Iran: A Regime Built on Sand

Respected investigative journalist and 'Devil's Game' author, Robert Dreyfuss was in Iran for the elections. His go-to, singular account in 'The Nation' of the country's election crisis, paints an unflattering picture of a government abandoning all but a propaganda pretence of democracy:
It was clear by nightfall on election day, June 12, that something was wrong. Across Tehran, troop transports rumbled out of the IRGC's fortified bases. Before the polls had even closed, Tehran took on the air of an occupied city. Later that night, ominously, my cellphone went dead, like everyone else's.
The atmospheric article outlines the breath across Iranian society of alienation from the coup regime:
Besides reformists, students, women and businessmen, Khamenei and Ahmadinejad are losing their core constituency: the clergy. And given that Iran is a state run by the priestly class, that might prove their undoing. I spoke to a dozen or so clerics, from low- to mid-ranking mullahs to a few who'd attained the rank of hojatolislam, just below ayatollah. There are hundreds of thousands of mullahs in Iran, perhaps a hundred or more who have attained the rank of ayatollah, and just two dozen or so who have developed sufficient reputation and following to be called grand ayatollah. And more and more of them, including many grand ayatollahs, have joined the opposition.....

Another cleric, who campaigned for Moussavi in dozens of Iranian towns and cities, said that the majority of mullahs had abandoned the president..... Some three-quarters of the grand ayatollahs in Iran support Moussavi, he told me.....

A very well-connected mullah I talked with said that he is a friend and follower of Grand Ayatollah Hossein-Ali Montazeri..... "Khamenei does not deserve the position that he has," the mullah told me. "He has become a politician, and as a politician he has been corrupted." Describing Khamenei in these terms is extremely unusual, and indicates how much the Ahmadinejad-Khamenei axis has lost its legitimacy.......

To get a sense of what the business community thinks, during election week I attended a forum packed with executives at the offices of Etelaat, a liberal newspaper, where eight former ministers of oil, industry and mining slammed the government over its incompetence....

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