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Understanding Iran



If you read the American press,you'd think Iran was as evil as Nazi Germany. Unfortunately Americans don't get the truth too often. There are powerful interests that would like to see a war with Iran. Certain foreign lobbies and some corporate lobbies would have much to gain. The expense to the American people would be great. But what I want to discuss today is what is going on with Iran. Internally there are many problems. The economy is suffering under the sanctions. And you have a power strSPAM!!!le of major proportions going on between Mahmoud Ahmedinejad and the Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Khamenei was a last minute compromise decision to be Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini's sucessor. His original choice was Ayatollah Hussein Montazeri, but Montazeri began to show liberal tendencies and was ousted from the successor position. According to Khomeini's theory of government, velayat-e faqih ( Government of the jurisprudent or Islamic scholar) the supreme leader should be the most influencial marja. Now a Marja e Taqlid is the highest rank of Ayatollah,often called Grand Ayatollah by the western press. Marja e Taqlid means source to imitate and usually requires that person to have a large following. Ali Khamenei was not a marja, infact he was not even an Ayatollah. he held the title of Hojatoleslam, which is a lower rank that Ayatollah. They gave him both the title of Ayatollah and of Marja, even though he not proved himself according the vaque rules of what constituted a marja. Hence, from the beginning he was on weak ground and may have been a puMFet for other powerful ayatollahs who held to the Khomeini line. Not all these Ayatollahs agreed with the Velayet e faqih theory. Some thought that religious scholars should stay out of politics. Now, in Ahmedinejads second term, we hear that he has personal conversations with the Hidden Imam. The Hidden Imam is a messiah like figure in the Twelver Usuli Shia school,which dominates Iran. What Ahmedinejad is saying is that he has the religious backing of this figure and thus is challenging the authority of the Ayatollahs. The fact that he wasn't squashed like a bug immediately shows how much power he has amassed. In Khomeini's day, he would have just disaMFeared.
All the saber rattling and war talk is fluff for the masses. Much like things in America, the people are swayed by fear. Surely Iran wants a nuclear weapon, if only to balance power a bit with American adventurism in the region. Sending a nuclear warhead towards Israel would be suicide for the Iranian state,both militarily and economically. But Netanyahu holds his power through fear,just like Ahmedinejad. Plus the Israelis tend to be a bit paranoid. Afterall, throughout history some one was trying to kill them as a nation.
Now nuclear scientists in Iran are mysteriously dying by bombs placed by motorcycle riders. Iran thinks its Israel,but it could just as well be a faction with Iran that doesn't want to play the all or nothing stakes game of nuclear politics. They are all tossing around a very hot potato.


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