Friday, August 25, 2006

Fear in Iran

CNN:When we were last here a few months ago, everyone we spoke to, from the rich to the poor, from the moderates to the conservatives, told us they believed in their country's right to a civilian nuclear program. They felt insulted that the world wanted to withhold the chance from Iran to have nuclear energy produced by its own scientists. And there was a huge undercurrent of nationalist pride in the fact that Iranian scientists had figured out how to enrich uranium, that they would never have to be dependent on others to do that.

But now, with a new United Nations mandate to stop the program by the end of the month and in the immediate aftermath of the month-long conflict between Israel and Hezbollah, fear is creeping in to the Iranian streets.

In the past few weeks, I've been to all parts of Tehran.

In the blue-collar south, there remains defiance against the West. I was told repeatedly at a car parts market that Iran has endured sanctions before and can endure them again.

But in the north, university students spoke openly to us about their fear of the economic hardships Iran could soon face. Iran's youth make up the majority of Iran's population. The median age is 25. And there are large groups of college graduates who have no jobs. Inflation here keeps going up, so the economic situation is ripe for things to get dramatically worse if sanctions are imposed.


Blogger Owlb said...

Ahmadi-Nejad steams & nukes his way to world domination for Islamofascist religious ideology

By Albert Gedraitis, 30 Endean Avenue, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M4M1W6
Phone/fax: 416-461-5975; E-mail: owlbird@sympatico.ca; owlhoot@mac.com
Check out my Anti-Islamofascist Blog: http://refwritepage1.blogspot.com/

The deadline Iran gave itself to make a major announcement on its nuke has come and gone with 0nly a 20-page technical document of non-compliance to the UN requirement that it stop processing unranium. This development is stark evidence of the Iranian imperialistic goal to establish itself as a new Muslim caliphate: Shi'ite and mullocratic. The nukes under development will underwrite Iran's first colony in Hizbullite Lebanon and undermine the development of a democratic order there. While Iran spends millions in Lebanon it is squeezing its own poor and clamping down on dissident voices, the goal is total control over information and opinion within the country. With the prospect of Iran playing the games of diplomatic discouse at the UNSC, the full unveiling of its colony for what it is, snugly embedded in Lebanon among that country's Shi'ites, blocking its own populace from communicating outside the regime's purview, capable of sending agents into Canada among returning dual citizens from Southern Lebanon and into the USA itself, and now giving the appearance of responding to the appeal of its client (oil) and ally (diplomacy, munitions) China. Previously Iran used the Hizbullah War for 34 days to distract the world from its nuclear project, now it will use the UNSC talks on uranium and nukes to distract the world from its aggressive activities to rebuild, refortify and re-weaponize the Hizbullah colonials.
Altho there's no knowing how long he will last, in public at least, the man at the helm of Iran gives a public-face to the apocalypticism unique to Persian Shia Islam which may be playing a key role in the multifront campaign to gain the leadership of Muslims worldwide and establish Iran at the hub of a new world empire. The man, whose name in English is widely rendered Ahmadinejad, should better be spelled Ahmadi-Nejad to bring out the crucial term "Ahmadi" which plays a large role in the Presidenct's apocalypticism.
No one can accuse Ahmadinejad of being circumspect about the religious views that shape his worldview. He speaks on those views quite frequently, but they are a taboo subject for Westerners unaccustomed to thinking that is self-consciously religious. The reactionary response is to dismiss it as mental instability or label it as “fundamentalist”, but facing the reality of a nuclear Iran, such a reaction is not only short-sighted and narrow minded, but possibly suicidal. Ahmadinejad’s worldview is shaped by the radical Hojjatieh Shiism that is best represented by Ayatollah Mesbah Yazdi, the Iranian President’s ideological mentor and marja-e taqlid (object of emulation), of the popular Haqqani religious school located in Qom. The affection seems to be mutual: in the 2k5 Iranian presidential campaign, Ayatollah Yazdi issued a fatwa calling on his supporters to vote for Ahmadinejad.

Rooted in the Shiite ideology of martyrdom and violence, the Hojjatieh sect adds messianic and apocalyptic elements to an already volatile theology. They believe that chaos and bloodshed must precede the return of the 12th Imam, called the Mahdi. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has clearly indicated that he is a true believer in this faith. It has been reported that he has told confidants that he anticipates the immanent return of the Mahdi. When he previously served as Mayor of Tehran, he advocated for widening the roads to accommodate the Mahdi’s triumphal entry into the city. One of his first acts of office as President was to dedicate approximately $20 million to the restoration and improvement of the mosque at Jamkaran, where the Mahdi is claimed to dwell.
This personal belief directs his official policies as President. He has publicly said, “Our revolution’s main mission is to pave the way for the reappearance of the 12th Imam, the Mahdi. We should define our economic, cultural and political policies on the policy of the Imam Mahdi’s return.”

However, Ahmadinejad’s messianism doesn’t stop with the Mahdi. In fact, he has made it clear that he believes he has personally received a divine appointment to herald the imminent arrival of the Mahdi, tacitly acknowledging his own role in setting aright the problems of the world. His belief in a personal divine appointment was best confirmed after his speech to the United Nations last September, which was laden with references to the Mahdi. In the recent war between Israel and Hezbollah, Ahmadi-Nejad and the entire Iranian leadership have stood firmly behind Hezbollah. However, the Iranian public seems wary of a confrontation with Israel and is questioning the wisdom of spending the nation's oil revenues in Lebanon when they are needed at home. Should Iran become embroiled in a further outbreak of fighting, Lebanon may become a domestic political liability.

If the nuclear confrontation with the West does not escalate, Ahmadi-Nejad's ability to project himself as Iran's national champion will diminish. His populist economic policies are unlikely to reduce inflation and unemployment, and they could make life more difficult for the working-class Iranians he claims to represent. He may increasingly be seen as a liability by Khamenei, who may move to sideline him. However much the Hizbullah War may have stirred temporarily Arab and Muslim rejoicing among the masses, Sunni-dominated Arab states instead saw threates to civic order and societal instablity in the Hizbullah adventurism. What, incredibly, this lacks is any sense of the inter-relationship between the threat in the Iranian colony, the threat of Iranian nuclear weaponization, and the Iranian imperialist ideology which threatens even without the glosses of the Hojjatieh sect and Iranian President Ahmadi-Neejad's personal sense of an apocalyptic vocation. I feel all these matters matter to the Sunni royals and other political leaders.

-- Politicarp

5:58 PM  

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