Iran Elections Thread

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Re: Iran Elections Thread

Post by Straha » 2009-06-28 09:47am

Starglider wrote: The literal translation isn't really the meaning of the phrase; according to an Iranian friend of mine, the actual meaning is pretty much 'I am angry' and has been for decades. He said that this unfortunately gives the impression that the protestors are religious fanatics (to Westerners), when in fact they are mostly secular.
"Allahu Akbar" is one of those phrases that means whatever you want it to me. It's sort of like "Oh my god!" for English in its versatility. It does have a very very long history of being used in anger and outrage against corruption, going back to the earliest days of Islam.
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Big O wrote: This is an act of war.
As opposed to the USA embassy during the 79 revolution? Still, this has extremely serious potential, arrested and tossed out of the country or to be held? Guess we'll see.
This is a sign, I think, that Khamenei and Ahmadinejad are calling it quits with trying to retain any international credibility. Previously America had to cajole all of Europe to get sanctions imposed on Iranian regime figures as punishment, now I imagine they'll jump along in the sanctions boat rather happily. It appeals to Khamenei and Ahmadinejad's revolutionary ideology from '79 and the 80s, I think.

What doesn't make sense to me is why they'd do this at a domestic level. Very few people in Iran are going to believe that it was the British who organized the massive protests. Even fewer are going to countenance the idea that the violence was somehow caused by the British. Conspiracy theorists out there may say that this is the regime trying to get sanctions imposed on them to help rally the people, but that's a wee bit too convoluted for my taste.
Broomstick wrote:It sure is starting to remind me of 1979. The hostage crisis back then extended over 400 days if I recall correctly, all the way in early 1981. Well, why should anyone be surprised? The people in official power now are the ones who instigated that, and didn't Mahmoud Ahmadinejad play a key role in the embassy hostages in 1979?
There's a lot of debate as to whether or not the storming of the American embassy was pre-approved by Khomeini. There's some evidence he actually opposed it at first, and then changed his mind afterwards. But, as with all things Khomeini, the picture is too confusing to go one way or another.

That being said, this is different. This lacks the revolutionary milieu to support the taking, lacks popular support, just looks plain nuts on the grand stage, and doesn't break all rules of diplomatic conduct going back for centuries (just some of them.) Also, the Iranians had a great visual with the Embassy being taken and overthrown, really good PR for the anti-imperialist crowds the world over. This has nothing of the sort.

(Also, Ahmadinejad wasn't at the embassy taking as far as most people can tell. Only a few people place him there, and they place him there when they were under extreme metal and physical duress. In fact it looks like he may have been one of the leaders of the student group who opposed taking the embassy, but that's only partially grounded speculation.)
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Re: Iran Elections Thread

Post by MKSheppard » 2009-06-28 12:28pm

Straha wrote:(Also, Ahmadinejad wasn't at the embassy taking as far as most people can tell. Only a few people place him there, and they place him there when they were under extreme metal and physical duress. In fact it looks like he may have been one of the leaders of the student group who opposed taking the embassy, but that's only partially grounded speculation.)
Actually. It gets better. He didn't want to take the US embassy over. He wanted to take the SOVIET embassy over, and proposed this, but his idea got turned down.
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Re: Iran Elections Thread

Post by Fingolfin_Noldor » 2009-06-28 12:37pm

MKSheppard wrote:
Straha wrote:(Also, Ahmadinejad wasn't at the embassy taking as far as most people can tell. Only a few people place him there, and they place him there when they were under extreme metal and physical duress. In fact it looks like he may have been one of the leaders of the student group who opposed taking the embassy, but that's only partially grounded speculation.)
Actually. It gets better. He didn't want to take the US embassy over. He wanted to take the SOVIET embassy over, and proposed this, but his idea got turned down.
It would be really funny if the Spetnaz went in to rescue the embassy staff..
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Re: Iran Elections Thread

Post by Falkenhayn » 2009-06-28 01:57pm

Fareed Zakaria raised this point. Where is Ali al-Sistani and why haven't we heard from him?
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Re: Iran Elections Thread

Post by The Original Nex » 2009-06-28 02:50pm

Falkenhayn wrote:Fareed Zakaria raised this point. Where is Ali al-Sistani and why haven't we heard from him?
Likely in Iraq where he lives. He's reportedly sent a representative to Rafsanjani's backroom politiking.

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Re: Iran Elections Thread

Post by Straha » 2009-06-28 03:25pm

Falkenhayn wrote:Fareed Zakaria raised this point. Where is Ali al-Sistani and why haven't we heard from him?
Al-Sistani is an old school Ayatollah. Which means he eschews Political connections and direct interference. Doubly so, I imagine, interference with another country's internal politics. While he may have concerns over human rights violations I am incredibly doubtful he'd ever take a more active role in this.
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Re: Iran Elections Thread

Post by montypython » 2009-06-28 04:46pm

At this point I can't really see Khamenei and company storming any embassies here, if anything that would be more than sufficient pretext for justifiable direct military action by the West.

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Re: Iran Elections Thread

Post by Guardsman Bass » 2009-06-29 02:20pm

The Guardian Council has certified the results and a partial recount:
The Guardian wrote:
Iran confirms Ahmadinejad victory

Iran's top electoral body, the Guardian Council, has confirmed the victory of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in the presidential election after a partial recount.

News of the decision, which comes after a series of protests by the opposition against what it says was a rigged ballot, was announced by state TV.

The 12-strong council is the most influential body in Iran and is currently controlled by conservatives.

Some 17 people are thought to have died during opposition street protests.

"The secretary of the Guardian Council in a letter to the interior minister announced the final decision of the Council... and declares the approval of the accuracy of the results of... the presidential election," the state broadcaster said.

A partial recount of the election carried out on Monday showed no irregularities in the vote, Iran's English-language Press TV television station added, according to Reuters news agency.

Mr Ahmadinejad was officially re-elected with 63% of the vote on 12 June.

His main challenger, Mir Hossein Mousavi, has said the whole election should be annulled and held again.

Reports say there were clashes on Monday in central Tehran between opposition demonstrators trying to form a human chain and security forces.

Red lines

The Guardian Council ruled earlier that any irregularities in the polling would not affect the result but its partial recount on Monday was expected to pave the way for the formal confirmation of President Ahmedinejad's victory, the BBC's Jeremy Bowen reports from Tehran.

Iran's crisis since the presidential election has taken the Islamic Republic into new and unknown territory, our correspondent says.

All sorts of red lines have been crossed, with unprecedented public condemnation of the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamanei, he adds.

Iran has been left with a divided ruling elite that has been having a public quarrel, our correspondent says.

During the mass rallies a broad-based opposition coalition emerged.

It did not have effective leadership so the authorities were able to take the initiative back, helped by a security crackdown and hundreds, some say several thousand, arrests.

The people who took to the streets are still angry about what happened, our correspondent adds, and the authorities must fear that anger, because it could explode again.
Sounds like they're going to be united on this one, and Ahmadinejad will be President again.
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Re: Iran Elections Thread

Post by CaptainChewbacca » 2009-06-29 05:33pm

Of course, there's some things that won't be forgotten.

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No idea of source or if its shopped.
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Re: Iran Elections Thread

Post by Guardsman Bass » 2009-06-29 05:47pm

I'm guessing shopped. Would the security forces of Iran even allow a person to get that close to the front of the car with Ahmadinejad sitting out of the top?
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Re: Iran Elections Thread

Post by Agent Sorchus » 2009-06-29 05:55pm

Definably the hand was changed in photoshop. The angle it makes to the arm under the sleeve is wrong and totally impossible. You also have disproportionately greater granulation around the hand in question.

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Re: Iran Elections Thread

Post by CmdrWilkens » 2009-06-29 09:19pm

Agent Sorchus wrote:Definably the hand was changed in photoshop. The angle it makes to the arm under the sleeve is wrong and totally impossible. You also have disproportionately greater granulation around the hand in question.
That said it was probably the hand only because the bumper and front portion of the hood both show a reflection from a something standing in that location. I would guess either just the finger or the whole hand were shopped in but not the person.
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Re: Iran Elections Thread

Post by KlavoHunter » 2009-06-29 09:57pm

Definitely shopped, I've seen the original, and she's just waving at Ahmadinejad in the same way he's waving at her.
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Re: Iran Elections Thread

Post by Simon_Jester » 2009-06-30 10:50am

Fingolfin_Noldor wrote:
MKSheppard wrote:
Straha wrote:(Also, Ahmadinejad wasn't at the embassy taking as far as most people can tell. Only a few people place him there, and they place him there when they were under extreme metal and physical duress. In fact it looks like he may have been one of the leaders of the student group who opposed taking the embassy, but that's only partially grounded speculation.)
Actually. It gets better. He didn't want to take the US embassy over. He wanted to take the SOVIET embassy over, and proposed this, but his idea got turned down.
It would be really funny if the Spetnaz went in to rescue the embassy staff..
Remember, the USSR bordered Iran. If the Iranians had occupied the Soviet embassy, the Russians wouldn't have sent in a few helicopters of commandos; they'd have sent in several divisions of Guards.

This confirms that Ahmadinejad is a delusional fool, if any confirmation was needed. Consider the implications: He proposed to seize the embassy of a nuclear-armed power that had a military at least an order of magnitude larger than his own country's. A power that was perched on the border, and that already invaded one of Iran's neighbors just six or seven months ago. And that has a reputation for invading small countries on its borders that tick it off in ways far less provocative than seizing an embassy. And doing all this after alienating their only powerful ally by overthrowing their puppet government...

Wow. That's a real contender for "worst foreign policy idea ever."
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Re: Iran Elections Thread

Post by Fingolfin_Noldor » 2009-06-30 11:23am

Simon_Jester wrote:Remember, the USSR bordered Iran. If the Iranians had occupied the Soviet embassy, the Russians wouldn't have sent in a few helicopters of commandos; they'd have sent in several divisions of Guards.

This confirms that Ahmadinejad is a delusional fool, if any confirmation was needed. Consider the implications: He proposed to seize the embassy of a nuclear-armed power that had a military at least an order of magnitude larger than his own country's. A power that was perched on the border, and that already invaded one of Iran's neighbors just six or seven months ago. And that has a reputation for invading small countries on its borders that tick it off in ways far less provocative than seizing an embassy. And doing all this after alienating their only powerful ally by overthrowing their puppet government...

Wow. That's a real contender for "worst foreign policy idea ever."
Oh no doubt about that, but I would point out that Iran is far larger target to chew than the average European runt nation, not to mention far more populous. At best it would punish the Iranians for daring to invade their embassy through some brutalization.
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Re: Iran Elections Thread

Post by Force Lord » 2009-06-30 11:49am

I remember that the USSR and Britain invaded Iran during WWII even though they were hard-pressed by the Germans elsewhere. Iran back then was a very weak country, so it wasn't always a bloodbath for an invader.

Regarding a possible Iranian takeover of the Soviet Embassy, the Soviets might have jumped in full stock and barrel and given Iraq a geen light to invade. It might have been bloody, and the Soviets would have to deal with two major drains that the U.S. would happily exploit.
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Re: Iran Elections Thread

Post by Straha » 2009-07-02 12:32pm

A interesting article from Tehran Bureau:
Source wrote:[TEHRAN BUREAU] As the Iranian government crisis enters its 19th day, fissures among the clerics are gradually becoming deeper and more visible. These differences between hard-liners and leftists go back to 1988, but what has been surprising is the reaction of moderate clerics and the silence of clerical hard-liners.

The importance of the emerging fissures in the ranks of the clerics is not that the leftist clerics are supporting Mir Hossein Mousavi in his confrontation with the hard-liners, but that the fissures are developing even among the ranks of the conservative ayatollahs and influential clerics who were usually supportive of Ayatollah Khamenei — or at least silent in order to present a seemingly united front against the leftist faction, as well as the reformist and democratic groups.

The clerics in Qom and Mashhad recognize that there is much more at stake than a disputed election. They see an existential threat to the entire Islamic Republic as they mull their decision whether to support the official result, protest it or continue to remain silent.

The clerics who support the unification of church and state — those who support the concept of Velaayat-e Faghih [the governance of the Islamic jurist, the Supreme Leader or the Faghih], the backbone of Iran’s power structure — see that by coming down most definitively on Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s side, Ayatollah Khamenei may no longer be considered to be above the fray, or even feign impartiality. He has now become just another politician subject to criticism. This is damaging, not only to the concept of Velaayat-e Faghih, but also to the whole concept of Mahdi, the hidden 12th Imam, who is supposed to come back some day to save the world from injustice, corruption and chaos. How can the “deputy” of the hidden Imam be as fallible as the next politician?

In the view of many in the clerical class, Ayatollah Khamenei’s actions have been problematic, especially his response to the huge demonstrations that took place to protest the rigged election:

1) He did not wait for the Guardian Council to officially certify the election results; he very quickly declared them valid.

2) He said the 85% turnout indicated how politically mature the population was and showed how satisfied they were with the political system. (He failed to note that the same politically mature and “satisfied” population staged huge demonstrations protesting the votes and the government that he supports). This hard-line position of his effectively quashed the most famous quote by Ayatollah Khomeini, Mizaan ra’ye mardom ast [the true measure of (acceptance) is people’s vote].

3) He emphasized the rule of law, while neglecting all the violations of the same law by Ahmadinejad’s government and supporters. (All of these have been eloquently described and enumerated by Mousavi in his statements.)

4) He “recommended” that Mousavi pursue his complaints through the Guardian Council [the Constitutional body that vets the candidates and certifies the validity of the elections], while declaring at the same time that the election was valid, hence leaving little room for the Council to change the election results, even if it wanted to by finding enough evidence of fraud to declare the election invalid.

5) He threatened that if people were to demonstrate, any bloodshed and violence would be their own fault — the fault of unarmed demonstrators pitted against heavily armed security forces — and their leaders, Mousavi and Karroubi.

Since the incompetence of the Ahmadinejad administration, at least when it comes to managing the economy and certain aspects of foreign policy, is beyond dispute, by supporting the current president, Ayatollah Khamenei essentially declared his belief in Ahmadinejad-ism. Indeed, in his sermon on July 19, he declared that Ahmadinejad’s views are closer to his own than those of others, and that certain people [meaning Ahmadinejad], in his opinion, are more suited to serve the country.

And, of course, those clerics who are opposed to the concept of Valaayat-e Faghih and believe that the ayatollahs must not intervene in politics (other than being spiritual guides), such as Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani in Iraq and his large following in Iran, or those who believe that the Supreme Leader has been granted too much power and must be brought under control, such as Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri, have found Ayatollah Khamenei’s actions to be solid reasons for the validity of their arguments.

Clerical reformers against Ayatollah Khamenei:

Tehran Bureau has already reported on the protests of several senior ayatollahs against the rigged election and its aftermath . Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri, one of two most important marja’ taghlids [source of emulation] in Shiite Islam, strongly attacked the government, rejected the results of the rigged election, and called on people to continue their protests peacefully. This was not the first time Montazeri has criticized Iran’s government.

In 1997, shortly after President Khatami’s landslide victory, Montazeri made a famous speech on Velaayat-e Faghih, in which he courageously criticized Ayatollah Khamenei by saying that the Supreme Leader should not intervene in the affairs of the state and leave them to the president. Likening many of the Friday prayer imams in the Islamic Republic to Aakhoond Darbaari [a pre-Revolution phrase referring to clerics on the Shah’s payroll], he warned people not to confuse them with genuine religious leaders.

Ayatollah Sayyed Jalaloddin Taheri, an important reformist cleric who had been appointed the leader of the Friday prayers in the city of Isfahan by Ayatollah Khomeini right after the 1979 Revolution, has declared the election fraudulent, and the next Ahmadinejad term as illegitimate and tantamount to thievery. Taheri resigned as the leader of Friday prayers in Isfahan in 2002, protesting, in a highly publicized letter, what he called the terrible state of the nation. His letter provoked a direct rebuttal from Ayatollah Khamenei himself. Ayatollah Taheri strongly supported Mousavi in the presidential election.

In his statement, Taheri said he was witnessing “how the old enemies of Imam [Ayatollah Khomeini] who opposed the establishment of the Islamic Republic are now presenting themselves as the ideologues of the Revolution.”

“Did Imam believe that those who must be neutral in the election publicly support a particular candidate [Ahmadinejad]?” Taheri asked. “Did Imam allow the use of public resources for a particular candidate? Has religion given [the hard-liners] the permission [to do what they have done]? Why is it that the law is only supportive of you [referring to Ayatollah Khamenei's contention that the law must be implemented, and that the public protests are illegal]?”

Grand Ayatollah Asadollah Bayat Zanjani, a senior member of the Association of Militant Clerics (AMC), has urged Mousavi to resist the official election result, so “insulting people and disrespecting the laws would not become the norm in the country.”

The AMC backed Mousavi in the recent election. Ayatollah Zanjani warned the Judiciary that if it cannot address the rightful complaints of the people, they will seek out alternative ways to recover their rights.“God forbid, the final destination of which will be chaos, insecurity and insulting religion,” he said. He went on to declare that, “peaceful gathering and demonstrations are people’s rights, which have been recognized by [article 27 of] the Constitution.” He also accused the government of deviating from Ayatollah Khomeini’s “path and thoughts.”

Ayatollah Sayyed Hossein Mousavi Tabrizi, who was Chief Prosecutor under Ayatollah Khomeini, strongly attacked the government for its mishandling of the election. In an interview with a pro-Ahmadinejad Web site, he declared that the Guardian Council was biased and that people have a right to demonstrate.

“Ask me about the law,” Tabrizi said when he was reminded that Ayatollah Khamenei had forbidden further demonstrations. “I have nothing to do with them [the Supreme Leader and his supporters]. The Leader has expressed his own opinion, but I am talking about the law.

“The [1979] Revolution also occurred due to such talks [by the government]. The Shah also called the [demonstrating] people rioters. It was due to such reasons that the Shah’s regime was illegitimate. If it had not talked that way [calling people rioters] and had given the people their rights, it would not have become illegitimate. It does not make any difference who denies the people their rights. Whoever does that is illegitimate.”

He then mocked the fact that the number of votes cast in Ray (a town in the southern part of Tehran) was twice the number of eligible voters there.

Grand Ayatollah Abdolkarim Mousavi Ardabili, another close and senior aid to Ayatollah Khomeini, declared, “force should not be used to quell people’s protests. You [the government] must listen to people and their protests against the election. Let the people express their opinions. The response to [the protests by] the people must be convincing to them.”


Grand Ayatollah Yousef Saanei, a progressive cleric and a confidante of Ayatollah Khomeini, declared that Ahmadinejad was not the legitimate president and cooperation with him, as well as working for him, were haraam (against Islam and a great sin). He also declared that any changes in the votes by unlawful means were also haraam.

Hadi Ghaffari, a mid-rank cleric, strongly criticized Ayatollah Khamenei in a recent speech. His father was also an ayatollah killed by the Shah’s government, and he himself was jailed for many years before the 1979 Revolution. In the early years of the Revolution he was a hard-liner, but gradually changed his position; he has been strongly supportive of the reformists for many years. He was incredibly brazen in his criticisms of Ayatollah Khamenei. An audiotape of his speech was leaked and posted on YouTube, but has apparently been removed.

Grand Ayatollah Lotfollah Safi Golpayegani, who was the first Secretary-General of the Guardian Council after the Revolution, met with some members of the Council and expressed regrets for what had happened.

“I have some important things to say, but cannot for now,” he told the Council’s members. Part of the meeting was in secret, but he said in the public part of the meeting that, “We should have acted in a way that these issues would not have come up. We should have moderated our positions and opinions.”

Ayatollah Safi Golpayegani also held a secret meeting with Grand Ayatollah Mousa Shobeiri Zanjani, and reviewed the latest developments; little about their meeting has been publicized.

Clerical supporters of Ayatollah Khamenei:

To be sure, Ayatollah Khamenei still has many supporters among the conservative clergy. When he was appointed the Supreme Leader in June 1989, Ayatollah Khamenei was neither an ayatollah nor a marja’ taghlid [source of emulation]; under the Constitution, the Supreme Leader had to be both. So, not only was the Constitution revised in order to allow Ayatollah Khamenei to become the Supreme Leader, but he also needed the support of the senior clerics to be elevated to those ranks.

Those who supported Ayatollah Khamenei were mostly the conservative and ultra-conservative clerics. Their support of him was instrumental in his transformation from a progressive with an appreciation for the arts and literature, and even playing the taar — a fretted lute with six strings — into the conservative cleric he has become.

The senior clerics who support Ayatollah Khamenei today are those who have held, or currently hold, key positions in the government. They include Ahmad Jannati, Secretary-General of the Guardian Council; Mohammad Yazdi, former Judiciary chief; Khazali, former member of the Guardian Council; Mohammad Mohammadi Gilani, head of the Supreme Court, who ordered the execution of two of his own children in 1981; Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi, the Judiciary chief; Mohammad Mohammadi Rayshahri, former Minister of Intelligence whose real last name is Mohammadi-Nik; Mohammad Reza Mahdavi Kani, head of the ACC and former Prime Minister; Ebrahimi Amini, leader of Friday prayers of Qom; Mohammad Emami Kashani, Tehran’s temporary leader of Friday prayers; Hossein Nouri Hamadani, a hard-line instructor in Qom’s seminary; and Masih Mohajeri, editor-in-chief of the Islamic Republic, a daily that was founded by Ayatollah Khamenei himself. These are mostly senior figures among the clerics, many of them over 60 years old, with Jannati and Mahdavi Kani being the most influential among them.

There are also mid-rank, middle age clerics, such as Ghorbanali Dorri Najafabadi, the Attorney General and former Intelligence Minister; Mostafa Pourmohammadi, former Interior and Intelligence Minister, who has been implicated in the execution of thousands of political prisoners in the summer of 1988; Gholamhossein Mohseni Ejehei, Intelligence Minister; Ali Akbar Nategh Nouri, former Speaker of the Majles and head of the Supreme Leader’s Office of Inspection; Ahmad Khatami, a member of the Assembly of Experts (no relation to former president Mohammad Khatami); Ali Razini, senior figure in the Judiciary, also implicated in the executions of the summer of 1988; Ebrahim Raeisi, implicated in the summer 1988 executions, and chief deputy to Ayatollah Hashemi Shahroudi, the Judiciary chief; Ruhollah Hosseinian, a Majles deputy and head of Center for Islamic Revolution Documents; Ali Fallahian, a Majles deputy and former Intelligence Minister; and others.

Grand Ayatollah Naser Makaaren Shirazi, who has often supported the conservatives in the past, emphasized that the difficulties should be overcome wisely, rationally, and with attention to the future of the political system.

“The action to be taken must not leave any fire under the surface ash, and must transform pessimism to optimism and competition to friendship and cooperation between all the [political] groups,” Shirazi said.

It is interesting to note that Ayatollah Makaarem Shirazi was one of the earliest opponents of the Velaayat-e Faghih concept. He changed his mind, however, after reportedly being offered significant aid for his seminary. But, given the events in the country and Ahmadinejad’s track record, he has also felt the danger and has been increasingly speaking of the “independence of Qom’s theological schools” from the government.

“The basis for everything is the law,” declared Grand Ayatollah Abdollah Javadi Amoli — uncle of Ali Larijani, the Majles Speaker — in a speech during the Friday prayers in Qom on June 26. “But, the person who is supposed to execute the law declares that, ‘what I do is exactly according to the law,’ and it is him who decides what is lawful. This is problematic,” he said, hence seemingly referring to Ayatollah Khamenei and/or Ahmadinejad. He continued his thinly disguised criticism of the hard-liners by saying, “We must preserve religion, the howzah [the seminaries], and the maja’eeyat [the concept of emulation]. If any difference arises, these must be protected,” he said, warning that the hard-liners risk destroying the entire basis of Iran’s government by cracking down on protesters.

Even Ayatollah Mohyyodin Haeri-Shirazi, an ultra-conservative who is a member of the Assembly of Experts, wrote a highly cryptic and complex letter to Ayatollah Khamenei, as if he was trying to tell him something with coded words.

Perhaps the most important clerical supporters of Ayatollah Khamenei are Ayatollah Mohammad Taghi Mesbah Yazdi, Ayatollah Khoshvaght, and Ayatollah Khamenei’s own son, Mojtaba, a mid-ranking cleric.

The mysterious figure not known to most Iranians is Ayatollah Khoshvaght. Ayatollah Khamenei’s third son, Mostafa, is married to his daughter. He is a member of the Assembly of Experts, and in July 2007 ran for its presidency, which he lost to Rafsanjani. He is the prayer leader of a large mosque in northern Tehran, and is a radical hard-liner. It is believed, but never proven, that Saeed Emami, the notorious figure who was responsible for the infamous Chain Murders in 1998-1999, which resulted in the murder of six Iranian dissidents (and most likely many more murders from 1988-1998), was a follower of Ayatollah Khoshvaght. He is also said to be close to Ansaar-e Hezbollah, a radical group often unleashed to quell demonstrations.

Ayatollah Mesbah Yazdi, the spiritual leader of Ahmadinejad, is an ultra-conservative cleric who runs the Haghani Seminary and Imam Khomeini Educational Institute in Qom, which received $7 million in aid from the government in 2008. Ayatollah Khamenei has referred to Yazdi as “our era’s Motahhari” — a reference to Ayatollah Sayyed Morteza Motahhari, a disciple of Ayatollah Khomeini and a distinguished Islamic scholar who was assassinated a few months after the February 1979 Revolution — a great compliment, even though Motahhari’s and Yazdi’s thinking are the opposite of each other! Ahmadinejad’s first Vice President (Iran has eight vice presidents), Parviz Davoodi, is a disciple of Ayatollah Mesbah Yazdi, as are the Intelligence Minister, Mohseni Ejehei, and the Cabinet’s “morality teacher,” Agha-Tehrani.

However, even these conservative ayatollahs who are closest to the government have been suspiciously silent since the election. Almost none of them have congratulated Ahmadinejad. Even Ayatollah Mesbah Yazdi has been unusually silent.

Meanwhile the nation waited to see what Hashemi Rafsanjani, the former president and powerful politician, would do as many believe that the current crisis is partly a manifestation of the long-time rivalry between him and the Supreme Leader. He appeared to be defending the political establishment and performing a perfunctory bow to the Supreme Leader on June 28, the 28th anniversary of the bombing of the headquarters of the Islamic Republican Party that killed many leaders and important figures of the Revolution; but he also criticized those who supervised the election. But, it is widely known that he has visited Qom to warn the clerics that the crisis is much deeper than the disputed election. So, it is perhaps more accurate to say that he is sitting on the fence to see what happens next.

Given all the developments listed above, one thing is for sure: Iranian politics will never be the same. Since the run up to the election, many lines have been crossed, many taboos broken, and the position of the Supreme Leader has fallen to earth. It is no longer a Godly position, as the hard-liners have always claimed. That, in the long run, can only be a positive development for Iran. Most importantly, the inherent contradiction between the concept of Velaayat-e Faghih and republicanism in Iran’s Constitution (electing the president, the parliament, and the city councils), which has always existed, has finally come to the fore.

Two quick notes:

First, people have been saying the Velayat-e Faqih is doomed since the early nineties. While this is a very radical departure from the previous uses of it by Khamenei, and it completely does away with his carefully maintained visage of impartiality, this in no way means that the role/concept is now more dead than it was before.

Second, the Assembly of Experts picks the next Supreme Leader. Khamenei has long been rumored to be on his last legs and about to die. The Assembly is currently dominated by Rafsanjani and other moderate-clerics united around being opposed to Ahmadinejad and his antics. This raises obvious questions: if elements of the Pasdaran were willing to act like this to block Mosavi from becomming President what will they do if it comes up that someone like Khatami could become Supreme Leader?
'After 9/11, it was "You're with us or your with the terrorists." Now its "You're with Straha or you support racism."' ' - The Romulan Republic

'You're a bully putting on an air of civility while saying that everything western and/or capitalistic must be bad, and a lot of other posters (loomer, Stas Bush, Gandalf) are also going along with it for their own personal reasons (Stas in particular is looking through rose colored glasses)' - Darth Yan

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Straha
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Re: Iran Elections Thread

Post by Straha » 2009-07-03 07:41am

This is from the BBC and, unfortunately, I'm using my blackberry so I can't bring over the URL.
the BBC wrote: Some UK embassy staff detained in Tehran and accused of inciting protests after disputed elections will face trial, a top Iranian cleric says.
Guardians Council chief Ahmad Jannati said: "Naturally they will be put on trial, they have made confessions."

Nine embassy staff were held in Tehran last weekend. The UK government says all except two have now been released.
EU governments are considering temporarily withdrawing ambassadors to Iran in protest at the detentions.

"In these incidents, their embassy had a presence, some people were arrested," Ayatollah Jannati told the thousands of worshippers at Friday prayers, according to news agencies.
'Velvet revolution' plan
He did not say how many employees would be tried or on what charges.
Protests gripped Tehran and other Iranian cities after June's presidential election, amid claims the vote had been rigged in favour of incumbent President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
Ayatollah Jannati added: "After the election, the enemy could not stand people's joy. The enemy made an effort to poison the people. They had planned a velvet revolution before the election."
He said the UK foreign office had warned of possible "street riots" around the 12 June election and had advised its nationals to avoid public places.
Claims 'without foundation'
Tehran has repeatedly accused foreign powers - especially Britain and the US - of meddling after the election and stoking the unrest.
Britain has protested strongly against the arrests and rejected the Iranian allegations as baseless.
"We are very concerned by these reports and are investigating. Allegations that our staff were involved in fermenting unrest are wholly without foundation," a British foreign office statement said on Friday.
Five of the nine employees were reportedly released on Monday and Iranian state media said on Wednesday it had freed three more, but British and EU officials say two remain in custody.
Iran's semi-official Fars television station reported this week that one of the detainees had played a "remarkable role during the recent unrest in managing it behind the scenes".
Iran's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, last month described Britain, as the "most evil" of its enemies.
In the fallout from the crisis, Tehran expelled two British diplomats and the UK responded with a similar measure.
Historians says the distrust between the UK and Iran stems from the 1800s, when Iran - then Persia - was forced to concede territory to Russia in a treaty drafted by a British diplomat.
In more modern times, British operatives backed a CIA-organised coup in 1953 against an elected Iranian government.
In 2007, Iran seized 15 British navy personnel on patrol in waters between Iraq and Iran and held them for 12 days, during which time they were paraded on national television.
Britain is also among the most vocal opponents of Iran's nuclear programme, saying its aim is to develop atomic weapons, a claim denied by Tehran.
'After 9/11, it was "You're with us or your with the terrorists." Now its "You're with Straha or you support racism."' ' - The Romulan Republic

'You're a bully putting on an air of civility while saying that everything western and/or capitalistic must be bad, and a lot of other posters (loomer, Stas Bush, Gandalf) are also going along with it for their own personal reasons (Stas in particular is looking through rose colored glasses)' - Darth Yan

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Re: Iran Elections Thread

Post by The Original Nex » 2009-07-03 08:40am

Here's you're link Straha

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Re: Iran Elections Thread

Post by Elfdart » 2009-07-03 09:35am

Guardsman Bass wrote:I'm guessing shopped. Would the security forces of Iran even allow a person to get that close to the front of the car with Ahmadinejad sitting out of the top?
The other obvious reason it's a fake is because the middle finger isn't the obscene gesture used in Iran. The Iranian gesture is the thumbs-up, as one of my cousins found out when he made the mistake of wearing a T-shirt with a picture of Fonzie:

Image

Ehhhhhhhhhhh!
"One way we recognize a mass hysteria movement is that everyone who doesn’t believe is accused of being in on the plot. This has been going on virtually unrestrained in both political and media circles in recent weeks."

--Matt Taibbi

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Re: Iran Elections Thread

Post by Elfdart » 2009-07-03 09:42am

Looks like neocon crocodile tears have a shelf life of about three and a half weeks. The war whores are now back to Bomb, bomb, bomb... Bomb Bomb Iran mode. LINK

Here's a suggestion:
Glenn Greenwald wrote:Maybe we can paint the bombs green before we drop them on The Iranian People, to show our profound solidarity with them.
"One way we recognize a mass hysteria movement is that everyone who doesn’t believe is accused of being in on the plot. This has been going on virtually unrestrained in both political and media circles in recent weeks."

--Matt Taibbi

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Re: Iran Elections Thread

Post by MarshalPurnell » 2009-07-03 02:23pm

Because a targeted strike on Iran's nuclear production facilities is EXACTLY THE SAME as firebombing Dresden.

The Green movement, whatever it will be called in the future, has obviously failed miserably. The hardliners controlling the Basij and Revolutionary Guard have been able to suppress attendance at protests and to place dangerous opponents of the regime under arrest. For all the talk about Rafsanjani riding in to the rescue (and a more unlikely political savior is hard to imagine) there has been absolutely no sign of the Assembly of Experts doing anything, and plenty of reports that a majority of the Assembly has signed on with the "protests are a foreign plot" explanation being peddled by Khameni and Iranian state media. We have already seen "confessions" of espionage on Iranian TV, and it is probably only a matter of time before they start having show trials where everything is blamed on Britain, the United States, and Israel. Hardliner dominance over the government and security services will necessarily result in a purge of moderates from senior positions and the institutionalization of a Pasdaran/Basij coalition in control of the state.

They did not do this because Mousavi represented a threat to the Islamic Republic. They threw out the rules that had prevailed for nearly fifteen years because they wanted to insure their own vision for Iran's future went ahead. That vision certainly includes nuclear weapons, and only a fool would believe otherwise. Is the strategic balance in the Middle East tenable if an aggressive Iran under the control of Ahmadinejad and Khameni's hardline clique obtains nuclear weapons? Even if we stipulate that Assured Destruction will deter them from ever using nuclear weapons, it will embolden them to interfere more directly in Iraq, to harass the Gulf Arab states (who are frankly scared to death of Iran as is), and to play games with the Straits of Hormuz. We also face the prospect of a spiral of nuclear weapons proliferation as regional governments like Saudi Arabia and Egypt seek their own nuclear weapons to counter Shi'a Iran, and the Iranians trade their nuclear weapons expertise to other countries.

Now we can bomb those Iranian facilities as many times as necessary, we can get used to an aggressive Iran armed with nuclear weapons, or we can hope that the radical fundamentalist clique that has seized power in Iran has only just and reasonable ideas about the course of Iran's future. Sanctions have proven a failure time and time again and I see no prospect whatsoever of negotiations doing anything with the present government.
There is the moral of all human tales;
Tis but the same rehearsal of the past,
First Freedom, and then Glory — when that fails,
Wealth, vice, corruption, — barbarism at last.

-Lord Byron, from 'Childe Harold's Pilgrimage'

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Re: Iran Elections Thread

Post by montypython » 2009-07-03 03:02pm

We will need to wait a year to really see what happens next, in any event if the Iranian militants tried to go too aggressive there are still 133,000 US troops still sitting in Iraq as a matter of course.

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Re: Iran Elections Thread

Post by Samuel » 2009-07-03 03:36pm

Because a targeted strike on Iran's nuclear production facilities is EXACTLY THE SAME as firebombing Dresden.
Hey! Dresden was a legitamate military target.
Is the strategic balance in the Middle East tenable if an aggressive Iran under the control of Ahmadinejad and Khameni's hardline clique obtains nuclear weapons?
ABM
to harass the Gulf Arab states (who are frankly scared to death of Iran as is),
Good. The more they have a common foe, the more they need the United States to protect them. The bigger a boogyman Iran gets, the more it helps us. When Islam isn't the defining feature, but nationality, the US becomes the protector of the Arabs from the Persian hordes.

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Re: Iran Elections Thread

Post by Elfdart » 2009-07-03 06:59pm

MarshalPurnell wrote:Because a targeted strike on Iran's nuclear production facilities is EXACTLY THE SAME as firebombing Dresden.
No, it's worse. The US and Iran are not legally at war (as Britain and Germany were) and are not bombing each others' countries on a daily basis.

They did not do this because Mousavi represented a threat to the Islamic Republic. They threw out the rules that had prevailed for nearly fifteen years because they wanted to insure their own vision for Iran's future went ahead. That vision certainly includes nuclear weapons, and only a fool would believe otherwise.
You will provide evidence that Iran is trying to build nuclear weapons, right?

Is the strategic balance in the Middle East tenable if an aggressive Iran under the control of Ahmadinejad and Khameni's hardline clique obtains nuclear weapons?
Iran is one of the least aggressive countries on the planet. When was the last time they invaded another country? Not that it matters if they were as aggressive as the war whores claim: The "strategic balance" in the region consists of US hegemony, with scraps being fed to Uncle Sam's lapdogs in Israel, the UK and the princes who rule allied states. This "strategic balance" has helped bankrupt the US Government both financially and morally, and has caused the death, disfigurement and displacement of millions of people. The sooner this "balance" gets flushed down the crapper, the better.

Even if we stipulate that Assured Destruction will deter them from ever using nuclear weapons, it will embolden them to interfere more directly in Iraq, to harass the Gulf Arab states (who are frankly scared to death of Iran as is), and to play games with the Straits of Hormuz.
How dare they? Interfering in Iraq and the Gulf is a job reserved exclusively for America -FUCK YEAH!

By the way, thanks for admitting that the real fear among war whores is NOT that Iran would start flinging nukes the way say, Israel uses white phosphorous on Gaza or America used napalm on Southeast Asia; but the fact that a country armed with nukes is no longer subject to blackmail from Washington.

We also face the prospect of a spiral of nuclear weapons proliferation as regional governments like Saudi Arabia and Egypt seek their own nuclear weapons to counter Shi'a Iran, and the Iranians trade their nuclear weapons expertise to other countries.
I wish.

Now we can bomb those Iranian facilities as many times as necessary, we can get used to an aggressive Iran armed with nuclear weapons, or we can hope that the radical fundamentalist clique that has seized power in Iran has only just and reasonable ideas about the course of Iran's future. Sanctions have proven a failure time and time again and I see no prospect whatsoever of negotiations doing anything with the present government.
Or we could just mind our own fucking business, an option that causes far less death and destruction.
"One way we recognize a mass hysteria movement is that everyone who doesn’t believe is accused of being in on the plot. This has been going on virtually unrestrained in both political and media circles in recent weeks."

--Matt Taibbi

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