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02 January 2018


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At the least 'consecutive term limits'. We here have managed to do that for the presidency and some state governors, unfortunately not yet for congress.

It maybe can be taken too far as some have wondered if the Roman Republic one-year term limits on consuls and lower positions was one of the factors leading to its dissolution.

But without term limits you get Mugabe, or Chiang Kai-shek, or Sadaam.

Thanks for the csis link to the Cordesman article. Have you read his earlier analysis regarding Trump recognizing Jerusalem as the capitol of Israel?


Nevertheless, To the extent that historical parallels exist, it is more than possible that Iran's regime can ride out its problems if it promises to carry out reforms and particularly if it combines the kind of reforms recommended by the IMF and World Bank with a focus on the immediate needs of the Iran people and liberalizes its social restrictions.

This phrase in CSIS article completely destroys any credibility of otherwise what seemed to be a robust report. I don't know any occasion on which either IMF "reforms" addressed any needs of people, nor of IMF and WB's "data" being realistic. In general, if one considers a whopping failure which IMF and WB's "view" of Russia was, there are very few reasons to suspect that any prescriptions on Iran, granted Iran's very real problems, will be more "effective" in either delivering a realistic picture or "addressing" anything.


I also expect the protests to peter out before this week is out.

Babak, on some Russian forums, people who have ties with Iran say that there were serious air deliveries of eggs by transport aviation. Turkey, Azerbaijan, Armenia did make deliveries and from Russia there were at least 6 AN-124s (the largest cargo plane in the world) with eggs in Tehran. Any info on that?

Babak Makkinejad

Egg prices went through the roof as hens died due to avian flu; an inquest must be launched to assign responsibility - the Iranian Veterinary Organization, the Producers, or the Producers Mafia - for the absence of vaccination.

Government authorized importation of eggs.


Acording to Iranian media so far 450 rioters who burned public facilities and building were arrested, that is far lower number than the non rioting arrests of occupy Movment don’t you think so?


So you think a new revolutionary young republic should have multiple elections for head of state ( controlling militry power) making it possible for good dandy election time color revolution mirdan possibilities. Don’t you think those who wrote that law in Iranian constitution, had seen and read about past Iran’ regime change experiences and tried to not consentrate all powers of state in one body or person.IMO, If it was not for the position of SL in past 40 years, Iran wouldnt have lasted internally and externally.


Without term limit, people could also end up, having Netanyahu, or never ending dynastic presidential families like Clintons and Bushies.

Account Deleted

I value your opinion and will read it Babak, thanks.

Account Deleted

Was simply impressed by the quantity of sourced economic data - others all words & no numbers.


interestingly, the last three Iranian presidents, have experienced a foreign inspired/helped regime change uprising, all three failed. President Khatami 1999, Ahmadinejad 2009, and Rouhani 2018 looks like friends think every 9-10 years makes good cycle for trying a regime change. Coincidentally this cycle falls with beginning term of last two US president and end term of clinton. IMO during Bush,US IC were too busy with 911 and the shit they piled up in Afghanistan and Iraq
so the regime change cycle was not tried

Christian Chuba

I do not believe anyone in the U.S. knows what these demonstrations mean, especially the MSM, I just love how the talking heads casually intermix terms like, 'protests' with 'uprising'. As if there is no difference between wanting your govt to change something vs changing your govt.

I had the misfortune of hearing Sean Hannity interview a member of MEK on his radio show, it was both amusing and nauseating. The MEK guy was playing Sean like a Stradivarius, his voice had a magic carpet quality to it and Sean was eating it up, he sounded so naive in comparison.

If you believe MEK McFiddle, there are 100,000 student protesters, the regime is so unpopular with everyone that it will be overthrown within weeks or months as the army defects. 95% of the people want the MEK constitution which is modeled after the U.S. Constitution (I'm certain that it has the same tripartite system with Federalism that no other country on earth uses).

Since I started out my post with 'no one in the U.S. knows' this includes me so how can I rule out Sean Hannity's guest?
He could be right just as someone rolling eight pairs of dice could choose the exact combination of numbers but I don't trust a word he says.

I just cannot believe how gullible people are when someone tells you what you want to hear, Sean even bought it when MEK guy said that the Iranians 'love the U.S., especially Trump and Nikki Haley, they are heroes'.

That is when I laughed, most people in the U.S. don't even like them so why would Iranians like people who constantly threaten to bomb them, starve their economy, want to disarm them, ban them from coming into the U.S., and insist on calling that special body of water the 'Arab Gulf' and not Persian Gulf. I am going to guess that if Iranians used to like Americans, that is waning as time goes on.


I heard a reporter speaking of food prices in Iran and he mentioned eggs explicitly. In my country egg prices are also going through the roof, but that's because of a pollution scandal that halved production for half a year now.

So it can just be high egg prices. Checked and Turkey, Russia and Ukraine are top 10 egg-exporting countries.

IMO food prices are important to follow. Quickly rising food prices (caused by subsidy-cuts as in Egypt and Syria as well as speculation/asset inflation) are one of the quickest ways to create unrest in the economically poorest part of societies.



Could be related to Amir's post above:

"These protests initially started as the price of eggs and poultry suddenly had doubled/tripled. These prices had skyrocketing as the chicken population have been dissimated due to Avian Flu. Normally, the poultry should have been vaccinated but corruption has lead to lack of immunization and subsequent devastation of the industry."


Not specific to Iran per se but IMHO closely related, a belated 2018 prediction by the ArchDruid:
Sure, we have lots of shiny new technogimmickry now, but the brains, hearts, and less mentionable organs guiding said technogimmickry haven’t changed noticeably since the end of the last ice age. That’s why the American special forces wasting their time and your money in the northern Euphrates valley right now are enacting a failed strategy that was already old when the legions of the Babylonian Empire were doing the same thing in the same place three thousand-odd years ago.

Babak Makkinejad

I think you be mistaken.

FDR was president for 4 consecutive terms and only die-hard doctrinaire capitalist have had anything bad to say about him.

Saddam Hussein, Mugabe, Chiang Kai-Shek, Stalin and others like them were men who were unwilling to play by their own set of rules. The 1934 Constitution of USSR was the most democratic one in the world at that time, yet USSR was not.

The damage in Iraq started with the so-called Iraqi Revolution, in my opinion. A military coup that destroyed the constitutional order from whose destruction Iraq has not yet recovered.

It is quite clear to me that representative system of the government must be firmly rooted in the ethos of a population of humans - it took 2 centuries for it to take root in France; in Central and South America it still remains with shallow roots.

I know that many Americans like the idea of term limits; I do not find the idea attractive; I think it is yet another effort to white-wash the electorate from the consequences of their own choices.

Babak Makkinejad

I agree.

As far as I can tell, there are 2 major issues in the Iranian Economy: the subsidies - which make it impossible to price things correctly - and the absence of investment banks with large pool of capital.

The effects of subsidies, doled out as a form of Muslim Charity, is pernicious in as much as it trains large numbers of people to be wasteful; with their hands outstretched for government largess.


It’s standard practice for our very “balanced” western media reporting, specially US media for not inviting opposing views or rebuttal. Never, even once, haven’t seen Iranian voices, or opinions of Iranians from inside Iran, like from a current University of Tehran political scholar, or an Iranian analyst supporting Iranian Government supporters point of view. It’s a waste of time to even think US media is not censored, self-censored or government ordered/asked censoring has no difference to end user.

Babak Makkinejad

I agree, I do not think anyone in US Government or Think-Tanks has accurate and reliable knowledge of Iran and Iranians.

Since so many Europeans, South-Americans etc. news outlets also rely on US productions, they are also being misinformed.

German newspapers should especially be chastised for their evil usage of word "führer" to refer to Ayatollah Khamenei.


Once again my full support on DPG, kooshy@43. I recall the times when he still published under the pseudonym Oswald Spengler, which strictly told you everything there was to know at that point in time. Clash of Cultures? The decline of the West? Too lazy to look his article up now. Although, he may be more careful once he had to publish under his real name.

It was when "Old Europe" (France, Germany - aligned with Russia at the time) decided to dissent on the Iraq war. On the surface his article looked, as Barbara suggests, like a detailed analysis about the European Union. It took me a little to look up all the links and I dug a little deeper into his use of EU data. As I recall ...

Later, quite a felt while, the Mondoweiss crowd got aware of him, his ability to launch something via Asia Times into the larger media discourse. Might have been team Weiss/Norton. Anyway, whoever supported Phil, they successfully outed Spengler as Goldman based on text analysis. Forget were they found their texts, but seem to recall he published under his real name on First Things. Although that doesn't feel likely the place were connected their dots.

Hmm? I see he still does.


Won't look at his Wikipedia entry. Hope you don't mind.


@70 Babak

German newspapers should especially be chastised for their evil usage of word "führer" to refer to Ayatollah Khamenei.

Ok, you may use more arbitrarily a part of what would be the German standard German translation: religiöser Führer/religious leader.

Still any links to a more suggestive use on German media would be interesting.


Babak, leaving aside the difficult question of how and when this latest round of protests ends....lets speculate it runs out of steam in a week or so as you suggest. And the Regime begins to conclude it successfully dodged a bullet. If it plays out that way...do you expect the Regime to 'tone down' its leadership role in foreign policy in the ME? IOW...less likely to want to increase its risks in Southern Lebanon, Syria, Yemen ect? Or will it simply dismiss the protests and go full speed ahead with whatever its plans are now? Just curious for any guesstimates you might have.


Hmm, with a bit of tongue-in-cheek one could say that the USA share the first four problems with Iran.

- Water mismanagement - See California and Arizona

- War cost - Trillions spent. Trillions more to go.

- Bankrupt pension system - Underfunding of public pensions

- Huge demographic time bomb - Immigration which by year 2100 could reduced the Northwest European element of the US population to 30-35% of the total. Why, the US could very well have a Catholic majority population.


Remembering Cuba -- Do they know what strain of avian flu? Is it part of a more general outbreak?

Apologies if this question was asked and answered earlier. Turpitude.

different clue


(reply to comment 59)

Term limits wouldn't strictly speaking prevent political dynasties. We have had the Bush dynasty even with Presidential Term Limits. And the Clintons were laying the foundation for a Clinton dynasty even with term limits.

Babak Makkinejad

Certainly not.

On the contrary, it just makes Iranian leaders more determined to consolidate and extend the Shia Crescent - the Iran sphere of influence.

In fact, I wrote earlier that I expect them to make a strategic decision to help Houthis win - however that winning is defined.

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