The lost cause and the mojo thief
by HANA H. in Tehran
27 Nov 2009 23:57
The blaze--once presumed unstoppable--rapidly lost intensity, becoming a weak spark that has now flickered out leaving everyone in purgatory, waiting for a conclusion to the events that rocked Iran to the core.
The movement that could have led to some form of change under proper leadership has been reduced to infighting, which is easily manageable by those who have been in charge for three decades, and will be for many more years to come.
The hope hinging on Mir Hossein Mousavi was lost in vain. He had his 15 minutes, which was apparently more than he could handle, leaving room for Mehdi Karroubi to jump in and steal the show.
"Karroubi totally hijacked everyone else's mojo simply by having bigger b$&%s and a louder mouth," said one astute Iran commentator.
This drama, however, still needs a grand finale, preferably for the Leadership one that includes a big trial and a sacrificial goat. Two names have been shortlisted for this honor and both opposition figures have given authorities a million reasons to become the 'chosen one' for a long holiday behind bars.
The reluctance to ignore Karroubi, and build a case against Mousavi instead, suggests that if someone is to go down, it will likely not be the "Sheikh of Reform," as he has come to be known by those who still believe that he is fighting for their cause.
The actions of lawmaker and Ahmadinejad wannabe, Rouhollah Hosseinian, give some weight to this theory. Hosseinian, the one who started a commotion in Majlis by putting pressure on his colleagues to sign a letter demanding the arrest and trial of Mousavi, refused to point the same finger at Karroubi.
"Karroubi's case is different from Mousavi," Hosseinian was quoted as saying. "Maybe if lawmakers were [even] to sign a letter of complaint against Karroubi, I would not be signing it."
Even at the beginning of the manhunt, Karroubi was not a suspect. Had it not been for the insistence of reporters who kept asking "when" and "if" or "whether any legal or other form of action would be taken against Karroubi," who unlike Mousavi insisted on provoking everyone and breaking all the unwritten rules, officials would not have dragged his name into the matter. They would have continued to ignore the issue until it was forgotten.
But once the powers realized that members of the press had no intention of letting this one slide, they began passing the ball to one another. The Prosecutor General explained that as a cleric, the Special Clerical Court would have to hear the case against Karroubi.
"Hearing the charges raised against Mr. Karroubi is the responsibility of the Clerical Court and they must initiate action in this regard," Prosecutor General Gholam-Hossein Mohseni-Ejei told the hardline Kayhan newspaper. "The judiciary will act according to the law concerning the post-election sedition and those involved in the rioting will be dealt with when the time is right."
Meanwhile, the Clerical Court, which is independent from the Judiciary and the High Court (and directly under the supervision of the Supreme Leader), implied a lack of jurisdiction, suggesting it needed a direct order from the judiciary to start a motion against Karroubi.
Interestingly enough, the Clerical Court had no objection to having Mohammad-Ali Abtahi, a man of the cloth, tried by the Revolution Court. It simply accepted the vague explanation of outgoing Prosecutor General Ghorban Ali Dorri Najafabadi that Abtahi was "one of the persons of interest in this case" and could therefore escape its jurisdiction.
While the word 'jurisdiction' has come to have a loose definition among Iranian authorities, resorting to 'jurisdiction' is also unacceptable because when one of their own falls from grace, they never shy away from switching to commando-style operations to get the job done, something that can be attested to by those who have borne the brunt of such arrests.
Karroubi has recently begun rewriting history to fit his personal agenda, by claiming that in the Assembly of Experts, he was one of the critics of the decision to appoint Seyyed Ali Khamenei as Iran's Leader.
What I'm saying is not a new concept and after the passing of [Imam] I spoke out against the deviation that began in the Assembly of Experts, I have always had a clear stance and talked about these matters and they would summon many of my friends and cohorts to the
clerical and non-clerical courts. Yet we withstood all the hardships. Back then it was harder because the people didn't know [what was really happening] but today it is different because the people all know where they stand," he said in a video message to the Iranian people, after being hit on the head with a shoe.
In his quest to tailor reality, Karroubi crossed the final red line by openly stating that he has never pledged allegiance to the current Leadership of the country, tacitly accusing him of being the man behind all deviations.
"I still honor the pledge I made to the Imam and the nation and I am still devoted to the Islamic Republic and the constitution.... Those who have caused a deviation in the Islamic Republic and in Islam are the ones who need to repent."
Karroubi's motives and intentions remain an unsolved mystery. Either he is a brave little old man who has no concern but to speak truth to power, or he has some good dirt on someone, a higher-up, and knows he will remain untouchable, even after taking such a swipe at the Leadership.
It is, however, more likely that he has reached an agreement behind closed doors and knows he will not be the lamb to be led to the slaughter.
Copyright © 2009 Tehran Bureau