Wednesday 13 January 2010

Losing the Mandate of Heavem

All is not well in the Islamic Republic of Iran. The opposition to the outcome of last June’s fraudulent presidential election is proving far more obdurate than the regime can ever have anticipated. Despite months of crackdowns, arrests and trails in kangaroo courts, the violent demonstrations against Ahmadinejad in late December shows if anything that resistance is deepening.

It’s no longer a question of hostility to the outcome of the election; the Islamic republic itself is now under examination. Criticism has moved from the president to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the supreme leader, the face, and the beard, of the clerical tyranny.

The authorities continue to blame foreign powers, anyone but themselves, for the unrest, but with Iran effectively isolated from the rest of the world this is beginning to look increasingly transparent. The signs of opposition are everywhere. Starting at the end of last week the Iranian central bank is refusing to accept notes defaced by extra words. But there are so many of these that it has been estimated that millions of bank notes will have to be taken out of circulation.

There are other transparencies. Previously Khamenei had been able to exercise power and authority out of the sight of both domestic and international opinion, pulling the strings of that grinning buffoon, Ahmadinejad, who was never more than a public front. But the old cleric’s intransigence has brought his role into ever sharper focus. He has even alienated moderate conservatives by his refusal to countenance concessions in the name of national unity. The slogan ‘Death to Kahmenei’, unthinkable only a few months ago, is now increasingly common in the streets of Teheran.

One official government rally called for Hosein Musavi, the likely winner of last June’s election, and his supporters to be executed as the ‘enemies of God,’ a step the Grand Ayatollah is unlikely to take for fear of creating martyrs. Still, the notion of a ‘just ruler’ empowered by divine grace, one that the office of Grand Ayatollah supposedly represents, seems to be dying by painful degrees. The Islamic Republic, it would seem, has lost the mandate of heaven.


  1. Yes, it's a good news to hear that there are transparencies and i hope that the rest will come in Iran. In this process, all we can do is to respect their regime instead of imposing some sanctions and tasks unless they attempt our living right. I trust Iranian youth.

    In my perspective, in Europe, there are worse regimes than Iran has. The funny thing is worlds news agencies never make news about european countries regime or legislation problems. They prefer Iran news as if they live in the region of middle east. Here is an example:

    PS: The title seems like "Heaven" to me.

  2. It lost any mandate a long time ago which is why there is nowhere else with the inclination to try an Islamic Republic based on sharia law in the image of that imagined by the radicals and fundamentalists. Afghanistan and the Taliban are already (under the main section controlled by Mullah Omah) making overtures to the Americans, which is why the US forces are turning on the Pakistani Taliban to separate them from the few Al Quaeda fighters that reamain allied to them on the AfPak border. Perhaps the two then can be encouraged to negotiate a controllable government with enough power in the country to rule effectively.

    The whole concept of a caliphate was based on the Qutb idea of taking over one Islamic country with a Muslim majority, in this case it was thought to be Iran, and then seeing the others fall like dominoes as the ummah came into line. The practice has been that Iran is a basket case and nobody wants to join and the ummah is more divided than even the Christian community worldwide. Hence the fears regarding 'Islamification' of Europe are false and Islamophobia a canard that keeps the electorates of the EU busy and not criticising governments for their real failures.

  3. Thanks for that link, Kunday. I actually borrowed the title from Chinese history. When an imperial dynasty was on the downward cycle of history, a process accompanied by political trouble, foreign invasions, natural disasters and general weakness, it was said to have lost the mandate of heaven.

    Excellent observations, John, thanks.