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Oh What a Mess

by MEA CYRUS in London

26 Nov 2009 01:5049 Comments

[ analysis ] At a recent security conference in Tehran, Intelligence Minister Heidar Moslehi raised "the need to redefine the Islamic Republic's security atmosphere and interests." No one could have been too surprised when in that context Moslehi referred to "a center" whose members were actively seeking regime change from the inside -- such rhetoric is not new from top military or intelligence officials of the Islamic Republic. But when he went on to say that this center had managed to lure "some figures," he did raise some eyebrows.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's new Intelligence Minister was thinking just like his president. The "figures" he was referring to are politicians and clerics who hold very important positions in the establishment, like Ali Akbar Nateq Nouri, a cleric who heads the Supreme Leader's Special Inspectorate Office. Ahmadinejad has raised his name a few times, most famously during June's live presidential TV debates, when he called the conservative cleric and his son's integrity into question.

Ahmadinejad has named others, such as Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, the supposed head of this "center," who is seeking to knock him from power. Ali Larijani, the powerful speaker of the Parliament, is another target. A day before Moslehi's speech, Alireza Zakani, a hardliner, said that Larijani had joined the subversive forces during and immediately after the election by implicitly supporting opposition candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi. Some even say Larijani called Mousavi to congratulate him on his "sweeping victory."

Moslehi's speech, in which he warned of a tactical alliance between internal and external opposition forces, was simply a more clear articulation of arguments put forth by commanders of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps. In recent weeks, the IRGC has repeatedly spoken of enemy plots and those inside the country who help them with their actions. The IRGC has also started to strongly emphasize the importance of rallying behind Ayatollah Khamenei, a clear indication that the Supreme Leader is feeling the heat from all directions, from some top clerics of the Council of Experts, who can potentially unseat him according to Constitution, or people on the street who chant "Khamenei is a killer," or from a math student who dared to openly challenge him in front of hundreds of students and academics about his handling of the post-election crisis.

Though the clerics' grip on power may appear to be tight, especially given its ability to widely deploy the IRGC and Basij militias, its fundamental weakness lies in the increasing numbers of formerly pro-regime Iranians who have started to ask themselves whether this was the "Islamic Republic" that they were promised. Protesters have already defiantly co-opted long-established state-sponsored slogans, chanting "Neither Gaza, Nor Lebanon, My Life is for Iran"; shouting "Death to Russia," in response to "Death to America"; or substituting "Iranian Republic" for "Islamic Republic" at the end of one of the most important slogans that started it all: "Neither East, Nor West, Islamic Republic."

This dramatic shift in public sentiment is not something to be easily dismissed. The Supreme Leader has personally objected to it. "What is the real meaning of changing slogans like 'Death to America' and 'Death to Israel' in recent events?" he asked in one of his speeches after the Qods Day demonstrations. Clearly, he is not pleased.

But neither are the Iranian people. There is increasing disappointment and hopeless at a regime that is showing absolutely no signs of listening to them or willing to address their demands in a more satisfactory manner. There is understandably no consensus among people on how to proceed from here. Those of a more conservative persuasion are worried about the weakening effects of the current crisis on Iran's national interests and its standing in the international community. Grappling with its faltering legitimacy, how will it tackle the nuclear negotiations and handle threats of sanctions or even a military attack, not to mention real or perceived activities of a subversive nature. Those more restless for change say the government has breached the public's trust in such a major way that there is no going back -- enough is enough!

The real decision-makers are aware of this situation and are dealing with the crisis by keeping the opposition from having a unified leadership. That is why security agents quickly rounded up opposition figures after the election and kept them under lock and key, releasing them one by one and only as a result of internal or international pressure. Government tactics seems to have paid off, as Mir Hossein Mousavi is cornered and his activities have been reduced to issuing statements. The next step is to put him on trial, a not-so-remote possibility.

Still, this does not suggest that there appears to be a national consensus to go for regime change, or anything close to it, like a "Color Revolution" as in Central Asia, as the Iranian government so badly frets. There are strong views on both sides and government actions are crucial in making people either change their minds or grow more spiteful.

The government and the Supreme Leader, whose signature can be seen everywhere, are seemingly in no mood to take a more critical look at the situation and still apparently think a harsh crackdown is the only answer. Proposals made by a wide range of politicians from both camps have fallen on deaf ears. The conservative and influential Society of Militant Clergy announced today that it had decided to disband a team it had put together to find a compromise to the current deadlock. Ahmad Salek, a cleric, told reporters in Tehran that "after talks with Bozorgan," or top officials, "the Society of Militant Clergy concluded that there was no need for this team to carry on."

The Rohaniat, as the group is called in Farsi, is very close to both the Supreme Leader and Rafsanjani. Its leader, Ayatollah Mahdavi Kani, a former Prime Minister, is a highly respected cleric among the top layer of the political elite. If the Society he leads has been told to dismantle its seven-member team, it speaks volumes about what is going on behind the scene and how the Supreme Leader is thinking.

Even other conservative parties such as the Islamic Coalition Society, which has stressed the need to find a compromise, which has spoken in a conciliatory manner about Karroubi and Mousavi, has changed its tone in the past two weeks and escalated its attacks on opposition leaders, calling them "puppets" being played by foreign powers. These groups get their lines from the Supreme Leader, and as their rhetoric shows, Khamenei and the IRGC have made up their minds not to give any ground to the opposition and their supporters among the students and ordinary people.

How telling that 30 years after the 1979 revolution the clerical establishment has come to resemble for ordinary Iranians a dictatorship far more cruel than the regime it toppled. Even establishment clerics like Mahdi Karoubi who spent years in the Shah's prisons, has made comparisons between the Western-propped Shah and "God-appointed" Khamenei. He has even pointedly said, "Don't act this way as the people might start to say 'God bless the Shah.'"

Although some high profile-clerics such as Ayatollah Montazeri, Sanei, Ardebili, Taheri and others have voiced their frustrations, a majority of the clerical establishment has not crossed the government line. Clerics know that the current crisis carries a strategic threat to their own survival, so they support and uphold the Supreme Leader's every commandment. The fact is that the political establishment has long changed the ways in which religious schools and seminaries operate financially, in order to make them increasingly reliant on the government. At the same time, clerics are closely watched and monitored to keep a tight control over what they say. So what Montazeri, Sanei and a few other high-profile ayatollahs say, is not something other clerics endorse, at least not publicly. This silence has taken its toll on the popularity of clerics; historically they were widely regarded to be independent and unafraid of the central government. But as these measures have quietly permeated all levels of the clergy over the years, it's no surprise that their independence has been so compromised.

This is not to imply that there are no signs of unease among clerics in Qom and other holy cities; there are. They may be questioning the current state of affairs, but so far no big cracks have appeared among the rank and file. But even at the highest levels of the political structure, they feel the sting of one phenomenon: the diminished esteem in which the mullahs are regarded. In the words of Rafsanjani, "people are turning away from clerics and seeking (political and general) guidance from students." This warning by Rafsanjani is meant to spell out for the Supreme Leader and the clerical establishment that a climate like pre-1979 is beginning to materialize. Like Ahmadinejad's Intelligence Minister, Rafsanjani is calling for a reassessment of the government's security interests. But the two mindsets are so far apart on what the regime needs to do for its survival that it is hard to imagine that in a fractured system like the current "Islamic Republic" any of them are going to be able to find a quick and secure way out of this mess.

Photos: Principlist MP Mehdi Kouchakzadeh exhibiting passionate disapproval of Ali Larijani, Majlis speaker.

Copyright © 2009 Tehran Bureau

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well number one: We don't have a party in Iran.
Do you remember the first slogans of them: HEZb faghat hezbollah rahbar faghat roohollah this is a slogan I remember since I was a kid and I could not well understand it and why it was written everywhere...so only One party...now there are differences among members of the same party.

Secondly: Since I remember since 1979 when I was a little child people have been complaining and were so depressed and repressed. It is nothing new. It is just that there is only sometime one can stay in power by force. The only difference is that these young kids who did not experience a revolution want to try their luck to, just like our parents.

thirdly since I have been living Iran as far as I remember people had such a nostalgia for good old days of Shah time. It is wrong to say people are going to start to think that way. It is been since ages ago.....


Anonymous / November 26, 2009 6:25 AM

Great article. really gives a sense of what is happening objectively and its historical importance. thank you.

Arash / November 26, 2009 7:37 AM

IRCG is a mafia organization, and we all have seen Godfather. It is a matter of time before these Generals and MPs are found in dumpsters in and around Tehran.

Let them devour themselves.

Ahvaz / November 26, 2009 9:05 AM

Mullahs are leaches. For centuries they have sat on the fence only to jump in at a chance of a free meal. They know their faith is sealed. Iranians have learned their true nature really really, really, realy well.

Ahvaz / November 26, 2009 9:10 AM

Sum it up seperate religeon from goverment,there is no other way,If that means new regime than so be it..

vettcrazz / November 26, 2009 9:39 AM

A mess?

-Is the military functioning and taking orders? Yes.
-Are the Basij volunteering? Yes.
-Is the national police functioning and taking orders? Yes.
-Are government appointments being made? Yes.
-Are government bills being enacted? Yes.
-Is government domestic policy being conducted? Yes.
-Are foreign policy advances being made? Yes.
-Has the political opposition been effectively marginalized? Yes.
-Are public polls showing a majority in support of the government? Yes.
-Are public polls showing a vast majority in support of the Islamic Republic? Yes.
-Are public works functioning? Yes.
-Are public services functioning? Yes.
-Are strikes paralyzing the economy? No.

Granted, Iran faces challenges. But a mess? Although the author may wish it were so, the facts on the ground just do not support such low hopes.

Pirouz / November 26, 2009 11:46 AM

Some might argue that the current rifts would turn in to unreconcilable polarization that would force the system to either accept a fundamental change towards a more accountable and open system or else it would cause the system to alienate itself even more so than it is now.

The more tangible outcomes are to be seen in months to come. The labeling and finger pointing are not new in the IR system, nor unexpected. As you might remember the IR system did not hesitate to purge those who dared to decent. Remember those very first higher ranking clerics like Taleghani...etc.
What we are seeing in Iran is a resilient system that seem to be able to pretty much absorb different levels of social pressures and yet still withstand . That is not as odd as some might think but it is again to be seen for how long that can keep going.

I remember the time that as a student i attended the NateghNuri talk in Isfahan university. Those were days, days that he wish were perpetual , but alas , nothing last forever, not the least bit for those who want to force their ideology on others.


Yves / November 26, 2009 10:44 PM

"I remember people had such a nostalgia for good old days of Shah time"

I grew up in that time and I went to college. It was far better than this mess. Shah made so many mistakes and there was not a political freedom, but people enjoyed social and economic freedom.
Thirty years of war, mass execution, disarray in social and political system of Iran.

What you see now is the ignorance accompanied with Islam. Islam the religion of ignorance

Anonymous / November 27, 2009 4:17 AM

Dear Pirouz,

I know you by your history of comments here and there. In short, you are a great example of Eyes Wide Shut, not in a movie by that name, but in real terms.

If you like to put those questions and yeses in your comment to the situation right before the 1979 revolution you would be forced to keep silent for the rest of your life. The answer to all your questions were YES before the regime change in Iran then why did it happen? I am not saying Iranians are on the verge of changing their regime, only saying there is a big mess in that country, you like it or not. that's why students are detained and imprisoned, political activists are dealt with heavy handedly and baton wielding militia beat people so savagely.
You must be old enough to remember Iraq regime before 2003 and in those years Iraqis were living under shadow of terror. all those questions you have lined up to say IR system is well functioning, would have no answer but yes under Saddam in Iraq as well. So why that country was in a mess that ended in regime change?
The point is simple, Iranian regime had enough on its plate before June elections, but now there is a big crisis on clerics' hands, on how to win people back while they have been emboldened to say no to the regime. I don't want to disrespect you, but as President Obama said to Iran that "talks can't go on only for sake of talking", I think you need to think twice before commenting for the sake of commenting.


pirouz open your eyes please / November 27, 2009 4:41 AM

What the author likes to call a "mess" is actually an excellent opportunity to conduct a cultural revolution and purge those elements who want to overthrow the Islamic Revolution.

In the near future expect a cultural Revolution led by the Basij, a “long march” if you will through all of the institutions of Iranian society. You already see this with the recent announcement that the Basij will begin opening chapters in the lower grades of the educational system. Let’s be blunt, just like the original long march this will not take a week and a half, and those planning to overthrow the revolution will suffer consequences similar to those who opposed Khomeini in 1979 and later.

Iran will be a more mobilized, more active revolutionary state more similar to the early stages of the revolution. One has to realize that the current attempt to overthow the system, what many call a “Velvet Revolution” was clearly foreseen by the the strategic think tank of the Pasdaran years ago, then headed by Gen. Jafari. He argued strenously that measures had to be undertaken to turn the focus inward to protect the Revolution, that the neglected Basij had to be reactivated and reenergized to play the leading role it had during the war years.

Eventually his views came to the fore and he was named head of the Pasdaran in 2007. From that day the Pasdaran and the Basij were completely reorganized, a process that continues to this day with many different officers replaced.
If the Guards and the Basij are so prominent today it is because they (Jafari in particular) saw the future most clearly and took the necessary steps to meet the new challenges.

Samuel / November 27, 2009 7:03 AM

To Pirouz
-Is the military functioning and taking orders? No, they give the orders now
-Are the Basij volunteering? They are paid and those who did not agree with the repression have been expelled

-Is the national police functioning and taking orders? A lot a policemen have express disgust for basiji’s actions

-Are government appointments being made? Khamenei had to write a letter to get conservative MPs in line
-Are government bills being enacted? 21% inflation rate

-Is government domestic policy being conducted? Poverty rate is rising
-Are foreign policy advances being made? Iran has never been so isolated

-Has the political opposition been effectively marginalized?Marginalized yes. Effectively no
-Are public polls showing a majority in support of the government? Be serious
-Are public polls showing a vast majority in support of the Islamic Republic? Again, be serious.
-Are public works functioning? IRGC runs them
-Are public services functioning? Prisons, yes

-Are strikes paralyzing the economy? Not yet
-Does the IRGC uses murder, rape and torture to quell opposition ? Yes.
-Does IRGC uses stalinist show trials to accuse the democratic opposition of plotting to overthrow the regime ? Yes
-Does IRGC control all the state media and is supressing freedom of press ? Yes

Gloumdalclitch / November 27, 2009 8:22 AM

Dear Pirouzopenyoureyes.

RE "You must be old enough to remember Iraq regime before 2003 and in those years Iraqis"

I am sure in 2003 Pirouz was old enough physically. But mentaly and intellectually ????

Aram bash / November 27, 2009 9:33 AM

@Mr,Pirouz Basiji,
So was USSR for 75 years.
Governments functioning with iron fist are always doomed. Your beloved Islamo-Fascist government does not possess any immunity either.

Aryajet / November 27, 2009 11:04 AM


this brutality now makes Shah of Iran a tolerant man compared to Khameni! says: Karoubi (a cleric who was at the top of the system)

Dirouz / November 27, 2009 2:59 PM

One cannot honestly take Pirouz's comments seriously especially when it comes to his answers to the questions of:
- Are public polls showing a majority in support of the government? Yes....
-Are public polls showing a vast majority in support of the Islamic Republic? Yes...

Who is conducting these public polls and how legitimate are them?

I guess Pirouz is right in one aspect and that is it is pretty normal in IRI to beat up on people, put many of them in jail for just expressing their opinions, torture them and finally execute them in the name of God.

What has really changed?

shahrom / November 27, 2009 5:22 PM

I'm suprised that this site opens its comments section to people like Samuel, a well known IRGC's propagandist, calling for the mass murdering (purge, as nicely put) of those, inside and outside the regime, who oppose the underhand military coup that IRGC is trying to achieve. This kind of despicable individuals don't deserve any attention.

Gloumdalclitch / November 28, 2009 12:07 AM

IRGC goons are already in charge of 75% of Iranian economy, with Baseej their foot soldiers and in charge of silencing the people. Have we forgotten how, ever since Ahmadinejad has taken over, most every single industry, major construction projects, communication and all have become under control of IRGC?

These criminals are well in position to repeat last chain killing in much broader scale. Only way is to unite and resist until they are driven out of homeland.

-YT / November 28, 2009 1:44 AM


Just to correct "purge" does not mean mass murder. It can also mean exile which is what happens when you have a Revolution. What happened to the White Russians after Lenin's Revolution, what happened to the anti-Castro Cubans after the Cuban Revolution, what happened to the KMT loyalists after Mao won in China?
Comes the Answer: The Russians scattered through Western and Eastern Europe; The Cuban exiles wound up in Miami, US; and the anti-communist Chinese ended up in the little Island of Taiwan.

It is time for those who adore life in the West so much and who humilliate themselves by pleading with Master Obama to plant themselves in the nation of their choice. It would not surprise me if once there they join with racist western groups since the reformists are basically anti-Islam and anti-Arab bigots.

Samuel / November 28, 2009 6:25 AM

To Samuel :
Typical rhetoric of a totalitarian ideology: we are the real muslims, thus all those who don't agree with us are anti-Islam bigots, thus intoxicated by a foreign thinking, thus they are foreign agents, thus we must get rid of them (Montazeri, a CIA/Mossad agent, of course...). This old trick used either by communist or fascist regimes, aims at discrediting any authentic opposition. IRGC's generals need an islamic veneer to cover the kleptocracy they have already begin to establish and dream to acheive. If those generals were as pious muslims as they claim to be, they should start by cutting their own hands. The opposition is there to stop Iran from becoming a mix of Myanmar and North Korea with a hint of Saudi Arabia. In the long run, the opposition will prevail because it is deeply rooted in iranian society. As for you, Samuel, your cynical contempt for many of your compatriots is sickening.

Gloumdalclitch / November 28, 2009 5:24 PM


Montazeri? Of course he is not a CIA/Mossad agent. He is however a traitor and a hypocrite and he was labeled as such by the Ayatollah Khomenini, the same Khomeini who the Greens keep proclaiming they adore.

Here is the letter from Khomeini to the traitor Montazeri:


"Since it has become clear that after me you are going to hand over this country, our dear Islamic
revolution, and the Muslim people of Iran to the liberals, and through that channel to the hypocrites [Mojahedin-e Khalq], you are no longer eligible to succeed me as the legitimate leader of the state.
You, in most of your letters, speeches and stances, have shown that you believe the liberals and hypocrites should rule in this country. It is so clear that your remarks have been dictated by the hypocrites that I did not see any point in sending a reply. For instance, thanks to your speeches and written work, the hypocrites took advantage of your stance in defense of their ilk to promote a number of their comrades who had been condemned to death on charges of waging an armed struggle against Islam and the revolution to positions of authority."

Samuel / November 28, 2009 9:13 PM

What did you expect from these Satanic versus?
Peace and love?
The root of the problem is Islam.

Qur'an (3:151) - "Soon shall We cast terror into the hearts of the Unbelievers, for that they joined companions with Allah, for which He had sent no authority". This speaks directly of polytheists, yet it also includes Christians, since they believe in the Trinity (ie. what Muhammad incorrectly believed to be 'joining companions to Allah').

And kill them wherever you overtake them and expel them from wherever they have expelled you, and fitnah( misleading and Hippocracy) is worse than killing. And do not fight them at al-Masjid al- îaram( the holy Mosque) until they fight you there. But if they fight you, then kill them. Such is the recompense of the disbelievers.

gooya / November 28, 2009 10:26 PM

To Pirouz..Your comments are exactly what is wrong with the Iranian gov't and its pursecuted people. There is something seriously wrong with your thinking... Now your great leader is in South America meeting with the other oppresive leaders. They are all just a bunch of thugs, murderers, thieves and criminal individuals who band together because the civilized world wants nothing to do with any of them. If there is a hell, they will be first thru the door.

Teney / November 28, 2009 10:53 PM


It is obvious that you know next to nothing about South America or its various leaders. Lula in Brazil a dictator? Surely you are joking. Morales in Bolivia is a freely elected leader who has for the first time given a voice to the native communities long opressed by the white, wealthy elites. Chavez was also freely elected and then briefly, very briefly, overthrown by a military coup supported by the United States. Chavez, like, Morales has the strong support of non-white and poor Venezuelans long subjugated by pro-American dictators.

The civilized world? Oh you must mean those American and British leaders who invaded Iraq using made up charges resulting in the deaths of thousands of Iraqis. How about those war criminal Israelis who turned Gaza into a concentration camp and who steal yet more land from the Palestinians every single day.

One suspects you know as much about Iran or the region as you know about South America.

Samuel / November 29, 2009 9:04 AM

To Pirouz and all the others like him; your venomous religion and ideology will be purged from Iran soon. You must know it, as your comments reek of fear and hatred...
rest assured, this government is on borrowed time. The reckoning is at hand for the “Islamic Republic” to answer for its crimes against Iran. I look forward to a free and truly democratic Iran worthy of carrying on the proud legacy of our ancient culture.

Bahar / November 29, 2009 11:43 AM

This criminal, corrupt Mullahacracy is on it's last legs. The writing is on the wall and it is not a "if" but "when" these crooked Mullahas will be kicked out.
Khamenei is no more divinely guided and than I am to make this comment. He is a power hungary crook who will do any thing to cling to power - Iran be dammned.
Iranians do not have a choice but to kick him and the crooked cabal of Mullahas out of power. Easier said than done but there is no alternative if the Iranian nation and people ever expect to find their rightful place among the nations of the world.
Right now Iran is a laughing stock of the world and the Iranian people do NOT deserve that.

Dave / November 29, 2009 8:23 PM

Pirouz, It seems to me you left out a critical question.

Do the Iranian people want you Islamist zealots around?

Marjan / November 29, 2009 8:45 PM

Bahar and Dave,

You are both cordially invited to attend Basij week, November 2015 by President Jafari.

Samuel / November 29, 2009 9:04 PM

Samuel, in your [ ] dreams.

Marjan / November 29, 2009 11:36 PM

I am so sorry to see the level and anger and disrespect. A microcosm outside of Iran is reflecting the true problem of what is going on inside iran all here on the comment pages of Tehranbureau!
are we all so deprived of reason and civility that we can only communicate our ideas, beliefs and ideals via anger and insult to each other. to inform, dialogue, and dissent is a good mandate for everyone enjoying the freedoms of expression but to do with hate and anger at the levels shown here is a shame. pls take some time and reflect on the hate and anger that is being put out here. iran and the problems of iranians will not be solved with these thoughts expressed in these manners.

fraidon / November 30, 2009 5:32 AM

What would you like us to do with a bunch of murderers, torturers, rapists and executioners.How do you communicate with someone whose primary objective is to put a bullet in you or stick a knife in you or beat you up with chain? Would you like me to take some flowers to the next rally? How would you like me to dress up for you to please your taste? we are at war, get it sunshine?

Marjan / November 30, 2009 9:32 AM

I dont know who samuel is, but obviously he is an Iranian who is well educated in the english language, and probably lives in the west or has been here. I wonder why if he is so proud of this beloved regime he changes his name? He is right in his comments though this regime is smarter and much more brutal than those previous. These people like samuel here and the basiji's and the revolutionary guard will kill their own families without a moments hesitation in order to keep power and money. This regime is not going anywhere, trust me on this! And yes mr. Pirouz is right everything is functioning just the way they want it to function, and any one who stands in their way will be jailed tortured and/or killed. so we can dream of a free Iran but not for another couple of generations. I hope I am wrong.

d / November 30, 2009 10:17 AM


As a matter of fact, I will be in Iran in 2015 living in a free society.

The question is will you be there? I suspect you will be there. You'll probably shave that beard; take up wearing a tie and start spouting the virtues of a liberal, secular democratic society!

People like you are a dime a dozen. You will always support the party in power as long as you stand to gain from it. How else could you justify supporting a government that tortures, rapes and kills innocent people on a daily basis.

Fraidon, please understand, I don’t hate these people. I am simply indifferent towards them. Sort of like how one would be indifferent to a turd lying in a ditch. LOL

Baha / November 30, 2009 10:26 AM

The great nation of Iran and its great people need to rise to the their well deserved high position in this world. This will not happen with the despotic Mullahs in power, who are not even people of God. In fact, the Mullahs continue to represent their own self interests, not the interests of the people of Iran. The ascent of Iran will be accomplished only after the fall of Mullahs. Forget all other verses, and follow this one. Bismillah and good riddance of bad rubbish!

Harfan / November 30, 2009 8:37 PM

I do happen to oppose the so called Reformist movement and I consider myself a supporter of the Islamic Revolution and the current Government.

First of all any person should be offended by the excessive, hypocritical and simply false charges against the Iranian Government. Iran today is far more democratic than the overwhelming majority of other Middle Eastern countries. Let’s go through the list: Mubarak is for all intents and purposes president for life of Egypt and his son is waiting in the wings; Saudi Arabia? Enough said. Jordan-a monarchy which favors its Bedouin minority and has crushed Palestinian uprisings in the past.
Israel? Well it’s a democracy for jews just like South Africa was a democracy for whites. It truly is an Apartheid country in the 21st century.
Iraq under Saddam? Saddam would match the 72 (if it was 72) killed in the recent post election disturbances most mornings before lunch. Yet Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the Zionists (and Saddam in his day) are America's closest allies.

The point is that given its neighborhood the govt. of the S.L. and AN is pacifist by comparison, yet the international community seeks to portray Iran as the second coming of Hitler. By any standard this is a ridiculous comparison.

Iran is such a dictatorship that members of Parliament routinely denounce the President, mocking him relentlessly and the Supreme Leader is confronted in public by a critical mathematics student. Somewhere in hell Saddam is laughing at the SL and AN and calling them weaklings.

Samuel / December 1, 2009 6:09 AM

Samuel, I've heard about "comparative education" but since when is "comparative politics" on trend?

What does Mubarak have to do with Iran?
My student friends are in prison now as we speak. OK., in Egypt, 10 times as many are, but WHY ARE YOU COMPARING? What right do authorities have to terrorize the students, NO MATTER what Iraqis, Egyptians or Americans are doing to theirs?

Why didn't the authorities allow for an investigation into the election? (don't tell me the Guardian Council did. By law the GC was to remain NEUTRAL before the election and it robbed itself of any legitimacy when it broke that rule) Why did they terrorize the demonstrators? Why were childrens' bodies handed to their parents?

Why do you look for the answers to these questions in some other country?

I agree with you about the West's double standards. They treat authoritarian regimes far more brutal than Iran as friends and demonize us to infinity. But most/many of the people on this forum are IRANIAN. They don't give a hoot what is going on in Egypt or how America treats the Saudis. We are looking at IRAN and wish to find our answers there and there ALONE.

Pedestrian / December 1, 2009 8:05 AM


The West's double standard matters because the reformists are in an alliance with said hypocrites who "treat authoritarian regimes far more brutal than Iran as friends and demonize us to infinity."

That is the reason why the so called reformists appeal to Obama and hold up signs in English. They want foreign intervention to support their cause.

As to the election. Why is it that the very same Supreme Leader that allowed Khatami, the green hero, to serve two terms as President intervened against Mousavi?

The truth is that the “reformists” of today are not reformists in any real sense of the word. The goal of the reformists in this election was simple--to overthrow the system, to destroy the Revolution. The cat was let out of the bag when the Pasdaran revealed direct private quotes made by the former president Khatami BEFORE the June 12 elections:
“if Ahmadinejad falls in this election the leader will practically be eliminated.”
“If reforms return to administration, the leader will no longer have authority in the society …”

I do not believe that Khatami has ever denied saying these things (for good reason: they are probably on tape) instead relying on tried and true whining, claiming that “the military cannot intervene” in elections.

Eliminating (in effect) the Supreme Leader is not “reform”, it constitutes nothing less than an attempt to destroy the Revolution of Khomeini. Velayat-e Faqih is the key doctrine and central institution of Khomeinist Iran. At the end of the day the so called reformists are nothing more than radicals who want to overthrow the Revolution. The ones shouting "Death to Khamenei" are just more honest than the rest. They had to be stopped and they were stopped.

Samuel / December 1, 2009 11:16 AM

I think Samuel works for Press TV.

Pasha / December 1, 2009 5:45 PM

Samuel, I'm not going to comment on your beliefs about a West/Reformist alliance because I see we are on VERY different wavelengths. But I do think it is quite the opposite and the West has always benefited from authoritarian regimes in the Middle East.

I will however comment on the rest:
I'm a student and was in Iran up to just a short while ago. But you can not use any of those arguments to justify the brutality inflicted on the students. You can not use those arguments to justify 18 Tir when militias attacked the student dormitories ten years ago and they did so again this year. You can't justify the death of the foruhars, or the fact that the bodies of 19 year old kids were given to parents weeks after the demonstrations.

What goes on in Israel/Palestine, the West's double standards these are EXCUSES the IRI continuously uses. If anyone points to the atrocities they commit, they point to Israel.
Yes, Israel is running an apartheid state in the 21st century, but that gives the IRI NO excuse to parade their own militias on the streets.

This is not the hypocritical American Government asking for answers. It is IRANIANS like ME who UNDERSTAND the hypocrisy, but see it as NO excuse for the IRI to run a violent operation and continuously point fingers at others when their OWN citizens ask them to respond.

Pedestrian / December 1, 2009 9:28 PM

Best slogan I have see come from Iran:
"In akharin harfe mast---deen az siasat jodast"
translates roughly to:

"This is the essence of our word: separation of Religion and politics."

This shows a refreshing and wonderful maturity of our nation, that may be after centuries of ignorance we are finally waking up to the fact that our nation has been sickened by a terrible disease and it's pothogenic agent, Akhoond.

I forsee a bright future for Iran, as it starts to redisdcover itself and shed the chador of Islam. I thank Khomeini and Khamanei for that.

Ahvaz / December 1, 2009 11:35 PM

"shed the chador of Islam"


Pasha / December 2, 2009 3:29 AM


You are correct that we are on very different wavelengths but you are incorrect that the "West has always benefited from authoritarian regimes in the Middle East". I do agree that that is true with regards to regimes who bend over to please the West (like Egypt) but it is hardly true of independent nations that oppose the Zionists (like Syria).

As to the "brutality" on the students:

The Supreme Leader did close one of the prisons due to abuses but that has earned him precious little credit from the reformists who demonize him. The next accussation against the SL from the reformists will be that he is personally raping the prisoners.

Why do you ignore recent history? To reiterate, Khatami, the very same Khatami, was elected President NOT ONCE but TWICE, in 1997 and 2001. He had not 4 years but 8 years to put his plans to work.

In 1997 the Supreme Leader then was the same SL as now, the Pasdaran existed then and it exists now. There was a Basij then and there is a Basij now and very few people except for his family had heard of a man named Ahmadinejad.

Khatami was allowed to serve two full terms, there were no coup attempts, no one tried to kill him or hurt him in any way whatsoever. While the hardliners certainly disagreed with him on some issues he was allowed to win RE-ELECTION without any problems. IN BOTH Khatami victories THE HARDLINE CANDIDATE LOST and the oppositon sat down and took it. Let me repeat, they took it without demonstrations and whining. And so did the Supreme Leader.

Why were the “demons” who run Iran today not as “demonic” then with the same Khatami???
The answer is simple. The difference is with the agenda of the Khatami of today and his allies Karroubi and Mousavi. To repeat what I wrote previously the Khatami of today wanted to decapitate the Iranian Revolution by weakening and, in effect, eliminating the Guardianship of the Islamic Jurisprudent.

They came to kill the Khomeini Revolution and the Revolution hit back. And even with all this people hit the streets after the election and no one was touched. No nation in any part of the world can let its city be paralyzed by demonstrations day after day which won't stop.

If you stay home on the 20th there is no violence, no motorcycles, no tear gas and no tears on either side but of course the Greens wanted their Martyrs, oh how they wanted their Martyrs.

Do we also forget that the demonstrators fought back? There are plenty of videos showing them attacking the Basij and setting Basij buildings on fire. How proud the Greens are of these attacks.

The Neda tragedy stands out precisely because it was such a rare event. If the Basij really followed the path of Satan as Montazeri ridiculously avers the Kalashnikovs would have been out in force.

Samuel / December 2, 2009 6:55 AM

Upon re-reading what I wrote it is clear that I made an error when I wrote "And even with all this people hit the streets after the election and no one was touched." Obviously there was some violence just after the election.

Samuel / December 2, 2009 7:38 PM

@ Samuel

"No nation in any part of the world can let its city be paralyzed by demonstrations day after day which won't stop."

Hmmm, let's search for an example ... oh I know, Tehran in 1979 !!

Amir / December 2, 2009 10:08 PM


Do you honestly believe your own words? How can someone as seemingly intelligent as you not admit that the Iranian government has deep and serious flaws -just ask yourself one question: is the country being managed to realize its full potential? Are it priceless resources being used to build a sustainable economy? And, does civil society really have a voice in all this?

Come on. You're too smart not to know the game is up. AN and SL are incompetent leaders and people have been shaken out of apathy and won't rest until they have true representative government, not a Sultan-like institution no different from the Shah.

Parnian / December 2, 2009 11:41 PM


Iran has a 3000 year history with many ups and downs. Do not doubt FOR A SECOND that this regime will last forever. No regime ever has. Especially weak despotic ones.
Ahmadi and Khamani know this and that is why they hope for armagedon, the "reapearing" of Imam Zaman!!! keep dreaming.

Some time in the future, long after you and I are gone, there will be nothing left of this regime except a dark chapter in Iranian history books righ next to Alexander, Monguls, and Qajar.

Ahvaz / December 4, 2009 4:53 AM



You accept the notion that Khamanei was appointed by God!!! As if he were at the same level of Prophet Muhamad!!!

If that is not herecy, I dont know what is.

Ahvaz / December 4, 2009 5:03 AM

Parnian, yiu said no different from the Shah.I think they are very different. At least we had a good economy,respect around the world and social freedom. We had a secular system.We lived. Today,we are like the walking dead and specially as a woman.God, I hate this. We have no life.

Shahin / December 4, 2009 11:58 AM


Please continue your posts.. Inadvertently you are exposing the barbaric impulses that fuel fellow humans such as yourself to relish the chance to “purge” and have “cultural revolutions” at the expense of inhumane treatment of others. This is the same mistake that the regime you support is making in response to the inevitable social unrest that you will continue to face. By doing so the regime has exposed it’s true core and we will continue to see the results.

Don’t you think it’s a bit delusional for you to be proud of the fact that the Islamic revolution’s main organ’s like the IRCG and Basij are being purged by your oracle Gen Jafari? You are purging part of the founding fathers of your so called Islamic revolution, you are murdering, raping and torturing the youth that grew up in your own totalitarian society. So your leaders tried to claim it is the French the Brits, the Americans? As you see by the chants people use the one won't fly anymore. The kids you are dealing with don’t remember or care about 53 or even 79. Youth growing up in your own schools and society are beginning to ask for their shot at freedom. It is fully expected for morally bankrupt humans such as yourself and the leaders you espouse to resort to more murder, torture and repression.

Psychology is an evolutionary process and not all of us evolve at the same pace.
You object that it’s not a mess rather an opportunity for more “purges and cultural revolution” like after 79 …
You my fellow human are particularly barbaric albeit an industrious one.

Keep reminding us what makes the Islamic Republic tic.

mitra / December 6, 2009 1:20 PM

Your comments are truly entertaining.

""The Supreme Leader did close one of the prisons due to abuses but that has earned him precious little credit from the reformists who demonize him.""

Never mind the credit for the closure of Kahrizak, ask why such a torture, rape and murder dungeon should ever be stablished under his 20 years of illegal leadership?
Attributing credit to khamenei is exactly like giving credit to a serial murderer who claims he has stopped killing people.

Anonymous / December 14, 2009 12:53 AM