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15 April 2006


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PL, Babak - thanks for the insight. Would it be fair then to assume that Ahmadinejad is a front person for Khamanei? That the clerics are all for the "baiting"? What is to be gained?

Looks like the Iraq instability could be spreading with an attempt to kill Nasrullah the Hezbollah spiritual head in Lebanon. And Sam Gardiner on CNN yesterdy, believes there is already covert operations in Iran - "I was in Berlin two weeks ago, sat next to the ambassador, the Iranian ambassador to the IAEA. And I said, "Hey, I hear you're accusing Americans of being in there operating with some of the units that have shot up revolution guard units."

He said, quite frankly, "Yes, we know they are. We've captured some of the units, and they've confessed to working with the Americans."

The evidence is mounting that that decision has already been made, and I don't know that the other part of that has been completed, that there has been any congressional approval to do this.

My view of the plan is, there is this period in which some kinds of ground troops will operate inside Iran, and then what we're talking about is the second part, which is this air strike."

Any credence to this?

Babak Makkinejad


No, in my opinion, Mr. Ahmadinejad is his own man. And he might honseltly believe in the concept of the Guardianship of Jurisprudent.

I would like to add that the Islamic Republic of Iran's constitution is based on the ideas of Plato (yes another case of the tyranny of Greece over he minds of men!)

Mr. Khamenei's position is the equivalent of the Philosopher-King in the Republic.

I read Col. Gardiner's comments. What I surmised is that US is trying to use proxies to irritate Iran.

He also mentioned MEK. MEK members are mostly in their 30s and 40s. They are Shia Muslims with a Shia-Socialist ideology. Frankly, I cannot see how they can be an effective military force or even irritant you need men in their early 20s) or how they could be trusted by Sunni Muslims as military advisors.

The Islamic Republic dealt with ethnic unrest quite effectively in 1980s when it had much less power, cohesion, or legitimacy. I expect even more effective response now.

A repeat of Kosovo is not in the cards, in my opinion.


I believe Ahmadinejad may represent an IRGC coup over the Supreme Leader. Khamenei was an undistinguished junior cleric when he was elected Supreme Leader, and I've often suspected that the real powers in Iran chose him as a compromise candidate they could control. As to who those king makers are, I'd point to the Guardian council, especially Rafsanjani. The trouble for the hardliners was that the liberalization that occurred under former president Khatami gave power to reformers, and eroded Veliyat-e Faqih. Worse, from their standpoint, several leading Ayatollahs were highly critical of the direction the revolution went, and Khamenei tried to referee the disputes. So the IRGC, with the help of the Basiji, threw the election to Ahmadenijad and he has taken a far more visible role in governing than Khatami since he has the backing of the conservatives. In other words, the Supreme Leader is no longer their spokesman and if he protested, Khamenei could be voted out of office. I further suspect that Ahmadenijad's inflammatory rhetoric over the nuclear issue may be a trap intended to provoke a strike by Israel and the US. From the Iranian perspective, they know the US would not insert ground troops and would limit military action to air strikes against suspected nuclear facilities and, of course, air defense sites. I believe that the nuclear facilities we know of that were inspected by the IAEA were a front, and the real weapons program is probably being conducted in underground facilities at military bases where the IAEA can't inspect. So the net result for Iran would be entirely positive. They would lose nuclear facilities that were not important anyway, they would lost AD sites that are probably more of a danger to Iran than any opponents, and furthermore, they'd win sympathy and admiration from the entire Muslim world for standing up to the US and Israel. The Iranian population would also rally around the regime and any dissenters would be dealt with harshly as a matter of national security. They'd also feel justified in unleashing terrorist attacks against US and Israeli targets worldwide, and would probably send volunteers into Iraq to help the Shia make life miserable for the US and Sunnis. That would cement Iranian control over the Shia areas of Iraq. The imposition of Shia/Persian rule over formerly Sunni/Arab controlled territory would be deeply savored in Tehran. Iran probably calculates that they would drive the US out and emerge as the foremost regional power in the Middle East. They also know that they would drive a deeper wedge between the US and our NATO allies and further discredit the US. All in all, they're probably praying to Allah that our government falls into the trap.


Question regarding the Basiij: might they have now been trained like the Hezbollah?

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