Iran: There Will Be Blood

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(To get a feel for what is going on in the streets of Tehran, watch this linked BBC video clip.)

Last night in London after appearing on Keith Olbermann’s show, I got an email from a well-connected Iranian who knows many of the power figures in the Tehran political order asking to meet me. I told him that the only place possible was Paddington on the way to Heathrow — and there we met.
He conveyed to me things that were mostly obvious — Iran is now a tinderbox. The right is tenaciously consolidating its control over the state and refuses to yield. There is a split among the mullahs and significant dismay with Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. A gaping hole has been ripped open in Iranian society, exposing the contradictions of the regime and everyone now sees that the democracy that they believed that they had in Iranian form is a “charade.”
But the scariest point he made to me that I had not heard anywhere else is that this “coup by the right wing” has created pressures that cannot be solved or patted down by the normal institutional arrangements Iran has constructed. The Guardian Council and other power nodes of government can’t deal with the current crisis and can’t deal with the fact that a civil war has now broken out among Iran’s revolutionaries.
My contact predicted serious violence at the highest levels. He said that Ahmadinejad is now genuinely scared of Iranian society and of Mousavi and Rafsanjani. The level of tension between them has gone beyond civil limits — and my contact said that Ahmadinejad will try to have them imprisoned and killed.
Likewise, he said, Rafsanjani, Khatami, and Mousavi know this — and thus are using all of the instruments at their control within Iran’s government apparatus to fight back — but given Khamenei’s embrace of Ahmadinejad’s actions in the election and victory, there is no recourse but to try and remove Khamenei. Some suggest that Rafsanjani will count votes to see if there is a way to formally dislodge Khamenei — but this source I met said that all of these political giants have resources at their disposal to “do away with” those that get in the way.
He predicted that the so-called reformist camp — who are not exactly humanists in the Western liberal sense — may try and animate efforts to decapitate the regime and “do away with” Ahmadinejad and even the Supreme Leader himself.
I am not convinced that this source “knows” these things will definitely happen but am convinced of his credentials and impressed with the seriousness of the discussion we had and his own concern that there may be political killing sprees ahead.
This is not a vision he advocates — but one he fears.
– Steve Clemons

Comments

91 comments on “Iran: There Will Be Blood

  1. Soma says:

    By denying full transparaency, they have needlessly denied themselves any possibility of a convincing and credible result if Ahmadinejad was in fact the victor, and thus shot themselves in the foot. Or on the other hand, the voters are justified in rioting because they have been denied their voice if Mousavi was the true victor.

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  2. kelley b. says:

    If you had McChrystal’s commandos leaking into both sides of your borders and egging on riots in your streets, you might find all your candidates in an unprotected car in Dallas or taking short rides in small airplanes, too.

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  3. OH says:

    Khamenei has rejected Obamas overture, Khamenei doesnt want peace – Khamenei doesnt want what is best for Iranians. Khamenei is hoping for Obama to fail, probably because he prefers another Bush. If America tried to occupy Iran, America would be brought to its knees. If Iran were merely bombed by Israel or the US, conventionally or with nukes – Iran could simply not respond, and thereby emerge victorious. Bush-Cheney-Diebold probably played a role.

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  4. The Decider says:

    I agree with some of the comments below about Iran’s nuclear program. All of the right wing fear mongering sort of desensitized me to the genuine danger of nuclear capabilities in such an unstable society (I’ve personally never understood how their urban elite and hard line clerics have coexisted for so long).
    Whatever happens I hope we’ve learned something from the North Korean situation and approach this a little more intelligently. Either subtle diplomacy with the help of Russia and China or decisive military action without occupation. No BS posturing I’m tired of these pointless threats and ultimatums that do nothing but add fuel to the fascist’s xenophobic propaganda.

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  5. Hari says:

    People like seth or Ronald and others like them make statements that are not true and mislead people who really want to know! The lack of impartiality inhibits the understanding that while mainstream Islam touts nuclear war as being against Islamic beliefs, the extremist interpretations of Islam which is not based on rational and sane assessment and truly believes that in the “end times” a nuclear war is survivable and just according to the will of god. People who don’t know shouldn’t place Islamic extremism, North Korea and Israel in the same sentence.First of all North Korea’s leadership and the Iranian mullah system are not different just because of culture but because one is based on extremist religion and one on an individual.Both are driven by ego and a set of false assumptions of themselves and the world.North Korea doesn’t pretend to be a democracy and its actions are guided by one man and is temporary whereas the Iranian Mullah’s have become institutionalized and base their actions upon Hadiths( sayings Attributed to Mohammed but who knows) and lead through dangerous religious persuasion.So, statements that the Iranian people will get rid of these old leaders is erroneous since the mullahs have embedded themselves in this system, Khomeini became Khamenei and the next Ayatollah is waiting in the wings.Roger Cohen was wrong and saw only what the mullahs showed him! Iran is not a democracy.Israel is a democracy.Think about this, bottom line. Who, actually is terrorizing innocents throughout the world,blowing up planes,embassies,temples, Mumbai, world trade center, pirating boats,etc. Islamic extremism not Israel. Though the Israel right uses strong words it doesn’t translate into murderous action like the terrorists. Most people don’t know that the Israeli supreme court hears complaints from non citizens, palestinians,and often finds in their favor unheard of in any other country and would never exist in any Islamic regime.Islamic extremists differ from mainstream Islam in that they believe that God will sanctify the use of nuclear weapons under certain conditions, if the cause is just.MAD does not compute in this equation because “rationalism and sanity” are usurped by the will of God, in their minds.The Mullah’s of Iran illegally through violent revolution took power in a country in which King cyrus developed the first manifesto of human rights came to light and where Zoroastrian spriritualism once flourished flourished and turned it back to the stone ages.The Mullahs have used their psuedo democracy to oppress and repress freedoms of speech,press, religion ,gay & women rights and cultural diversity. For over 60 years Israel has been monitoring,checking and countering any acquisition of nuclear material by extremist groups or governments. Whether it was by destroying Iraq nuclear plants in 81 or North Korean supplied nuclear plants to Syria last year, or through Israel intelligence warning the world of extremist attacks around the world and how to combat this,Israel has kept the world safe from an extremism that is not seeking only to destroy Israel and then stop but which seeks to remove Israel so nothing will stand in their way to destroy the institutions of western freedom and replace it with their Islamic Caliphate based on Sharia law. The Jews have over a 3000 year connection to Israel while there was no Palestinian national consciousness prior to 48, when Israel became a modern nation state.As the British mandate gave the local arabs,Jordan and rewarding their Saudi Hashemite tribe ruler ship over Jordan, Israel was legally designated for the Jews.The Mufti of Jerusalem Haj Amin Husseni appointed by the British, co created the final solution, the gassing of the Jew with Eichmann and Hitler in 1941 and trained nazi’s in Europe before returning to Egypt where he and the Muslim Brotherhood(the assassins of peace maker Sadat) spread the nazi ideology to Yasir Arafat the Egyptian born leader, the first leader of the nonhistoric palestinian people,PLO and along with nazi trained Mazen better known as Abbas leader of the current PA, embarked on promoting a myth of a nation that was made of newly arrived Arab immigrants from dying Ottoman arab countries and scattered Bedouins living on the edges of the swampland that the Jews began developing and making prosperous. Hizbollah whose entrance was marked by these same Iranian Mullahs declaring war on the US by having this terrorist group blow up US marines in Lebanon way back in 1982 a couple years after the Iranian revolution.Iran has been building its middle eastern army against the west since then and along with the newest Branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas, which Iran directs in Gaza is emboldened by the actions of west.The Iranian election directly affects the west for now everyone can see the truth of Iranian democracy.There is none, totally run by a group of fanatical mullahs led directly by Khomeini’s successor Khameni,the supreme leader who in disregard of Mohammed/Koran and against the democratic wishes of the Iranian people who never wanted them in the first place, seek to bring in the “end times” murdering innocents,denying freedom.The people of Iran have been forced to remain stagnant and ignorant but in the cities and among the intelligent where bloggers are killed, journalists are jailed, gays and women are hung, freedom of communication and expression are cut off and propaganda rules where ignorant people like Roger Cohen and some of the posters here unwittingly are being used to support a system which is against humanity.These mullahs have found willing innocents among the Palestinian people already immersed in Arafat’s nazi ideology and have caught the imagination of the unaware naive left and western liberal Journalists who like Keith will find that the very rights that they think they are fighting for will disappear under their very own feet.There are no regimes more apartheid like than Islamic ones in which minorities cannot live freely.In Jordan, Jews are not allowed at all and ask the Baha’i,the Maronite’s(who were slaughtered in Lebanon by Arafat) and Coptic Christians.Israel has settled more than 600 Dar fur genocide refugees and over 10,000 African refugees have illegally made their way to Israel after being shot at in Egypt.Israel welcomes gays and all dispossessed.The Palestinians didn’t recognize this name because it was the name used to refer to Jews by the British until Arafat began using it for his “mythical nation”.The Pakistani nuclear bomb is a threat to the world especially being in proximity to the Taliban and Al Quaida, the Saudi Arabian Wahhabi form of extremism which is another form of radicalism that must be handled.Both this and the Iranian version being presented as Islamic which it is not, adds validity to unaware people and uses the power of religious belief to push people into submission not to God but to evil! Israel and true Christians will never submit, the moderates of Islam are paralyzed and liberal western left is being manipulated to cut its own throat.Iran wants to put Hamas its proxy to the west of Israel and already, the actions of its proxy South of Israel led to the media theater against Israel who had its children bombed for 8 years without a word from the world.Iran sent its children to war against Iraq, taught the Palestinians to blow up their own children and Israeli, immersed them in fiery anti-Semitic and west sermons by political and religious leaders and uses them as human shields for Hizbollah and Hamas(Gaza) to incite the world and doesn’t care about them whatsoever!.The Iranian mullahs don’t treat their own people any better and will use the bomb to create the world that they envision through their hadith and if part of the world dies, in their minds, the ones surviving will be living Allah’s will!.Think about it and wake up!! Like Obama whose speech had the opportunity to open dialogue actually appeased not by opening Muslim mind to the contributions made by all the different religions in America and the west but by stating an untruth and falsely elevating Islam’s role in American life and the west, by
    not teaching them the lessons that made America great-that as a MELTING POT where all cultures and religions conform to the rule of law per Thomas Jefferson(all Americans even the pious of all religions must remove hats, scarves, veils and even hi jabs in court out of respect for equality and American law), by not addressing women’s rights beyond education like honor killing,flogging,freedom of expression and all human rights, by comparing the American black situation to the crafted Nabka of Palestinians and then comparing that to the real genocide of the Jewish people, by promising indirectly to not check charities which have been proven to fund terrorist,Hamas,Hizbollah activities,to allow the unfiltered exchanges between promoters of Wahhabi’s and extremism into the west at a faster rate then it is already happening and many other utterances which serve not to promote peace but to make them feel justified in their xenophobia which helps no one.Western and US journalists have been manipulated and praised Obama’s speech without understanding how it fell on Muslim ears. Many past US presidents in both political parties have been used by these regimes to promote their interests. It is well known that Bush’s and Clintons’ have always enjoyed financial supports for their libraries and centers from Saudi Arabia but all recognized Israel’s inherent right to exist.But in Jimmy Carter, who slept and ran with a bible while the entire Iranian people lost their dignity and voice to the Iranian revolution in 1979 and who today is agitating falsities among the Palestinian people in the West Bank while the effects of his incompetency were once again felt by the entire Iranian nation as the voice of the people and the control over their own destiny was stolen this week but the dictator of Iran Supreme leader Khameni has given strong messages by this action.That the mullahs support the horrible existing President. That Khameni supports the face that wants to tighten its grip and destroy any free institutions within Iran(cutting off cell phones,web sites,killing bloggers,jailing those who speak out), supports that face who is setting up terrorist cells all over the world,around Israel and Latin America, who wishes to wipe Israel(and then the western democracies)off the face of the earth and finally who will use the nuclear bomb, through threats and actual use to destroy the freedoms that humanity has enjoyed if not humanity itself! Wake up.Roger
    cohen, Keith Olbermann and all the Journalists that are praising Obama’s misguided speech and the illegal Iranian government are doing a disservice to their profession and the world. Please Wake up President Obama and all your advisers. Stop sending the wrong message.America is a melting pot which requires seperation of church and state and some amount of respect for American culture.To push for a 2 state when the Palestinians have already used their second state, Hamas led Gaza to throw rockets at Israel civilians and a foreign state, Lebanon through Hizbollah, to throw rockets at Israel civilians doesn’t make sense. The Palestinian people need to accept Israel’s existence and refute their fiery leadership,Hamas sponsored by Iran.They need to learn history, Jewish and western and the truth of the myth of their own history.They need along with the Israeli’s to undergo sensitivity training to understand each other and learn techniques of meditation that will help them to develop critical reasoning and a sense of self and connection with their own souls so that they will have the tools to turn away from the armed struggle/jihad immersion that they had developed within and hear the voices of their own souls crying for a peaceful life for themselves and their children and coexistence with Israel. As Golda Meir said long ago”They have to love their children more than they hate us” then and only then will Israel and the world have peace. I wish freedom and peace for the people of Iran as well and that the west will give them the support to take back their country so it could once again flourish free from the mullahs.Read the hundreds of articles on the following site and then decide.
    http://israelagainstterror.blogspot.com/

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  6. Nasim says:

    Hi
    I’m an Iranin woman and I live in the UAE.
    I went out to vote and I saw the excitement in people. Many of them had come to vote for the first time in 20 years just to stop Ahmadinejad to reach that office again.
    We are tired and exhausted. For 30 year Iranians kept their heads down and chose silence but enough is enough. These so called leaders changed our beautiful country in to axis of evil and the Iranian nation is known as a threat to the world and is being outcasted where as the people don’t have anything against any other country or nation.
    We are nation of peace. We want to be friends with other countries. The young population wants freedome; they want democracy the want to be able to have their voices heard.
    The supreme leader and his appointed president are dictators. People don’t want them yet can’t say anything because they’ll be shot at. If they talk out loud and want to have a say, they’ll disappear the next day as if they never existed in the country. Yes all these crimes have been happening to the Iranian nation but nobody ever heard them. We have been judged and outcasted because of our fake dictator leaders.
    Ahmadinejad has maximum of 7 million supporters and those are the Islamic radicals who don’t want the country to be westernized and the poor whom Ahmadinejad started to over feed a few months before the election. But the rest of the country doesn’t want to be ruled by Islamic radicals.
    If you see their so called victory rally, those people are not even reaching to 100,000 and believe me half of them are the people who work for the government and have to go on the street or the next day they woudn’t have their jobs. These are the same people who HAVE TO attaend the Friday prayer and cheer the Imam. They have to make sure they attend or els …
    Iran is a beautiful country and more than 90% of it’s people are tired with the situation and have now found the time to express their feelings.
    We have to salute them as they know what they are stepping in to and who they are dealing with yet still going a head with it.
    Iranian TV channels only show the stone throwing and shoutings; they never show how the police is beating up the old, the young, the women even if they are pregnant!
    And to this they add a comment saying this is what west wants. They have encouraged our people to go on the road!
    This regime is living in denial. They don’t want to leave eventhough they know their time is up and they are ready to do anything to stay at power be it killing thousands of innocent people.
    My parenst who still live in Iran told me that last night until 4 am people were on the road asking where their votes were and saying down with dictators.
    Please help us; please don’t let them do this to our people and our country. These dictators have forced us to leave our families and our beautiful homes to go abroad and search for what we can’t have in our country.
    We want to go back and we need help to do so.
    Please let the world know that we are not evil, we are just like them but captured with beasts. Please ask them to hear us out and help us reach our goal which is freedome.
    Thank you

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  7. Sorush says:

    I’m from Iran , there is so bad here ,clashing with polices , clashing with Basiji . we don’t want dictator ,don’t want ahmadinejad ,they’re attacking us . somebody help us . I’m talking instead of thousands of youngs here
    please just help

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  8. Todd Quigley says:

    Dan said:
    Boy, there are some real idiots in this thread tonight. To compare what’s going on in Iran with the U.S. is moronic to the extreme.
    My response is you sure are right, anybody that thinks America is free from election rigging is certainly an IDIOT.
    It is generally accepted as Liberal gospel that Bush stole the election from Gore, while it is now Conservative gospel that Al Franken also rigged his election. (Being a Libertarian, I think they are all evil).
    Did you notice that I referred to the Presidency in 2000 and 2012 not 2008?
    Hmmm, guess not, you were so busy jumping to fanciful and incorrect conclusions to support your hypothesis that you didn’t even note simple things like the dates I referred to.
    Election rigging is election rigging. The how, and the how much of it doesn’t much matter because the end result is the same: It’s still subversion of the consensus (vote) of the people.
    Remember this when 60%+ of the population is voting against Obama, and he somehow still wins. Narcissistic demagogues come in all shapes and colors, and no society is immune to a person with an ego so big it has it’s own zipcode, and who’s code of conduct has zero ethics and morals.
    Obama’s history is full of examples where used his complete absence of ethics and morals to his advantage, the man is a true master of looking people in the eye while he lies to them.
    He will stop at nothing to retain hos position, the only reasons why he will give up the Presidency is if they forcibly remove him, he dies, or they make him ruler of the World.
    All of history’s great despots sounded like a great idea when they were telling people what they wanted to hear.
    Ignorance is bliss…

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  9. devlin says:

    Boy, there are some real morons in this thread.
    Israel and the U.S. have been crowing for regime change in Iran for nearly a decade. Now, in this last election, the urban youth and elite have combined together to organize a “color revolution”, just like happened in Georgia, just like happened in Ukraine, those two paragons of democracy, where we all know the CIA didn’t have even the slightest bit of involvement.
    Har-de-har-har.
    And nobody smells a fish, here?
    The Irani government cut of SMS. Big deal.
    Mousavi was whining about winning the election even before the last vote was counted — and without even the slightest shred of evidence.
    And nobody smells a fish?
    Oh, yeah — that’s right –
    the U.S. never engages in election-rigging or national destabilization. Every “color revolution” is its own home-grown cry for justice and peace.
    Nobody here has stopped to think that most of Iran’s urban elite are from the same families who supported the Shah, right?
    Most people in Iran are poor, and by far, most live in the countryside. Most people in Iran’s countryside voted for AhmadiNejad. Do the math.
    All these calls for “revolution” and such, while the cowardly public of the U.S. allowed 8 years of tyranny and imperialistic aggression to unfold without any edge turned against their own dictators. They are now watching as torturers and war criminals wander free, crowing about the morality of their deeds and urging the current administration to build on their achievements.
    You let Bush murder millions, and now you want to turn your military on Iran; so pretty boys all around the States are begging for Irani rich kids to buy up some guns and get to shooting, while they themselves enjoy their lattes and fantasize about which shirt is more coming, which smile is more cunning.
    Clemons, you have become a willing piece for propagandists. You should be ashamed.

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  10. Dan says:

    Boy, there are some real idiots in this thread tonight. To compare what’s going on in Iran with the U.S. is moronic to the extreme.
    On Nov. 5th, 2008, we had an election that was truly free and fair. The candidates weren’t “approved” in advance by an unelected body of clerics, and we saw the incumbent party peacefully reqlinquish power to the opposition with no trouble whatsoever.
    This is the exact opposite of what we’re now seeing in Iran, where the will of the people is being plainly and shamelessly stiffled by an unelected group of clerics and their thug enablers in the Revolutionary guards and the militia who have no intention of relinquishing power under any circumstances.
    As for Rafsanjani, Mousavi, and Khatami, I hope they do move against Ahmenidijad, Khameni and the Revolutionary Guards and incite the Iranian public to a second revolution like the one that toppled the Shah in 1979. They may have no choice. If they don’t move aggressively, they’re liable to wind up dead or in jail themselves.
    The US should do whatever we can do behind the scenes to aid and abet the removal of Ahmedinijad and The Guardian Council. This includes providing money, arms, and intel to the reformers. The fundamentalists in Iran have spent the last 4 years trying to make our efforts in Iraq fail and have killed many American soldiers in the process. It’s time to return the favor.

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  11. Todd Quigley says:

    John Smith said:
    Debbie – The USA will be where Iran is shortly – Obama has no intention of losing any election…
    Oh how right you are, 2010 will be the start, when Congressional and Senate seats are lost, but 2012 will be dead serious. Obama has no intention of ever giving up his position, and he will use anything he can to stay in power. Lie, cheat and steal, rig votes, sell his family to the devil, start a war, whatever…
    By 2012 our country will be such an economic and social mess because of Obama’s decisions, that Obama will not carry the vote. However, this will not stop him from stealing the vote.
    Think it can’t happen in America? Think again, Bush vs, Gore in 2000, and Al Franken in 2008 is nothing compared to what’s coming.
    Get ready for the next American Civil War: The People vs. The Government. Depending on which way the military breaks, it may well be as bloody as the first one.

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  12. celticdragon says:

    To all of you students and brave citizens protesting in the streets in Iran:
    Our best wishes and prayers go with you. For God’s sake, please be careful!
    Libertas inaestimabilis res est!

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  13. Tun Lanang says:

    The report you received is raw intelligence. You then have people claiming to be experts on Iran or international relations give their 2 cents worth of opinion.
    Leave Iran alone to sort out their internal problems.The people of Iran have chosen AJad as their leader in a democratic process.
    In every country, the losers will inevitably allege vote rigging and foul play commited by the winners.See what happened in Thiland.The country is in deep trouble, financially and economically.
    To the USA, please do not meddle in the affairs of Iran.You put fire and enjoy seeing a civil war taking shape in Iran.
    To the Iranians, bury the hatchet and fight a common ground: make Iran strong especially economically and become a high income country so that the people will have a prosperous and peaceful life.This is what ISLAM commands.

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  14. cedar says:

    the people of iran had better find out if the dictator said so or the presidents said as well. it was a propaganda threat
    the people of iran have no ability to control the dictator according to present goverment rules.
    So called “experts” stand aganst their people.

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  15. BetsyM says:

    I really hope that the Iranian people can stand up
    and be counted. I know of two Iranian women that
    I talk to on the net and one is coming over here
    in 6 months.
    This whole election is truly a sad commentary for
    the Iranians.

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  16. John Smith says:

    Debbie – The USA will be where Iran is shortly – Obama has no intention of losing any election…

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  17. victoriasuominen says:

    Iran has nothing to worry about with the same jerk-off as president for another term. If America can survive 8 years of Bush&Cheney, Iran can survive with their current loon at the helm. The question in my mind is this: Will he pull another “Chavez” and try to turn his presidency into dictatorship and what if Khomieni agrees?

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  18. Arash says:

    They started shooting civilians check out the link
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZPdpueKpTTo&eurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Efacebook%2Ecom%2Fhome%2Ephp%3Fref%3Dhome&feature=player_embedded
    these people are bare handed.Hope to see some sanctions on there discusting creatures.

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  19. Nasim says:

    I’m an Iranian residing abroad but it breaks my heart and brings tear to my eyes everytime I see the violence against my people.
    What have these people done to deserve this? 30 years we kept our heads down and didn’t say a word. The country with all the potential is known as axis of evil and our kind nation is called terrorist where as we don’t even have a say in what our so called leaders do or say.
    What do we expect from them? Ther are not even politicians. All they’ve done through out their lives is to sit in a closed room and brain wash a bunch of foolish teenagers with their fake interpretation of religion. Iranian nation shouldn’t suffer because of their bad deeds and miss behavior.
    Iranians are just like any other nation, they want peace, they want democracy and they want to have a say in their future.They don’t have anything against any other country
    Having said all these, the same so called leaders don’t give us a chance to say what we want and when we finally have chance to speak out in the form of an election they even steal our votes, our integrity, our very basic human rights. Our people our friends and families are getting beaten up on the road. Why? Coz for the first time in 30 years they are demanding what is rightfully theirs. They want their voices to be heard. They want to put an end to this suffocation in the country.
    The world shouldn’t leave us alone. Don’t judge us by what these so called leaders and their supporters say or do. They are a bunch of uneducated losers who some how got the power over the normal civilians. Think about the majority of the population who is stuck and is trying to survive this cruelty.
    Show us you care and support our nation in any way you think possible.
    Thank you

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  20. Mohammad Yaghini says:

    Thanks to a facebook link I was directed here.
    First of all I’m living in Iran , Isfahan. Despite the fact that there are serious clashes going on in the streets in almost every major city here , situation is not as critical as depicted in this article and thus I think either your source wasn’t credible enough or you had a ‘certain look’ at the situation.
    Mr.Ahmadinejad was a major player among candidates and his fans were fanatic enough to vote for him for the second time but given the enthusiasm felt during Mr. Mousavi’s campaign, hopes and expectations were practically high; the thing we weren’t expecting was a margin of 10 million votes between Ahmadinejad and Mousavi which sounded like a joke in early hours of vote counting. and the main argues and claims about the likelihood of cheating revolves around this particular fact that they were so close and no one expected such a difference.
    About the theory of possible assassination of the supreme leader or Rafsanjani and even Khatami(who is a very renowned and respected figure worldwide),it’s not really true, things really don’t work like that (as they appear to do in Uinted States) here the authority figures interest each other as much as they’re better off alive than dead so the likelihood of that kind of measures is very low in my opinion.
    And last but not least, Mr.Mousavi may not be the best option , but is the best ‘possible option’ indeed, he has 8 years of PM experiences during the imposed Iran-Iraq war and has figures like Khatami backing him up, what world needs to know is that a lot of people here are in a shock, they were in a coma yesterday but it seems they’re waking up and we don’t need extremist to comment on our actions because we’ve got enough of them as it is here in our own country.

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  21. Ashki says:

    I’m from iran and I’m seeing the riots taking place everywhere here. We need an ultimate international power behind us if we (more than 60% of people who voted for mousavi but the gov. read them for Ahmadi nejad) are going to push our limits.
    We are trying to get our votes back, we are fighting with all we have to reach our real freedom. We thought that we have something near democracy here until 2 days ago, now we found out that this is dictatorship more than anything. All we need from you (for now) is force your leaders all around the world not to send congrat. messages to Ahmadi nejad because we don’t accept him as our president, We are fighting, and we will fight forever, for us, for freedom and for a better life for everyone,
    Regards, Ashki, Iranian Student, Tehran, Iran

    Reply

  22. Masoud says:

    Please free us guys, this is serious!!

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  23. Maryam says:

    please help us.. we just wanna know where is our votes… Nobody wanna know what we really want..

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  24. Nasim says:

    Yes the only way that Iran will be free is to remove the supreme leader.We don’t want Islamic radicals to run our beautiful country.
    Ahmadinejad is not our president and was not elected or re-elected by us. It’s all a big lie.
    Iranians want change, they want freedome, they want to be friends with all other nations. People don’t have anything against any other country. we are looking for a chance to be free after 30 years, we want peace and heppiness for us and for our country. Please don’t believe Ahmadinejad and his supporters cause even we in Iran hate them. They are the minority and have only damaged Iran’s image in te world.When you see them on TV, don’t buy it as they’ve been paid to be present there and if they don’t attend they’ll be in trouble.We all know that but sadly we don’t have the power to fight them as they kill the fighters.
    Iranians to deserve to be happy and free so please hear us out and help us get there.

    Reply

  25. Nathaniel says:

    I’m an Armenian, Christian girl from Iran. This article made me happy and sad simultaneously. Happy to see that still there are people around the world who are enough kind to respect our feelings and to show their sympathy and Sad to see that here are some people who do believe that we are uneducated and unaware people who blindly follow their superiors but the reality is that Iranian People are mostly educated and smart , if their successes are not broadcasted it’s a consequent of political tricks and games but how it comes that we have Iranians in Google, NASA, Microsoft, Ebay and etc…? They were lucky to take the opportunities but they are not different. The current situation in Iran is an evidence of the high political knowledge of our people, where they come together to protest Cruelty and Violence . people are being hit, killed and kicked in here because of their beliefs and to retain their initial rights and needs, it’s cruel to bargain on this and to negotiate whether this is fake or real, this people need your help to relay the reality to world and to have their support and empathy.

    Reply

  26. seth edenbaum says:

    Gabriel Hummel,
    My ancestors fought in the revolution and a few wars since.
    I’m about as American as they come.

    Reply

  27. farbod says:

    ahmadi nejad is new Saddam hosein
    say Hi to new Dictator in IRAN
    lets do somthing

    Reply

  28. Masoud says:

    Hey guys, I’m from Iran and things are worst than you all think, I’m afraid to even go out of my house, they clear everyone in the streets, and disperse any kind of protesters (no matter how many they are) Please do something for us!!! Please free Us!!!! Please don’t forget about us cause we can’t do anything here!!! This election was f**ing fake and we’re protesting against that.

    Reply

  29. Brian says:

    People who break the law should be dealt with accordingly. We can’t keep installing puppies around the world. Let the people speak.

    Reply

  30. Gabriel Hummel says:

    Hey Seth Edenbaum don’t call us red blooded americans idiots. You are an offensive jerk for that comment where you from jerk.
    Freedom is not free
    DO NOT TREAD ON ME

    Reply

  31. Nell says:

    Steve: Have you discussed the poll sponsored by New America Foundation (and two other organizations) conducted in Iran a month ago?
    href=”http://mrzine.monthlyreview.org/iran110609.html
    If the poll results are at all accurate, it makes it far less certain or obvious that this election was stolen. I put nothing beyond the authorities in Iran, and clearly they’re not being transparent about the vote count, so there’s reason to be skeptical. But the announced results are compatible with the NAF-sponsored poll.

    Reply

  32. Fionnagh says:

    Seth at 11:46 – well said. Thank you.

    Reply

  33. Tahira says:

    The western media had very high expectations of whom THEY wanted to see elected. Mosavi might have gotten the majority vote in Tehran but not in the rest of the country. Why have you guys failed to mention that Iran does not start or end in Tehran? Hardly anyone voted for Mosavi in the city of Qom, Mashad and other cities through out Iran, and as far as Steve is concerned, your writings have come as a joke. Your mind is empty due to ignorance; please educate your self because you and your like have really become a joke. Your guys are quite amusing.

    Reply

  34. rob says:

    Ronald – But what if it’s MAD that they want? In any case, reducing the threat of nuclear war doesn’t start with yet more nations obtaining them. One of the foundational pretexts of the NNPT is to prevent preemptive strikes against perceived emergining nuclear threats by creating an environment where there are assurances that new nuclear threats are not emerging. Sound like any familiar situations? If Iran and the world do not want a preemptive strike against an emerging nuclear Iran, the best way to prevent this is for Iran to create confidence and assurance that they are not developing nuclear weapons by coming into full compliance with the NNPT as opposed to providing an apparent argument for a preemptive attack by some nation that feels threatened. It’s not a question of whether the threat is real or a premptive strike justified, but if the goal is to discourage an attack it doesn’t start with creating a reason for one.

    Reply

  35. Mladen says:

    It is possibly biggest civil unrest since fall of Ceausescu in Romania and comparable to fall of Milosevic in Serbia. Here, too, army will decide: if they side with Ahmedinejad, expect fascist dictatorship. Possibly more internal tensions and insurgencies. But if generals side with Mousavi, expect new, more democratic election within month or two. New constitution. De-fanged or removed Guardian council. Neocon’s nightmare: truly free Iran, from internal oppressors and foreign tutors.

    Reply

  36. rob says:

    The mullahs may have finally hung themselves with their rope. This should be a lesson to all would-be democracies that democracy only works when results are accepted by the voters and this requires transparency. Anything less is just delusional pretend democracy. By denying full transparaency, they have needlessly denied themselves any possibility of a convincing and credible result if Ahmadinejad was in fact the victor, and thus shot themselves in the foot. Or on the other hand, the voters are justified in rioting because they have been denied their voice if Mousavi was the true victor. Either way, whatever the true results may have been, the lack of true transparency has rendered that moot and the mullahs have made the bed they must now lie in. People will stand for a pretend democracy that has no real accountability to the people for only so long.

    Reply

  37. ... says:

    Cookies_and_milk, Jun 14 2009, 5:03AM
    2 + 2 = 4…. but for you, we’ll make an exception..

    Reply

  38. Ronald Orf says:

    All of this will come to nothing. In a few days the pro and anti
    factions in the colleges of Iran will be grumblingly drinking tea
    together and trying to figure out how to get American movies.
    None of this matters in the long term. The people of Iran are not
    like the people of Afghanistan. They are far more educated and
    cynical, and eventually the young will displace the old leaders, IF
    the U.S. stands back as a guide on the side and not a sage on a
    stage. Read “Reading Lolita in Tehran” to get a feel for what the
    educated people really think. The PEOPLE of Iran do not hate
    Americans, but do see our government as interfering in their
    country and as lackeys of Israel. The fear that if they develop
    nuclear weapons all hell will break loose is misplaced. Israel
    ALREADY HAS nuclear weapons and MAD (mutually insured
    destruction) worked very well in the cold war. The only REAL fear
    is a warhead getting in the hands of a terrorist group FROM one
    of the unstable countries, such as North Korea, Pakistan, or Iran.
    The U.S. must communicate that any such scenario will be
    regarded as a direct attack from the nuclear weapon provider
    and will require instant retaliation. Obama is giving America a
    more friendly face in hostile places, and we can expect
    entrenched regimes to reject his overtures violently, but if he
    keeps his cool and continues to be non-threatening except on
    issues that directly involve our interests he will prevail,
    especially if he can be perceived as an impartial broker between
    Israel and her enemies

    Reply

  39. Arash says:

    There is no doubt that Mousavi won the election.
    I think the best way that the West can help the Iranian people now is: not to recognize the government of Ahmadinejad. That puts a lot of pressure on the Iranian regime. And if the election result is reversed in the end the west will be seen as a hero in Iran. I think that’s a unique opportunity. What do you think Steve?

    Reply

  40. John M says:

    Yes, it looks like civility has run its course in Iran, and having failed and been suppressed, violence will be next. Iran does not really have much semblance of a democracy. Maybe after the bloddshed, things will start to change.

    Reply

  41. Theresa Chaffin says:

    I find Iranian politics more fascinating than the average mid eastern governments. The undercurrent seems almost reminiscent of 18th century France and your insightful reports make it so much easier to digest. What happens next is so important. Keep up the good work.To you a way overused compliment you are AWESOME!

    Reply

  42. seth edenbaum says:

    Whether it turns out to have been a coup or not is not the most
    important question for the political leaders of rest of the world.
    The central question is this: Between the leadership of Iran and
    Israel, whose actions have been defined more by rational self-
    interest and whose by immaturity and recklessness?
    Who would you trust to keep his head in a crisis, Netanyahu or
    Khamenei?
    If you say Bibi you’re either an idiot or a liar.

    Reply

  43. Brendan S. says:

    We (the u.s.) should be backing this “reformer” and once we get him in power he and Iran will be weak for a time. This gives us time to get our situation in Iraq under control and move out to afghanistan. In the mean time we can have the UN inspectors move into Iran so that we have a clear understanding of their nuke program (that was postponed in 2003 after an undetermined period of up time)and keep Israel from reacting to anything.
    This is not a solution to the overall problem but we need to buy time…..obama is not up for dealing with N. Korea and this at the same time. Our military is not prepared to fight in Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran and Korea.
    We need time and this will give it to us.

    Reply

  44. Bob says:

    I am a Republican and I support the right-wing “coup.”
    We American conservatives should support conservatives around the world, like Ahmadinejad and BNP, etc.

    Reply

  45. joe says:

    Nice work. It will be interesting to see the political intrigue play out over the next weeks and months.

    Reply

  46. scott says:

    you people need to stop looking so deep into this we the USA are going in there and cleaning house very soon look at or own military age limits up there are big things coming look obama said he would have the troops home by now but after briefing he even sees that we are about to enter into ww3 we should have never stoped fighting after ww2 the only way for peace is to have one power in control of all the people and if you dont want to be ruled by the mullahs you better get your shit together and fight they are not afraid to die we are starting to become a land of pussies PLEASE GET YOUR BOOTS ON

    Reply

  47. KnowsTooMuch says:

    what that guy says is 100% true and will happen, because for the following reasons:
    Ahmadinejad is afraid of Rafsanjani, Khatami, and Mousavi.
    Ali Khamenei hates Mousavi because in the past they had a few arguments between eachother.
    If Mousavi because’s president, then there will maybe an alliance between US and Iran, and Ali Khamenei doesnt want that, Ahmadinejad is just a mere puppet under the control of the supreme leader ali khamenei.
    so in other words this civil war will start in iran and the killing spree too
    so the rest of the world must make itself ready for and UN must now already think of something to solve it, and the only way to solve it, is removing the supreme leaders in iran and Ahmadinejad, and making Mousavi the president of iran, and at the end of all this will Iran be an official country that will talk with other country’s about his nuclear, and his uranium
    Steve thanks for the news
    Greetings,
    Hastiar

    Reply

  48. alex cohen says:

    ” I want to see thermonuclear war.. us get our just revenge on the
    Iranian People for the humiliation of 1979, when those vermin took
    our diplos hostage and held them over a year.”
    ANDREW P, you have some major psychological issues. Seek urgent
    help please.

    Reply

  49. OxyCon says:

    Strange that you begin your posting by bragging about going on an unhinged lunatic’s show. Way to undercut your credibility.

    Reply

  50. Andrew P says:

    I think this is good news. It shows Iran for what it really is, and makes it more likely that Iran will go down in a blaze of thermonuclear glory. I want to see a thermonuclear war between Israel and Iran, and I want Israel to preempt. The coming destruction of Iran will put an end to the Islamic Revolution, and that is a good thing. Iran has been a sworn enemy of the US since the revolution since we can never accept it. Finally we (the USA) may get our just revenge on the Iranian People for the humiliation of 1979, when those vermin took our diplos hostage and held them over a year.

    Reply

  51. Franklin says:

    Tom M,
    Based on the IAEA’s report from this past Feb. Iran is not fully compliant with its NPT commitments (at a bare minimum there were several unresolved questions).
    The NIE from 2008 states that Iran is believed to have discontinued it’s nuclear weapons program in the last two year’s of President Khatami’s term (2003). That tells us though that prior to 2003 Iran was actively pursuing a weapon. After Ahmadinejad’s election there’s uncertainty regarding whether the program was resumed. The NIE says probably not. Of course, it doesn’t deal in certainties.
    It’s unlikely that Iran’s nuclear capacity will present a direct threat to the U.S. any-time soon — at least through an intercontinental ballistic missile; however, that’s no consolation for those in states in the Middle East region who will face the threat sooner rather than later (perhaps 2 to 6 years).

    Reply

  52. prozac says:

    It’s easy to paint gloomy scenarios using one source of information! Another story is to provide well-researched topical information…
    The fact is that the Iranian society’s began to transform and there are many possible outcomes.

    Reply

  53. sadiq says:

    Wonder why international media creating so much hype on Iran?
    No body cares about 3 million IDPs in Pakistan;
    Any why negative media focus on Pakistan? Perhaps international media is being prepared as it was done before invading Iraq.
    Dr. Farukh Saleem writes: “According to the Centre for Public Integrity, a non-profit journalism organisation, Bush and his administration officials “stated unequivocally on at least 532 occasions that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction… Bush led with 259 false statements, 231 about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and 28 about Iraq’s links to Al Qaeda.
    Interestingly, the American media, by and large, was duped into accepting government propaganda as genuine news. USA Today accepted government propaganda as genuine news and so did The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune and The Washington Post. FOX accepted government propaganda as genuine news and so did ABC, CBS and NBC. The media then went on to ‘manufacturing consent’ of the American public; consent to go to war. Read the full article http://www.thenews.com.pk/daily_detail.asp?id=183013

    Reply

  54. BJ says:

    You’re just being used as another tool in the struggle, Steve. No one has any idea how all this will end.

    Reply

  55. section9 says:

    Fidel:
    Even when you people win elections, you continue to peddle your
    paranoid style.
    What? You just got out of the Labor Camp that the Bushite Secret
    Police had you locked up in? Was Sarah Palin in the Guard Tower at
    Jesus Camp?
    You wouldn’t know real fascism if it knocked on your door at
    midnight and “led you away”.

    Reply

  56. section9 says:

    Whatever one might say about A-Jad, he has enough legitimacy in
    the countryside to control the country, which is all he needs. Plus,
    he has the backing of the Security Services.
    This allows him, of course, to proceed with a vicious internal
    crackdown against his enemies, a la Stalin against Kamenev and
    Zinoviev.
    There will be blood, indeed. But it will be the faux-reformers who
    pay.
    Meantime, the State of Israel will prepare for war.

    Reply

  57. fidel says:

    and i dont believe the us can preach to iran…while there may be some fraying around the edges, iran is no different than the u.s when it comes to the rightwing military police state consolidating its power.
    fisa….patriot acts…hate speech laws….no protest zones…a financial debacle which if it continnues will serve as the perfect storm for the populace to need to be controlled….the gwot redherring …fearmongering over irans non existent nuclear threat and 1200 mile range ballistic missiles …do you remember the elections here in the states…in minnesota there were many abuses against protesters which went undereported in the mainstreet media.
    we here in america no longer hold the upper moral ground if we ever did….our society is closing and is set up to close even more during the coming years, and we continnue to threaten the muslim nations and north korea with war while our leaders preach to the rest of the world about how evil They are.

    Reply

  58. Andrew says:

    I believe we should send Katherine Harris to Iran to help count votes. This election was no different than Bush’s fiasco.

    Reply

  59. DonS says:

    Joanna38, I think I take your point but I think it is fair to ask exactly what has Ahmadenijad actually done to, say, Americans that is so heinous? Would that one could say the same about Bush/Cheney and the hundreds of thousands of dead Iraqis. The “fate of Hussein” certainly was not the result of some stealth agent you seem to imply. What’s your real point?

    Reply

  60. joanna38 says:

    This world has indeed reached a “softness” and that is why individuals like Ahmajinejad rule countries. Whatever happened to the “agents” of the 50′s and the 60′s? If they were still operating this man will not be alive today. I can well see him meet with the fate of Hussein of Iraq, and none too soon!

    Reply

  61. DonS says:

    Cookies asks: “dan kervick 12:39am – exactly..”
    “What the hell does this even mean?”
    It means there is a subtext here that many are aware of that goes below the surface of the CW. Oh, and that recognizes that virtually anything coming from Wigwag has it’s own Likudist agenda.
    Moon of Alabama continues to propose a contrarian view, noting the quite possible legitimacy of the election outcome related to Iranian politics and the skewed constituencies of the electorate, urban/rural, poor/wealthy.
    http://www.moonofalabama.org/2009/06/links-june-14-09.html

    Reply

  62. Tom M says:

    Franklin, you said: “If nukes were just an internal concern, we wouldn’t have international treaties like the NPT.” Iran is a signatory to the NPT but Israel is not nor is India with which the US recently signed a nuclear power development deal.
    Iran has oil but little refinery capacity. The case for nuclear power makes sense.
    The difference between uranium for fuel and for weapons is vast. The NIE last year still said that Iran is years away from any weaponized uranium. Even the IAEA doesn’t think Iran has any weaponized nuclear material.
    So, it seems other than typical nuclear shivering by the US, why would Iran be a concern in this area?

    Reply

  63. TheDailySketch says:

    I believe we are now seeing the culmination of the $400 million dollars Bush managed to wrangle from Congress to undermine the Ayatollahs. We were sold a conspiracy theory by Sy Hersh about US Special Forces inside Iran, but we can now see exactly what they were up to. This, allied to a massive continued propaganda campaign in the western media. is no coincidence.
    Further Micheal Rubin of the American Enterprise Institute, neocons if ever there were, at the irantracker.org website, has been reporting translations from the Iranian press and he had this to say: “IranTracker’s poll average had Ahmadinejad in the lead throughout the election campaign.”
    http://www.irantracker.org/analysis/iranian-presidential-election-news
    Check out their compilation of opinion surveys:
    http://www.irantracker.org/node/284/
    Don Bacon’s post on Robert Fisk’s report is also highly important, and completely ignored by Clemons.

    Reply

  64. Cookies_and_milk says:

    …,
    “dan kervick 12:39am – exactly..”
    What the hell does this even mean?

    Reply

  65. ... says:

    sleepiness seems to run in the journalist field in the usa if the usa media is any guide…

    Reply

  66. ... says:

    wigwag references what i posted about 5 hours earlier on this site on the olbermann thread here… glad steve reads wigwags posts… whether he reads mine remains to be seen given how he only responds to wigwags reference of a sleepy dude from the New America Foundation…sleepy sounds valid… speaking of wigwag, nothing has changed, and i find their political views nternationally as disgusting and reprehensible as i always have… you know roger cohen is very relevant when he gets under wigwags skin…

    Reply

  67. Siavash says:

    As an Iranian citizen, I fear for the being of many of our friends and relatives, who are bravely protesting out on the streets of Tehran and Iran’s major cities. However, I hope people keep on protesting until we achieve some desirable results, even if it costs our blood. Words on the streets are that the protest is supposed to peak today, Sunday June 14th at around 5:00 PM (Tehran’s time)
    Any support from the US media would be greatly appreciated.

    Reply

  68. ... says:

    dan kervick 12:39am – exactly..

    Reply

  69. scott says:

    What basis does this contact have for expecting a push to topple
    Khamenei? By saying that the ‘political giants’ have resources to do
    away with their enemies, does he mean the three in the paragraph
    could actually muster enough force to fend off say, the
    Revolutionary Guard? Or is he strictly suggesting assassinations,
    not a coup or civil war?

    Reply

  70. Jim says:

    “But I must repeat what he said. “The election figures are correct, Robert. Whatever you saw in Tehran, in the cities and in thousands of towns outside, they voted overwhelmingly for Ahmadinejad. Tabriz voted 80 per cent for Ahmadinejad.”
    Then why aren’t they taking to the streets? All we see is protesters battling police, not civilian on civilian. They declared the election before voting was even over. People were still in lines for hours after they declared for Ahmadinejad. Sounds like disinformation to me.

    Reply

  71. Keaton says:

    What are the relations between the students/reformers and the workers? Any talk of a general strike? Where does the military stand, other than the security forces? How deep are the divisions within the ranks of the clerics?

    Reply

  72. Franklin says:

    A civilian nuclear capacity might be an internal matter; a weapons program is not. If nukes were just an internal concern, we wouldn’t have international treaties like the NPT.
    Iran may simply develop the weapon for purposes of prestige without an intent to actually use the weapon — still, I can understand Israeli concerns regarding this issue. The U.S. has the luxury of thinking about this as more of an abstract concern; Israel does not.
    This election also raises questions about assumptions that people like Flynt Leverett have had about Iran. Clearly he has contacts inside Iran — the question is: Is he privy to the thinking of hard-liners, or is he just talking to reformists? If the reformists are further marginalized, then the U.S.’s own calculation about what is and isn’t possible will need to change accordingly too.

    Reply

  73. seth edenbaum says:

    obvious typo.
    they’ll be a
    democracy sooner if American idiots DON’T try to play big daddy.

    Reply

  74. seth edenbaum says:

    “I had always thought that the threat of Iranian nuclear weapons
    was exaggerated. In light of the current instability, I may have to
    admit that I was wrong.”
    Bullshit.
    The Iranian reactionaries are more rational than the Israelis or
    the Pakistanis. This is hard core powerplay by adults, not semi-
    psychosis like we see in Kim Jong Il. The Iranians just had their
    Tiananmen. And even the reformers want nuclear power.
    Stop pretending the only adults in the room are in the US. We’ve
    done more damage than Iran by far.
    And here’s a mice one from Helena Cobban:
    “All
    this commentating in the American media about whether
    the Iranian powers-that-be have negated the results of the
    election held there yesterday prompt me to ask about the
    Palestinian parliamentary elections of January 2006.”
    Israel and North Korea scare me. Pakistan terrifies me. Russia
    Scares me. Iran is closer to China. If you’re a nationalist they’re
    an adversary. If you’re not a nationalist they’ll be a
    democracy sooner if American idiots try to play big daddy.
    This is an internal matter. It’s about Iran not Israel.
    Modernity takes time.
    idiots

    Reply

  75. Dan Kervick says:

    Steve, why do you think this well-connected Iranian wanted to meet with you?

    Reply

  76. Reuben L. says:

    Very interesting stuff. Was linked to this article via Politico. I at first just thought this was limited to the streets, but with an internal debate as well…this seems bound to continue and get worse.
    Hopefully there can be some resolution. I hope the crisis ends soon so a major player in the Mideast has a solid government.

    Reply

  77. Steve Clemons says:

    Thanks Wig — i was not thrilled by the writer in the Middle East Report who referred to me as “the tired guy”. I just wrote to her and the elders at the Middle East Report to tell them next time to be less careless in how they rib me — but was amusing at one level I guess. I’m really tired though now — in contrast to last night…and will check in later. best, steve

    Reply

  78. Steve Clemons says:

    I don’t think that is what he was doing Dan. I think he was trying to convey to me the level of tension inside the highest political circles. We talked a great deal – I highlighted what most stood out to me from the conversation… i like your posts but please don’t get into telling me what i should or should not convey from complicated meetings like this. i’m busy enough just getting things out — and thought that this was important.
    best regards, steve

    Reply

  79. Dan Kervick says:

    “This is not a vision he advocates — but one he fears.”
    Oh sure. This well-connected Iranian guy just wanted a quick airport meet with Steve Clemons to provide some useful information to Steve’s delightful American readers.
    Steve I really think you should be somewhat careful about allowing your blog to be used to convey assassination threats, which appears to be what just happened here.

    Reply

  80. WigWag says:

    Well Steve, despite the ribbing you took from some of your friends in the blogosphere (see the Daily Dish) when they said,
    “Even Keith Olbermann had a sleepy dude from the New America Foundation on … without even bothering to explain what his credentials as an Iran expert are.”
    I think you are worth far more than Dennis Ross. If Fox paid him $106,000 your a bargain a twice the price.
    If you need a new agent, I hear Ari Emanuel is good.

    Reply

  81. erichwwk says:

    For those interested in the nuclear aspect of Iran this interview of Mohamed ElBaradei may be of interest:
    “People forget completely that in 1970, when we developed the NPT, the idea was that we will put a cap on the number of countries which have nuclear weapons – 5 at that time – and that they commit themselves to nuclear disarmament in return for everybody else saying “we will not develop nuclear weapons”. The idea was: Nuclear weapons are more threat than assurance. And that was as early as 1970. But 35 years after that we still have 27,000 war heads, we still have weapons deployed on Cold War status alert…
    http://www.isria.com/pages/12_June_2009_119.htm

    Reply

  82. TB says:

    OK, so let’s say for the sake of argument, that the situation as laid out by Mr. Clemmon’s friend is correct.
    I have two questions:
    1 – How bad will it get internally, for how long, and
    2 – If it does spread beyond Iran’s borders, how bad, and for how long?

    Reply

  83. JohnH says:

    Mahan Abedin has more on the rifts in the Iranian political order:
    http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/KF13Ak03.html
    He seems to agree that long term factions have crossed red lines in their rivalry: “Whoever becomes the next president, the current institutional order – especially the watchdog and oversight mechanisms employed to control politics – will struggle to handle the tensions and political conflicts that lie ahead.”

    Reply

  84. Don Bacon says:

    Another interview:
    An interval here [in a raucous Tehran] for lunch with a true and faithful friend of the Islamic Republic, a man I have known for many years who has risked his life and been imprisoned for Iran and who has never lied to me. We dined in an all-Iranian-food restaurant, along with his wife. He has often criticised the regime. A man unafraid. But I must repeat what he said. “The election figures are correct, Robert. Whatever you saw in Tehran, in the cities and in thousands of towns outside, they voted overwhelmingly for Ahmadinejad. Tabriz voted 80 per cent for Ahmadinejad. It was he who opened university courses there for the Azeri people to learn and win degrees in Azeri. In Mashad, the second city of Iran, there was a huge majority for Ahmadinejad after the imam of the great mosque attacked Rafsanjani of the Expediency Council who had started to ally himself with Mousavi. They knew what that meant: they had to vote for Ahmadinejad.”–Robert Fisk, The Independent
    http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/fisk/robert-fisk-iran-erupts-as-voters-back-the-democrator-1704810.html

    Reply

  85. Marjorie says:

    It’s frightening to think of the possible further
    radicalization of that region. American media needs
    to be seriously called out on that lack of coverage.
    The Palin/Letterman farce is getting no. 1 billing.
    This is an outrage, honestly, infuriating. Thank
    you for keeping us informed as usual. You are
    great.

    Reply

  86. Bill R. says:

    Thanks for the scoop, Steve. If true, this would confirm my worst fears, and make me despair of any kind of moderating evolution in Iranian society, or gradual democratization of the society. I hope the international community does not recognize this illegitimate regime in the light of this stolen election. In the end Khameni may have brought about the demise of this Islamic revolution and its institutions. I wonder if Rafsanjani has the connections now to overthrow Khameni.

    Reply

  87. James says:

    Courageous mention of AIPAC’s influence in Christopher Dickey’s piece for Newsweek:
    What Ahmadinejad’s win means for Iran, Israel and the United States:
    http://www.newsweek.com/id/201934… Read More
    Youtube of my call for friends USAF Lt Col (Ret) Karen Kwiatkowski & Dr. Stephen Sniegoski (who wrote the ‘The Transparent Cabal’) about the war for Israel agenda of the Likudnik (JINSA/PNAC/AEI) crowd:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b_NVZa837lA&feature=PlayList&p=7D7112A64BE7B012&index=0&playnext=1
    http://Tinyurl.com/InDepthDiscussion
    Karen Kwiatkowski interviews friend Dr. Stephen Sniegoski
    http://tinyurl.com/na5eae
    Obama envoy raises possibility of U.S. strike on Iran:
    http://www.itszone.co.uk/zone0/viewtopic.php?t=107877

    Reply

  88. Steve Clemons says:

    Thanks Wig. I hope that the source I met, who is impressive and connected over there, is hyperventilating because of the current situation and ultimately wrong about the back and forth potential political assassinations. I think that that would make matters far worse stability wise — but then again, any stability achieved now will be cruelly achieved and perhaps just temporary.
    What he convinced me of though is that while Iran has always had deep schisms between some of its political elites that have struggled against each other for years, this time it’s different — and red lines have been crossed — and trust between players in the system has collapsed. In that environment, the scenario he described to me sounds more plausible. But as I said, I hope he’s wrong as I do think it would telegraph to the world that Iran’s institutional structures are fundamentally weak.
    We’ll just have to see what happens.
    On the Olbermann Show, I stick to my section and don’t interfere with other parts of the program.
    By the way, were you surprised at all that Dennis Ross made $106,000 last year from appearances on Fox?? Wow. I would have appeared for free….and did a few times.
    best, steve

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  89. WigWag says:

    Welcome home from your travels! You are indefatigable. Your ability to still write posts despite all the jet lag is an impressive accomplishment!
    I had always thought that the threat of Iranian nuclear weapons was exaggerated. In light of the current instability, I may have to admit that I was wrong. If the institutional structures in Iran are as precarious as you describe in this post, it is frightening to contemplate how command and control would be exercised over any nuclear weapon Iran might eventually develop.
    And if your source knows what he’s talking about, Iran really does resemble Pakistan alot more today than it did yesterday.
    By the way, given your frequent guest appearances on Countdown with Keith Olbermann, you may want to make a nomination for his “worst person in the world” segment. If you looking for suggestions, I would nominate Roger Cohen, the Iran obsessed columnist for the New York Times.
    In light of everything that’s happened, does anyone look dumber than he does right now?

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