Jun 24 2009

Clerics March Against Rigged Elections, Violence In Iran

Published by at 8:13 am under Iran

CNN has what could be a major event in the evolving drama inside Iran.

A photo showing Iranian clerics prominently participating in an anti-government protest speaks volumes about the new face of Iran’s opposition movement.

In a blatant act of defiance, a group of Mullahs took to the streets of Tehran, to protest election results that returned incumbent President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to power.


Maybe the video and images Neda Agha-Soltan’s tragic death pushed some of these men over to the opposition. If Iranian clerics are openly marching against Ahmedinejad’s coup d’etat, then that means the opposition movement is still gaining high level converts. As usual, watch the various military and security groups and the clerics for signs that the 21st century revolution is still alive and growing.

11 responses so far

11 Responses to “Clerics March Against Rigged Elections, Violence In Iran”

  1. crosspatch says:

    I would be careful about jumping to conclusions about that photo. There have also been “pro-government” demonstrations and that is what this might be a picture of. What strikes me as curious is the large number of middle-aged men in the picture, no women, few young people.

    This might be a picture of a pro-government rally being portrayed as an anti-government demonstration.

  2. WWS says:

    apparently a large number of protestors are being butchered today.

  3. crosspatch says:

    Yeah WWS, CNN has it. Nothing on Fox yet. Looks like a massacre.

  4. WWS says:

    unless someone with some guns joins the protestors soon, this movement is going to be over. It’ll just be Tiannenmen all over again.

  5. jimharlow says:

    There are only two countries I am aware of where the government charges the grieving family for the cost of the bullets used to kill a member thereof:

    i. China
    ii. Iran

    If you think this is gonna play out exactly like Tiannenmen Square you are perfectly correct. This will not end well.

    Why? Because China and Iran need each other…and Iran is following China’s playbook.

  6. crosspatch says:

    I am surprised that the protesters haven’t taken this tack:

    Overwhelm and disarm the basijis and then spirit away their protective gear and weapons for accumulation. Then once they have accumulated enough of these weapons and protective gear, begin showing up with the same protective gear and weapons that they have. But that takes organization and this has all the hallmarks of a spontaneous grass-roots movement that is not centrally organized and planned. The 1979 movement was organized for years in France before it moved to Iran.

    I almost had a chuckle at the Iranian government’s claim today that the CIA as “funding” the protesters. Uhm … “funding” them for what? How much can a strip of green cloth cost?

  7. WWS says:

    crosspatch – you’re right, organization and planning are the keys to any succesful revolution. That’s what Lenin provided for the Bolsheviks, what Mao provided to the Red Army, what Fidel added to the Cuban revolution, and as you pointed out what Khomeini added to the 1979 Iranian revolution. Without a skilled organizer at the top, even the best and most justified revolution will fail.

    Unfortunately, I see no sign of anyone of sufficient influence attempting to fill this role in Iran today. Maybe it is happening behind the scenes, but there’s no evidence of that so far. Just the spontaneouos outpouring that can be defeated as long as it is disjointed.

    We forget that revolutions fail more often than they succeed, and vicious, evil governments seem to have a way of staying in power long after they’ve lost the support of their people.

  8. AJStrata says:


    I disagree. I think the fact that many Iranians are looking to Grand Ayatollah Sistani in Iraq for guidance, and there is talk of removing the position of Supreme Leader in Qom as a clear indication there are plans afoot.

    Add to that the quick responses of Mousavi and Rafsanjani to the bogus election results and I think you see plans were in place.

    We are in the stage were rope is being dolled out for the current regime.

    When the time is ripe that rope will be pulled taught.

  9. jimharlow says:


    I agree with you – the rioters are unorganized…otherwise they would have known that 500+ thugs were awaiting them in a Mosque. This leads me to believe that Mousavi, and his men who are well-informed, did not alert rioters to the peril that awaited them. In other words Mousavi is using the brutality to maintain hysteria.

    If it were in the best interests of any branch of the military, they would have already stepped in to assist. Unimaginable wealth and power goes to those who control 20% of the earth’s oil reserves; if there were an opportunity for any Generals to make thier wallets heavier they would have already seized the opportunity.

    I think AJ has completely misread what is going on over there. This is a flushing of mullahs and leaders who will not follow the crazies to the better end to usher in the Mahdi.

  10. WWS says:

    with regards to Sistani, you remind me of the apocryphal statement attributed to Stalin:

    When told that the Pope would oppose his plans for Eastern Europe, Stalin is said to have replied dismissively “How many divisions has the Pope?”

    Today, how many divisions does Sistani command?

    Now, to be fair, Stalin’s influence waned, the Pope’s grew, and Eastern Europe was eventually set free. But that took 50 years.

    And Sistani’s supporters had better double, triple, and quadruple the guard around him and keep him out of public areas. Don’t think that the paranoid rulers of Iran haven’t noticed that Sistani is a threat to their survival. You already noted the bomb that went off in Iraq today – the next big one will probably be aimed at Sistani.

  11. crosspatch says:

    Traditionally (in a historical context, meaning from the beginning of Shiia Islam until the Saddam era) Najaf is the center of Shiite culture and philosophy. Qom in Iran is important but only took over as the primary center of Shiite theological gravity when Saddam suppressed Shiiaism in Iraq and Shiite rule was established in Iran. Sistani is the Grand Ayatollah of Najaf. That is historically the most influential position in that religious sect.

    Shiites the world over make pilgrimages to Iraq. They desire to be buried there. As time goes by, the religious schools of Iraq will regain their place. The thinking in Iraq is much more secular than that in Iran. Qom is attempting to gain influence by putting al Sadr on the fast track to Ayatollah-hood in an attempt to make him a Grand Ayatollah and take over at some point in Iraq as the Grand Ayatollah of Najaf. Mookie’s Father was killed by Saddam’s men after Friday prayers in Najaf where he presided over services wearing his death shroud.

    Whoever is the Grand Ayatollah of Najaf is the most powerful person in Shiia Islam and will be listened to by the Iranians though the Iranians will attempt to control that position to be a puppet of the Qom school of thought if they can get away with it.

    My guess would be that Sistani is attempting to play a moderating role on the Ayatollahs of Qom. If unsuccessful, the center of gravity could shift back to Najaf more quickly. Iranians make pilgrimages to Iraq all the time. If they like things there better than back home, they will begin to pressure their government through cultural paths that take a long time to effect.