Thursday, February 9, 2012

Update on Iran

I blogged earlier about increasing Iranian bellicosity and its implication for more war in the Middle East. I thought that part of the reason for the increasingly belligerent stance was internal to Iranian politics. The NYT is reporting that President Ahmadinejad will be compelled to testify on "irregularities" regarding his economic leadership. Clearly an indicator that the populace is restless and that theocratic socialism isn't delivering the goods. What else?
In addition to economic issues, hard-line clerics devoted to Ayatollah Khamenei have long harbored suspicions that Mr. Ahmadinejad leads a “deviant current” that would challenge their primacy in all aspects of society.
Like Mahdism?

Mehdi Khalaji opines in the WSJ that we bypass dealing with both mullahs and the crazy Ahmadinejad and influence the real source of power in Iran, the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC).
Iran is a den of political intrigue, with sophisticated and nuanced maneuvering among factions, albeit within an increasingly narrow element of the elite. In such a system, the leader's position is much more vulnerable than in a state of iron-fisted, one-man rule.
. . .
What has really stoked the Revolutionary Guard's anger at Khamenei is that they see him as responsible for the tougher Western sanctions that have hurt their economic interests. The Revolutionary Guard has been a major player in the Iranian economy for more than two decades. Today, even most private businesses cannot function without some "special arrangement" with the Revolutionary Guard. [ed. note: And I thought we had a military-industrial problem!]
. . .
A wiser course would be to prepare now to open channels of communication with Revolutionary Guard leaders, who are surely busy planning ways to address the mounting pressure of international sanctions.
I couldn't agree more. Every maneuver we make that delays Iran getting a nuke, moves us closer to the day when a popular uprising topples the regime.

1 comment:

  1. This would be a short term gain but the IRG is the group that runs the Mexican drug gangs. They are huge players in the international sex slave, drugs and arms trades. The IRG has deals to train and supply drug gangs and terrorists via Hugo Chavez. This is where they get the money and power to have such influence in Iran.