Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Bashar Al Assad's Time Is Up

The Assad's regime in Syria is at the verge of collapse. Reports, however, suggested that the Revolutionary Guards and Police of the Islamic Republic are desperately trying to save his regime. I am not particularly concerned about Assad, his regime or the Syrian people; that is their problem. But when it comes to reasons for Tehran to get behind its strategic partner; I am very concerned. Simply because those reasons directly link to the human and democratic rights of the people of Iran.

Since the collapse of the Soviet Union over two decades ago, in 1989-90, it seems that Syria and the Islamic Republic have tied their convenient alliance to such extent that it now appears the livelihood of one is a prerequisite for the other's. This has become even more evident after the military arrival of the United States and its allies in the Middle East-the invasion of Iraq. The Islamic Republic feels vulnerable and seriously exposed. That is why it has always used the vulnerability of Israel in its neighbourhood as the only lever available to it against the US military might. Perhaps that explains the Tehran's mentality to send its military and police advisers; even though reports suggest that their forces are on the ground as well, to assist the Assad's regime holding on to power.

Furthermore, both Tehran and Damascus have smelled the scent of Jasmine all over the Middle East and Africa! It was only two years ago when reports from Tehran suggested some tall; ugly faced; Arabic speaking forces were on streets of Tehran and other Iranian cities crushing the peaceful Iranian demonstrators. It now seems that Tehran is paying back the Damascus' favor!

However, the both capitals are missing a critical point. The change of political systems in the Middle East is inevitable. People of the region are now, thanks to the powerful and pervasive social networks available to them, aware of their basic rights and the true value and rights of being a citizen in a country. Change-Train is heading forward full-steam; and is unstoppable. What indeed is unfolding before our eyes is a developing fact that "the Iranian Nuclear-Train" - which President Ahmadi Nejad has long been referring to as not having a break and/or a station along its route - is in fact the Democracy-Train. It is moving ahead fast and needless to say that anyone with sound-mind should not stand on its track.

p.s. By the way; I am not naive of the fact of Neo-liberalism existence and its global agenda, however, on the balance; I believe we should rely on our people only!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Generals Rule Iran

General Mohammad Ali Jafari, the head of the Iran's Revolutionary Guards Corps, has made it clear that Iran is being officially ruled by military. In an interview this week he has outlined the requirements for a politician, in particular he mentioned former president Mohammad Khatami, to participate in Iran's politics! 

While generals being the ushers of Iran's politics since the last rigged presidential election has been a widely perceived fact both inside and out of the country, this is the first time that the top general has publicly drawn lines for politicians in Iran.

The general was speaking after president Ahmadi Nejad had dropped a bombshell on his military organisation earlier in the week accusing it of smuggling goods into the country using its many ports operating independently and undetected by the country's custom authorities. President Ahmadi Nejad suggested that the general and his colleagues may have other interests, rather than their ideology, to protect after all. "Iranians are smoking close to two billions US dollars value of cigarettes each year; the amount is so big motivation for first class smugglers in the world including "our revolutionary brothers", president Ahmadi Nejad gave an example at a conference for fighting against smuggling held in Tehran last week.

Generals were not happy at all about the remark. Mohammad Ali Jafari denied the suggestion and defended his organisation assuring the proper running and the legitimate use of their controlled ports. It is no secret, nonetheless, that the Revolutionary Guards Corps has been involved in all sorts of business activities in recent years. They have bought into a wide range of money making businesses from the telecommunications and infrastructures to win oil and gas projects without tender! They now, according to reports, control close to 80% of the country's economy. Yet the president revealed their appetite for money and the extent to which the generals were prepared to go to make more. While there have always been rumors about the generals' involvement in the business of drug smuggling into Iran and through to the European market for a long time; president Ahmadi Nejad now adds the smuggling of goods into the country to his "revolutionary brothers'" portfolio. The president certainly exposed the scope and scale of their operations.

Damages have been done; and the top general is angry. Perhaps that was the reason for him to signal the former president's, Mohammad Khatami, "return to politics" as he put it. But his conceit deludes him of his position in Iran today. He and his colleagues should remember the fact that Iran is not Burma and it certainly is not in Southeast Asia. They are in a wrong country; a wrong region; and certainly dealing with wrong people and above all their name is not 'Junta'! Our good generals are mistaken.

Monday, July 4, 2011

A Worried Leader

He was speaking a day after the United States sanctioned his top Police and military people including the Police Chief and his deputy along with a number of his Revolutionary Guards generals for their involvement in the violent-crackdown of civilians by the Assad's regime in Syria. Ali Khamenei, the so-called Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic, addressed a group of selected people this week. During his speech, he was visibly worried--and he should be. After all, he is the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces of the Islamic Republic; and nothing would be materialised, military wise, before his approval and order. Therefore there would have not been any deployment of his forces to Syria, whether it be official or unofficial, without his blessing. Hence if the U.S. has enough evidence to accuse his Police and generals of being accessory to crimes committed against the Syrian Civilians; he is surely the one who has ordered it. The Chain of Command could then possibly link him to the alleged crimes committed by people under his command. That is a valid reason for him to being worried. During his speech, he was seemingly nervous. Last time that I saw him uncontrollably shaken was after the last rigged-presidential-election when he had seen millions of Iranians on streets chanting "down with Khamenei". This time he may have read general Ratko Mladic's story!