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04 March 2016


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Not to speak of embargoing life-saving medication during the sanctions. Surely, I and others will not remember who put politics above people.


I would like to add this excellent analysis by the Indian diplomat Mr. Bhadrakumar: http://atimes.com/2016/03/what-irans-moderate-majlis-means/


There might be a move towards forming a triumvirate, as the replacement of for the supreme leader, when Khamenei comes to pass away.


Your statement, that G.A determine the course of political action, needs qualification. The Velayateh-Faghih (Rule of Jurisprudence) is a new concept that was created by Ayatollah Montazeri. He was the theoretician behind this and at the same time a "teacher" and a disciple of Khomeini. With "teacher" I mean that he created this theory that specifically was applicable on Khomeini and his personality, as

Montazeri specifically mentioned later in life. He was destined to take over from Khomeini but due to his opposition to summary execution of MEK members (or alleged members) was put on a side-track.

Before Khomeini, ayatollah Kashani was involved in the oil nationalization and prior that some others in Tobacco Revolt and Constitutional Revolution.

The marriage of Shia Islam and Politics is a very recent phenomenon.

William R. Cumming

China, and Russia, understand in the deepest and complex way [largely an understanding of geography] that Egypt, Iran, and Turkey are pivot points of history and in history! Does the U.S. understand this belief based on solid facts?

Paul Kennedy's book on the key nation-states of the 21st Century needs updating.

William R. Cumming

Preparing for the Twenty-First Century – February 1, 1994
by Paul Kennedy (Author)


OK, my response to you was a bit "nutshelly". ;)

I am following vaguely an insider on matters. But he is Persian-German and writes in German for the foundation of the Green Party over here:


Considering that he is more or less--it feels he doesn't mind--a recovering Marxist-Leninist, I am pretty sure he would find the quote of b I choose quite funny. ...


Nancy K

No one else has to demonize Trump as un-presidential, he does such a good job of doing that himself. The debate was embarrassing, not just for the Republican party but for the nation. If Americans want a buffoon for president, so be it.


ر حال حاضر آمریکا است که در مسیر تغییر؟


How does Iran's leadership view its foreign relation priorities at this point, post sanctions?


Does the Russian government feel that Iran owes them a debt for the Russian intervention in Syria that is to be repaid with trade or defense purchases?

Babak Makkinejad

I think you mean "Patronage" - when you wrote "clientelism".

But patronage is alive and well in the United States for the past 200 years or so.

Babak Makkinejad

Russia no longer borders Iran, a first in 200 years, and Iranian leaders have not done anything to take advantage of that politically against Russia since 1991.

In Tajikistan, Iran and Russia cooperated in the past to end the civil war there and will likely cooperate in the future after the fracture of Afghanistan in 2019 along the old Seljuk boundary.

Babak Makkinejad

That is no longer permitted by since the revision of the Iranian Constitution.

Babak Makkinejad

They did not think things out through, I suspect because they expected Iranians to fold to US satisfaction.

Babak Makkinejad

I tend to think in larger time intervals. AKP is not going to be always forming the government in Turkey. And I think that the people of Turkey as well as her political system is now more accepting of opposing view points than Iran.

Babak Makkinejad

That is a valid point and I just was commenting about domestic politics of Turkey.

On the broader cultural issues within Turkey, there is much to be criticized.

The secularist Republicans - the so-called "Modernizers" - protected the war criminals who perpetrated atrocities against civilian Armenian populations.

They later proceeded to expel the Christian Pontics on the pretext that they were really Greeks (like saying that Saxons in Germany are really English and expelling them to UK).

They set up the machinery of republicanism and secularism with no rule of law - everything was smoke and mirrors and no substance behind it.

Today, AKP government, Muslim Brotherhood, is proceeding with helping in the ruination of another Muslim country, using refugees to harm the infidel Christians in EU - all the while the Turkish sheep - Turk or Kurd or Alewi - are all silent.

One wonders: "Where is Islam?" , "Where is Human Rights?" and who stands for them in Turkey?

Truly deplorable.

Babak Makkinejad

If you ask me the percentage of the Iranian population that does not discriminate between their sons and daughters, interacts freely among women and men in social settings, considers itself "saved" by (Shia) Islam but is not hyper-religious or wearing its religion on its sleeves - I would say no more than 10% of the Iranians consist of this Europeanized population.

This is the population that cannot field candidates to which Rouhani alluded 3 weeks ago.

I think Iranian government is as yet unwilling to accommodate this significant population politically.

It is ironic because he religious minorities whose populations do not even make for half the required minimum of 250,000 souls for a representative are each guaranteed a representative in the Iranian parliament.

Babak Makkinejad

There was not much that was magnificent in pre-Islamic Iran; certainly during late Sassanid period you had widespread poverty, enforced illiteracy, and a caste system.


Amir Thank you for your comment, Safavids back in 1500s were Shia, and by them Shia was used to reform Iran's Political structure. I would recommend you read the History of Shia by Dr. Rasoul Jafarian. Ayatollah Khomeini has a book on VF theory. To be short the theory of VP goes back way before Ayatollah Khomeini, constitutional revolution, or Safavids.


I wonder how this would impact some like like Gen. Qasem Soleimani who was rumored to have domestic political ambitions?

Seamus Padraig

Another hint of coming trouble for the Democrats: their primary turnout this year has been dramatically lower than 2008, while Republican primary turnout is way up.

Babak Makkinejad

You are not looking at it the right way.

If anything, it is the Russian Federation that ought to feel grateful to Providence for the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Shia Crescent offering them protection and a cordon sanitaire against NATO states as well as the Jihadist Menace.

They may not like Iran and Iranians - "Remember Griboyedov!" - but they cannot afford to be enemies with Iran either - in my opinion.

Babak Makkinejad

Neither the Secularists nor the Islamists in Turkey have been able to bridge the gap between Turkey and the positive aspects of the European Enlightenment Tradition.

I wish I could say that they are trying but I do not see on the level of ideas; it is either Ataturk or Gulen with a sprinkling of Marxism (I wonder if there is a single person in Turkey that truly understands Hegelian Philosophy).

More can be said but this is enough for now.

Babak Makkinejad

In fact, starting with the presidency of Mr. Rafsanjani, Iranian government had seen the need for privatizing the economy but the going has been rather slow for a number of reasons; inertia, ideological & bureaucratic opposition, etc.

If I recall correctly, Thatcher succeeded in only privatizing 16% of the Crown Corporations during her 12 years as Prime Minister of UK.

Several years ago, prior to the initiation of the EU's economic war against Iran, it became clear to the Iranian leaders that the subsidy model was no longer sustainable and that is when Ahmadinejad's government began eliminating water & energy subsidies.

However, in my opinion, the Iranian people expect the government to control prices. Successive Iranian governments, from the time of the Shah, have been obliging them by providing subsidies. It is very difficult to wean people off handouts. I think you can only do that when you run out of handouts.

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