For several years now, the USA has been spending $75 million per year in “pro-democracy aid to Iranian dissidents”. That’s what’s on the books. One can only guess at the real figure, because so much of the ‘intelligence’ budget of this bloated, bankrupt, parasitized imperial beast is impossible to scrutinize.
These days the United States of America (USA) might be better decribed as the PEI: the Parasitized Empire of Interference.
'US Spider' by Palestinian cartoonist Majed Badra; is the spider carrying a tick?
It would be most out of character if the PEI and MSM (Money-Serving Media) are on the side of the angels this time. Zionist agent Dennis Ross has just moved into the White House to advise Obama on ‘Iran policy’. Not a good sign…
In all the network TV cacophony about Iran in recent weeks, I’ve never once heard use of the elected Iranian President’s academic honorific. It’s a small point perhaps – but did you know that Iran’s President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has a doctorate? Did you know that before becoming Mayor of Tehran in 2003, this man of humble origins gained a degree in civil engineering, followed by a doctorate in civil engineering and traffic transportation planning?
If you live in the USA, you probably do know that Ron Paul is Doctor Ron Paul. If you live in Australia, I bet you’ve heard of Dr Carmen Lawrence. The title of ‘doctor’ is still sufficiently uncommon among leading politicians to be worth noting… usually. But there’s nothing usual about the psy-op directed against Iran. You may have to wait until hell freezes over before any of the MSM tell you anything meaningful about Ahmadinejad’s pre-Presidential background.
Ahmeninejad at Columbia University: had first-hand experience of Zionized America's dumbed-down academic discourse
It appears Dr Ahmadinejad quickly put his skills to work, once in office. Elected Mayor of Tehran in 2003, within two years he was short-listed for the prestigious award of World Mayor. The World Mayor website explains:
During World Mayor 2005 a small number of short-listed mayors resigned from office and were thus no longer eligible for the Award. The World Mayor rules state that finalists must be in office at the close of voting (26 October 2005) to remain in the contest. Mayors who left office and were strong candidates for a number ten position include Andrés Manuel López Obrador (Mexico City), Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (Tehran) and Naimatullah Khan (Karachi) … Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was elected President of Iran on 24 June 2005.
So, in a remarkably short time, Ahmadinejad had made his mark as a well-regarded Mayor of one of the world’s largest cities. Perhaps his expertise in transport planning had some relevance? Perhaps this history has some relevance to his current popularity?
Over the last few days, the role of former President Rafsanjani as a sponsor of the pro-Mousavi protests has become more evident. Ambassador M K Bhadrakumar, a career diplomat in the Indian Foreign Service, discusses some of the behind the scenes power struggles within Iran in: Iran elections: Rafsanjani’s Gambit Backfires. These are nuances that haven’t made it into the one-dimensional freedom v dictatorship narrative of the western mass media.
After describing Mousavi’s background in some detail – and highlighting the irony that he is momentarily a ‘liberal’ hero – Bhadrakumar writes (emphasis added):
If we are to leave out the largely inconsequential “Gucci crowd” of north Tehran, who no doubt imparted a lot of color, verve and mirth to Mousavi’s campaign, the hardcore of his political platform comprised powerful vested interests who were making a last-ditch attempt to grab power from the Khamenei-led regime. On the one hand, these interest groups were severely opposed to the economic policies under Ahmadinejad, which threatened their control of key sectors such as foreign trade, private education and agriculture.For those who do not know Iran better, suffice to say that the Rafsanjani family clan owns vast financial empires in Iran, including foreign trade, vast landholdings and the largest network of private universities in Iran. Known as Azad there are 300 branches spread over the country, they are not only money-spinners but could also press into Mousavi’s election campaign an active cadre of student activists numbering some 3 million.
The Azad campuses and auditoria provided the rallying point for Mousavi’s campaign in the provinces. The attempt was to see that the campaign reached the rural poor in their multitudes who formed the bulk of voters and constituted Ahmadinejad’s political base. Rafsanjani’s political style is to build up extensive networking in virtually all the top echelons of the power structure, especially bodies such as the Guardian Council, Expediency Council, the Qom clergy, Majlis, judiciary, bureaucracy, Tehran bazaar and even elements within the circles close to Khamenei. He called into play these pockets of influence.
Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani: Iran's homegrown plutocrat
Rafsanjani’s axis with Khatami was the basis of Mousavi’s political platform of reformists and conservatives. The four-cornered contest was expected to give a split verdict that would force the election into a run-off on June 19. The candidature of the former Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) Commander Mohsen Rezai (who served under Rafsanjani when he was president) was expected to slice off a chunk of IRGC cadres and prominent conservatives.
Again, the fourth candidate, Mehdi Karrubi’s “reformist” program was expected to siphon off support from Ahmedinejad, by virtue of his offer of economic policies based on social justice such as the immensely popular idea of distributing income from oil among the people rather than it accruing to the government’s budget.
Rafsanjani’s plot was to somehow extend the election to the run-off stage, where Mousavi was expected to garner the “anti-Ahmedinejad” votes. The estimation was that at the most Ahmedinejad would poll in the first round 10 to 12 million votes out of the 28 to 30 million who might actually vote (out of a total electorate of 46.2 million) and, therefore, if only the election extended to the run-off, Mousavi would be the net beneficiary as the votes polled by Rezai and Karrubi were essentially “anti-Ahmadinejad” votes.
The regime was already well into the election campaign when it realized that behind the clamor for a change of leadership in the presidency, Rafsanjani’s challenge was in actuality aimed at Khamenei’s leadership and that the election was a proxy war. The roots of the Rafsanjani-Khamenei rift go back to the late 1980s when Khamenei assumed the leadership in 1989.
Rafsanjani was among Imam Khomeini’s trusted appointees to the first Revolutionary Council, whereas Khamenei joined only at a later stage when the council expanded its membership. Thus, Rafsanjani always harbored a grouse that Khamenei pipped him to the post of Supreme Leader. The clerical establishment close to Rafsanjani spread the word that Khamenei lacked the requisite religious credentials, that he was indecisive as the executive president, and that the election process was questionable, which cast doubt on the legality of his appointment.
Powerful clerics, egged on by Rafsanjani, argued that the Supreme Leader was supposed to be not only a religious authority (mujtahid), but was also expected to be a source of emulation (marja or a mujtahid with religious followers) and that Khamenei didn’t fulfill this requirement – unlike Rafsanjani himself. The debunking of Khamenei rested on the specious argument that his religious education was in question. The sniping by the clerics associated with Rafsanjani continued into the early 1990s. Thus, Khamenei began on a somewhat diffident note and during much of the period when Rafsanjani held power as president (1989-1997), he acted low key, aware of his circumstances.
The result was that Rafsanjani exercised more power as president than anyone holding that office anytime in Tehran. But Khamenei bided his time as he incrementally began expanding his authority. If he lacked standing among Iran’s clerical establishment, he more than made up by attracting to his side the security establishment, especially the Ministry of Intelligence, the IRGC and the Basij militias.
While Rafsanjani hobnobbed with the clergy and the bazaar, Khamenei turned to a group of bright young politicians with intelligence or security backgrounds who were returning home from the battlefields of the Iran-Iraq war – such as Ali Larijani, the present speaker of the Majlis, Said Jalili, currently the secretary of the National Security Council, Ezzatollah Zarghami, head of the state radio and television and, indeed, Ahmadinejad himself.
Power inevitably accrued to Khamenei once he won over the loyalty of the IRGC and the Basij. By the time Rafsanjani’s presidency ended, Khamenei had already become head of all three branches of the government and the state media, commander-in-chief of the armed forces, and even lucrative institutions such as Imam Reza Shrine or the Oppressed Foundation, which have almost unlimited capacity for extending political patronage.
All in all, therefore, the power structure today takes the form of a vast patriarchal apparatus of political leadership. Thus, perceptive analysts were spot on while concluding that Ahmadinejad would never on his own volition have gone public and directly taken on Rafsanjani during the controversial TV debate on June 4 in Tehran with Mousavi.
Ahmadinejad said, “Today it is not Mr Mousavi alone who is confronting me, since there are the three successive governments of Mr Mousavi, Mr Khatami and Mr Hashemi [Rafsanjani] arrayed against me.” He took a pointed swipe at Rafsanjani for masterminding a plot to overthrow him. He said Rafsanjani promised the fall of his government to Saudi Arabia. Rafsanjani hit back within days by addressing a communication to Khamenei demanding that Ahmadinejad should retract “so that there would be no need of legal action”.
“I am expecting you to resolve the situation in order to extinguish the fire, whose smoke can be seen in the atmosphere, and to take action to foil dangerous plots. Even if I were to tolerate this situation, there is no doubt that some people, parties and factions will not tolerate this situation,” Rafsanjani angrily warned Khamenei.
Simultaneously, Rafsanjani also rallied his base in the clerical establishment. A clique of 14 senior clerics in Qom joined issue on his side. It was all an act of desperation by vested interests who have become desperate about the awesome rise of the IRGC in recent years. But, if Rafsanjani’s calculation was that the “mutiny” within the clerical establishment would unnerve Khamenei, he misread the calculus of power in Tehran. Khamenei did the worst thing possible to Rafsanjani. He simply ignored the “Shark”.
The IRGC and the Basij volunteers running into tens of millions swiftly mobilized. They coalesced with the millions of rural poor who adore Ahmadinejad as their leader. It has been a repeat of the 2005 election. The voter turnout has been an unprecedented 85%. Within hours of the announcement of Ahmadinejad’s thumping victory, Khamenei gave the seal of approval by applauding that the high voter turnout called for “real celebration”.
He said, “I congratulate … the people on this massive success and urge everyone to be grateful for this divine blessing.” He cautioned the youth and the “supporters of the elected candidate and the supporters of other candidates” to be “fully alert and avoid any provocative and suspicions actions and speech”.
Khamenei’s message to Rafsanjani is blunt: accept defeat gracefully and stay away from further mischief. Friday’s election ensures that the house of Supreme Leader Khamenei will remain by far the focal point of power. It is the headquarters of the country’s presidency, Iran’s armed forces, especially the IRGC. It is the fountainhead of the three branches of government and the nodal point of foreign, security and economic policies.
Obama may contemplate a way to directly engage Khamenei. It is a difficult challenge.
By contrast with billionaire Rafsanjani and millionaire Mousavi, Ahmadinejad is widely respected for his ascetism, somewhat reminiscent of Jerry Brown Jnr while Californian Governor. It’s reported Ahmadinejad didn’t want to move his family into the Presidential residence on his election in 2005, although the security staff insisted. He’s widely regarded as a popular populist politician, willing to stand up to moneyed vested interests.
Ahmadinejad and Putin: popular leaders for good reason
Stripped of religious trappings and the all-pervasive distorting lens of “Is it good for the Israelis?” bias, the recent election in Iran can be regarded as a class contest – and a battle between honest public-interest politics on the one hand, and corruption and plutocracy on the other. It could be argued that in a British context, Ahmadinejad is more like Ken Livingstone than Gordon Brown; in Australia, he’s comparable to Clover Moore.
The obsession with “Is it good for Israel?” shows how dangerous Zionism has become for world society. People in different societies must be free come up with their own solutions to tackle the multi-faceted social, economic and environmental problems each part of the world currently faces. Each society needs its own authentic popular leadership. Manipulators thousands of kilometres distant can’t second-guess that choice.
How typically arrogant that the Israelis and their dumbed-down American henchman interfere in internal politics from Sudan to Iran, Bolivia to Australia.
Zionism is an manufactured secular religion that divides a very complex world into two ‘sides’, like a footmall match. It is helping to keep world society in a state of arrested adolesence.
For his courage in taking a strong stand against Zionism and its core myths, Ahmadinejad has my respect. I may disagree with him about many issues, from homosexual rights to nuclear energy. But the world is not in perpetual war and strife because of these issues; Zionism, on the other hand, poses an ever-present threat to peace and stability.
The mad sectarian project of a supremacist Israeli State – with a self-appointed mandate to interfere anywhere it wishes whenever it pleases – must indeed be ‘removed from the pages of history’.
To vanquish this Mordor of our times, anti-Zionists need to re-learn the basic lessons of solidarity.
Iran and its courageous leadership are on our side. They are staunch allies and we should be grateful.