Sunday, June 21, 2009


The initial movement to dispute the results of Iran's Presidential elections has now morphed into a struggle for freedom and a rebellion against theocracy's 30 year stranglehold.

The unelected Guardian Council headed by the Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei was imposed upon Iran following the revolution of late Ayatollah Khomeini. This body of clerics and jurists has bestowed upon itself the ultimate power to veto any laws passed by the elected Majlis - the Iranian parliament. The Council also has the bestowed upon itself the power to stop any candidate from taking part in elections. This structure has nothing to do with Islam and is a draconian powerhouse created by Iranian theocracy to keep a stranglehold on Iran's body politic.

The cracks that appeared immediately after the Presidential election are not so much because Iranians want Mousavi to be their President, but because they are sick and tired of the draconian rule by the mullahs for the last thirty years.

Prior to the Islamic revolution, Iranians suffered under the brutal and self serving regime of Shah of Iran and his vicious secret service - Savak. The 1979 revolution was not so much pro Khomeini but an anti Shah uprising. However, the people did not bargain for a theocratic led stranglehold on their daily lives. The frustration spilling out on Iranian street today is because of restriction on personal liberties and imposition of harsh rules on daily lives of Iranians especially on women.

For the first time clergy's power and the Guardian Council's stranglehold has been seriously challenged. The question is, where do things go from here? Continued confrontation will lead to more bloodshed. The chances are that clergy and Ahmadinajed will win this round and keep their hold on power, but for how long that is the question? This may not be the end but the beginning of the end for the clergy.

Also, at this time there is no apparent alternative to the system in place. The mullahs were clever enough to have enshrined their powers in the constitution which they wrote and had Majlis approve it.

Will the Iranian Military take over and throw out the clergy and the constitution with it? That may get rid of the mullahs, but will not be a good thing in itself. Both Ahmadinajed and Khamenei have support in rural areas and in the mosque and that could lead to a major unrest and possibly a civil war in Iran and that is no one's interest.

It has to be seen how all this plays out. Beyond moral support and electronic enabling, the Iranian people must be left alone to fight their battle for freedom and democracy. Any hint of behind the scenes involvement of CIA, MI6 or any other western intelligence agency will severely damage the cause of the people. The Iranian Government will use that as an excuse to label protesters as American/Western backed and crack down on them even more severely. So however tempting it may be, my suggestion to CIA and MI6 is to back off