Should Greens ally with Ahmadinejad for now against the mullahs?


by FG

Sometimes you have to make a deal with the devil to escape something worse.  Greens and Ahmadinejad supporters may disagee deeply on many issues, but most are sick of clerical rule.  The best way to beat Khamnei's "divide and conquer" strategy" is an alliance of convenience.  Both factions know that the ruling clerics is the grearter threat to each at present.  No one else compares.  An alliance would make both stronger overnight at the expense of the the mullahs who, once ousted, have no prospect of a comeback.  . 

Prior to the outbreak of World War II, no American president would have considered allying with either the Soviet Union or Nazi German-- ideologies incompatible with democracy.  What was unthinkable in one circumstance became essential when the Nazis, having conqued western Europe and invaded Russia, seemed on the way to an empire that would extend to Pacific.  It could easily have included all of the Middle East after consolidating gains.  To Stalin, alliance with the USA would have been just as unthinkable in 1937, but not after June 22, 1941.

Neither FDR nor Stalin could afford a Nazi victory over Russia.  It took Pearl Harbor on December 7th for FDR to overcome the objections of isolationist conservatives to helping Stalin, though FDR provided material assistance in the meantime.  

In smashing 2009 protests another "alliance of convenience" showed the Greens how much damage such an alliance can inflict.  It recalls the kind of defeat a Hitler-Stalin pact inflicted on the Poles in 1939 before turing on one another eventually. 

Recently seemingly irreconcilable differences have developed between Ahmadinejad and the clerics (they hate one another!) Thus an alliance impossible two years ago becomes possible now. To move without such a deal may bring the Ahmadinejad-Khamenei factions back together.

The nice thing about this idea is that Greens take the initiative but I suspect Ahmadinejad, needful of allies now, will be glad to deal.  Can he be trusted to honor pledges after victory?  No.  Nor could Stralin.   Nevertheless, I suspect he and the Greens would both welcome their chances in a two-party struggle with no clerics to wreak mischief by playing off one another.  The chances that differences can  be resolved without conflict would be vastly greater without the mullahs around anymore.  If violence can't be avoided then, I suspect it wouldn't be as prolonged and destructive as in Libya, Syria, Bahrain and Yemen.   Unless ousted first, the mullahs won't leave a brick standing.


more from FG

Factionalism, Libya's model and Iran

by FG on

Regardless of NATO's help I suspect Libya's rebels would have failed UNLESS rival factions had agreed to work together.  Same applies in Iran.  I'm not even sure NATO woulld have acted without assurances of such unity and the Arab League's blessing.  Ditto for Iran.

IF the Iranian people can unite  and speak in one voice against the mullahs, IF they are wiling to demonstrate in large numbers everywhere like Syrians have, IF they have similar civilian casualties and military defections and (above all) IF the mullahs start using helicopter and warplanes against demonstratior, and IF demonstrators then request a "no fly" zone, then I think NATO will ok it regardless of domestic economic problems.

Why IRAN AND NOT SYRIA?  Regime propagandists and nationalists in the opposition will explain it by resorting to the usual "It's all about oil, stupid?" line we hear even when a country has no oil (Somalia, Kosovo, Bosnia).

The mullahs have used Al Quds or shipped weapons to kill our troops in Irag, Afghanistan, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia and elsewhere.  They've promoted chaos everywhere in the Middle East for reasons unrelated to the Israel Issue but done solely with exporting Iran's mullah rule system elsewhere. Then there's the embassy siege and the hiker kidnapping.

Such troublemaking gives us extra incentive in such a scenario. Like the Iranian people (who wouldn't be revolting for oil alone), we've got a LOT of bones to pick with Iran's ruling thugs that have nothing to do with oil,

Once a no-fly zone is instituted, it would up to Iran's people to do the job on the ground.   No USA boots on the grounds, so let's not here any moaning about "occupiers."  It's good propaganda, bad truth.


To Veiled Prophet re: Ahmadinejad's "moderation," real or faked

I totally detest Ahmaninejad and Khamenei even more.  Yet I have no doubt whatsoever about Ahmadinejad's hatred for Khamenei and many of the clerics around him.  Do you?

For the purpose of ousting Khamenei, that hatred is what matters, not whether Ahmadinejad cares about picking daisies of saving the whales.  If he were a reformer, that would be nice but it's not essential.

The important thing is that everyone who despises Khamenei team up or else.  If the greens (used in the broad sense) want to have any chance at freedom, they've got to oust Khamenei by any means possible by uniting with any potential allies.  To go against Khamenei and Ahmadinejad at the same time is foolish.  They should have learned that two years ago.

Like Stalin and Khamenei, Ahmadinejad has no ethics.  I believe he dislikes social police and Islamic/sharia enforcement both for personal reasons and because it's polilical stupid--adding to one's enemies with no gain in return. I can imagine MA's brother in law telling anti-clerical jokes around the dining room table while Mahmoud laughs heartily.  

The case for an alliance of convenience is neither strengthened or weakened by any moderation on MA's part.  It rests solely on strategic necesssity.


Start of a civil war in

by vildemose on

Start of a civil war in Syria



"It is the chain of communicat­ion, not the means of production­, that determines a social process."

-- Robert Anton Wilson

Veiled Prophet of Khorasan


by Veiled Prophet of Khorasan on


Do not be clear on what they will do if things get bad. The events in Libya; Egypt and Syria do have an impact. The soldiers know it and are watching them. Do you want to be the one who defends the dictator to the last? 

I do not think so. The soldiers may well switch when time comes. There is always a choice.

The real fighters to the last drop will be imported Lebanese and Palestinians. They will support Khamenei to the end. The real war might be them against Iranians.


FG: Ahmadinejad only

by vildemose on

FG: Ahmadinejad only pretends to be a moderate for political expediency. He is a professional liar. You really don't understand Ahmadinejad if you believe his fake moderate stance. He actually has the same idea as you. Feign moderation to make an alliance with the Greens and then slaughter them to pieces when he consolidates power....


"It is the chain of communicat­ion, not the means of production­, that determines a social process."

-- Robert Anton Wilson


Weapons are useless the

by AMIR1973 on

Weapons are useless the regime can rely on its troops to use them.  

The whole point for Emam in creating the IRGC was precisely to have such a force. The Iranian army is under strict control of the regime and is headed up by its own goons. Moreover, my understanding is that it has largely been defanged and weakened (vis-a-vis the IRGC) to prevent it from ever becoming a threat to the regime.

I've read that a majority of IRCG trooops voted greeen. 

I've read and heard similar things. That may very well be true. However, troops will follow orders and "do what they're told" until such time that regime disintegration is sufficiently advanced to allow them to defect or defy orders. (We are seeing the early stages in Syria, and it will take more time for it to expand there).


Is Ahmadinejad really a religious fanatic?

by FG on

Ahmadinejad  appeared to be one originally because of ties to Mesbah Yadzi.  However for more than a year now MA has angered the clerics--including Yazdi--by mocking social police and enforcement of Islamic social restrictions, including even the hijabs.   Did MA simpy use Mesbah?   Or has his brother-in-law supplanted the reactionary cleric's influence?

Your Al-Queda/Karzai anology hardly fits

Why would the USA ally with a REAL foreign threat and a REAL bad guy against a mediocrity who shows no interest in attacking us.

The purpose of the proposed alliance is the get rid of the BIGGERST AND MOST IMMINENT THREAT first, as in WW II.   Also, there is a vast difference between what Ahmadinejad might want to do afterwards and what he can do.  I think you vastly estimate his capacities.  Without Khamenei as an ally, he he a match for those with Arab Spring type goals?

re: "It won't work"

Belief isn't fact. You cannot mean it wouldn't work as well as the US/Soviet alliance did when it comes to getting rid of the most imminantly dangerous enemy.  Do you mean it won't work afterwards because of Ahmainejad's ambitions and treacherous nature?  What counts then is not his ambitions but his capacities. I don't see the latter.

Before rejecting the need or a "divide and conquer" strategy, consider Khamenei's latest threat today, descibed in a sub-post below.  Reinforcing that threat is Larinjani's UN announcement of plans for trying Moussavi and Karroubi (a stupid move but Khamenei has shown a tendency to set himself on fire recently by moves which would multiply his opposition (and in this case his worldwide isolation).


To Amir1973 re: " As long as the Revolutionary Guard Rapists and the IRI's oil money are
left essentially intact, a successful "purely" domestic uprising and
meaningful regime change is extremely unlikely."


I agree EXCEPT for one consideration you fail to mention.  Weapons are useless the regime can rely on its troops to use them.  

I've read that a majority of IRCG trooops voted greeen.  I'm sure events since--including economic trends--have soured even more.  A substantial new bunch of military unreliables is likely should both Ahmadinejad and Rajsanjani ally in a political (and potentially military) coalition against the mullahs. 

The alliance would be a political one first.  If Khamenei is uphappy with that, it would be up to him to make the first move.  That requires troops who would go along with any orders for arrests.




As long as IRI fist (RG) & money are intact, fuggedabout it

by AMIR1973 on

You need 3 things to rule in an authoritarian regime: 1) lots of money, 2) weapons (which requires lots of money), and 3) goons willing and able to use those weapons (which again means lots of money). As long as the Revolutionary Guard Rapists and the IRI's oil money are left essentially intact, a successful "purely" domestic uprising and meaningful regime change is extremely unlikely in Iran in the near to medium-term (in the long term, all bets are off). In other words, don't count on Iranians inside Iran being able to achieve regime change anytime soon. The ONLY possibility is if the IRI's source of getting money and paying for stuff (i.e. oil, natural gas, and the Central Bank) are SQUEEZED in a major way.


Scary SL THREAT shows why an alliance is essential

by FG on

From Today's News:

The Supreme Leader's representative with the Revolutionary Guards, Ali Saeedi, has told the "Basij and Media" conference that those who protested after the 2009 Presidential election are like the "terrorist" Mujahedin-e-Khalq and are "mahdour-od-dam" --- "their blood can be shed freely".  (Enduring America)


What's going on?  The SL leader seems to be getting notably more extreme over the last month.  First we suggests eliminating the presidency. Then he institutes a series of "Talibization-style" measures.  Now we get this threat.   Maybe we'll return to the old Revolutionary Courts and a "hanging judge" who orders thousands of executions.

Why isn't it obvious that everyone fed up with mullah rule must fighting one another and combine against these monsters, lest they are picked off one at a time?  Who will be first?  The "Greens?"  Ahmadinejad and his key followers? Then Rafsanjani and his family members? 

If each faction stands by and watches its rivals being eliminated, Khamenei can get away with anything.  The opposition( ALL of it and not just the so-called greens--seems to have fallen asleep.  They simply drift along, waiting for something nice to happen. 

...Or maybe not.  News Item:

Where's Mahmoud? President Ahmadinejad and members of his Cabinet are meeting people this morinng at a rail station in southern Tehran. We await details.  (Enduring America)

What "people?"


FG: Ahmadinejad is a

by vildemose on

FG: Ahmadinejad is a religious fanatic and a true believer. It's like allying with Al-queda (sp?)to oust Karazi in Afghanistan. Ousting Karazi will not achieve anything, it will make things even worse.

 It will never work. The US keeps making mistakes like this. Didn't Carter ally himself with Khomeini against the Shah?? When are we going to learn our lesson??


"It is the chain of communicat­ion, not the means of production­, that determines a social process."

-- Robert Anton Wilson


Would Rafsanjani support Ahmadinejad?

by FG on

Wrong question.  Rafsanjani would not be asked to "support" Ahmaninejad no more than Amerian conservatives in WW II were asked asked to "support" Stalin by agreeing to a military alliance of necessity. Rafsanjani would simply be pledging himself to a central and overwhelming goal--ousting mullah rule--the one sure thing on which Ahmadinejad and the "Greens" could agree.  Nor would Rafsanjani have a problem saying "bye, bye" to Khamenei.

A minority on the American far left made the same mistake in reverse, seeing the alliance as "approval" of Stalin who they myopically saw as America's friend, a reformed dictator and a cuddley uncle.  Many Americans knew better.

We HOPED that after the war Stalin would honor all wartime agreements made but by mid-1944 it was obvious that when the war ended Stalin would enjoy a fait accompli position in Eastern Europe, given the overwhelming forces he'd have occupying the ground.  If Stalin broke his agreements, we'd only lose what would be lost in any case.  At least he MiGHT honor some of his pledges as was the case. 


While agreeing to the alliance or during any conflict (should it be necessary) both sides could  agree to preliminary postwar goals, meeting outside the country to do so if need as Allies did in World War II and leaving details for later.  For example allies could pledge themselves to a postwar government that would be democratic, include a constitution providing for full separation of church and state, an independent judiciary, a strong bill of rights (that one to be drawn up during the war, and separation of powers. Meanwhile, such announced intentions would reinforce popular support and undermine the mullahs further.

Whatever his post-war intentions, I suspect Ahmadinejad would support such  general promises.   Whether he'd keep them is another thing.  Stalin didn't in most (not all) cases, notably Poland.  However, should war be required, I doubt Ahmadinejad will enjoy the overwhelming advantages Stalin enjoyed after WW II (a good example of how variables can make a difference when using historical analogyies).

To the degee Ahmadinejad would lack Stalin's advantages, his ability to renege suffers.   Ahmainejad might well go along with a postwar Constitution  gambling that he'd get elected chief executive one way or manage to rig the elections.  I doubt either would be that easy, considering his solid but limited base of support and likely election safegaurds including strict observers--domestic and possibly foreign from neutral NGO's or the UN.  This time there would be no Supreme Leader to block such safeguards via arrogant fiat.

PS: Thanks.  I hadn't thought about pulling Rafsanjani into the alliance until you brought it up.  He and similar clerical defectors represent a kind of third faction whose defection and moral support would be a further blow to the conservatives.  The alliance would also make it harder for Khamenei to control Rafsanjani via the usual threats.   Perhaps the same goes for the media.  


1. Words can have more than one meaning. In my posts I use "Greens" not in the sense of a now extinct movement determined to reform the unreformable but in the second sense.  Gteens here refers all Iranians who seek democracy, free elections, human rights, etc. by whatever means. Defined that way, they are anything but extinct.  it also clarifies what sets Ahmadinejad's followers off from "greens." 

2. When I referred to Khamenei being "gone" in another post, i didn't mean "dead from natural causes."   I meant gone from power as a result of the alliance.   Once ousted, he can't come back (though he could wind up dead or in jail).  Not even Ahmadinejad would want the ousted fundamentalists as allies, given Khamenei's ambitions and his taste for intrigue.  The extremist mullahjs are so discredited--and likely to be more so as further details of their crimes and thievery emerge afterwards-- that political association with them will be a "kiss of death" for anyone.

3. I don't see Ahmadinejad as a "reformer" except mainly when it comes to opposing Taliban-style compulsory Islamization (Khamenei's latest proclivity).   Nor would I agree with the same poster's description of Ahmadinejad as "not so bad."  I'd say "not AS bad."  Who can trump Khamenei, Taeb, Mojtaba, Jannati, Jafari and Ahmad Khatami there? 




Iqbal Latif

Will Rafsanjani support ex-rival and loathed Ahmadinejad?

by Iqbal Latif on


I agree with you that implosion will happen from within. The regime is going through phenomenon of dialectical materialism! I have dealt with this subject last month keeping in focus some realities on the ground.

The big question is will Rafsanjani support ex-rival and loathed Ahmadinejad?

President Ahmadinejad unquestionably has in response upped the game and has challenged the authority of the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khamenei. The Islamic Republic is unable to steer clear of the process of dialectical materialism; the Marxian concept of reality in which material things are in the constant process of change brought about by the tension between conflicting or interacting forces, elements, or ideas. The implosion of a system based on hierarchy of sacredness is in entirety of evolution. The dynamics of conflict within echelons of power has its own momentum, I feel the rising temperatures within the power structure. May be Iranian street and bazaars will now have to go through the embarrassment to add the name of Ahmadinejad to list of ex-wolves - present sheep's moderates like Khatami, Mousavi and Rafsanjani! In a country where Mullah producing and patronising factories in Qom produces 20,000-25,000 Mujtahids every year what option one has?

The most important figure in Iran of today is Ayatollah Khamenei in his role as Supreme Leader; he has repeatedly denounced the West, and in particular the United States. His veto is final in Iranian political affairs. He is an 'Icon' of country's conservative establishment and one of the three defining influences of the revolution a bedrock on which the clerical rule rests. (the other two being the founder of the republic, Ayatollah Khomeini, and the president of Iran for much of the 1990s, Ayatollah Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani )

For any theocratic coup d'état against the Supreme President Ahmadinejad seemingly must have high of hopes from Majles-e Khebregan-e Rahbari afterall Mahdavi Kani, bumped off Rafsanjani and was elected in March 2011 with Ahmadinejad hard-line support.

Yesterday hardliners are today's moderate, imagine this statement from Rafsanjani the moderate face of the Iran today 'When the shah gave us freedoms, we drove him out of the country. We won't make that mistake ourselves.'

One really doesn't know who is the sheep or who is the wolf; everyone cross dresses in the Majles-e Khebregan-e Rahbari, a deliberative body of 86 Mujtahids that is charged with electing and removing the Supreme Leader of Iran and supervising his activities.

One needs to remember that the election for the fourth assembly 2007 had one particular note that was the victory of pragmatistAyatollah Rafsanjani list, over hard-line candidates associated with President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for positions in the 86-member Assembly of Experts. Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani was re-elected as chairman. In March 2011 Rafsanjani lost his post as head of the powerful Assembly of Experts as a result of intensive lobbying by "hardliners and supporters" of presidentMahmoud Ahmadinejad , replaced by Ayatollah Mohammad-Reza Mahdavi Kani. Rafsanjani withdrew from the election for head to "avoid division." The current chairman of the Assembly Mahdavi Kani, elected in March 2011. Assembly of Experts is elected every 8 years the term formed in 2007, will exceptionally last ten years due to the "election aggregation" plan of Iran, put into place to allow the government to run one simultaneous election for both the Assembly of Experts and Parliament, thereby economizing election costs.

To dislodge the power of the Supreme leader President Ahmadinejad has taken Rafsanjani centrist and "pragmaticconservative "position. He supports a free market position domestically, favouring privatization of state-owned industries, and a moderate position internationally, seeks to avoid conflict with the United States and the West.

The big question is will Rafsanjani support ex-rival and loathed Ahmadinejad? Like Supreme Soviet in 1990, Iranian orthodox system is giving up as the demands of the people cannot be met by intransigence of the sacrosanct antiquated ideological beliefs. From Bazargan to Mousavi and now may be Ahmadinejad have all realised at long last that 'Imam's kite cannot fly' the bread and butter of the world requires both duniya and Ikharat!



Anahid Hojjati

Rather than uniting with "Ahmadinejad", Greens

by Anahid Hojjati on

should look for someone in the regime that has a base of support among the people and is the most "democratic" and least evil in the regime and support such a person if he becomes a candidate. Ahmadinejad has no base of support independent of his presidential position. Once the title is gone, he will be a nobody.



by hirre on

I think that for the next election we will see Mr. Khatami show himself even more... Khamenei will use Khatami to soften domestic politics like he used him when he was the president...



by hirre on

I think it is impossible due to the fact that the greens blame Mr. A. for their "defeat".


you are up to somethin! :-)

by Disenchanted on


      If nothing this is a break from cliches that are norm on IC!


Dear FG,

by AMIR1973 on

calculating that he can keep power and perks afterward and manhandle the Greens without clerical help.

Let's not get ahead of ourselves. AN will be out in 2013. After all his barking, his owner put him in his place. The Supreme Leader is the Boss. Period. Second of all, the Green Movement, such as it was, is essentially dead and gone. Perhaps with better leadership or tactics or goals the protests of 2009 might have led to real change, but they clearly have NOT and did NOT. At this point, the Mousavi-Karroubi "movement", such as it was, is a dead end and will go nowhere. Period.

I also think a substantial portion of liberal clerics will endorse and back the Greens when Khamenei is gone without seeking power themselves. 

Who knows when Khamenei will die. He is "only" 72 years old, so he may conceivably live another 5-15 years. After the Rapist Emam died in 1989, the IRI basically closed ranks (and they had their differences and factions in those days too). What's to say they wouldn't do the same now? Absent a "crisis" such as major economic difficulties (a lot bigger than the ones IRI is facing now) and/or a major international standoff/military conflict, I daresay I can see the regime likely closing ranks again.


Looks like a hot topic, doesn't it?

by FG on

Interesting responses.  I'll respond to 3 of them here.

TO AYATOILET: It's more like having to choose between dog and skunk.  Stalin too was "a dog" as you put it but the alliance succeeder for both parties.  Stalin cooperated  for the most part, thanks to a common interest in defeating the Nazis.  As victory neared, he started reneging on promises. Mahmoud will do so also.  Without the mullahs, can he pull it off?

If FDR had followed your advice, the Axis would rule the world today.  If Stalin had done so,how long would he have lived?

TO ROOZBAHh: I agree about the fascists in the Green movement.  Some (not all) monarchists share a key fascist trait (fostering Islamophobia).

TO AMIR1973 re: " They may fight among themselves, but they will never let their
differences (which are NOT about fundamental questions of rights,
liberties, justice, etc anyway) go so far as to undermine the regime in a
big way."

I agee the part in parentheses ONLY applies to both the clerics and Ahmadinejad.  I doubt Ahmadinejad would miss the IR,  calculating that he can keep power and perks afterward and manhandle the Greens without clerical help.  I think he miscalculates in the latter case.  I also think a substantial portion of liberal clerics will endorse and back the Greens when Khamenei is gone without seeking power themselves.


I am for it

by iamfine on

Rather breaking Iran into pieces, let us be united with Ahmadinejad. After all he is not that bad and I am sure he is pro reform


Don't expect IRI infighting to bring down the regime....

by AMIR1973 on

As long as the regime has a huge supply of oil dollars and can do business through its Central Bank, there's enough loot to go around to keep the various Khomeinist Islamist factions (which is what ALL the IRI factions are) well fed. They may fight among themselves, but they will never let their differences (which are NOT about fundamental questions of rights, liberties, justice, etc anyway) go so far as to undermine the regime in a big way. On the other hand, if the regime has to start tightening its belt, so to speak, because sanctions are placed on oil, natural gas, and the Central Bank, then they may really start going after each other as the pigs find less food in the trough for them and their paid goons.


Actually nothing "Radical" about what you propose.

by Roozbeh_Gilani on

There are elements within the "Green movement" who are as extreme right wing and fascistic as ahmadinezahd and his gang of crazed "Hojjatists".

As to the question of if this unholy alliance would be of any benefit to Iranian people, just go and ask the vast majority of Iranians back home who have been suffering for the past three decades under evey conceivable "wing" of this islamist dictatorship....

"Personal business must yield to collective interest."


Sleep with dogs

by ayatoilet1 on

Get up with flees.

 Shortterm expedincy often comes with longterm costs.


Another historical comparison and a question

by FG on

After Pearl Harbor, the USA had to decide which enemy should be given military priority. The basis of decision was "go after the strongest first." (Nazi Germany).   If you live in Iran toda and disagree with two other factions, where would you concentrate your efforts if based on the same strategy?


A radical proposal?

by FG on

The idea that an alliance of convenience is the best way for Greens to break out of their current jam now instead of years from now only occurred to me about 10 minutes before writing the above (which took far more time).

Ordinarily, I resist argument by analogy, considered a logical fallacy because no two situations are exactly alike.  In Vietnam, the Munich analogy was wrongly applied with disasterous consequences.  Propagandists for the Iranian regime spokesmen are notorious for stretching bad analogies.

A historical analogy is only perfect when the two circumstances being compared are identical in all respects (an impossibility).  I don't claim it's so with my WW II analogy.  Yet I think that the circumstances are close enough to bear comparison.

One place my analogy does not fit, for example, is in the limited and temporary nature of any clerical victory over Ahmadinejad's faction.  Obviously it couldn't comparable to a Nazi conquest of the Soviet Union in dimensions or durability.   A mullah triumph would merely prolong mullah rule and Iranian suffering for a bit longer.   It could make the process of ousting them more bloody considering their likely desperation.