Posted tagged ‘Khamenei’

We Need Regime Change in Iran

January 12, 2018

We Need Regime Change in Iran, PJ MediaMichael Ledeen, January 11, 2017

(Please see also, What we Have Learned From the Iran Protests. — DM)

(AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)

The White House and Congress are trying to legislate policy on Iran. It’s a good idea, since, unless you think press releases and speeches constitute policy, we don’t have one at this potentially world-changing moment. Nor will legislation regarding the JCPOA (aka the Iran Nuclear Deal) give us the sort of policy we need. We need action now, not a law about what we can or cannot do some years from now.

The debate over renewal of sanctions is paradoxically important, but irrelevant to this revolutionary moment. Sanctions are excellent but they are slow — their impact takes time to take effect. Iran’s regime is both challenged in the streets and torn apart by internal strife (see my many essays on “the war of the Persian succession”).

The policy we need, fiercely and fast, is to support the Iranian revolutionaries. There are several ways to do it and we should do them all. They are said to be starving, so airlift food to them. It would be delightfully appropriate to seize some of Supreme Leader Khamenei’s stolen loot, buy food with it, and then deliver it to the revolutionaries via drone or parachute.

Whenever the insurrectionaries are asked what they need, they invariably tell you “communications,” which means they need a way to sabotage the regime’s stranglehold on digital networks. Developing such capacity will not only further regime change in Iran today, it will help us deal with China and Russia as well. It also helps our words of support reach a wider audience inside the country at the same time that it demonstrates our ability to support free speech within the repressive Islamic Republic.

The best way to reach the Iranian people is via our broadcasting networks, including Voice of America and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. This was an extraordinarily effective instrument in bringing down the failed Soviet system in the Cold War. But over the years, these invaluable tools to expose the failures and evils of dictatorships, and get the dissidents the facts about the situation on the ground throughout the country, have fallen into the wrong hands, and we now need a thorough restaffing. Voice of America’s Farsi service is as often as not anti-American and apologizes for the cruel Khamenei regime. We need more of the sort that so irritated Gorbachev. But there is no sign that such an important move is in the works.

In addition, we must establish a conversation with the revolutionaries. That means that Americans have to meet face to face with Iranian dissidents, just as Americans met with Soviet, Polish and other satellite dissidents in the eighties. A note of caution: we should not send CIA personnel. Many key opposition leaders do not trust the agency, which has a poor track record on Iran. It has rarely foreseen explosive political developments (eg. 2009) and invariably declares that uprisings there are leaderless. They were wrong in 2009, and if I read the American press correctly, they are saying the same wrong thing today. Military intelligence is better, even if Secretary Mattis, like National Security Advisor McMaster and Secretary of State Tillerson, has proven disappointingly risk-averse, timorous even, when it comes to directly challenging the regime and vigorously supporting the freedom fighters.

Back in the Bush days—the W days—I once recommended sending a military officer with lots of medals to talk to the Green leaders. But so far as I know, there has been no communication with the dissidents since the phony 2009 elections.

We need regime change and we need it now. That’s what the president should focus on. And then fight for

What we Have Learned From the Iran Protests

January 12, 2018

What we Have Learned From the Iran Protests, Iran News Update, January 11, 2018

INU – The Iran protests loom ever more important with U.S. President Trump’s upcoming on Friday regarding the Iran nuclear deal.

Although Iran’s state media claims the protests have come to an end, still, cities and towns continue to express their discontent. The struggle remains, between the Iranian people and this regime — already weakened by domestic unrest, internal rifts, and international pressures.

An important issue that sets this apart from the previous nationwide protests in 2009 and 1999 is the reference made by Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei to the party behind these rallies. While Tehran pointing fingers at Washington, London, Israel and the Saudis is not new, Khamenei made a statement in which he pointed to the Iranian opposition People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK). The significance of this is that it may be an indication of the regime’s real concerns.

According to Reuters, “As well as Washington and London, Khamenei blamed the violence on Israel, exiled dissident group People’s Mujahedin of Iran and ‘a wealthy government’ in the Gulf, a probable reference to Iran’s regional rival, Saudi Arabia.”

In his article for Forbes, Heshmat Alavi writes, “This recent wave of protests is setting the grounds with new sets of rules and understandings.” Displayed below, are what Alavi indicates as these new rules and understandings:

1) The Iranian people no longer fear in expressing their true feelings, seen in the nationwide slogan of “Death to Khamenei.” Such a brave measure in the past would bear the potential of earning you a heavy prison term, if not a death sentence.

Once the Islamic Republic’s greatest taboo, chanting “Death to Khamenei” is now the norm in #Iran.Southern schoolkids chant against regime’s Supreme Leader. Doesn’t take a genius to work out Khamenei’s approval rating among parents in the city – via #MEK activists. #IranProtests — M. Hanif Jazayeri (@HanifJazayeri) 2:58 PM – Jan 8, 2018

2) Unlike previous uprisings, these demonstrations are mushrooming across the country, reaching over 130 cities and towns, according to activists. Places less heard of before, such as Izeh, Dorud, Shahin Shahr and etc. are now seen leading the growing wave of protests. Brave demonstrators are threatening the regime’s very pillars to an extent that security forces have opened fire and killed dozens of protesters, arresting thousands, according to reports.

3) From the second day of this uprising protesters have shown their overcoming of prior fears through responding to the security forces’ attacks and quelling. State vehicles, motorcycles, makeshift police stations and other facilities are being set ablaze by protesters in response to the regime’s unbridled crackdown.

Protesters march toward residence of Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei

January 1, 2018

Protesters march toward residence of Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, Al Alaribya, January 1, 2018

(They probably weren’t seeking his blessing. — DM)

Anti-government protesters demonstrated in Iran on Sunday in defiance of a warning by the authorities of a tough crackdown. (Supplied)

[T]here were orders for military commanders to “take all measures to prevent the demonstrators from reaching the house of the Supreme Leader”.

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Several media outlets have reported that a crowd of protestors began marching toward Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei’s residence on Pasteur St. on Sunday night in the capital Tehran.

Sources have confirmed security forces and members of the Revolutionary Guards were heavily deployed in nearby streets Khamenei’s residence.

According to Shahrvand-Yar, a non-profit institution that advocates for democracy and change in Iran, said on its channel on Telgram app that the crowds of protesters began marching toward’s the house at exactly 19:50 Tehran time.

(A video is at the link. — DM)

They added that there were orders for military commanders to “take all measures to prevent the demonstrators from reaching the house of the Supreme Leader”.

Anti-government protesters demonstrated in Iran on Sunday in defiance of a warning by the authorities of a tough crackdown, extending for a fourth day one of the most audacious challenges to the clerical leadership since pro-reform unrest in 2009.

The Regime Chants “Death to America”, Iranians Chant “Death to Mullahs”

January 1, 2018

The Regime Chants “Death to America”, Iranians Chant “Death to Mullahs”, Gatestone InstituteMajid Rafizadeh, January 1, 2018

(Please see also, Anti-government protests grow more violent in Iran. — DM)

Protesters, risking their lives, have been chanting, “Death to Khamenei” — a serious crime according to the clergy, and punishable, according to the Sharia law of the regime, with death.

People are also chanting, “Death to Rouhani”, “Shame on you Khamenei, step down from power”, “Death to the Dictator” and “Death to the Islamic Republic”. Protesters are tearing down the banners of Iran’s Supreme leaders, Khomeini and Khamenei.

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Now, people in Iran are demanding not just limited reforms but regime change. The government has been doing all it can to stoke the flames of hatred, but has been trying to deflect it to “Death to America” and “Death to Israel”.

The Trump administration is taking the right side by supporting the Iranian people; they are the principal victims of the Iranian regime and its Islamist agenda.

Let us not be on the side of history that would remain silent in the face of such crimes against humanity, let us not join the ranks of other dictators, terrorists, and criminals, that turned a blind eye to violence, and the will of brave, innocent people.

Protests have grown and have spread across Iran in cities such as Tehran, KermanshahShirazRashtQomHamedanAhvazIsfahan, Zahedan, Qazvin, and Sari.

The political nature of the protests has been made clear from the outset and the regime is experiencing a political earthquake. The regime’s gunmen have been out in full force. Despite the brutal power being deployed to crush these peaceful demonstrators — four protestors have already been reported killed — more people are flooding the streets in defiance of the regime.

The scale of these sudden protests is unprecedented during the last four decades of the Islamic Republic of Iran’s rule.

These demonstrations, however, are different from other protests in Iran since 1979, when the theocratic regime was established. In 2009, during the popular uprising in the name of the “Green Movement,” people were protesting against rigged elections and the presidency of the anti-Semitic politician Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Chants echoed through the streets, “Where is my vote?” while the government ratcheted up its power to silence the protestors.

Pictured: People in Tehran, Iran, protest against rigged elections during the popular uprising in the name of the “Green Movement,” on June 16, 2009. (Image source: Milad Avazbeigi/Wikimedia Commons)

Now, people are demanding not just limited reforms but regime change. After almost four decades of living under a theocracy — with Islamist mullahs controlling them, rampant corruption, and the regime’s persistent dissemination of propaganda — the people have reached the boiling point. The government has been doing all it can to stoke the flames of hatred, but has been trying to deflect it to “Death to America” and “Death to Israel”.

Protesters, risking their lives, have been chanting, “Death to Khamenei” — a serious crime according to the clergy, and punishable, according to the Sharia law of the regime, with death.

People are also chanting, “Death to Rouhani”, “Shame on you Khamenei, step down from power”, “Death to the Dictator” and “Death to the Islamic Republic”. Protesters are tearing down the banners of Iran’s Supreme leaders, Khomeini and Khamenei.

Chants being heard all over the nation are, “Forget about Palestine, forget about Gaza, think about us”, “Death to Hezbollah”, “The people live like beggars / [Khamenei] lives like a God,” and “Leave Syria alone, think about us instead”.

The outcry leaves no question about the needs of the people, and the real voice of Iran. Demonstrators are making a clear distinction between the Iranian people’s desired policies and those being carried out by the regime. All political and economic indications are that protests in Iran will continue to grow.

The Trump administration in the United States is taking the right side by supporting the Iranian people; they are the principal victims of the Iranian regime and its Islamist agenda.

US President Donald Trump tweeted:

“Many reports of peaceful protests by Iranian citizens fed up with regime’s corruption & its squandering of the nation’s wealth to fund terrorism abroad. Iranian govt should respect their people’s rights, including right to express themselves. The world is watching! #IranProtests”

In another statement, the U.S. State Department said:

“On June 14, 2017, Secretary Tillerson accurately testified to Congress that he supports ‘those elements inside of Iran that would lead to a peaceful transition of government. Those elements are there, certainly as we know.’ The Secretary today repeats his deep support for the Iranian people.”

Let us be clear. The fault lines are completely visible. If you are on the side of justice, freedom, and basic human rights, and if you respect humanity, you will not be able to remain silent. Let us at least give moral support, if not more, to the Iranian people. Justice and truth need to prevail. This is what history has repeatedly shown us. Let us not be on the side of history that would remain silent in the face of such crimes against humanity, let us not join the ranks of other dictators, terrorists, and criminals, that turned a blind eye to violence, and the will of brave, innocent people.

Dr. Majid Rafizadeh, is a business strategist and advisor, Harvard-educated scholar, political scientist, board member of Harvard International Review, and president of the International American Council on the Middle East. He is the author of “Peaceful Reformation in Iran’s Islam“.

Ahmadinejad to Khamenei: There is Little Hope for Improvement in Regine’s Status

December 2, 2017

Ahmadinejad to Khamenei: There is Little Hope for Improvement in Regine’s Status, Iran News Update, Jazeh Miller, December 2, 2017

According to Ahmadinejad, “due to heavy economic, propaganda and emotional pressures as well as political and psychological ones, many people and families are subjected to serious harms and breakdown, and a bleak outlook has been formed in the minds of all people, the youth in particular. Considering the country’s current conditions, hope for a better future has reached bottom low.”

In another part of his letter, Ahmadinejad focuses on his conflict with regime’s judiciary, saying “irregular, unjustified, and unlawful insistence on sticking to personal and political stances and involving those viewpoints in judicial process while taking advantage of judicial power in political, personal, and family relations has stripped the judiciary of any chance to address and improve its status, avoid mistakes and injustice, attempt to resolve the country’s major problems and realize people’s rights.”

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Revealing his recent letter to the regime’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, Iranian regime’s former president has given new dimensions to the power struggle between regime’s rival factions while describing the country’s awkward situation.

On Monday November 27, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad revealed a letter he apparently wrote two weeks ago to Ali Khamenei.

The letter was released a few hours after regime judiciary’s spokesman ‘Mohseni Ejei’ referred to Ahmadinejad’s attacks on the judiciary, describing him as a ‘thug who talks big’.

Although Ahmadinejad’s letter gives detailed description about the country’s current conditions, but he doesn’t mention how much his government and policies are responsible for today’s situation.

“Due to authorities’ ignorance and effectiveness of enemies’ plans, such crises like unprecedented economic slowdown, liquidity, banking problems, unemployment, poverty, wide gap between the rich and poor and production fall have reached such a critical level that could at any moment hit the country and people with unpredictable and unmanageable consequences”, says Ahmadinejad.

According to Ahmadinejad, “due to heavy economic, propaganda and emotional pressures as well as political and psychological ones, many people and families are subjected to serious harms and breakdown, and a bleak outlook has been formed in the minds of all people, the youth in particular. Considering the country’s current conditions, hope for a better future has reached bottom low.”

In another part of his letter, Ahmadinejad focuses on his conflict with regime’s judiciary, saying “irregular, unjustified, and unlawful insistence on sticking to personal and political stances and involving those viewpoints in judicial process while taking advantage of judicial power in political, personal, and family relations has stripped the judiciary of any chance to address and improve its status, avoid mistakes and injustice, attempt to resolve the country’s major problems and realize people’s rights.”

Ahmadinejad says he’s against Larijani brothers and their dominance over the country’s (judicial and legislative) branches.

He then refers to judiciary’s performance as the source of public discontent in the country, saying “having 17 million judicial cases means that an overwhelming majority of Iranian families are somehow involved in lawsuits. It clearly and totally mirrors the country’s conditions and the performance of different entities, and yet by itself is a proof and a clear sign of the judiciary’s awkward situation, judicial officials’ incompetence and real problems in the branch. Public discontent towards the status of the country and judiciary is unprecedented, so much so that the majority of people are shouting against injustice and improper relations.”

Ahmadinejad’s fierce attack on the judiciary is despite the fact that the branch played a key role in oppressing the 2009 uprising during Ahmadinejad’s second term. Nonetheless, Ahmadinejad never questioned or criticized the judiciary’s record at the time, nor does he refer to it now. But only now that the branch, amid clashes between regime’s rival bands, has targeted Ahmadinejad and those around him, he has started criticizing.

Regime’s former president, who never seriously opposed limitations and violating individual and social freedoms, now writes “any kind of criticism, protest, or freedom of expression is harshly blocked for different excuses while a few groups and known families seek to exclusively take the power and major positions stemmed from people’s revolution, so they can consolidate the rule of factions and owners of wealth and power.”

Considering the escalation of conflicts between regime’s former president and judiciary over the past few weeks, the release of Ahmadinejad’s letter to Khamenei could lead to even more heated conflicts.

ANALYSIS: Iran’s deft use of ‘politics of the apocalypse

September 9, 2017

ANALYSIS: Iran’s deft use of ‘politics of the apocalypse, Al Arabiya, Tony Duheaume, September 8, 2017

In this Dec. 10, 1978 file picture, demonstrators hold up a poster of Ayatollah Khomeini. (AP)

Devouts adhering to the beliefs of Twelver Shiism believe that Muhammed al-Mahdi will appear in the clouds as the final end-of-times battle is taking place between the Shiite faithful and the armies of the nonbelievers. The interpretation of the Iranian regime puts the contemporary West and surrounding Arab states among the non-believing adversaries, against whom the regime avers the Mahdi would propel the Twelvers to victory.

One Iranian policy that will never change is the one adhered to openly by Ahmadinejad, which is hellbent on bringing about the return of the Hidden Imam through a catastrophic war with all nonbelievers.

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Before Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini took power in Iran through a violent revolution in 1979, his plan was in place for his own form of Shiite utopia, which would be led by clerics that adhered to the Twelver Shiite Muslim tradition of Muhammed al-Mahdi.

Traditionally known as the Hidden Imam, Muhammed al-Mahdi is believed by Twelver Shiites to be their messiah, and is said by his followers to be awaiting his return to earth, at a time when they will be suffering great tribulation. Responding to this, through a rigid form of theocratic political rule, Khomeini was determined to put in place a clerical government that would prepare for the Mahdi’s reappearance.

Having studied for years in exile, Khomeini became heavily influenced by various Sufi mystics, and had also studied the works of philosophers such as Aristotle and Plato. As is evident from his own poetry, he openly criticized spirituality and religion.

Adding his accumulated knowledge to that of past Persian dynasties, Khomeini knew exactly how to manipulate the Iranian masses, and exploiting their jealously guarded perception of their Persian identity, and that of the misrule of Mohammed Reza Shah, he propelled himself to power.

Once in power, Khomeini brought a Communist-style discipline into being, and moving away from the commonly held concept of religion of simply being the belief of the state and an ethical guide for the people, he introduced the notion of political control into Shiism, using a fanatically charged security system to dominate all aspects of everyday life.

Such was the rigidity of the political force put in place by Khomeini that his carefully crafted ideology took away a citizen’s individual identity, and through mass indoctrination replaced it with a collectivist society, where the state dominated all, and the people were fully subdued.

Iranian soldiers attend the swearing-in ceremony for Iranian president Hassan Rouhani for a further term, at the parliament in Tehran, Iran, August 5, 2017. (Reuters)

Theocratic mind control

Khomeini was a clever operator and knew exactly how to enslave the population. He would at first free the people from the control of his arch enemy Mohammed Reza Shah, who had thrown Khomeini into exile. But from his position of refuge in Paris, Khomeini urged the masses to stand up for their rights, stoking up the anger of the millions that eventually took to the streets of Iran, calling for them to continue their protests, denouncing the Shah’s claims to a religious dynasty, and calling for true Shiite Islam to return to the public domain.

Once Khomeini had overthrown the Shah to gain a firm hold on law and order, the masses had to be programmed to adhere fully to his ideology, and he did this by creating a personality cult for himself, which would set him up to be revered as God’s representative on earth until the appearance of Muhammed al-Mahdi.

To the faithful, Khomeini was perceived as a messianic-type being, whose teachings would provide the right course Shiite Islam needed to adhere to, leading up to the reappearance of the Hidden Imam, a philosophy which would continue through to Ali Khamenei, who succeeded him to become today’s Supreme Leader.

Devouts adhering to the beliefs of Twelver Shiism believe that Muhammed al-Mahdi will appear in the clouds as the final end-of-times battle is taking place between the Shiite faithful and the armies of the nonbelievers. The interpretation of the Iranian regime puts the contemporary West and surrounding Arab states among the non-believing adversaries, against whom the regime avers the Mahdi would propel the Twelvers to victory.

During his term as Iranian President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had confided to friends, how an apparition of the Mahdi had appeared to him, sending him on a divine mission to bring about a cataclysmic confrontation with the West, which he was convinced would hasten the Hidden Imam’s second coming.

Although during some of his most fervent outbursts, Ahmadinejad might have come across to the rest of the world as having been close to insane, he was in fact adhering to a radical form of religious thought, which was shared not only by many of the regime’s more fanatical hard-line hierarchy, but also by the Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, a large number of commanders in the elite Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps, the entire force of Basij and that of Iran’s proxy terror organisation Hezbollah.

Iranian army troops march during a parade just outside Tehran, Iran, on April 18, 2017. (AP)

The brew of prophecy in politics

Where the IRGC is concerned, they see themselves as the “Guardians of the Revolution”, an honour bestowed on them by Khomeini himself. So, due to the protective position bestowed upon them to defend Shiism and the ideology of the Revolution at all costs, they are the most radicalized followers.

But the chilling part of this whole saga is that these zealous Iranians have enough military hardware behind them to start World War III, and their military arsenal will soon include a nuclear weapon, which they could use in their minds to precipitate the return of their Hidden Imam.

While in office as Iran’s president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was so deeply immersed in Shiite apocalyptic theory, it virtually ruled all his political thinking, and such was his fanaticism toward the Mahdi’s arrival, he even called upon Allah to bring about the return of the Twelfth Imam during his September 2005 speech at the United Nations; a speech which baffled many members of the UN who were listening to him.

As far as the Shiite faith is concerned for Iran’s clerical leadership to keep the masses conforming completely to the ideology of Ayatollah Khomeini’s Twelver vision of utopia, they realise they need to control minds, which in the end keeps the cap on law and order, which in turn holds the state together, and most important of all, keeps them in power. But to aid them in this task, they saw to it that the whole of Iran’s school system teaches only Shiite ideals.

Persian Farsi is the only language taught to pupils, all forms of media are controlled by the state, and all other cultures except Persian have been almost entirely eradicated in the leadership’s bid to create a mind-controlled society.

One Iranian policy that will never change is the one adhered to openly by Ahmadinejad, which is hellbent on bringing about the return of the Hidden Imam through a catastrophic war with all nonbelievers.

Iran Regime President: The Government Builds the Missiles

July 13, 2017

Iran Regime President: The Government Builds the Missiles, Iran News Update, July 13, 2017

Rouhani’s statements defending JCPOA once again exposed more than ever the depth of divisions among the regime’s various bands.

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INU – At a ceremony entitled Healthy Life Festival on 11 July 2017, the Iranian regime’s president Hassan Rouhani said: “…The strategic weapons built by the 11th (i.e. Rouhani’s) government, make up 80% of the total weapons built in the previous governments.”

In his preliminary speech, in an attempted to take missile claims and the claims about military presence in the countries of the region out of the hands of the Khamenei Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) and in order to advance his own demands, he made significant confession saying that despite the sanctions, his government has given the Iraqi government and the Syrian regime all the money and weapons they needed.

He also noted the IRGC’s missile attack on Syria and said: “We hear that a missile fired from our land and targeted a center, a terrorist center. It is true that those who fired the missile tried hard and sacrificed but who built the missile? The defense Ministry builds these missiles.”

Rouhani’s statements defending JCPOA once again exposed more than ever the depth of divisions among the regime’s various bands.

While attacking Khamenei’s band in this regard, Rouhani said: “If the foreign minister were supposed to go out of the field with a few cursing and (insulting) slogans, the JCPOA would not be realized. Well, some people insulted the foreign minister, on their site, in their newspaper, on the anniversary of the revolution on February 11, on the streets of Tehran; well, one should not be excluded from the service field for the slogans of a few individuals.”

Rouhani also referred to the rival band as “a minority that monopolized everything” and added: “We should not be afraid of those who unfortunately have the big loudspeakers unjustly at their disposal…”