Tag Archives: Ali Khamenei

Why Khatami may be allowed to run – Iran 2013 Presidential Elections

17 Apr

I believe that the chances of Mohammad Khatami being allowed to run as a candidate are increasing. So much so that I would say it is now a viable possibility.

But why would Khamenei allow him to run? He made life very difficult for Khatami when he was president. Khamenei has always had a bad relationship with the reformists, so why would he even consider allowing Khatami to stand as a candidate?

In my opinion, it would be for the following reasons, in descending order:

  1. Reduce support for Esfandiyar Rahim Meshai. Between Meshai and Khatami, the former is far more dangerous as a possible destabilizing factor. Meshai’s slogan in the elections would be nationalistic slogans such as “Iranian – Islam” and calls for improved relations with other countries. After all Meshai did say that people of Israel are not the enemies of the people of Iran, something which Khamenei resented and denied publicly. As reformists also want better relations with the West, Khatami’s participation could dilute the attractiveness of Meshai’s messages to the middle class.
  2. Weaken the voice of those who want Rafsanjani to participate. Between Rafsanjani and Khatami, the former is a bigger threat and challenge to Khamenei’s nuclear and foreign policies. There are increasing number of voices who want Rafsanjani to participate as a “moderating force”. If Khatami is allowed to run, this could dilute the legitimacy of such calls as Khatami is known for wanting better relations with the West, more so than Rafsanjani.
  3. Could boost the legitimacy of the elections. No one is expecting these elections to be fair, especially not after the IRGC said they would be “engineered”. Nevertheless, it is in the interest of Khamenei that people turn out to vote. If Khatami is allowed to run (even though he is unlikely to be allowed to win) he could boost the legitimacy of the elections by increasing the number of genuine voters.
  4. Khatami is too much of an intellectual to challenge Khamenei. It would be easier for Khamenei to arrange cheatings against Khatami as unlike Mousavi, he is unlikely to call for recount or demonstrations once he loses (something which Khamenei is ultimately almost definitely going to ensure).

I would the chances of Khatami standing as a candidate are currently at 30%.

Last week they were 5%.

Khamenei reject American proposal for direct negotiations

7 Feb

Today Iran’s supreme leader Ali Khamenei rejected America’s latest offer for direct negotiations with Iran.

Below is the video clip in Farsi with English subtitles where Khamenei explains why he rejected this offer.

From his body language it seems to me that he is under a lot of pressure.

These are not easy days for the supreme leader of the Iranian regime.

Ahmadinejad and Larijani are tearing each other apart, the economy is losing millions a day because of sanctions while cronyism is increasing.

Khamenei has to balance about the 10 different things at the same time. Then there is also the question of his ideology and historical view point towards the US. All will be explained in due course.

Meanwhile here is the clip:

By 2100 Iran’s population forecasted to drop by more than 50%

4 Sep

According to an article published today in the Tehran based Javan on line, Iran’s population will drop from its current 73 million to 31 million by the beginning of the 22nd century (approximately 90 years from now). 

The figures presented by Javan are based on the United Nation’s 2010 population forecast.

The study forecasts Iran’s population to be the following at these specific timelines:

Year – population (approximate numbers)

2026 – 79 million (this is where it peaks)
2056 – 69 million (the same as Iran’s population in 2006)
2071 – 56 million
2081 – 46 million
2091 – 37 million
2101 – 31 million

This is a clear sign that Iran’s population is ageing fast and that the government’s family planning programs have been working.

The Iranian government may be Islamic in name, but in reality when it comes to serving its own interests, it has no qualms about throwing its Islamic beliefs out of the window. They almost always lose to regime interests.

This was seen at the beginning of the revolution where Iranians were advised to have as many children as possible so that the regime has more “soldiers of Islam”.

In fact one of the 1st things my mother was told by her nurse after waking up from the unconsciousness induced for my brother’s birth in 1982 was “Congratulations Mrs Javedanfar. You have given birth to a son, a new soldier for the war between Hagh (righteousness) against Batel (devoid  of reason ie. evil). This was the description the regime used to describe Iran’s  fight against Saddam and the righteousness of the battle which Iran’s soldiers were fighting. (By the way, the nurse was half right in her prediction. My brother did become a soldier, but in the Israeli army).

By the end of the eight year war against Iraq the regime realized that a rising young population with no jobs could pose a threat to its survival. As a result, despite the fact that it’s against Islamic teachings, a very sophisticated and successful government sponsored family planning system was introduced.

Now it seems the plan has been too successful.

Another likely factor which has most probably had a great impact on dissuading Iranian families from have more children is the country’s deteriorating economic situation.

One of the politicians who has been advocating Iranian families to have more children since at least two years ago is Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.  Khamenei has now joined him by declaring “as Imam Khomeini said, Iran’s population should reach 150 – 200 million”.

The key question is: with what resources?

 

Losing Sleep in Tel Aviv

31 Aug

I think I am going to wear a sign around my neck.

The reason is simple. The question “Is Netanyahu going to attack Iran?” is becoming so frequent that I am getting tired of answering it over and over again.

I have never seen such hysteria in Israel. I have friends having nightmares about a possible war, others who are asking me whether they should go and stay with their families abroad this summer until “after the war”. Others who are abroad asking me whether its safe to come back. 

Meanwhile the pro-government publication Yisrael Hayom (owned by Prime Minister Netanyahu supporter Sheldon Adelson) is whipping up the war fear. This free newspaper which is Israel’s most read publication seems to be going out of its way to drive the public into a war frenzy.

A good example is its 12th of August its front page (snapshot included) which read “Iran on its way to install nuclear warhead on a missile”. Its source? Reports from American intelligence.

The headline is totally inaccurate and utterly sensationalist. Iran does not have a nuclear weapon to begin with. Never mind having one which is now advanced enough to be placed on a warhead.

No wonder people are losing sleep.

Or another detail included in today’s weekend edition of Yisrael Hayom.

Under the headline “American Chief of Staff: I don’t want to join an Israeli attack” it says “Morsi to Ahmadinejad: we are strategic partners”. Not a word about Morsi attacks against Iran’s ally Syria on Iranian soil in front of thousands of delegates at the NAM conference on its front page.

Or how Iran and Egypt have major differences and that in fact there is no chance that they will have embassy level relations anytime soon, never mind a “strategic partnership”.

Iran is a threat which no Israeli leader could ignore. Even if Yitzhak Rabin were alive today he’d have to address it.

My concern is that the constant threats of war by Prime Minister Netanyahu’s government is causing damage to Israeli society and economy, without Khamenei having to lift a finger. The Israeli government seems to be handing a victory to the Iranian government on a silver platter.

For now I am going to consider making that sign.

It’d say: “I don’t know. I don’t think so.”

A big sign.