Signs of trouble for Iran's regime are mounting fast


by FG

Developments in Iran over the last 24 hours suggest Iran's regime seems to be coming apart rapidly in two areas 1) the economy and 2) a loss of faith in Khamenei's leadership among former stalwarts.


Legend says a little Dutch boy once tried to stop a leaking dike with his fingers. Substitute the Hoover Dam for that dike. Substitute the regime's economic management team for the boy. No wonder economic panic is growing and it can only get worse as an oil boycott looms.


Whether you love or hate the Islamic Republic, one yardstick for evaluating any leader is by his success or failure at meeting desired goals. Khamenei has been a six-way failure as I wrote in a post not long ago. He could resign tomorrow and his successors clould reverse the most hated policies 180 degrees but it won't undo the harm Khamenei has done since 2009. The Islamic Republic is too deeply tarnished to survive.

Khamenei always had psychological tendencies historians associated with lousy leadership--total inflexibility, a reference for reactionary advisers only, an inability to choose alternative policies, a visceral hatred for any reforms and an all stick, no carrot style but insiders could kid themselves until fatal decisions starting with the 2009 election. The three worst were include the empowerment of Ahmadinejad (now a threat), handing so much political and economic power over to a Praetorian Guard (soon a threat) and the utter evisceration of reformers (now too radicalized to ever trust anyone associated with this sinking ship--especially not Khamenei).

For two years now Khamenei has reassured conservatives with cult-like utterances: "Trust Me." "Stick together, stay the course and we'll get out of this" and "A little more intimidation and we'll see the sun again" As darkness grows and prospects look bleaker than ever, isome Stalwarts conclude "We've been had!" A Fuehrer once safe from criticism is leading his insiders to a final bunker somewhere in Iran.

In one or two subposts, I look at exactly which late developments are so troublesome.


more from FG
Sadegh Bozorgmehr

Separate wishful thinking from analysis

by Sadegh Bozorgmehr on

We're approaching the 33rd year of predictions claiming IRI is on it's last leg. Every year we have said this, using almost the same exact arguments. 

The reasons you've chosen to claim the regime is falling is the same reasons used throughout the last 32 years. Certainly the IRI will collapse, but when it does it won't be because of a sanctioned economy or any of this other nonsense. 



by vildemose on


A state of war only serves as an excuse for domestic tyranny.--Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.



by Fatollah on

" Joubin   --apologist for the mullocracy?? "

 you've got to be kidding me FG!!!


To Jouban--apologist for the mullocracy

by FG on

"Gulf" is standard shorthand in newspaper headings.

In conventional  usage--"Gulf states" always and invariably refers to the Persian Gulf area and never the Gulf of Mexico or some other gulf.  How many readers here might need a reference to Bahrain, Iran, Saudi Arabia, etc., to figure it out?  Exceptions like yourself fall into one of three categories: fascistic and rigid xenophobes, individuals with limited IQs (Sarah Palin, Rick Perry) and regime personnel seeking to draw attention away from what hurts.  Which one fits you?  My guess is #3.

You keep swearing you are not going to read my posts but I mesmerize
you.  Do you find them riveting or scary in their analyses of the
regime's troubles?   While I concentrate on meaty issues, you favor
marginal fluff.  I won't be diverted into any further discussion on this silly topic since that appears to be your exclusive purpose.


Signs of discontent in the Republican Guard

by FG on

In a Washington Post article about the furor instigated by a former IRCG commander who compared Khamenei unfavorably to the Shah, Thomas Erdbrink has this to say about suspect loyalties in the Republican Guard in the next crisis:

 The elite Revolutionary Guard Corps, which has more than 150,000
troops, is officially charged with defending the Islamic revolution. But
it effectively acts as a protection force for the county’s leadership
and defends the interests of hard-liners in Iran’s political system.

the Obama administration often portrays the Revolutionary Guard as the
primary unified force among Iran’s increasingly fragmented factions, its
middle and lower ranks are just as affected by the country’s worsening
economic situation as civilians.

Former commanders are among President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s
harshest critics, while some widows of prominent slain Guard generals
openly support the opposition movement, joining its calls for more
personal freedoms, greater democracy and better relations with other

As you may have noticed, those problems in the lower and middle ranks of the IRCG are very similar to what we are seeing in Iran where most top generals remain loyal to Assad while defections occur below.  In some ways Assad even has an advantage over Khamenei because, unlike Iran's Supreme Thug, he can count on sectarian loyalties at the top.



 Erdbrink has done some excellent reporting on the currency crisis.






by مآمور on

 with my watch I am able to calculate with just 100 standard of deviation the time IRI will come to an end, and then my watch will program itself to set off the alarm at the exact time, just in case, like past 33 years, opposition membes backed off and ran back to their computers

I wear an Omega watch


Unacceptable? Why not learn to read?

by FG on

Both the header and the story come from the Associated Press, not yours truely...

...though it does verify the use of "Gulf" for Persian Gulf is standard journistic practice based on the assumption the reader is neither brain-damaged nor totally uninformed about the world.   It's like saying the Atlantic.

That said, get use to the shorthand.  If you don't approve, would you prefer I calling it the Arabian Gulf just to annoy pedantic, finger-wagging, ultrasensitive schoolmarms like yourself.



That was Unacceptable, FG

by Joubin on

"Gulf states show rising confidence to rattle Iran

For leaders on the Iranian side of the Gulf, the past days have offered some hard lessons in the politics of oil."

Try this next time:

"[Persian] Gulf states show rising confidence to rattle Iran

For leaders on the Iranian side of the [Persian] Gulf, the past days have offered some hard lessons in the politics of oil."


Think Clearly, Speak Straight, and Act Decisively.  Only then will you be an Iranian. 

Anahid Hojjati

I agree Shushtari,

by Anahid Hojjati on

Yes, FG's "efshagari" blogs are great.


fg......awesome as always!!!

by shushtari on

damet garm...I always enjoy reading your me great joy to finally see these murderers and thieves exterminated and our homeland free once again


6 so-called vices banned by Saudi-style "morality police"

by FG on

6 so-called vices banned by Iran's morality police


Actually they missed the latest bit of Saudi-ization which is speeding  up.  You'll find it in my earlier round-up post.


Economics lesson: How to screw Iranians with depreciating rials

by FG on

In the past Ahmadinejad has encouraged inflation (a drop in value of the rial) because its a good way for a government to cheat its way out of debt.   You need to understand this sentence to grasp how it can work: "This currency is legal tender for all debts."  (Note: Ahmadinejad's actions are a contributor to Iran's inflation today but not the sole cause).

"Legal tender" means you must accept a given currency if a debtor hands it to you to pay back what they owe you, even if it has lost half or all value.  By running off currency a government can swindle on its own citizens by insisting on giving the currency an arbitrary value much higher than its real (depreciated) value. It can't cheat other nations so easily because, unlike one's own citizens, they can't be forced to accept such currency as "real."

During the hyperinflation of the 1920s, patriotic German bondholders got screwed.  The government decided to get out of its war debts (held by  bondholders) and reparations  by printing off money until the mark became totally worthless. Hyperinflation destroyed Germany's middle class.

Which Iranians will get cheated by their government to the extent to the intext some inflation was deliberately promoted for that reason: anyone who bought government bonds, any government workers who have gone unpaid for weeks or months, and any private business that sold something to the government and is still awaiting payment a long time later.  Thus Iranian workers may finally see the pay they've waited weeks or months to receive--but it won't be worth nearly as much as if they'd been paid on time.

Bear in mind that any other creditors, even in private dealings get screwed.  Thus, if you see someone coming to pay you, your best move is to duck out the back door and wait until a new currency appears with real value and becomes the legal tender.

Among those screwed: Anyone who bought long-term life insurance (the stamp cost more than the value of the policy), anyone dependent on a fixed pension, bondholders in private firms, etc.

Indeed there is a law in economics (I can't recall the name) that "bad money drives out good."  In essence people will hold on the "solid" money rather than risk spending it now.  They'll be more than happy to pay you in rials.


UPDATE: rial suddenly falls 3.5% to record low versus $

by FG on

Suddenly the Iranian Rial has plummeted on the leading currency site Meshgal. It has fallen 3.5% in a few hours to a record low of 18200:1 vs. the US dollar.  (That just appeared at 1940 GMT on Enduring America)


Excellent round up of

by vildemose on

Excellent round up of news.

A state of war only serves as an excuse for domestic tyranny.--Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.

Maryam Hojjat

FG, Thanks

by Maryam Hojjat on

Waiting for your great updates.


Psychotic Republican makes fool of himself over Turkey

by FG on

In the televised debate Monday, Texas governor Perry said Turkey was ruled by “what
many would perceive to be Islamic terrorists.”  Perry, citing his
military service as an Air Force pilot that took him to Turkey in the
1970s, said the country had changed dramatically since then.


Imagine if this idiot and other gems (Bachman, Palin, Cain) vomited up by right-wing Republics were to actually occupy the White House.  Not one of them could even find Turkey or Iran on a map.  They might point to Israel's location and then say, "Duh...uh...that's Iran.  I'm positively sure of it."


Signs of trouble & New Moves to Saudi-ize Iran

by FG on


Economy experts explain the run on gold with the police crackdown on
free exchange traders during the past days but warn of the apparent calm
and predict a more heavy turmoil for the currency market. According to
them with the closure of the Strategic and Planning Organisation by AN
the government has lost its "economic brain", and the CBI has proved to
be incapable of controlling the crisis. Given the continuous currency
fluctuations people have lost their faith in the CBI. //

The value of the rial has begun falling again.   As of 1520 GMT, the rate was 1750 to 1. SNA reports that foreign exchange offices have stopped the sale of US dollars, even by phone, for fear of being closed down for not adhering to the "ordered" rate of the Central Bank.

... Radio Farda reports that some Iranian media are now speaking of a "dollarised" economy.

... Gold prices, amidst Iran's currency crisis, have increased by more than 20% in a week.

... The Tehran Stock Exchange has fallen sharply, losing 210 points after the Government has refused any further increase in interest rates.

... Former Minister of Trade Masoud Mirkazemi has launched a stinging attack on the Government
--- noting that that people suffer from harsh sanctions, inflation and
unemployment, he said that the budget deficit and support payments for
subsidy cuts have made the situation worse.

Mirkazemi asked, "How can Government start the second phase of
subsidy cuts although the first have not been fully implemented and when
the price rise of sources of energy does not cover expenditure (on
support payments)?"

Turning to issues of finance and currency, Mirkazemi says debts of
banks to the Central Bank were up by 95%, with the Government failing to
control lending and the amount of cash in the economy. He continued
that investment was down because of instability, with money, with
people losing confidence in Government and the Central Bank....


Gulf states show rising confidence to rattle Iran

For leaders on the Iranian side of the Gulf, the past days have offered some hard lessons in the politics of oil.



Conservative MP Ali Motahari, who has been condemning the move of the Islamic Republic towards "Constitutional dictatroship", has defended former Revolutionary Guards commander Hossein Alaei,
who has warned the Supreme Leader of the consequences of repression.
Motahari asked, "Is everything right in nezam [the Iranian system]
because of the adjective 'Islamic'? Are reforms meaningless and

... In an open letter to the Supreme Leader, Sunni MPs have demanded an end to religious discrimination and restrictions and requested a permit to build a mosque in Tehran.

... The furour over former Revolutionary Guards commander Hossein Alaei's
article, which warned Ayatollah Khamenei about repression through an
allegory with the Shah, has only grown with the regime's attacks against
Alaei. Current MP Ali Motahari, fighting an Ahmadinejad force which
wants to prevent him from standing in March's elections, has extended
his criticism --- without naming the Supreme Leader, he is now referring
to "Constitutional dictatorship".

And former MP Emad Afrough has gone beyond He Who Must Be Named,
using an interview on State TV to insist that people must be allowed to
question the Supreme Leader and to dismiss him if his answers are not


Sheys Amani, an executive member of the Union of Free Workers of Iran, was arrested on Monday
at the Sanadaj courthouse, as he was following up the cases of detained
workers Sharif Saedpanah and Mozafar Salehnia, who were arrested two
weeks ago.


Minister of Education Hamidreza Gadzhibabai announced on Monday that Iran will soon publish separate school textbooks for boys and girls
--- given gender segregation in the system, "education, training, and
textbooks should be adjusted accordingly. "In the next year,
comprehensive education reforms will occur in all fields, including
teachers, classes, books, and teaching methods."

Fazlali criticized mixed universities, saying that allowing male and
female students in the same classes is like "putting meat in front of a
cat". In 2009, the Supreme Leader's represenative at the Khajeh Nasir
Toosi University of Technology, Hojatoleslam Nabiollah Fazlali,
introduced segregated education on campuses.

(FG says: Khamenei deserves a new nickname, "The Alienator."  Do you think this proposal will add to the rage of Iranians who already have so many grievances against the regime?)