inside Iran appears to be moving from the streets into the heart of the regime itself this weekend amid reports that Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani is plotting to undermine the power of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Rafsanjani's manoeuvres against Khamenei come as tensions between the speaker of the parliament, Ali Larijani, and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad also appeared to be coming to a head.
(Excerpt) Read more at guardian.co.uk ...
it is ridiculous to allow this golden opportunity for permanent regime change in Iran to pass by , without arming as many opponents of the regime as possible at this time , to allow THEM to fight back against the Basij and RevGuards.
It will be a long time before this chance comes again ,and the result may be a mushroom cloud(s) rather than mere pointed street battles .
This is our shot . Take the shot
With Hussein at the trigger it's not going to happen. This Administration is blowing the biggest chance for change in Iran in history.
this is why I say America needs to be led by warriors , not lawyers
We have got to stop the massacre! They are crying for our help! They are asking for assistance! We can’t ignore them!
SHAME on our government for just talking about the crisis. SHAME on millions of Americans for their apathy!
Good news ping!
Access to The Twitter news:
Related thread from Sun 14 Jun 2009:
You said — SHAME on millions of Americans for their apathy!
I’ll advocate helping each Iranian — who first denounces Islam as an evil, oppressive, and violent governmental idealogy, denounces the Prophet Mohammed and who denounces Allah as a false god.
Each of those Iranians who does that, I’ll gladly support.
But, any Iranian who is an adherent to the evil and oppressive and violent government idealogy called Islam, they don’t deserve the time of day from me. They can keep shooting each other and kill each other off. That’s fine by me...
Times of India reporting that Rafsanjani and family have been arrested, waiting for confirmation.
Monday, June 22, 2009
I have focused on the issue of intra-elite conflict in most of my commentary on Iran, noting that the drama of the street protests is not ultimately where the endgame will be located. A comment to one of my posts yesterday from Matthew Shugart amplified this point by noting that the intra-elite conflict (i.e., the fact that the major players here, i.e., Khamenei, Ahmadinejad, Mousavi and Rafsanjani, et al. are all major long-term elites, and none are outsiders assailing the status quo elites) is also playing out within the state with differing institutional forces in play.
To wit: Khamenei is the Supreme Leader, but Rafsanjani is head of the Assembly of Experts, which oversees the Supreme Leader and the Guardian Council. Theoretically the Assembly of Experts (which consists of 86 clerics) can dismiss the Supreme Leader. As such, not only do we have a situation in which elites are at odds, but one in which key elites have independent power resources that they can attempt to deploy to their own political ends. This does not mean that either will be successful nor that the resources in question are of equal power. Indeed, we may find out exactly how supreme the Supreme Leader is before this is all said and done or we may discover that other Iranian institutions are more robust than we might have otherwise thought.
Back to the Assembly of Experts: Matthew wrote about the last election of the Assembly here back in 2006 and noted the following (the whole post, btw, is worth reading):
The one clear formal role of the Assembly of Experts is to select the Supreme Leader when that position becomes vacant. The Assembly also has the formal power to oversee and even dismiss the sitting Supreme Leader, but no one expects that the current occupant of that position, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, is in any jeopardy of being removed or seriously restrained by the winners of todays Experts elections. In the sense that this institution has formal powers of supervision that it is not known to exercise this is, of course, an indicator of less-than-full institutionalization. That is, the relative autonomy of the Supreme Leader from oversight and the apparent security of his (life) tenure suggests top-down authority is a good deal stronger than bottom up, where the top is the Supreme Leader himself. This is a rather unremarkable statement: Almost all popular commentary on Iran assumes that the Supreme Leader is, well, supreme.
So is the Assembly of Experts therefore meaningless? Maybe, but I dont think so. For one thing, one of the reasons its powers are limited is that the candidates for itwhile popularly electedare vigorously screened by a body known as the Guardian Council, which is a panel of twelve clerics, of whom six are appointed by the Supreme Leader and the other six by the elected parliament (Majles). It is easy to look at such top-down screening of candidates for a body like the Assembly of Experts and therefore conclude that the latter must be irrelevant. I would conclude the opposite.
Published: 06.22.09, 14:04
Former Iranian President Ayatollah Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, who is considered to be the second most important figure in the country's regime, is looking into different ways to end the political crisis in Iran, and is mulling the possibility of setting up a new religious body, Al-Sharq al-Awsat newspaper reported on Monday.
According to the report, the former president and head of the cleric-run Assembly of Experts who is also one of defeated reformist candidate Mir-Hossein Mousavi's top supporters, has relocated from the flammable capital of Tehran, to the Shiite holy city of Qom, where the country's religious leaders sit.
The London-based newspaper reported that Rafsanjani arrived in the city a few days ago and met with several religious leaders and members of the Assembly of Experts, which is responsible for monitoring Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.
The assembly came up with a number of possible ways to solve the crisis in the country, that erupted following the June 12 election results which the opposition claimed was rigged. One proposed solution was the establishment of an alternative religious council, made up of several top ayatollahs, in a move against Khamenei.
"This move is meant to protect the regime from the dangers that threaten it," the source quoted by the paper said, citing danger that a deepening of the crisis would lead to greater polarization and put the regime at risk.
The source continued to say, "In light of the constitutional authority Rafsanjani and the Assembly of Experts hold, it is their duty to examine all propositions.
I only this evening understood the power of dispersion on Twitter. It is the equivalent of spread spectrum over fiber optics. Fragment in small bursts and intersperce with noise traffic. Great system.
I have no interest in chat formats, but this is powerful. And the only way they can stop it is to cut all ip traffic, which they cannot do. They are trying to subvert the system with bogus account names, but he kids caught on immediately.
Kudos to the folks who put this in place.
Wow...that’s great. Someone needs to pull the Persian rug out from Khamenei’s feet.
It’s really sad how 0zer0 is so confused and timid on what to do. It really speaks to his character. None of what has happened in Iran was unexpected. It has been a textbook case of how oppressive regimes silence opposition and democracy movements.
First they rig the election. When protests start, they use force to control it. When things get out of hand, they put the opposition leaders under house arrest, ban journalists and cut information such as newspapers, radio, tv, internet, etc. When that fails, they hire thugs to beat demonstrators, and more thugs to guard opposition headquarters, universities, hospitals, media outlets, and foreign embassies. If that fails, they send in troops and start shooting. Then they jail opposition leaders and conduct sham trials. If that fails, they send in tanks and execute the opposition.
The only way to combat this is to move the opposition underground and make it root in more than just the capital city. The opposition has to coordinate work stoppages and slowdowns. Enlist allies in the government and government industries to sabotage the economy and choke off the funds the regime needs to pay for the thugs and army. The protests need to be widespread and hit and run to force the regime to spread resources out over large areas, requiring money and manpower. The constant need to keep resources on edge over a long time wears down the army and police and makes them much more likely to turn against the regime, which is crucial for a successful revolution.
Nothing will be accomplished by talking to “I’m A Nut Job” and 0zer0 needs to just admit he was wrong and at least make an effort at covert action to help the resistance. If not, then this will just be another Tienamen Square.
Barrack Hussein Obama = The Neville Chamberlain of our time!
you should also mention equiping them for an ied campaign
to selectively take out the entire mullah leadership ,
similar to what they have been employing against us in iraq .
Two can play that game .
SHAME on our government for just talking about the crisis. SHAME on millions of Americans for their apathy! ................................. The same thing occurred in 1956 and 1969 Hungary and Poland. Sometimes we just can’t go in and add gas to the flames. Lets hope the Good Iranians do as the Poles and the Ukrainians did. The less bloodshed the better. My Iranian friends want to see the Mullahs hung on cranes for all to see. Especially all those brought into Iran by the Ayatollah Khomeini.
My bad. 1969 was Czechoslovakia, not Poland.
In Islam, a wealthy and powerful person can have multiple wives, and they generally do. With these wives, they have many children. King Abdullah of Saudi has 22 children. Ali Khamenei of Iran has 6 children. Osama bin Laden's dad had 54 children.
When these children grow up, they have an expectation of continuing in the lifestyle of their parents. But that lifestyle is based on the revenue stream from oil exports, which is finite. Each succeeding generation can expect to get a thinner slice of the pie.
Members of the ruling elite have an incentive to try to maintain or increase their slice of the pie by eliminating some other faction of the ruling elite, and taking their share.
Your conclusion(above)seems well founded.
Very Interesting post!
The bottom line is that how the father's estate is to be divided among the sons and daughters means that the next generation gets a specified fraction. When they die, their descendants get their split. If the father's income is based on a fixed source which does not grow over time, then unless he limits himself to one or two kids, he inheritors will find themselves with a smaller piece of the pie than he enjoyed, and will not be able to enjoy their father's standard of living.
In Medieval Europe, the nobility avoided this situation with the doctrine of primogenitor, where the eldest surviving son got the land and title, and the other kids had to find their own way in the world, either by marriage, conquest, or joining the Church as priest or nun. Even then, the nobles were continually fighting among themselves to expand their fortunes.
In the Arab world, they found themselves after WW2 with all this unearned wealth in the form of oil deposits under their feet. The oil is going to run out eventually, they know it, and they fear what happens when they can no longer support their people in the style they've become accustomed to.
In the short term, they've held off the inevitable by exporting their underclasses to Europe, but the European welfare state is going to collapse soon (on the order of 5 years)
Thanks for your post.
... Very enlightening!
You make some well ground points that should never be ignored as how the Islamic states via. their monarchies or other forms of controlled government operate.
I very much recommend people reading the Hadiths, especially Chapter 52 (Jihad) and 82 (Punishment of Disbelievers at War with Allah and His Apostle)