Iran’s Resurgent Revolution – by Ryan Mauro

Ryan Mauro is a fellow with the Clarionproject.org, the founder of WorldThreats.com and a frequent national security analyst for Fox News Channel. He can be contacted at ryanmauro1986@gmail.com.


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On December 19, one of the Iranian government’s most prominent critics, Grand Ayatollah Hussein Ali Montazeri, passed away. His demise may yet portend the beginning of the end for Iran’s oppressive regime.

The regime may have been relieved that this independent source of religious authority and popularity among the people would no longer be around, but the Shiite holiday of Ashura fell on the seventh day following his death. The rallies mourning Montazeri combined with the Ashura celebration, creating a storm of anti-regime activity that only brutal suppression can contain.

Ayatollah Montazeri was a ferocious critic of the regime and advocate of ending clerical rule in government. Clerics, Montazeri believed, should serve as advisors to elected rulers. He wanted freedom of speech and assembly, and became particularly incensed in recent months over the fraudulent re-election of Ahmadinejad and widespread human rights abuses. His ardent opposition to the regime made him a hero among the people, despite his original role in bringing Ayatollah Khomeini to power and founding the Islamic Republic.

This year, he even issued a fatwa declaring the regime illegitimate and listed various transgressions committed by Khamenei and Ahmadinejad and their underlings, including hurting Shiite Islam by misrepresenting it. The fatwa even said that by breaking the “contract” with the people, “the people may remove the position holder from his post,” a not-so-subtle endorsement of overthrowing the government. He followed that up with an even bolder challenge to the regime: a declaration that Khamenei lacked the religious credentials to be a source of canon law and did not have the authority to issue fatwas.

Montazeri’s religious credentials as a Grand Ayatollah made such statements deeply unsettling for the regime. Originally, he was so adored by Khomeini that he was appointed as his successor. However, moral and religious conviction led Montazeri to disqualify himself from this post by speaking out against Khomeini’s massacres and human rights abuses. He even called on Khomeini to stop trying to export the Islamic Revolution by supporting terrorists and militias, and urged him to lead by example instead of force.

In 1989, Montazeri was placed on house arrest and the regime began trying to marginalize him. The current Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei, was chosen to succeed Khomeini, even though he lacked the religious qualifications and Montazeri’s education dwarfed his. Montazeri has thus been able to speak with greater authority than Khamenei, especially as Iran’s economy and human rights situation spiraled downhill. Following the June “election,” a Seven-Point Manifesto was spread about Iran listing the demands of the opposition for democratic reform called for Montazeri to replace Khamenei as Supreme Leader until the constitution is changed to reconfigure the government.

The death of Montazeri couldn’t have come at a worse time for the regime. The opposition had already been gearing up for massive demonstrations during the Ashura holiday, knowing that the regime could not ban gatherings on that day. The mourning that followed his death led to growing expressions of discontent that extended into Ashura, creating momentum that only gunfire and violence could stop from spreading to every street.

ra2411909504Voice of the people: Montazeri’s death has galvanized Iran’s opposition.

It became clear immediately following Montazeri’s death that the opposition was energized. On the day before Ashura, about 50 members of the Basiji stormed a mosque where former President Khatami, a critic of the regime, was speaking and ended the presentation. It is said that the attack happened as Khatami tried to equate the uprising of Imam Hussein, who Ashura honors, with the opposition movement fighting for freedom. To make things even more offensive to the regime, this took place at the home mosque of Ayatollah Khomeini.

The regime eventually had to ban public mourning of Montazeri, leading to ongoing clashes. People in Tehran were seen having their Iranian flags confiscated for removing the religious symbols in them and were arrested for wearing black to honor him. On December 21, one woman walked up to the Basiji militiamen blocking access to Montazeri’s home and ripped up a photo of Khamenei, knowing she would be beaten and arrested. The next day, in Kerman Province, protests went to a scheduled public hanging of two alleged robbers and freed them. They were recaptured later, but this is a very aggressive challenge to the government.

Opposition forces claim that at least four protestors have been shot and killed, including the nephew of Mir-Hossein Mousavi, the man on the losing side of the rigged election. Hundreds of thousands are demonstrating in Iran’s major cities, chanting “death to the dictatorship” and making direct attacks on Khamenei. Video and photos leaking out show large pillars of smoke over Tehran from the mass use of tear gas to stop the demonstrations from spreading. Regime forces even ran over two protestors—twice.

The clashes with the security forces are getting longer and more vicious. At least ten motorcycles used by the forces are said to have been set ablaze in Tehran, along with a state building, police van, a Basiji outpost, state-owned banks and a vehicle used by the Revolutionary Guards. The windows of the Oil Ministry have reportedly been broken. Reports say that there have been numerous incidents where the Basiji have arrested a protestor only to have the crowd fight back and free them. Some police officers are said to be refusing orders to attack the demonstrators.

Ayatollah Mehdi Karroubi, another man who competed with Ahmadinejad for the presidency and has rankled the regime by reporting systematic rape and torture and demanding full rights for women, boldly predicted recently that the current regime “will not last” its entire four year term. Based on the demonstrations going on today, Karroubi may be right.

  • Robert Bernier

    Regime change in Iran would be far superior to a military strike.

    To allow the apocalyptical, jihadist, terrorist Iranian regime the most deadly weapons known to man, is tantamount to inviting an attack which would kill millions. There is no other choice but to deny Iran nuclear weapons. It seems that only America and Israel have the potential capacity and will to prevent Iran from attaining nukes. One of these two great nations must neutralize Iran’s nuclear facilities before it is too late. This, of course, must be done in conjunction with massive funding of Iranian dissident groups and energetic support for Iranian democrats who would like nothing more than to see their oppressive regime toppled. Regime change in Iran would be far superior to a military strike. But, the free world simply cannot take the chance that nukes are acquired before the regime is overthrown. More at : http://israelagainstterror.blogspot.com/2008/07

  • Robert Bernier

    Every American should know the truth

    No one should miss this video:

    http://xrl.us/bf29mb

    Look to the end ( 10 min.)

  • ApolloSpeaks

    COMING IRANIAN CIVIL WAR

    On October 1st I published a work predicting that a civil war would rock the Islamic Republic of Iran bringing an end to 30 years of tyranny with the violent destruction of the Khomenie Regime. The work “The Coming Iranian Civil War and the Violent End of the Nuclear Mullahs” was based on an analysis of the Columbia Shuttle disaster (which has the downfall of the mullahs written all over it) and Iran's election of last June which triggered the current unrest. Now the chickens are coming home to roost for the mullahs and their minions….

    Google Apollospeaks (one word) and read the rest of this piece..

  • Wayne01

    Popular revolutions have a tendency to be infiltrated those who ultimately impose their own version of tyranny upon those who had thought they were removing tyranny and expecting liberty to replace it. It happened to the French Revolution and the Jocobins imposed their form of tyranny in place of the aristocracy which was being rebelled against. It may have happened in Russia also where the Reds undermined the popular revolution of the Whites to impose the Soviet tyranny of Lenin. Do the Jesuits operate in Iran? If they do, or a facsimile of the Jesuits operates there — be careful for what you wish. The more hostility that exists in the world the greater the benefit to these vipers who also seek to impose their version of theocracy in the name of “the Society of Jesus”. Their mission in the United States has been progressing in their favor for most of the 20thy Century and maybe even since the time of the Civil War.

  • bearone7777

    Hello,
    I love what I am seeing over there. They must already know out in the public what is about to happen, and what am I speaking? Why of course it is the fact that the Holy-Land of Israel is not going to wait to much longer for the United States of America before it goes over, and blows the nation of Iran up for it's own good. While this nations administration under one Barack Obama continues to say please–PRETTY please, and does nothing but say we will hold “OUR” noses until you comply. Well are they going to do anything but laugh at him, and his cronies? No nothing at all will be done to stop them from doing what they want to do, and that is to try and destroy Israel, and I say the Iranians, and them first. God Almighty will always protect HIS Children. There is a valuable lesson to be learned there though, and that is to keep on believing that liars will be some how become honest is a farce in any way shape of form. That should make everybody stand up and take notice here in this country. Remember what I am saying here folks. You have been lied to by this administration, and take that for what it is worth, they will do it again.

    Thanks,
    Larry D. Crumbley
    “IN GOD WE TRUST”

  • seogirl
  • Bellerophon

    On September 12, 2001 there were celebrations throughout the Muslim world cheering the deaths of Americans. However, there was one Muslim capital where the demonstrators who. instead of cheering, were mourning the deaths of Americans. That city was Tehran.

    Unfortunately, G W Bush, the worst president in fifty years, ignored these courageous protesters and instead of helping them, he chose to make speeches about the “beautiful religion of Islam” and how it had been hijacked by a few extremists. A few encouraging words and a small investment in secure communication equipment for the rebels and the monstrous regime that is Iran might have come to an end.

    Only Obama has managed to treat the Iranian rebellion worse than Bush by first refusing to condemn the theft of an election and declaring that the US must not interfere with the internal problems of a foreign country.

    Now, with demonstrators being murdered en mass, Obama impotently condemns the Iranian thugocracy. The Iranian rebels, originally poised to embrace the US as a friend and ally, have nothing but contempt for a land that was once the beacon of liberty but is now a feeble old man content to pass his days hypnotically immersed in memories of past glories.

    As hard as it may be to believe the Democrats have actually found someone less competent and of lower character than Bush. In Obama the Democrats have given us a man whose arrogance, born of stupidity and ignorance, makes him the most dangerous fool to occupy the White House since Woodrow Wilson.

  • http://twitter.com/ARKovnat Alex Kovnat

    We should remember that the kind of people who are demonstrating in the streets of Iran, are the same kind of people who would have been demonstrating against the Shah in the 70's. I hope the people if Iran now realize that blaming America or blaming Israel is not going to solve their problems.

  • sam000

    You are 30 years behind the time;
    Wake up, we are just 48 hours to end the 2009,

    Our slogans are;
    Neither Islam nor Mullahs; we will build the republic of Iran.
    Death to China;
    Death to Russia;
    Death to Velayate Faghih (Khamaneii );

    Do you find yourself inside?!

  • sam000

    Thank you so very much;

    You are talking for us, what you wrote is coming from our heart.

  • tlwinslow

    What's the difference between radical fundamentalist Shiite clerics ruling the govt. and advising elected officials who are religion-tested every day of their lives anyway? What Iran needs is not another Islamic Republic. or an Islamic monarchy, but a secular democratic republic that doesn't establish any religion, particularly horrible Islam and its Quran terrorist manual, indeed, one which bans the Quran for at least 100 years if not forever. Until then, Iran is running itself into the ground and becoming the enemy of the world, like Allah planned :)

    http://go.to/islamhistory

  • Steve Chavez

    THE VOLCANO IS ABOUT TO BLOW!

    Magma has being brewing in its underground chambers for three decades with an occasional release of ash beyond its constant steaming and frequent small earthquakes.

    The rumblings are more frequent. Chunks of Red Lava take aim on the streets below.

    Sooner, rather than later, the Volcano will blow creating a glow of Red in the dark of night. In the morning, when the dust settles, the Sun will rise to a new dawn.

  • jason_gray

    bush may have actually, inadvertantly, stumbled and bumbled upon the right policy towards Iran and the islamic middle east. there is no doubt that our presence on both sides of Iran is a major factor in the goings on in tehran right now.

  • http://www.checklupussymptoms.com zara

    What Iran needs is not another Islamic Republic. or an Islamic monarchy, but a secular democratic republic that doesn't establish any religion, particularly horrible Islam and its Quran terrorist manual

  • http://www.egovernmentjobs.in Gov jobs

    Now, with demonstrators being murdered en mass, Obama impotently condemns the Iranian thugocracy. The Iranian rebels, originally poised to embrace the US as a friend and ally, have nothing but contempt for a land that was once the beacon of liberty but is now a feeble old man content to pass his days hypnotically immersed in memories of past glories.

  • http://www.checkshinglessymptoms.com shingles symptoms

    bush may have actually, inadvertantly, stumbled and bumbled upon the right policy towards Iran and the islamic middle east. there is no doubt that our presence on both sides of Iran is a major factor in the goings on in tehran right now.

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