The Iranian people are still in the streets and there are some encouraging signs that the regime could be starting to crack.
According to the Cyrus News Agency, Tuesday morning 16 senior members of Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps were arrested. “These commanders have been in contact with members of the Iranian army to join the people’s movement,” CNA reports. “Three of the commanders are veterans of Iran-Iraq war. They have been moved to an undisclosed location in East Tehran.” This report has not been confirmed by other sources. If true, it shows that the regime is losing the loyalty of some members of its control appartus, which is necessary if the opposition has any chance of achieving fundamental change.
Additionally, according to Amir Taheri,
The rigged election has highlighted a three-way split within the regime:
* One faction — call it “the bitter-enders” — still believes that nothing has changed, that it can continue with Ahmadinejad’s agenda for “preparing the world for the return of the Hidden Imam.”
* A second faction, effectively led by former President Hashemi Rafsanjani and now including Mir Hussein Mousavi (the top losing candidate in the presidential election), hopes to keep the regime intact by softening its image at home and abroad and moving toward a Chinese-style system in which tight political control is combined with economic liberalization.
* A third faction believes that the entire Khomeinist system has passed its sell-by date and that Iran is ripe for regime change in the same way that the Soviet bloc countries were in the late 1980s. This faction is led by people like former Interior Minister Abdallah Nuri (a mid-ranking cleric), former rector of Tehran University Muhammad Abbas Sheybani and former members of parliament like Mahmoud A’alami and Imadeddin Baqi.
It now seems likely that Mehdi Karrubi — a mullah who was another of the three losing candidates — may also be joining them. In a statement published in Tehran yesterday, Karrubi claimed that Khamenei’s nomination as “Supreme Guide” in 1989 had also been “a fruit of fraud” — an implicit call for him to step down.
The rigged election has also split the military. The third losing candidate was Gen. Mohsen Rezai Mir-Qaed — who led the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps for 16 years.
Rezai’s humiliating defeat — in an election widely viewed as rigged — has angered many Guard officers, who see him as something of a father figure. Defense Minister Gen. Mustafa Muhammad Najjar has praised Ahmadinejad in public — but the commander of the Revolutionary Guard, Gen. Ali Jaafari, has maintained a meaningful silence. More, he has refused to send in Guard units to crush demonstrations in Tehran and 16 other major cites.
Since Ahmadinejad owes his ascent to support from the military-security establishment, any split in the Guard and its allied organs could spell trouble now.
Even Iran’s senior ayatollah is speaking out,
Supporters of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his main rival in the disputed presidential election, Mir Hossein Mousavi, massed in competing rallies Tuesday as the country’s most senior Islamic cleric threw his weight behind opposition charges that Ahmadinejad’s re-election was rigged.
“No one in their right mind can believe” the official results from Friday’s contest, Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri said of the landslide victory claimed by Ahmadinejad. Montazeri accused the regime of handling Mousavi’s charges of fraud and the massive protests of his backers “in the worst way possible.”
“A government not respecting people’s vote has no religious or political legitimacy,” he declared in comments on his official Web site. “I ask the police and army personals (personnel) not to ‘sell their religion,’ and beware that receiving orders will not excuse them before God.”
After 9/11, the Iranians held spontaneous candlelight vigils to show their solidarity with the American people. Now, in their time of need, they can’t even get moral support from Barack Obama, who is essentially siding with the regime against them. Everyone knows Barack Obama is not a brave man, but couldn’t he let the world know that we stand with the people struggling for freedom? If he doesn’t even have the nerve to do that, couldn’t Obama at least make it known that butchering the people in the streets would have severe repercussions for the regime?
America has always stood for liberty. That’s why we’ve done more to support freedom around the world than any other ten nations combined. Yet now, when the fate of Iran may be balanced on a knife’s edge, Barack Obama is choosing tyranny. American should be ashamed to have a man like Barack Obama in the White House.