Iranian Religious Civil War Within the Government

StratFor Global Intelligence, has obtained a copy of a translated letter from al Jazeera written to the Iranian people by Iranian presidential candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi.

Here is the full translated transcript.

Fellow countrymen,

I am receiving news about objections to the declared results of the latest elections, from all over the country. I am certain that these reactions are not for my personal sake, but it’s due to concern about a new way of political life that is being forced on our country.

The actions that we have witnessed in these few days have been unprecedented in the Islamic Republic.

If the people are following these present developments with a sense of worry, it’s because of their deep worry for the great achievements of their revolution being in danger.

Those who with the assistance of many violations have declared unbelievable results for the presidential elections, are now trying to establish those results and start a new period of our country’s history.

I have repeatedly, during the course of these elections, have spoken of dangers of escaping from the law and have emphasized that this method might result in tyranny and dictatorship, and today our nation is standing at a point that finds this prospect tangible.

We, as those who are loyal to the Islamic Republic and its constitutional laws, consider the Holy Jurisdiction one of the fundamentals of this regime and follow the political movements within legal frameworks.

I hope the progress of the new events would show the mistake in this impression and, at the same time, we warn that in this country no one who likes the Islamic Republic would accept this method, and this is what demands the bloods of hundreds of thousands of our martyrs to be responsible against it.

Dear people, today, in a letter that I presented to The Guardian Council, I have asked for the annulment of the results of the latest elections and I know this to be the only resolution for gaining the public confidence and the support of the people for the government.

My repeated suggestion as your servant is that you continue your civil and legal opposition all around the country, in a calm manner and observing anti-conflict fundamentals.

We have asked the responsible people to issue a permit for a mass rally in all the cities in Iran so that the people will have an opportunity to show their opposition towards the results of these elections and the way it was conducted.

The authorities’ agreement could be the best resolution for restraining the present tensions.

Let’s not abandon the green color which is a symbol of spirituality, freedom and religious mentality and moderateness and the Allah O Akbar slogan that tells us of revolutionary roots.

This is the color and slogan that is still unifying our nation and will be the best measure to connect our hearts and needs.

Sadly, an extensive effort has is being used to cut off our means of communication with each other, and it is not noticed that that the blocking of these lines would change the nature of the organized and goal-driven reactions to, God-forbidding, change into blind actions.

I am certain that your creativity would result in new and effective ways of communication so that we could use our actions in a beneficial way for the country and the revolution.

As someone who likes the police, I recommend them avoid harsh reactions towards people’s self-motivated actions and not let the people’s trust to this worthy organ be damaged.

These people have come to the scene to demand both their, and your, rights and they are your brothers and sisters. The power of the police and military forces of our country has always lied in their unity with the people and it will be the same in the future.
Now I don't profess to know Iranian "code" words or any other "code" words that many on the other political side of the aisle claim that are used today. Nevertheless, if this isn't a call to a revolution I don't know what is, albeit and hopefully, peaceful.

The last couple of paragraphs seem to be a plea to the military and law enforcement to either join in this attempted coup or stay out of the way.

There are a few other curious items, including a very interesting idea from the Washington Note that I glossed over. I didn't purport any importance on it due to the lack of evidence supporting the author's observations. Here is what he posted, via an Iranian contact.

He conveyed to me things that were mostly obvious -- Iran is now a tinderbox. The right is tenaciously consolidating its control over the state and refuses to yield. There is a split among the mullahs and significant dismay with Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. A gaping hole has been ripped open in Iranian society, exposing the contradictions of the regime and everyone now sees that the democracy that they believed that they had in Iranian form is a "charade."

But the scariest point he made to me that I had not heard anywhere else is that this "coup by the right wing" has created pressures that cannot be solved or patted down by the normal institutional arrangements Iran has constructed. The Guardian Council and other power nodes of government can't deal with the current crisis and can't deal with the fact that a civil war has now broken out among Iran's revolutionaries.
For a link to Mr. Clemons' original article please go to, Iran: A Tinderbox?

It looks as if his contact's claims might be based in reality and not just unnecessary hyperventilating. And looking deeper into the contact's claims that this is not just a revolution but the beginnings of a full blown civil war within the religious hierarchy of the Iranian government seem to be coming true.

The next item is from the Council on Foreign Relations in an interview they just did with Gary Sick, a senior research scholar at SIPA's Middle East Institute, and an adjunct professor of international affairs at SIPA.

Q: Only time will tell what the implications are within Iran. I suspect that many of the clerics who are not enamored of Ahmadinejad are very upset at this development, don't you?

A: We really haven't heard from the senior clergy thus far. There are reports that Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani [a former president] who is a powerful figure in his own right, and somebody who was supporting Moussavi, and who was on the attack against Ahmadinejad when the elections took place, has gone to Qum to talk to the senior clerics. If so, this would be an attempt to accumulate support from that quarter. There are many senior clerics that have never been that happy, first of all, with the whole idea of an Islamic Republic but also about Ahmadinejad in particular. He was snubbed by them after he became president. They don't like his sort of pop spiritualism. They don't like the idea that he sets an extra place for the Mahdi [under Shiite tradition, the Twelfth Imam, a messiah figure] at the table to return. And if Rafsanjani is doing what the reports say, it would be understandable as a way of mobilizing support in an area that really matters to the Supreme Leader [Ayatollah Ali] Khamenei and also to Ahmadinejad.
Professor Sick's observation is somewhat backed up by others. From the Foreign Policy Blog, Trita Parsi's observations.

Clearly, the anti-Ahmadinejad camp has been taken by surprise and is scrambling for a plan. Increasingly, given their failure to get Khamenei to intervene, their only option seems to be to directly challenge -- or threaten to challenge -- the supreme leader.

Here's where the powerful chairman of the Assembly of Experts, Mousavi supporter Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, comes in. Only this assembly has the formal authority to call for Khamenei's dismissal, and it is now widely assumed that Rafsanjani is quietly assessing whether he has the votes to do so or not.

It may be that the first steps toward challenging Khamenei have already been taken. After all, Mousavi went over the supreme leader's head with an open letter to the clergy in Qom. Rafsanjani clearly failed to win Khamenei's support in a reported meeting between the two men Friday, but the influential Ali Akbar Mohtashamipour, who heads the vote-monitoring committee for Mousavi and fellow candidate Mehdi Karroubi, has officially requested that the Guardian Council cancel the election and schedule a new vote with proper monitoring.

Now here in the States bloggers and pundits are wrapped up in the idea that a revolution of the people is brewing and they are genuinely concerned about the violence they are seeing being perpetrated against the Iranian protesters. However, by these accounts it seems a power struggle is taking place amongst the hierarchy of the Iranian religious governing body and the people on the deck are caught in the middle.

Although not completely related to this, Max Boot, over at Commentary Magazine, gives an interesting neo-con take on how an Ahmadinejad victory could be beneficial for America's future dealings with the Iranian government.

Related Articles: Guess I am not the lone blogger on this one. A.J. Strata of the Strata-Sphere seems to be kicking around the same idea.

The Strata Sphere-Iranian Ayatollahs Versus The Mad Mullahs



Copyright © Politics and Critical Thinking Design by BTDesigner | Blogger Theme by BTDesigner | Powered by Blogger