A Rafsanjani-Khamenei "deal" & an interesting detail on new Basilj leader


by FG

Tehran Bureau has an interesting article regarding a rumored deal between Rafshanjani and the Supreme Leader. However see the comment from Scott Lucas (Enduring America) following the article.

I've seen nothing online previously about the new Basilj leader until now.  But a second response provides an interesting detail about him.  According to a subpost from Bendix "The new commander has reason to hate Ahmadinejad, who fired him from a prior position." Now that is interesting especially when combined with recent stories about Larijani surving an attempt by Ahmadinejad to oust him as head of the Principalist group in Parliament. If the Supreme Leader had wanted Ahmadinejad to win that battle there's no doubt how it would have have ended differently.

Downside: We've seen Khamenei oust hated tormentors before (special prosecutor & Janatti at Republican Guard) only to appoint them to a high position elsewhere instead of demolishing them.

DOING MY PART: On the theory that Khamenei has up to now isolated himself from reality and listened only to hardline advisors, reflected in disasterous idea that he could persuade most Iranians to rig the election and then end all complaints with brute force and get away with show trials, I've been sending a lot of critical feedback regarding the Supreme Leader to Khamenei's site (via "Send a Letter).  

The stuff has stressed both news stories and some of my own analyses, posted online, regarding how all of these moves continue to backfire and accelerate the crisis. That refers not only to the above decisions but to coverups and the futility of censorship which not only undermines the regime's credibility but makes it a laughingstock ("foreigners were behind everything" and "the demonstrators, including Neda" killed themselves to make the regime look bad.")

MY "TIGER BY THE TAIL" ANALOGY: A great example of "backfire" is the continued detention of prisoners including those who made forced confessions in show trials.  As with the rigged election, the regime resembles a man who holds a tiger by the tail.  Whether he lets go or holds on, trouble is on the way. Continue holding the prisoners, and add to popular discontent.  Let them go and details of exactly how they were treated to force those confessions inevitably must come out and appear everywhere both inside and outside Iran.   

To cite one especially troublesome example: the Newsweek reporter (can't continue to hold him forever but imagine the special potential consequences outside Iran of freeing him)   This is a regime which doesn't look ahead and can't see down the road as it continues egregious blunders.

Somebody's got to make Khamenei see reality. He may know how to manipulate the system to increase his own power over everything but to imagine he can get away with doing the same to the public in the days of satellite TV, the internet, social networking, cell phones with video capacity, political graffiti, etc., is just plain crazy.

For the Tehran Bureau article see:



more from FG

New Basilj commander = former rapist and robber?

by FG on

For that side of the story see:




Read the Comments. They are

by vildemose on

Read the Comments. They are more informative than the original blog:




Important correction to my original post

by FG on

Re: "We've seen Khamenei oust hated tormentors before (special
prosecutor & Janatti at Republican Guard) only to appoint them to a
high position elsewhere instead of demolishing them."

It should have read "Janatti at Guardian Council."  Sorry about that.  I'm not the best proofreader--obviously--by when I do I tend to concentrate on grammatical stuff.  I'm well aware of Janatti's former position.



I could use a hand with these items

by FG on

I'm an American, born and raised and not of Iranian descent, who tends to take up the cudgel for people victimized in cases like this.  I took a similar online interest (and role) regarding Poland after the crackdown on Solidarity and in the supporting muslims in Kosovo and Bosnia by helping draw attention to Milosevic's horrific crimes.   Just as I don't speak Polish or Serbo-Croatian, I don't speak Iranian (Farsi), a difficulty compounded by alphabet differences.  I can speak and read French, so it's not a case of not wanting to learn.  The world has just too many languages.

Sometimes I come across references to articles that sound quite interesting but find myself handicapped when the link is to a site in Iranian only.   That's the case with the following 3 items on Enduring America.  Can anyone give a rough translation or summary:

For the links to these items--all from the same site--see:


ITEM: Another Player on the Pitch. OK, the reformists are in play with their meeting with senior clerics (1555 GMT). Rafsanjani’s gone public with his meeting with clerics (1608 GMT). And now Alireza Beheshti, Mir Hossein Mousavi’s chief advisor, re-enters after his recent detention. He has written an open letter of scathing criticism of the Revolutionary Guard and its commander, Mohammad Ali Jafari.

(I'd sure love to see what was in that letter because it exemplifies the "tiger by the tail" dilemna I wrote about above).

ITEM: Larijani Win, Ahmadinejad Defeat? Mik Verbrugge adds vital information on Ali Larijani’s re-election as head of the Principlist group in Parliament (1605 GMT). Despite days of reports that pro-Ahmadinejad MPs would try to unseat Larijani, their candidate received only seven votes.

(vital info?)

ITEM: 1555 GMT: Now It Gets Interesting. Members of the Parliamentary reformist minority, the Imam Khomeini Line, will consult with marjas (senior clerics), including Ayatollah Ali Mohammad Dastgheib. The news comes 24 hours before a Parliamentary committee is due to report on its enquiry into alleged abuses of post-election detainees.

Iranians might want to consider an Article I wrote in the Central Europe Review during the Kosovo crisis and which I alluded to again as Iraqis drew up a constititution.  In both cases the constitutions opted for the usual and automatic electoral system (proportional representation) rather than a plurality system which I see as having great advantages in stabilizing any country with substantial ethnic and religious divisions because it favors moderate parties over extreme ones.   Iran is such a country.   

Was I right?  Consider Bosnia and Iraq today?  Might they be more stable with a different electoral system?  So far as I know, no one has written a book or doctoral thesis on this issue but someone should.

Everyone automatically attributes two centuries of relative stability in America to some mythical special tendency toward tolerance--a thesis which deserves to be challenged. The point is the system was deliberately designed to discourage sectarian and ethnic divisions and the design WORKED.  

Don't forget that the United States was a country where linguistic, religious and ethnic divisions were greater than anywhere else in the West at a time when some differences were explosive.  For example, in Pennsylvania at the time of the revolution, German was the dominant language in most of the state outside Philadelphia.