There continue to be developments underneath the radar in Iran . . .
1. No one can doubt any longer that there are severe factional strains and disagreements within the Islamic regime. If you believe otherwise, you will probably also believe that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad won the presidential elections fair and square. And as he has in the past, Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri has lent his influential voice to condemning the abuses perpetrated by the regime:
“I hope they will compensate for their damages and not hold innocents in prison any longer,” [Montazeri] wrote, “and end the legal trials and the broadcasting of confessions, so that they no longer mock the Islamic judiciary; or at least have the courage to announce that this government is neither a republic nor is it Islamic.”
Shame indeed. Of course, as this blog post points out at the end, it would probably be more accurate to say “Shame on Khamenei and Ahmadinejad.” Read the post in full, and you will see once again that the Iranian people are better than their leaders by leaps and bounds.
2. Speaking of those so-called “leaders,” Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is still busy defending his cabinet picks, and is even taking the time to pick fights with Khamene’i. While this may all be “theater,” as Karim Sadjadpour theorizes, the end result is to reaffirm the perception that the leadership class is divided and wracked with infighting. Reformists are looking for reasons to continue their campaign of resistance against the regime. A perception that the leadership class cannot hold together serves as a very powerful reason for the resistance to continue. One does not expect the reformists to hold back against their foes when their foes are weak and bleeding, after all.