If Khamenei's threats backfire, what will Iranians do? (revised)


by FG

Up to a point, intimidating unarmed civilans is like taking candy from a baby...until enraged kids grow bigger and Big Daddy more feeble.  Using the same sort of intimidation on well-armed foreigners is foolhardy. 

Politically and strategically Obama cannot afford to play "Chamberlain at Munich" now or he would encourage further threats down the road.  Khamenei's threats also send an unintended message, "An oil boycott would kill us."   The world must call Sayyed's bluff.  In that case, he will have only two choices--Bad and Worse.

The Bad Choice: Enjoy the boycott while taking no military action to counter it

An oil boycott is trouble considering Khamenei's present problems ( the currency crisis, other economic grievances, deep popular disgust with the regime's police state crimes).  If his bluff is called and he backs down, the regime will be weakened and jeered at both home and abroad.  Under this scenario, the Islamic Republic of Iran may or may not survive a while longer though not indefinitely.

The Worse Choice: Respond with a "Pearl Harbor" and Hope for a Better Outcome 

Likely consequences: Certain war with the USA andWestern Europe, Iran's unconditonal surrender as the only peace terms available having started things, alienation of China and India, a total shutoff of Iranian and Iraqi gulf shipments and finally, the complete removal of the regime and all influential elements, especially IRCG generals, Basilj officers and Hebollah thugs followed by trials for crimes at home and abroad.

Any military response, once begun, will not stop halfway and leave the regime intact.  Western forces will leave ground action to the Iranian people, offer protection to a newly formed resistance government and concentrate on eliminating security forces and officials, air defense, armor, artillery,
aircraft (fixed wing and copters), military bases and HQs, etc.

Under any scenario, I don't see ground forces involved other than special forces and advisors.  In that case, I think Iranians are more likely to take the oportunity to remove the hated mullah occupiers than rally around them.  I suspect most rank-and-file forces would defect for a number of reasons--a shared hatred of the regime, a disgust with being ordered by scumbag officers to kill the Good Guys (friends, family neighbors), being on the winning side rather than suffering air attacks for obvious losers.


During World War II Joseph Stalin's appeal to nationalism worked only once Nazi plans for a
Greater Germany in which Slavs were suited only for animal labor" became
clear.  Originally many people welcomed the Germans as liberators. In the above scenario the regime will surely ask Iranians
to rally around it. They must ask themselves two questions.  First, "Are we not
already occupied by brutal rulers, much like the French in World War II?"  Secondly, "Suppose we rallied around the regime and it survived.  Wouldn't we be far worse off than we are now?"  I'd expect a major purge of trained resistance fighters afterwards, just as Stalin did after WW II. 

A ruler who created death squads will no more allow democratization, human rights or civilized justice than a ruler who created gulags.  Nor will Khamenei go without force in one form or another.  For the average Iranian, eliminating the IRI as a result of the above scenario beats the near certain alternative, civil war.  Unlike Egyptians, Iranians would not face the problem of powerful security force generals who, having switched sides, are willing to commit the same old crimes in order to retain their economic and political power.  A civil war would surely last longer and inflict far more casualties and property damage,  especially on the Good Guys.  Expect Khamenei tol intentionally target civilian and their homes since intimidation has always been standard procedure for his regime.  By contrast, outside air forces will seek to avoid such casualties to the extent possible in war though it cannot succeed entirely.  


more from FG

Fareed Zakaria on "Iran’s growing state of desperation"

by FG on



The discussion everywhere these days is about Iran’s strength. Mitt Romney, the Republican front-runner, describes Iran as “the greatest threat that the world faces over the next decade.”
He and others are impressed by Iran’s recent declarations about its
nuclear capacities and its missile tests. Newt Gingrich has compared the
Iranian challenge to the rise of Hitler’s Germany. More measured
commentators also see Iran’s rising influence and power across the
Middle East.

In fact, the real story is that Iran is weak and getting weaker....

The simplest measure of Iran’s strength is its currency. When Barack
Obama became president, you could buy 9,700 rials with one dollar. Since
then, the dollar has appreciated 60 percent against the rial, meaning you can buy 15,600 rials....

The Obama administration seems to have concluded that the Iranian regime
is not ready or able to make a strategic reconciliation with the West.
The regime is too divided and Khamenei, the ultimate authority, too
ideologically rigid.

Also in the Washington Post


Iran intensifies efforts to influence policy in Afghanistan

(FG: It thereby offers another incentive for oil boycotts, sanctions, etc.)

KABUL — Worried that U.S. troops could stay in Afghanistan beyond 2014,
Iran is mounting an aggressive campaign to fuel anti-American sentiment
here and convince Afghan leaders that a robust, long-term security
partnership with Washington would be counterproductive, Afghan officials
and analysts say.

(Question: Why worry about 2014 since I susect the regime won't last that long given rapidly escalating problems inside and outside the country?)




A funny headline in Iran today seeks to lessen panic.  It reads, "Dollar Plunges 25% Against the Rial in Two Days"

I suppose that's true only if you go by the official value (1400 rials to the dollar which vastly overstates the rial's value).  Nobody wil voluntarily hand over dollars at that rate.  The rial opened at 15920:1 this morning, but demand for dollars soon moved the rate to 16200:1. At a glance that looks like a 1.7% difference in almost no time.   It will get really interesting come the oil boycott.

An EA correspondent reveals another serious issue in the Iranian economy:

There has been little attention to a
recent decision by the Central Bank
to provide unlimited foreign currency --- at the "official", rather than
the "open-market" rate --- to any importer or exporter who presents the
correct documentation. This directive was published in mid-December
before the current exchange rate dance.

>So if you were to import watches from the UAE for $500,000
dollars, you would need to show all documentation and you would get the
money at the point of import --- and not a cent more.

The trouble is, this currency is given out upon receipt of complete
documentation, which compels many to avoid doing so because of reasons
such as tax avoidance.

This is probably what compels many to resort to their own imports, obviously at non-CBI [official] rates.

The effect? Fewer imports into Iran, and those that do get through are more expensive.

From the Financial Times:

The latest official figures released by the Iran Census Centre
say urban unemployment stands at 12.5 per cent, rising to 29.1 per cent
for the those under 25.

But Iranian analysts say the real figures are as much as double that,
and predict the struggles of the unemployed will have serious political
and social consequences in a region where youth-driven protest
movements are redefining the political landscape.

Abbas Vatanpour, a former Iranian representative at the International
Labour Organisation, warned in December that bad economic policy was
causing joblessness to rise “day by day”. He thinks youth unemployment
could be as high as 50 per cent.


Educated youth are struggling the most. Abdolreza
Sheikholeslami, the minister of labour, said in September that
university graduates were 10 times more likely to be out of work than
those who hold high school diplomas or lesser qualifications.

IN OTHER NEWS (Courtesy of Enduring America)

...Bibak News, the outlet of Ayatollah Mesbah Yazdi and the Islamic Constancy Front, has declared that Imam Ali, Shia's first Imam, was chosen by people in "free elections".

...The Ministry of Intelligence has banned dissident cleric and blogger Mehdi Khazali from leaving the country.

... Golnaz Esfandiari updates on new measures by Iran's cyber-police
to monitor and restrict use of the Web in Internet cafes. The personal
information of visitors, including name, father's name, national ID
number, and telephone number, will be registered. Cafe owners must keep
the personal and contact information of the users and a record of their
browsing history for six months.

The cafes must also install closed-circuit cameras and keep video
recordings for six months. Installation of circumvention tools allowing
access to banned websites is illegal.

The cafes have 15 days to implement the restrictions, announced on 3 January.


... Ayatollah Jannati, head of the Guardians council, has warned that his
body may reject those candidates who have hitherto spent excessive sums
of money campaigning ahead of the election.


He clearly means members of the pro-Ahmadinejad "deviant current".




areyo barzan

The Gulf?????

by areyo barzan on

What is this “The Gulf”.

Do you mean Volkswagen Golf. lol.

On the other hand if you are referring to the body of water south of our country it has a name and that is PERSIAN GULF and no one would be allowed to fraudulently change a 3000 years old name just to please some inferior Arab in order to extract a few barrel of cheap oil from them.

if you do not know your history or even geography you are better go back to school before writing another line mate



"Persian Gulf"

by Patriot on

"...Historically and internationally[2][3][4] known as the Persian Gulf, this body of water is sometimes controversially referred to as the Arabian Gulf or simply The Gulf by most Arab states,[5] although neither of the latter two terms are recognized internationally. The name Gulf of Iran (Persian Gulf) is used by the International Hydrographic Organization.[6]"




Iran demands release of 7 "engineers" captured in Syria

by FG on

A regime that has become world famous as a regime for taking hostages and then shaking town their families and kidnapping American diplomats claims the seven are innocent. 

Many Syrians believe the seven have ties to Al Quds, which would hardly be unusual considering the role Al Quds played in Iraq.



An unknown group calling itself the "Movement Against the Expansion of Shiism in Syria" on Monday claimed responsibility for their abduction in a statement received by AFP in Nicosia.

The group said it had sent demands
to the Iranian embassy in Damascus last week that have to be met for
the hostages to be released.

It said it was opposed to Iran's support of the Syrian government and of the Hezbollah militia in neighbouring Lebanon.



Turkey warns against Shi'ite-Sunni Cold War






Middle East powerhouse Turkey on Wednesday warned against a sectarian Cold War in the region and said rising Sunni-Shi'ite tensions would be "suicide" for the whole region.


In a recent post at Iranian.com, Amirforsecularmonarhy argued that support for a "Greater Iran" movement (apparently similar to Milosevic's Greater Serbia and Hitler's Greater Germany quest) is a desirable goal for Iranians once the regime is gone.  Does anyone here think that ultranationalist project is a great idea?  Will it do for Iranians want similar schemes did for Serbs and for Germans?

May I recommend you watch one of the greatest films ever before you answer.  See the German film, Downfall or at least read the review at imdb.com or rottentomatoes.com





A DATE IS SET! Also, "funny money."

by FG on

January 30th.  See:


Note the last sentence: " If the E.U. does impose an oil embargo, the impact on the rial and inflation in Iran could be drastic."

I'd say so.   The same goes for its impact on the Majlis elections a little over a month later on March 3rd.  Protesting voters get one more reason to stay away.  Voting would also constitute approval of the rigged 2009 election and all Police State crimes since. 

The recent attacks on the Rafsanjanis should also help discouage some other voters, esecially if the clan's patron stays away.  The regime needs all the help it can get but--like an obscessive-compulsive--it continues to do everything possible to drive more people away.


Under the same link, you'll find "Funny Money: The Rial Is Rolling for a Reason." It includes some interesting predictions and observations.

EXCERPT:  With the Majles elections coming up on March 3, we can expect more developments. Ahmadinejad will make a strong move to boost the rial's value just before the polls. Meanwhile, he has allowed his many former friends turned foes to profit immensely from the dual exchange rate, hopefully enough to keep them satisfied to not bite at him or pluck off his candidates like feathers.

Ultimately, I think, the rial will settle around 1,300-1,400 per dollar by the beginning of the new Persian year, March 20, probably at a unified exchange rate. That higher exchange rate will allow Ahmadinejad to boost his budget even more for the coming year.

To be clear, this has nothing to do with sanctions on the CBI. They haven't even started. It's a shame to see every single iran "analyst" out there blaming this on the sanctions. The cherry on top is that ordinary people blame Obama for all this while Ahmadinejad is busy filling his government's coffers.

There are rumors that certain candidates whose connections give them access to dollars at the official exchange rate are selling those dollars on the open market for huge profits, which they are using to fund their campaigns for parliament. Just rumors...I guess.





Another dismissive reply

by Patriot on

The issue with "The Persian Gulf" is not so easily dismissed, buddy.  Arab states have spent entirely too much money on bringing about just the type of non-chalant insensitivity as you are displaying and advocating about the name, just so they could erase historical facts recorded by world organizations about the Persian Gulf's name. 

Whatever your motives are for displaying this deliberate error, I do not appreciate them.

Sorry, FG. If you wish to be taken seriously for the research and analysis you provide, you will need to correct your references and be accurate.



Silly nonsense re: Gulf

by FG on

Having received three posts from two rigid ideologues, I offer my second and last response to such linguistic nonsense. 

By your logic if  I lived next to Lake Michigan, I could never refer to it as "the lake" in a sentence.  Referring to the Atlantic Ocean as "the Ocean" would also be a crime. Political intent exists only in YOUR use of language.  My intent is neutral and non-political. However, if you don't get back on topic instead of nitty-nitty-nit picking I may start referring to the "Iraqi Gulf" simly to tweak your whiskers since you insist on a modifying adjective. 

I've known ideologues whose behavior resembled these two posters:

--A cub reporter insisted that writers use "he or she" subsequent to any gender-neutral noun ("anyone," "a person," "an individual,"  etc.), on the grounds that using the conventional "he" was "sexist."  He was rightly shown the door by an editor who observed, "Shakespeare would lose a lot if rewritten to conform to those demands."

--My brother once had an extreme feminist girlfriend who would insisted both should do the dishes after supper.   No problrem but she took it to the point of actually complaining, "I towel dried nine dishes and you only did seven."  He dumped her as "unbearable."



Veiled Prophet of Khorasan

Just to be clear on Persian Gulf

by Veiled Prophet of Khorasan on


Obama; JFK; LBJ are all using part or initials of the real name. If you want to say "Persian Gulf" once on the top; then use Gulf that is fine. If you want to say P. Gulf or P. G. that is fine.

But saying the Gulf is like saying "that guy" for Obama. It does not indicate the name at all. If has no initials; and is not a shortened version. When you say the Gulf how do I know it is not Gulf of Mexico? There are hundreds of Gulfs in the world. 

Your analogies are therefore wrong. I am replying  to give you benefit of doubt. But if you insist on the Gulf I am out. I suggest others do the same; you may debate with yourself. BTW: that is just one of many reason I don't take BBC new seriously.


Establishment factions to face off in Iranian elections

by FG on



 TEHRAN — Iran has begun gearing up for elections that will represent a
showdown between two establishment factions that just three years ago
formed a united front against the opposition Green Movement.


The Ahmadinejad opponents swear fealty to Iran’s supreme leader,
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Khamenei’s own role is less clear: He had seemed
to withdraw support for Ahmadinejad, but has not fully backed the
president’s opponents, either.

“He is trying to balance both
groups in order to prevent the fight from endangering the Islamic
republic,” said one prominent politician, who spoke on the condition of
anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue.


Ahmadinejad’s opponents, who have spent decades in key positions,
accuse the president’s supporters of destroying Iran’s economy. They say
a greater role for Islam is a solution to Iran’s problems.

must push forward with making everything more Islamic — the society, the
economy, everything,” said Hamid Reza Taraghi, spokesman for the
Islamic Engineers party, a group of merchants that plays a key role in
the faction opposed to Ahmadinejad.


Ahmadinejad’s opponents, who have spent decades in key positions,
accuse the president’s supporters of destroying Iran’s economy. They say
a greater role for Islam is a solution to Iran’s problems.

must push forward with making everything more Islamic — the society, the
economy, everything,” said Hamid Reza Taraghi, spokesman for the
Islamic Engineers party, a group of merchants that plays a key role in
the faction opposed to Ahmadinejad.

... Some think the elections will only remind Iranians of their distress over the country’s direction.

fact is that the conditions are not right for elections at this
moment,” said Ali Shakori-Rad, one of the few influential politicians
calling for fundamental change who has not been imprisoned. “There is a
feeling of hopelessness. But those in charge are afraid if they give in
to one change, everything will collapse.”




The "utterly silly debate" over the name Persian Gulf...

by Patriot on

Your calling this an "utterly silly debate" over the name of Persian Gulf is merely indicative of who you are and more impotantly, raises the question of what you are doing on a site named Iranian.com.

No Iranian worth his salt would call the Perisan Gulf "the Gulf."

You will not silence me or any other patriotic Iranian on this website by your dismissal of the debate.  Correct your language and make a proper reference to the Persian Gulf's indisputable name, and then you can talk to the rest of us.

None of your "research" and analysis means anything to the rest of us until you have gone and done your research and learned what that body of water on the Southern border of Iran is called and why it has always been and will always be called the "Persian Gulf."

Veiled Prophet of Khorasan

Dear Partiot regarding The Persian Gulf

by Veiled Prophet of Khorasan on


I asked FG before and my request was ignored. I also asked others who misname the Persian Gulf. Therefore I decided to:

  • I will ask politely to use the right name.
  • If the do then all is will.
  • If the deliberately refuse then I return the favor and ignore them. 

The best way is to refuse any discussion until they get the name right.


Don't get sidetracked by "Patriot" folks!

by FG on

Re: His insistence on using "the Gulf"

I won't change it to "Persian Gulf."  I could see why you'd object--on nationalistic grounds--to "Arab Gulf" ( a term with which I don't agree either since it's politically created and goes against heretofore common usage."

But what you ask is as silly as demanding that one must always say "Barak Obama" instead of just "Obama" or writing a story about actress Helen Mirren and insisting the writer cannot begin a sentence with "Mirren."  Nobody uses full names all the time for people or things.

To follow your ideologically driven model with consistency  we should all have to use "Federal Republic of Germany" and "United States of America" at all times, rather than Germany or America or defer to your command for special treatment.  Sorry, ain't going to do it. 

How about we ban JFK, LBJ and FDR and insist on the full names to suit your schoolmarmish, PC-style sensitive nature?  You should sign up for Khamenei's social police because you'd fit perfectly.

If that gets you upset--especially in a headline where space is in short supply --either go suck a lemon or avoid my article, please.   Gosh, I feel punished.

Meanwhile, I'd urge other readers not to get sidetracked into this utter silly debate.  I'd be interested instead of what you think Iranians should do under the above scenario.


EU agrees to ban on Iranian oil (And more good stuff)

by FG on

On Tuesday, Greece, which imports much of its oil from Tehran, said
it would accept an EU suspension.

"A lot of progress has been made," one EU diplomat said, "The
principle of an oil embargo is agreed. It is not being debated anymore."

 On New Year's Eve, President Obama signed a bill including a measure
blocking any financial institution from access to the US financial
system if it maintains links with Tehran. If implemented, this would
prevent most refineries from paying for Iranian crude oil.

However, the law allows Obama to issue waivers to firms in countries
that significantly reduce dealings with Iran. He may also issue them if
he determines they are in the US national interest or necessary for
energy market stability.--Enduring America.



Iran prepares bill to bar foreign warships from Persian Gulf



Iranian analysts said the bill probably would not have been introduced if it were not supported by higher authorities....

( FG asks: "And how exactly will they enforce it?"

The (Fars) news agency, which has ties to Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps, claimed that the carrier USS John C. Stennis, which steamed out of the Persian Gulf last week, had escaped while being “chased by Iranian warships...” 

(FG: Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha!  Do they really believe these things?  Does anyone?)

 The increasingly bellicose tone from Tehran has coincided with a currency crisis that
has forced the government to intervene to prop up the ailing rial.
Helping to drive the rial to record lows was U.S. legislation signed
Saturday by President Obama that includes a provision for unilateral sanctions against Iran’s central bank.


 leading reformist Ali Shakourirad --- twice arrested after the 2009
Presidential election, his party suspended --- said, “The fact is
that the conditions are not right for elections at this moment. There is
a feeling of hopelessness. But those in charge are afraid if they give
in to one change, everything will collapse."--from EA


 On Tuesday, Faezeh Hashemi, the daughter of former President Hashemi
Rafsanjani, was given a six-month prison sentence and banned for five
years from political, cultural, and media activity for "anti-regime

Today it is reported that the passports of the family of Rafsanjani's son Mehdi Hashemi have been confiscated at Imam Khomeini International Airport as they returned from the United Arab Emirates.--EA

(FG notes: Great!  The regime is hard up enough with former greens boycotting the election.   I'd imagine Rafsanjani's faction won't show up either)


On the currency crisis:


IRNA's all-is-well outlook is challenged by Khabar Online, which reports that the decline in the Iranian currency --- and thus rising prices for imports --- has led to the "holiday" of many merchants of consumer appliances, laptops, and mobile phones. Aftab adds that some vendors are asking for payment in US dollars.

0930 GMT: Currency Watch. Journalist Jason Rezaian, in Tehran, adds an important piece of information: the currency website Meshgal is currently blocked, despite the denials of the Central Bank.

That would indicate that Meshgal's "information" of a recovery of the
rial today (see 0910), available only outside Iran, is propaganda for
foreign eyes. And that in turn leaves us wondering if a website like Khabar Online,
linked to Speaker of Parliament Ali Larijani and critical of the
Government over the economy, has the "real" story that the rial has
risen only slightly in value this morning.

Aftab, asking if Iranians should buy gold or currency, reports that many exchanges have stopped business, awaiting a further drop in the rial and increase in the value of the US dollar...

 Fars offers a sign of the nerves within the regime as it features a
member of Parliament's Budget Committee, Jafar Qaderi, who says a single exchange rate will be introduced next week. That declaration follows a similar announcement by the Minister of Industry on Tuesday.

In principle, that single rate would close off the speculation and
profit-grabbing, taking advantage of the gap between the official and
free-market value of the Iranian currency, that has contributed to the
plunge of the rial. In practice, bringing in a single rate within a week
would be a bureaucratic and financial nightmare.--EA










 The head of Iran's judiciary, Sadegh Larijani, has warned
that "enemies, seditionists, and expatriates" want to present March's
Parliamentary elections as a pale shadow of a legitimate vote, with low




 “US aircraft carrier escaped the region chased by Iranian warships”,


FG, please correct: It's The Persian Gulf, not "The Gulf"

by Patriot on

I couldn't get past the title. I will read your article after you have corrected it. Thank you.