Sunday, June 21, 2009

Update: Action And Reaction In Iran

According to my sources, things are somewhat quiet in Tehran today, although there are still sporadic outbreaks. Protests in other areas outside Tehran and the cooperation or non-interference of the security forces, the two indicators I suggested you watch for signs of a more wide spread effort against the regime have not materialized so far.

The regime required doctors and hospitals to report all protest-related injuries to the authorities, and the hospitals are reporting on at least 19 dead. I personally would be surprised if the actual number didn't have a zero after it.There are reliable reports that the Pasdaran and the basij used automatic weapons on the crowds. Most of the wounded can expect to be arrested and treated fairly harshly.

In all fairness, had Mousavi and his patron, ex-President Hashemi Rafsanjani prevailed, their retaliation against allies of Ahmadinejad and Khamenei would have undoubtedly been just as harsh. While some of the protesters might be pro-democracy, Mousavi is not and he proved it during the 1979 Iranian revolution and during his subsequent term as Prime Minister, when he was Ayatollah Khomeni's right hand man in repressing the Iranian people.

Revolutions in Iran have an unfortunate history of being co-opted. Ask any Iranian now residing in the West who backed the Shah's ouster and then escaped abroad once the regime made its true nature known.

In a related development, the regime arrested arrested the daughter and four other relatives of Rafasjani, the axis of the attempted overthrow of Ayatollah Khamenei and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. This can be taken as a thinly veiled and very traditional Iranian signal to Rafasjani that as rich and powerful as he is, he's not untouchable.

It also must have resonated with Mousavi. Earlier, in true Shi'ite fashion, he was proclaiming his willingness to be martyred. Now that he sees which way the wind is blowing, things have changed:

"Mousavi has never said this," his close ally, Qorban Behzadiannejad, told the AP. Mousavi's Web site also said statements that Mousavi was preparing for death were inaccurate.

No, martyrdom is for the little people. Mousavi and his stylish wife are no doubt on their way to a well funded exile ala' Banisadr, as I predicted before.

Even if Iran's genuinely fascist, clerical regime isn't going to be overthrown, the whole sorry mess has had some value in that it's true character has been shown to the world. Even the UN and the Clintons will find it difficult to make excuses for them...

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