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Iran: When a mullah imitates Louis XIV
Asharq Alawsat ^ | Friday 19 August 2011 | Amir Taheri

Posted on 08/20/2011 1:33:15 AM PDT by odds

On 11 August, the Iranian daily Kayhan was forced to quote only two sources supporting the “Imam” title for Khamenei. One is the Lebanese Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah. He is quoted as saying “I kiss the hand of Imam Khamenei”. The other is an unnamed “leader of the Muslim Brotherhood” who told Kayhan “Imam Khamenei is a source of inspiration for our movement.”

In any case, among Arabs, the title of Imam does not have the same meaning and resonance as in Iran.

According to Iranian researcher Babak Zamani, more than 600 foreign-born militants occupy key positions at all levels of the Islamic Republic, including Khamenei’s office.

He is even intervening in such details as foreign trips by officials. From now on, all such visits should be pre-approved by his office. This is why Ahmadinejad does not know whether he will be allowed to make his annual trip to New York, something he enjoys immensely, according to his entourage.

Former presidents, Hashemi Rafsanjani and Muhammad Khatami have had their passports withdrawn and cn no longer leave the country without permission from the “Imam”.

In a sense, Khamenei’s move to assume absolute power is welcome. Such terms as “republic” and “ parliament” were nothing but lies in a system based on “Walayat al-Faqih” or absolute rule by a mullah. In such a system, the president, ministers, and members of parliaments are little more than puppets in the hands of the “ Supreme Guide”.

For better or for worse, Khamenei has decided to expose the truth of the system. That is a high-risk strategy because it tells Iranians that, if they are unhappy with things as they are, the only option is to get rid of the system as a whole.

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Editorial; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: amirtaheritaheri; arabs; arabspring; hezbollah; iran; islam; islamicrepublic; khamenei; lebanon; muslimbrotherhood
It should tell non-Iranians the same: "If they are unhappy with things as they are, the only option is to get rid of the system as a whole".
1 posted on 08/20/2011 1:33:24 AM PDT by odds
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To: odds

Clearly, Obama’s refusal to support the independence movement in Iran demonstrates his adoration of the Shah, Khamenei. A more vile dictator - Khamenei, not Obama - is not apparent in our time, but he is trying.

2 posted on 08/20/2011 2:44:05 AM PDT by Louis Foxwell (O assumes the trappings of the presidency, not its mantle. He is not presidential.)
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To: odds

As a Muslim Brotherhood member - Obama wants the Muslim Brotherhood in power, and not the grass-roots Freedom Fighters in Iran - bless them.

3 posted on 08/20/2011 3:17:28 AM PDT by bronxville (Sarah will be the first American female president.)
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To: Cronos; FARS; GOPJ; no-to-illegals; SunkenCiv; Eleutheria5; Zhang Fei; hannibaal; PGalt

FYI - Worth reading the entire article.
Re: “It should tell non-Iranians the same” refers to Iran & the Islamic Republic system.

4 posted on 08/20/2011 3:22:05 AM PDT by odds
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To: AdmSmith; AnonymousConservative; Berosus; bigheadfred; Bockscar; ColdOne; Convert from ECUSA; ...

Thanks odds.
more than 600 foreign-born militants occupy key positions at all levels of the Islamic [dictatorship]

5 posted on 08/20/2011 6:02:37 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (Yes, as a matter of fact, it is that time again --
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“By becoming “Imam”, Khamenehi who has not completed a theological education and never worked as a theologian, creates a personal niche outside the Shiite hierarchy.

However, few in Iran would take his “Imam” title seriously. “

6 posted on 08/20/2011 6:57:09 AM PDT by nuconvert ( Khomeini promised change too // Hail, Chairman O)
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To: Louis Foxwell
the Shah, Khamenei.

I understand what you mean, especially in the context of Louis XIV.

There is, also, a difference between "Personalised Power" and "Socialised Power" orientation; motivation & desire for power.

For example, the late Shah of Iran, along with his father Reza Shah, exercised a great of "socialised power" (power for the benefit of others, i.e. Iran & Iranians, in general) - more like Gandhi in India.

Khamenei (and Khomeini, original founder of the Islamic Republic), OTOH, along with many other Iranians (past & present), have/had an orientation & desire for "personalised power" (to inflate themselves & satisfy their strong need for esteem, control & status from others, for personal benefits).

"Personalised Power", is partly why various Iranian opposition grps haven't be able to resolve their difference & work as a "team", for the past 33 yrs, for a common goal. The Islamic Republic knows it & feeds it to ensure division.

Regardless, a "powerful" individual or leader, actual or perceived, is very highly regarded in Iran (feared and/or admired), even demanded by the people. He can be secular or religious - but, it is a cultural & historical matter. More so than in the US or the West in general.

At this stage, what the Iranians need is someone who can, more importantly, is willing to exercise leadership & Socialised Power. Nowadays, that's, perhaps, 1 in a trillion, in the West or in Iran alike. And, when they do come along, they are either discredited or terminated.

7 posted on 08/20/2011 7:02:54 AM PDT by odds
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Sorry, corrections:

great of = great deal of
haven’t be = haven’t been
their difference = their differences

8 posted on 08/20/2011 7:52:06 AM PDT by odds
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To: odds
Thank You for the ping. Much appreciated.

I am not versed enough to know how to formulate a question regarding Iran. I do want to try and attempt a few questions though. You being well versed in this part of the globe may help me to understand something which has puzzled me. I will base my question from the information provided in your post #7.

What I saw when the Shah was overthrown was an outpouring of those who were thinking differently. The Shah, if I understood, was thought of as a person of the West. The overthrow, as I understood it was a repudiation of the West, as I viewed the events. At that time it was viewed by myself as people wanting to go a different way. The Western way was rejected.

Please excuse me for taking the long road to get to my questions, and please forgive my lack of knowledge of Iran's history. I promise I will get to my questions in the next paragraph.

Based upon the rejection, by the people of Iran of Socialised Power, yet an embrace of Personalised Power would this have something to do with the writings of Mohammad? Since this overthrow appeared to be a religious overthrow of Western culture in favor of a central ruling body comprised of not one individual or family, yet appeared to be instead an overthrow based upon a singular religion figurehead to be placed as head of Iran with a ruling body underneath the ruling head, was this due to an outside influence (outside Iran) or was this due to those who took to the streets at that moment in time? Since (within your post) a "powerful" individual or leader, actual or perceived, is very highly regarded in Iran (feared and/or admired), even demanded by the people. He can be secular or religious there is now another time and another point where a different generation is taking to the streets in Iran than those who overthrew the Shah. Is there a generational divide which possibly causes these events within Iran? Is there a generational gap which those who hold power (the prior older generation) which the younger generation perceives as weak, therefore is the younger generation's view to replace those in power each time a new generation comes into being within Iran? If this is the case, this would appear to be fickle, or is there something else and it relates to the teachings of Mohammad?

I realize this is long series of questions. My apology. Being you are more knowledgeable concerning this region than I, I would appreciate any and all insight regarding the people's thoughts of this region. Thanks odds.

9 posted on 08/20/2011 8:31:36 AM PDT by no-to-illegals (Please God, Protect and Bless Our Men and Women in Uniform with Victory. Amen.)
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To: no-to-illegals

There are many variables and factors (historical too) to highlight. Therefore, many answers, depending on perspective, and on one’s political view too (Iranians in particular. But not limited to Iranians).

I’ll give you my summary & a very much simplified view & account.

The overthrow of the Shah was Not a repudiation of the West or Western culture per se, nor of socialised power exercised by the Shah.

In 1979, the population of Iran was approx. 35 million (compared to approx 75 million now). At least 50% of Iranians at the time, neither understood, nor recognised the Shah exercising a “socialised power”. Nor did they recognise or remember where Iran was at before the Pahlavis (when the late Shah’s father took over from the previous Qajar dynasty) early in 1920s. Iran was basically a mess. The *modern education* (call it western if you will) of most Iranians only began during the Pahlavi dynasty. More so during the late Shah. All up some 50 yrs.

The socalled ‘revolt’ in 1979 was, however, A) a dissatisfaction with the perceived western gov’t interference in Iran’s affairs - that had a long history for Iranians. B) a demand for exercising political freedoms (e.g. multiple parties) & democratic elections; that the Shah should reign according to 1906 Iranian constitution, and not rule. C) an economic downturn, more so, starting in late 1974, early 1975, for the middle class.

There was a lot of widely disseminated propaganda over at least 7 yrs prior to 1979 revolution - by the Islamics, and leftists (a generic term for the intellectual class, as well as actual communists, Islamic-Marxists, and related others, in Iran & abroad). These grps, together with most of the middle-class, basically, capitalized on & exaggerated points mentioned in A, B and C, to add fuel to fires. Each for their own purposes & agendas. Western gov’ts, grps & media, most definitely helped.

There was a great deal of sabotage, orchestrated events & utter lies (such as highly inflated #s suggesting human rights violations) directed at monarchy. Was monarchy perfect? No. To be truthful, there was corruption within the system. Also, I believe, the Shah’s gov’t, towards the end, lost touch with the people, was unable to read the mood. Many of those who helped the Khomeinist come to power & worked against monarchy were from within the Shah’s gov’t itself. The Shah, himself, exercised socialised power, but many who even professed to be loyal to him exercised personalised power. I’d like to say that’s the Iranian culture. Though not unique to Iran. But, the Islamic gov’t ruling Iran has learned from the Shah’s mistakes & tries its utmost not to allow any opportunity for any revolt that could get out of hand.

Iranians, moslems in particular, are religious. Some say, they have a strong ‘faith’. working class or upper class. Traditionally, there are 3 main pillars in Iranian society & culture. 1) monarchy. 2) religion. 3) ‘baazar’ aka market or trade i.e. money. The first 2 have been intertwined since mid to latter part of the Sassanid period, when Iran was forced to become a semi-theocratic state (religion & state became one) to counter the Roman Empire when Christianity became the official religion in Roman Empire. Prior to that, religion & state were very much separated in Iran. Since Arab-Islam invasion in the 7th c. AD, Islam & state have Never been separated in Iran. Although, monarchy was the system of gov’t until 1979. Since Shia Islam was forced on Iranians during the Safavid dynasty circa late 16th c. AD, the mullahs & the mostly illiterate, uneducated “Shiite hierarchy” in Iran have manipulated & brainwashed the masses. 50 yrs of *modern* education by the Pahlavis was a drop in the ocean, by comparison.

Khomeini was another uneducated Shia Moslem cleric, but a very clever guy, who recognised the mentality of most moslems Iranians & further manipulated that *weaknesses*. He had been trying to destabilise the monarchy for many yrs. The Shah, himself, made the wrong decisions about him & his kind. So, Khomeini, just as other grps mentioned above, further capitalised on points A, B, and C., too — Khomeini lied, and gullible people believed him. Those people, who had their own unique agendas, believed Khomeini was a holy man, who could be sidelined to go & sit in Qom, similar to the Pope in the Vatican. Well, I guess, those people neither understood Khomeini, nor Qom, nor the Vatican! Was peoples’ Islamic “faith” responsible for uniting behind Ayatollah Khomeini & allowing him to be the leader to overthrow the Shah? Yes, absolutely.

Islam, Shia Islam too, in its many forms & shapes has been repackaged & redistributed in Iran to the masses for centuries. That’s why I think it is ludicrous to try & make a differentiation between “Shiite hierarchy” in Qom or elsewhere & Khamenei, by saying one is uneducated in Shi’ite theology & another may be a real deal “Imam”. So, they are all waiting for the REAL “Imam Mahdi” (12th Imam) to make an appearance! Real or not, Islam or Shia Islam is a vehicle to keep people subservient & ignorant.

Good thing is that many younger generation of Iranians have seen how they are kept in chains by their odious Islamic clerics. Should a new true leader come along, I should hope he or she will work to de-program the Iranians. And, not continue to repackage & resell Islam by building more mosques & portraying it in a neutral or positive light in Iran. It simply isn’t acceptable to say, well, they are moslems, we have to respect it & they can’t be any different.

10 posted on 08/20/2011 10:51:46 AM PDT by odds
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To: odds
Thanks odds. I learned much from your reply. One additional set of questions, if I may.

Our media has repeatedly informed Americans that the Shah was overthrown due to the Shah entertaining a Western culture and idea for Iran. From the information provided was your thought the people of Iran did not repudiate western culture by overthrowing the Shah. Is there additional information which you would share regarding your thoughts of the overthrow, of the Shah, was not a repudiation of the West and western culture, or is the point, there is a large percentage of Iran's people wanting and willing to embrace Western culture? If there is a percentage of people willing to embrace western culture, do you have an estimate of the percentage who would embrace western culture?

11 posted on 08/20/2011 3:26:27 PM PDT by no-to-illegals (Please God, Protect and Bless Our Men and Women in Uniform with Victory. Amen.)
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To: no-to-illegals

It isn’t about accepting or rejecting Western culture. Western culture is acknowledged & is considered influential by many Iranians. In fact, many Iranians have always known more about Western culture, than most Westerners about Iranian culture (not Islamic one).

My point was that most, more than 80% of Iranians (my guesstimate) would welcome & embrace modernisation. Some would equate modernisation with westernisation. Not necessarily a correct equation. Even the Shah, IMO, never intended to fully “westernise”. Politically, he had *Western policies*, but, mostly, wanted to Modernise inside Iran.

Modernisation means moving with times, adjusting to and *evolving* with times, technologically, socially, culturally, politically, economically, even in choice of food, fashion & entertainment, thinking, etc... But, Iranians, despite adapting to the mentioned, are not noted for losing many aspects of their own, even ancient culture. Even the forced Islamisation & Arabisation of Iran couldn’t *fully* achieve that complete change. Rather it found a blend or fusion, based on their choice.

12 posted on 08/20/2011 3:58:17 PM PDT by odds
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To: odds
Thank you for the reply. Sometimes someone forces me to understand how little I understand concerning Iran. I appreciate your insight though my mind apparently is so convoluted I fail to grasp most of the information provided. My apology.

The information provided regarding modernization I somewhat understood. Please ping me anytime. There is much I should learn concerning Iran and the Middle East. Thanks, odds.

13 posted on 08/20/2011 4:10:46 PM PDT by no-to-illegals (Please God, Protect and Bless Our Men and Women in Uniform with Victory. Amen.)
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To: no-to-illegals

You’re most welcome. Happy to share information. Though from my perspective too, it is also difficult to know where to begin with or how much to disclose, not knowing how much different people already know. Especially on the net.

Sometimes, it helps to keep, re-read or revisit the information again at a later date/time.

14 posted on 08/20/2011 4:43:06 PM PDT by odds
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To: odds
Agreed ... and I shall definitely have to review. Thanks for the posts, and I will hope to see more pings in the future.
15 posted on 08/20/2011 4:51:34 PM PDT by no-to-illegals (Please God, Protect and Bless Our Men and Women in Uniform with Victory. Amen.)
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