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02 January 2018


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ex-PFC Chuck

In my comment #9, above, I mentioned the foisting off of a pic of a demonstration in Bahrain in 2011 as occurring in contemporary Iran. I encountered a link to a Titter thread in a post by "b" at Moon of Alabama which looks like the one I saw yesterday. Although the link does show still pics of the demo, they were apparently captured from a video, which is what has gone viral. Since I now see no reference to BBC on the thread, I probably owe the network an apology.



and GCHQ



Is there something in the water in Washington DC that destroys the little grey cells - I've seen more intelligent remarks from Nikki Haley.


I meant to have said:

What will happen to Rouhani is my question. Some say he brought this on by publicizing the huge portion of the budget that goes to Khameini and to IRGC projects while most families are earning less now than they were five or ten years ago.


The system constitutionally is set to have SL to be around for las long as he keeps the assembly of experts confidence just a bit more versatile then US Supreme Court. IMO Iran need this system religiously and unity wise, I believe he is very respected for his decision process in Iran.

Babak Makkinejad

The Office of the Supreme Jurisprudent has kept the constituional order in Iran functioning by arbitrating among factions that are not keen on any sort of Westministerian Democracy or a Presidential one.
Who or what is or could be an alternate Legitimate Authority?


Trita Parsi has a piece over at Antiwar.com analyzing the protests.

There's Something Different About These Iran Protests

In his opinion, these are protests from people who don't believe changes to the government are possible, triggered either by hardline conservatives who lost control of them and/or economic reasons.

He notes that the protests are far smaller than the 2009 protests and don't appear to have any specific leaders. He reiterates that the 2009 elections were fraudulent, but based on my readings of the Leveretts at the time there is no real evidence for that.

Without someone leading the protests, odds are they will dissipate after a few days or a week once the police crack down as they appear to be doing. Almost certainly there is no significant threat to the government overall.

Publius Tacitus

i think you are correct. There is an enormous amount of wishful thinking masquerading as analysis in the cable news media. There are strong hopes that this is large and widespread. I would note we have not seen anything like the crowd size that paraded in front of the US Embassy 38 years ago.


I haven't seen or read Ayatollah Nouri Hamedani' statement on this, but if he indeed said this IMO he could be playing the decoder since I don't think he is against the system, is good to be able to divert and redirect.
IMO, Iran is one of the most experienced countries with CIA, Color revolutions and regime change,just back in 90s and 00s twice they were able to uncover the entire CIA informant network in Iran and Lebanon



Interested in his representation, blowback? It's from the still ongoing 34. Chaos Communication Congress (34C3).

Uncovering British spies’ web of sockpuppet social media personas, Mustafa Al-Bassam



I found his personal background on matters interesting. Snowden apparently helped to understand, and motivated him to take a closer look. Which means the tools have changed. But studied they can be. And they are more and more.

Strictly sockpuppets/bot, botwebs, social bots are around for much longer by now, they a standard marketing/PR tool. Thus it is no surprise they surfaced in the last US election to the extend of 20% of tweets. Was it? On both sides really. ...

He is a Lauri Love supporter. Obviously. Let's see how the British High Court, EWHC, will decide.

Peter AU

Trump admin verbal attacks on Iran, going back to Flynn and further. Domestic unrest in Iran? Seems more foreign backed/initiated (US admin) unrest after internal gripes have been identified.


FYI here is link (in Persian) to what Ayatollah Nuri Hamedani said regarding recent protest as reported on IRNA, it seems to be completely opposite on what you read.


English Outsider

"They vandalize public property and attack police stations and military posts to gain weapons - so far unsuccessful."

3rd comment from "Arioch" on the SST link below shows how this developed in the very different context of Syria.


The border is porous but on the question of external interference Syrian style, if the present Iranian security services are anything like those of the Shah's time would not such interference be difficult?

Whatever the position on that it's a pity Western politicians are welcoming these disturbances. I recollect reading some time ago that a women's rights activist in Iran found life difficult, not so much because her work was resented in itself, but because everyone was worried in case she was part of an external destabilisation effort. Presumably by now every time there's a protest in Iran half the country says "Colour revolution", which must have an inhibiting effect on normal political development. Therefore it would be better if Western politicians did not magnify such fears by open jubilation every time there are signs of trouble.

Account Deleted

David P. Goldman has just done an excellent, detailed analysis of the multitude of Iran's structural problems underlying the recent discontent. He includes:-

- Failing/mismanaged water resources
- War costs
- Bankrupt pension & banking systems, the latter due to bad loans/assets
- Huge demographic time bomb to go off before mid century
- Estimate of real youth unemployment at 45%


Babak Makkinejad

The relevant part is excised.


David P. Goldman? really? he is the excellent analyst on Iran , have you ever read what he wrote and what he called Iranians.I don't think you should or could get an "excellent" unbiased analysis from a conservative Jew Israel supporter on Iran, that is if one don't intend to spread hasbra. Especially one from this AH creature David Goldman, who was hiding his name and who he is for years until he was exposed.


Sorry missed the link

"Goldman is the Wax Family Fellow at the Middle East Forum, a Senior Fellow at the London Center for Policy Research, and a member of the Board of Advisors of Sino-Israel Government Network and Academic Leadership (SIGNAL).


Riots are one thing. A power-changing protest is something else.

South Koreans toppled their president with massive demonstrations.

In a country of ca 50 mio about a million in the streets. Organized and peaceful but determined. That is pressure on any politician. Elected or not.


Account Deleted


By "excellent" I just meant the piece includes much sourced quantitative information and is not just another qualitative 'opinion' (c.c. Pepe Escobar's piece also in Asia Times today). I did not intend to infer that it was unbiased. Perhaps I should have limited my description to "detailed".

I am aware Goldman is far from impartial & his surname alone should warrant caution WRT Iran, but thanks for the additional info re his affiliations.


"Who or what is or could be an alternate Legitimate Authority?"

My answer: No person or group that I know of could replace him at this time.

But 28 years in a position of supreme power is way too long. And although the people in the streets know that, their protests are dying out. Or is that just a result of internet and cell tower shutdowns and mass arrests?

Charles Michael

Funny you choose this one.
Goldman seems a little bit biased (as usual)

In the same Asia Tmes you have one from MK Bhadrakumar very good and one of Pepe Escobar, so so.

and an other good one on indian punchline:

Babak Makkinejad

So, you are suggesting a term limit. I think it is an interesting idea.

Babak Makkinejad

The report below is of higher quality than Goldman's - in my opinion.

Goldman is funny, in a way, repeatedly predicting the demise of the Islamic Republic, Iran, and the Iranians - why get so worked up then if she is so clearly on her way to disintegration.


different clue

I remember reading once that noted Nineteenth Century Robber Baron Jay Gould is supposed to have said: " I can hire half the working class to shoot the other half".

I know nothing of the Iranian armed forces or what side they might take if there were real mass-marching discontent. But about the RevGuards and the Baseejers . . . I suspect they are the "half the working class" which has been hired "to shoot the other half". And whether for reasons of being "hired" or from true belief, they will shoot as many discontented mass marchers as they feel they need to in order to get order restored. They will not break or waver.

Outsiders who care about what happens to Iran or Iranian people should at least give every appearance of offering no opinion, no judgement, and no egging on.


again off topic with apologies
James Risen has just published a long long article on his career as reporter of leaks, about how the system used to work, and how it changed. There are too many insights, incidents and nuggets to quote, please read for yourself.
The Biggest Secret
My Life as a New York Times Reporter in the Shadow of the War on Terror
James Risen

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