GAMING IRAN [ Update II ]
Here's a good question for the ME area specialists and Iran watchers out there. Could the loon who serves as Iran's President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
, be attempting to provoke a military conflict with the United States or Israel in order to provide a pretext for Ahmadinejad to move against his rivals in the power structure, notably Rafsanjani's faction ?Marc Schulman
, in a post about Iran's nuclear program
, highlighted some interesting language by Ahmadinejad:"Some politicians think we had a revolution so that some could hit others in the head and have one party ruling for some time and another party in opposition for some time. But we had a revolution to achieve a lofty goal, on the basis on the Expectation of the Return. Our interpretation is that the hand of the Almighty is putting every piece of the jigsaw puzzle of the future of the world in place in line with the goals of Islam."
Quite neatly, an assertion of his own revolutionary and religious legitimacy and an implication that his rivals lack those credentials.
On the nuclear issue, Iran has in recent months gone out of its way to spurn the IAEA, the Europeans and even Iran's economic partner and nuclear benefactor, Russia. Ahmadinejad, for his part, has been at pains to antagonize and threaten Israel using the most baiting, emotively activating language possible - though this rhetoric also plays to an Iranian constituency back home that Ahmadinejad seeks to cultivate.
Ahmadinejad does not need a military clash with America to solidify the regime's grip but to loosen it. Having recently escaped an assassination attempt
and seen his radical loyalists blocked from important posts by the Majlis
, the extremist President, like his reformist predecessor Khatami, is being stymied by the corrupt clerical camarilla around "Supreme Guide" Khameini in the Guardian and Expediency Councils and in the parliament. Holding a weak hand in a rigged game, Ahmadinejad can only strengthen his position by upsetting the pieces on the board and finding an excuse - an emergency - to rewrite the rules.
Comments,as always, are welcome.UPDATE
: I see this post was picked up by our British friends at The Spectator
- always an honor. They have also linked to William Lind
as well.UPDATE II. The Christian Science Monitor
looked at President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's millenialist religious ideology