Saturday, 12 January 2013

Iran Live Coverage: The Engineering of the Elections Turns Nasty

Ayatollah Jannati0705 GMT: Propaganda of the Day (Syrian Edition). While Syrian State media is silent on the insurgents' takeover of the major airbase at Taftanaz, Press TV gives a helping hand:

Syria government sources...say the militants entered the base after government troops left it according to an army evacuation order a few days ago and that all important military equipment deployed there as well as officers, pilots and soldiers were evacuated before the arrival of militants.

It is believed that the Syrian army has left behind only useless military equipment and weapons.

An opposition watchdog also said that the Syrian military had removed all its helicopters from the base, except for 20 which were no longer in working condition.

0635 GMT: It only took three days for the Supreme Leader's declaration, "It is obvious that there should be free elections," to turn into high-profile fighting within the regime --- yesterday, Ayatollah Jannati, the head of the Guardian Council, used Tehran Friday Prayers to knock down not only detained opposition leaders and reformists but also former President Hashemi Rafsanjani.

In hindsight, Ayatollah Khamenei opened the door for the conflict with his warning, "Everybody --- even those who may offer general pieces of advice about the elections out of care and compassion --- should take care not to further the goal of the enemy." Within hours, his representative to the Revolutionary Guards, Ali Saeedi, added that it was the "duty" of the Revolutionary Guards to "engineer" the ballot.

Both former President Mohammad Khatami and Rafsanjani countered that "free elections" should truly mean free elections, with the latter issuing the implied rebuke to the Supreme Leader's camp that "the Iranian people" --- rather than the regime's leaders --- "would pave the way". Other signs, notably in the pro-Rafsanjani outlet Baztab, indicated the the former President is going to circumvent Ayatollah Khamenei with an appeal to those people.

So Jannati lashed out yesterday with the curious formula that, while there would be free elections, anyone who openly spoke of "free elections" was aiding and possibly working with the enemy.  He slapped the opposition --- the Green Movement, troublesome reformists, and the detained 2009 Presidential candidates Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi ---  “The public has identified your movement and knows your leaders and the leaders of sedition, and they know what your aim is; you should be ashamed of yourselves.”

Then Jannati went after his primary target, Rafsanjani: 

Those who consider themselves men of politics and have had important roles in the Revolution should be ashamed of themselves for repeating the statement of the foreign enemies of the regime.... 


The political losers are now talking about free elections and one of them is quite powerful and since a while ago he has begun talking about this issue and the rest have followed his line.

Perhaps the only saving grace, for those who hope for a quiet Presidential election, was that Jannati did not challenge President Ahmadinejad. 

Yet, given that Ahmadinejad also hit back at the call to "engineer" the elections --- "No individual or group can manage the people and their vote....It is the people who will manage them" --- can there be a truce on that front?

from EA WorldView: EA Iran

Posted via email from lissping