ZIOCONS AT ATLANTIC COUNCIL BACK IRANIANS ''REFORMISTS''(PRO- NEOLIBERAL SCOUNDRELS)‘Ayatollah in his labyrinth’? Time to engage Iran’s people, says task force
“A report by a (ZIONIST) panel of U.S. experts calls on the Obama administration to engage more directly with the Iranian people, in part to counter increasingly negative attitudes toward Americans following nearly two years of harsh economic sanctions,” The Washington Post reports:
The report warns that the popular resentment toward the United States is helping Iran’s clerical rulers deflect some of the blame for the country’s economic crisis. Because of this, Iranian officials have managed to limit the public outcry over nuclear policies that placed Iran on a collision course with the West.
The forthcoming election is unlikely to generate the level of unrest that followed the contentious 2009 elections that gave birth to the Green movement protests, the report suggests:
Khamenei has marginalized reformists, and even pragmatists such as former president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, without eliminating dissidence. [ed note;wrong ,the reformists have marginalized themselves,one: thru their massive amassing of wealth,and their pro neoliberal policies they enacted and imposed on Iranians in past,and their close ties to western zionist influenced think tanks...
Ideology is less a factor than a naked struggle for power and access to diminishing resources among rival conservatives. Khamenei risks making himself the sole focus of opposition within the country by reducing the presidency to a complete figurehead. It may also be difficult to achieve a large turnout in presidential elections – important for the regime’s self-image and public diplomacy—if the range of candidates is extremely narrow.
“Iranians seem wary of sacrificing themselves for a new political order, having been disappointed by their efforts so many times in the past,” says the Task Force.
“The heightened role of Iranian security forces since 2009 has made it difficult for Iranian civil society to organize openly, although there have been stirrings of private initiatives as shown by the volunteers who sought to assist victims of August 2012 earthquakes in northwestern Iran,” but, it notes, “it is unclear if such activities translate directly into civic political action.”
The contradictions at the heart of Iran’s political system are “poised to collide” in June’s presidential election, says a leading analyst.
“At the heart of Iranian politics there is an irreconcilable tension, rooted in the democratic nature of the 1979 revolution and the undemocratic power structure that emerged afterwards,” Stanford University’s Abbas Milani writes for Foreign Policy.
“On the one hand, there is the country’s quasi-republican institutions and regular, albeit controlled elections; on the other is the state’s guiding concept of god as the sole sovereign, and the Supreme Leader as the unimpeachable manifestation of this divine authority.”
“Three different sources of tension threaten to make this election problematic for the Islamic Republic,” Milani notes:
First, the widening rift between Ahmadinejad and Khamenei — supported by his allies in the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and the conservative clergy — is increasingly hard to hide, even manage……
The second source of tension revolves around whether reformists will be allowed to participate in the election — and even if they will want to. If they do participate, the question will be who they are allowed to field as a candidate. ……Khamenei and the IRGC have to make a cost-benefit analysis: Does the domestic discontent, the increasingly dire economic situation, and their international isolation pose enough of a threat to justify bringing Khatami or Rafsanjani — two men they have vilified in the past four years — back into the fold? Or would such a tactical retreat only bring them embarrassment and signal their weakness? …..Some of the more radical elements of the IRGC continue to insist that reformists of all hue are “tools” of American, British and Israeli designs to defeat the Islamic regime.
The third source of tension in this unfolding saga is the behavior of the candidates clearly favored by Khamenei and his allies. This troika calls itself the 2+1 Coalition….
“What seems to be happening in the run-up to the elections is the shifting of alliances and enmities on an immense scale between a wide range of the political elite — far wider than was predicted by Western analysts even three months ago,” Princeton University’s Kevan Harris tells The Washington Post:
Whoever wins will inherit a series of challenges and opportunities that no previous Iranian president has faced.
On Monday, the Iranian government released monthly economic statistics that showed the official rate of inflation rising for the sixth consecutive month, to 31.5 percent. Some analysts believe the rate to be even higher.
Leading up to the New Year’s holiday, Iran’s central bank made one-time deposits of about $20 each into the accounts of more than 70 million Iranian citizens to help cover holiday expenses. The amount was nearly double the normal monthly cash handout that the state has been paying to citizens to offset a reduction in long-standing utility subsidies.
But the regime has managed to insulate itself from the contagion of the Arab Awakening, but Iranian politics “rarely follow an assigned script,” says the Atlantic Council report:
Any opening for political rallies during the presidential election campaign carries the risk that Iranians will turn the rallies into anti-government demonstrations…..Increased economic hardship could also lead to new mass demonstrations beyond the limited chicken protests and brief bazaar shutdown of 2012. The death of Khamenei, seventy-three, would likely trigger a succession crisis.[[[[[[[ The fall of the Assad regime in Syria could also have political repercussions in Iran, emboldening Iranians to question the wisdom of their government’s large financial, political, and security investment in the failed Assad government.]]]]]]
“No matter the outcome of the coming election, Khamenei and the IRGC will still hold the key levers of power in Tehran,” writes Milani, who heads Stanford’s Iran Democracy Project.
“But who will be allowed to participate — and who will be allowed to win — will be a crucial sign in understanding the labyrinth of power in Iran, as the regime prepares to tackle its mounting domestic and international problems,” he concludes.
[ed notes;see why people in Iran hate reformists... Iran's neo-liberal agenda » peoplesworld