The War of the Ayatollahs
26 Jun 2009 01:46
By HANA H. in Tehran | 25 June 2009
[TEHRAN BUREAU] The fact that there is a war going on between "two senior revolutionary clerics" is not a big secret. The cat was out of the bag when right after one of the election debates one of the two bunched up his robes and headed to Qom to lobby the ayatollahs there.
While no one really knows what happened in Qom, there has been speculation that cleric #2 has tried to unseat cleric #1 and for this, he desperately needs the support of the god squad.
Rumor has it that #2 has approached one of the top sources of emulation in the Shia world to allegedly garner support for his cause, which does not seem all that clear as he has not officially taken a stance on it.
One privilege of being in the same profession is that one usually knows all there is to know about others moving in the same circles and when at war, this information can be used as leverage as this is what appeared to have happened last Friday.
Cleric #1 addressed the nation, issued threats and offered incentives. Mysteriously hinted at the things he knew and would tell all if things did not quiet down. Dangled the good old carrot and brought down the stick. His words however appear to have fallen on deaf ears.
This Friday cleric #2, who has so far kept silent in appearance and not flinched even after his family members were arrested to perhaps get a reaction out of him, was the person who was supposed to take the pulpit.
Every one anticipated his speech as it could have been detrimental, he could have chosen to raise the white flag or declared war and even made counter threats. However it does not seem like he will be given the chance as the one addressing the nation this week will be another cleric who is in cleric #1's team.
The god squad in Qom which had waited out the turmoil to see who was more likely to come out of the ring a winner before deciding which side to support has slowly begun to realize #1 has more pull and now one by one they are coming forth calling for an end to the dispute.
The crisis in Tehran is beyond the defeated candidate and the winner of the race as both are puppets in the game.
The defeated candidate keeps blowing 'hot and cold.' One day he urges people to calm and the next he tells them to protest and says that he is ready for martyrdom; one day he urgently tweets that he wants people to join him in front of Parliament and the next he issues a denial saying he never tweeted this.
He asked people to join him in Tehran's cemetery on Thursday for mourning. Gathering in Tehran cemetery is of great importance, as it is what happened when the founder of the Islamic Republic returned to the country. It was the speech he delivered at the cemetery where the martyrs of the revolution had been laid to rest that changed the future of Iran.
The puppeteers of this show knew that such a gathering taking place would mean giving legitimacy to the cause of the defeated candidates. What could have turned into a bloody confrontation was called off by organizers.
The winner of the race appears to be assured of where he stands as there have been no statements coming from his direction. The streets of Tehran look more like the streets of Baghdad with checkpoints set up throughout the capital and IRGC uniformed men patrolling the streets and stopping people at whim.
Fewer and fewer people seem to be coming out and protests seem to have lost their momentum. After dark, the sound of Allah o Akbar still resonates through the night followed by gunshots to frighten people.
They even say that certain people go around and spray paint the doors of homes where the sound of Allah o Akbar comes from so that they can arrest people the next day. Maybe even to scare them into thinking that someone is on to them and they could be arrested at any moment.
People seem to have lost their hope and to have realized that the change they were looking for will never come. They seem to have accepted that they have no power to assert their rights and justice is deaf, dumb and blind.
The winner of the Ayatollah wars has proven his point and taught everyone a lesson.
Copyright (c) 2009 Tehran Bureau