Leaving Islam



The Islamic Monarchy of Iran


By Potkin Azarmehr


Since the appointment of the new Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadi-Nejad, I have been reading the reports of “experts” on Iran and the so-called Iran analysts with some interest.

Most of these “experts” are professional writers who get paid for their expertise. I am not one of those and may be my two Cent’s worth is not as elaborate as their writings. Nevertheless here is my two Cent’s worth for those of you who are interested.


The vast majority of these experts were wrong about predicting the results, yet they still put forward their comments as expert analysis, before even examining where they went wrong.


On the one hand we have school boy analysis of the likes of John Simpson, who referred to Rafsanjani as a moderate, and on the other hand we have those who have a good knowledge of the Middle-East history and dazzle their readers with such historical references, and for example refer to Ahmadi-Nejad and his allies as the “new Mamluks”, the Turkish slaves who were appointed by the Khalifs as military leaders and then rebelled against their paymasters.


I don’t share such views. Ahmadi-Nejad’s appointment is not a rebellion of the military against the turban clad mullahs. Ahmadi-Nejad came to power with the direct help of the “Supreme Leader” supporters and the ultra conservative mullahs of the Guardian Council. After all, if this were a coup by the military, Qalibaf would have been a more suitable choice. Yet the likes of Qalibaf who had a considerable support amongst the military clan were completely dethroned as a result of this presidential show.


Also, as Shirin Ebadi correctly said in her speech in London yesterday, the office of the presidency in the Islamic Republic is not a power base. The president’s powers are limited and ineffective. The real winner of the “election” is not the new president, it is the powers behind him who showed what they can do and are capable of.


The presidential show in Iran was a real muscle flexing exercise by the different power bases. The winner was someone that not many people have talked about. The real winner has been Mojtaba Khamenei, the son of the Supreme Leader. Only Karrubi so far has dared to mention his name, other than that not many people know much about him and there is not even a photo of him around. Journalists have simply missed out on his role and if there has been a mention of him it has been in quoting Karrubi. So who is this mysterious son of Khamenei and why did he use all his father’s influence to organise Ahmadi-Nejad’s victory?


According to the Islamic Republic constitution itself, the son of the Supreme Leader has no constitutional rights to exercise such interference, but what happened in Iran in this presidential muscle flexing was in the same mould as what happened in Iraq, Syria and North Korea. Although these countries bear the name of Republic, with a life appointed equivalent of the “Supreme Leader”, over the time the practice of nepotism and clan mafia led to the Republic being a name only and the sons of the life time presidents took over as heirs to the throne in a despotic Monarchy. This is what we saw in Syria, North Korea and probably in Iraq, had Saddam remained in power.


What we see in Iran is just that. The people of Iran did not overthrow a Monarchy in 1979 to replace it with a Republic. Ultimately they replaced one dynasty with another.

So in my opinion forget about the school boy analysis of “Ahamadi-Nejad’s program appealed to the poor” poppycock and the “New Mamluk” theories, watch out for Mojtaba Khamenei, the new heir to the throne.


The muscle flexing of course will continue and it will have an interesting climax. Right now Rafsanjani’s clan are very scared of the new powerful family threatening their empire. However being a shrewd Godfather, Rafsanjani is pushing Karrubi in the front and watching with interest what will happen. To Rafsnajani, how the new heir to the throne will deal with karrubi’s protests will give him a good benchmark of how powerful the rival clan is. Then Rafsnajani will decide whether to stand up and fight for his family interests or compromise.


Whatever the outcome, the more suitable name for the rulers of Iran is the Islamic Monarchy of Iran and not the Islamic Republic of Iran.






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