I am publishing a report form one of my contacts who actually has, shall we say, “inside access” to the ongoing events in Tehran. I have asked him to explain to me what the real context of these events actually is, and I am deeply grateful for his reply. He also told me that he would be available to answer any questions his analysis might raise. So please, if you have any questions or comments, do post your questions in the comments section below.
The situation in Iran
As the situation regarding the Presidential elections escalate in Iran, there is a little glimmer of hope at the end of the tunnel in the form of Wilayatul Faqee, Ayatollah Ali Khamenai. The last few days has seen mass protests, riots on the streets of Tehran and other major cities, victory rally by the supporters of Ahmedinijad and rumours along with accusations in the Media sources across the World. The situation on the ground has never been correctly presented to the world and bias has ruled in reporting and manipulating to ensure a certain message is delievered regarding Iran.
Anyone who has followed these elections closely would accept the result without questioning or believing in the conspiracies of fraud and stolen elections, simply because of the conduct of Ahmedinijad in his campaign compared to that of Mousavi. World Media laid the claims of mishandling the economy at Ahmedinijad and in the process blinded themselves to the other policies of the President to the people of the nation. Ahmedinijad has improved the standard of living for the lower and working class people by the redistribution through the wealth programme. An example of such would be the case of the Association of Women Weavers who boast a figure of 2.7 million women working for them. As they were unable to afford insurance for such a sizeable association Ahmedinijad stepped in to provide the insurance from the Government in order to ensure that the Association continues to exist. In return, he has secured majority of votes from those 2.7 million women.
Iran has a rural population which amounts to 65% or so of the total population, most of these people love Ahmedinijad simply because of what he has bought for the rural areas in his first term in the office. During his campaign he focused on the rural people making them the heart of his campaign, not only that during his campaign he visited all provinces where as Mousavi limited himself to the big cities and banked on being the President by winning these cities. The flaw is evident; one campaigning on two fronts effectively the rural population as well as the big cities while Mousavi only focusing on the big cities. This was the deciding factor in the elections and something that is reflected in the provincial results released by the Interior ministry last night.
On another note, the differences between the candidates themselves is something which would have caught the eye of the public. Ahmedinijad is a person who lives simply, conducts himself without extravagance and is honest in his profession in every manner. Where as Mousavi is someone who is from the upper circles of the society and is seen as a part of the corrupt political elite. This may well have played a deciding role in the elections given that the public has seen Ahmedinijad take on the corruption issue in his first term in the office and the results have been showing after arrests of several officials in the Government. Once the election results became evident, this point became the central focus on the corrupt elite. Ahmedinijad has vowed to ensure that justice prevails in this corruption scandal and this has upset alot of people in high positions especially the likes of Rafsanjani and Karroubi.
If one recalls back to the televised debates and especially the one between Mousavi and Ahmedinijad, they would notice the aftermath raised the eyebrows of certain key influencial figures after the outburst of Ahmedinijad regarding Rafsanjani and others. The aftermath involved Rafsanjani writing to the Wilayatul Faqee, Ayatollah Ali Khamenai and asking him to deal with Ahmedinijad’s outburst in the televised debates or expect street riots . Further to that, after the casting of the vote by Rafsanjani’s wife on the day of elections made a claim that if there is no cheating then Mousavi will become the President and if there is cheating then expect mass protests. This is a result of a long battle between Ahmedinijad and Rafsanjani, while the former has indirectly attacked Rafsanjani for corruption it was first time that he has openly said this as noted in the televised debate. The corruption surrounding Rafsanjani is well known amongst the Iranian public; as recent as last year a member of the ministry of Intelligence went public exposing Rafsanjani and stating all the cases of corruption against him. The response from Rafsanjani was imprisonment for this personnel on the charge of failing to pay a bill. Not only that, Dr. Hassan Abbasi who is a well known conservative strategic analyst and an advisor to the Wilayatul Faqee gave a very powerful speech a few years ago exposing Rafsanjani and his corruption empire by mentioning names. The influence of Rafsanjani saw him fired from his position and arrested.
Rafsanjani was the man who funded the campaign of Mousavi and many of the policies that Mousavi had wished to implement show a direct involvement of Rafsanjani in it. For instance, Mousavi wanted to remove the power of the Baseej and Revolutionary Guards from the Wilayatul Faqee and giving it to the Governors. This implies a clear strategy to alienate the Wilayatul Faqee from any power and provide a platform for Rafsanjani to use his influence in the Baseej and make them loyal to him. Rafsanjani has also called for a reform of the system of Governance going from the concept of one Supreme Leader to where a Council is created to govern. Knowing very well that people would not vote for him to be the next Wilayatul Faqee, he is taking this oppurtunity to ensure his position is solidified.
The responsibility of the riots and the aftermath of the elections lies on the shoulder of Rafsanjani. He has instigated this simply to achieve one of the two outcomes from the Wilayatul Faqee, Ayatollah Ali Khamenai and that is either a recount is ordered and Mousavi is declared the winner or that Ahmedinijad is ordered to stop the corruption investigation. The choas also gives upper hand to Rafsanjani to ensure some of the key aides of Ahmedinijad can be arrested on bogus charge or removed through a smear campaign. The hang noose is tightening on the necks of Rafsanjani and co and the only way out is through destablizing the country to ensure that the Wilayatul Faqee steps in and gives in to their demands.
Karroubi, Mousavi, Khatami and Rafsanjani all have enjoyed their freedom for so long and now the tide has turned against them. Karroubi declaring that he does not recognise Ahmedinijad as the winner of the elections was always going to be the case especially after he was exposed on the televised debate to the public. Mousavi was seen as a proxy of Rafsanjani and it has been confirmed such is the case given the aftermath of the elections. Khatami has adopted a position of silence so far but his thoughts were well known especially after every poster, every image of Mousavi campaign had his face on it too. Rafsanjani controls all the strings and will use every trick in the book to save his neck. His daughter has already left the country before the charges of money laundering, extortian and large amounts of illegal campaign contributions could be levelled against her.
Yes, the Islamic Republic stands on a fringe given that it has now become a duel between the Supreme authority of the country who is Wilayatul Faqee, Ayatollah Ali Khamenai and Rafsanjani, who is a disciple of the great Ayatollah Khomeini and the former President with a lot of influence in the country. While people may question as to how Rafsanjani has become so powerful and why Ayatollah Khamenai did not act earlier? The answer is simple the time was not right before to remove him for the power he carries could completely destabilise the country. Today, there is destabilisation but on a small scale. Had the action to counter Rafsanjani and co had been done before it would have probably been a completely failure as all the important positions of the Government were occupied or under the influence of the corrupt elite. The riots are being carried out by those who wish to further the agenda of the corrupt elite while the majority of the people see otherwise and have therefore voted for a president whom they know will uproot the corrupt elite.
The Western Media beat the drums of election rigging and stolen but the reality on the ground is much different. Looking beyond the apparent confusion unveils a reality which the Western powers do not wish to accept as this would surely signal the end of any hope that they had of a reformist liberal Iran. The only tactic they could employ is to take cause confusion by attacking the conservative camp as it has been seen on many occasions since the day of elections and before. First, a report defaming Ayatollah Mesbah Yazdi for supposedly issuing a fatwa of authorising rigging followed up by a false report that the Interior Ministry congratulated Mousavi on winning the elections before changing their minds and opting for Ahmedinijad. BBC went a step further today saying that the mass rally in Tehran by the Reformists were called off because Baseej were authorised to use live rounds on the protestors before making a U-turn and saying that the rally went ahead with shots fired. Both of these reports represent bias; the rally had to be authorised by the Interior Ministry and that authorisation was not given however Mousavi continued ahead with the planned rally. Baseej has not been deployed yet on the streets, they have been given orders to mobilise in case the situation gets out of hand. On another note, the Western Media sources have mentioned the Wilayatul Faqee, Ayatollah Ali Khamenai stating that the Guardian Council should probe into the claims of fraud in relation to the elections. This is not quite right, while Ayatollah Ali Khamenai has endorsed the results he has asked the Guardian Council to consider the complaints of Mousavi and Rezaei. Infact, Rezaei himself has accepted the results of the election but he has raised certain issues which have been passed to the Guardian Council. One has to ask, whether this manipulative reporting would still be the way of the Western Media had a reformist been in the position of power?
Three days from today, the Wilayatul Faqee Ayatollah Ali Khamenai will address the Iranian nation at the Friday Prayers in Tehran University. Many hope that his address will bring stability and peace to the country after the riots and also mark the end of the corrupt elite. The glimmer of hope is the Wilayatul Faqee and many in Iran over this week will be anxiously awaiting to see what he decrees for they know that his word will be final.