Replace One Dictator With Many?

Orthodox and muslim clerics at a conference in...Image by N_Creatures via Flickr

Reports are trickling in from Iran, revealing a deep divide in the power structure that has snapped into sharp existence for the Iranian people for all to see. Today, Iran's religious clerics in the Qom are gathering to discuss replacing the position of the Supreme Leader within the political power apparatus of Iran, with a council of religious leaders (this follows closely in the wake of confirmed reports that the head of the Iranian Parliament has called the elctions a farce). While this sounds good in the short run, it is merely the replacing of one dictator with man; and will, eventually, lead to the down-fall of the Islamic Republic.

The problem with Iran's current power structure is academic, not a single person. Currently one man in Iran hold all of the power, ultimately, he has the final say and chooses every position from the Guardian Council (which chooses which candidates are allowed to run for public office, to the head of media in the country. Simply replacing one theocratic ruler with a council of many does not solve the root cause of the problem, which is a theocratic regime posing under the guise of democracy. In the end, having a council replace the Supreme Leader will be temporarily beneficial to the Iranian people, and will eventually lead to a collapse of the Islamic Republic (most likely from within when another divide in ideologies form). Only when the people of Iran choose their leaders, without theocratic rulers inserting themselves into the political process, will the citizens enjoy the social freedom that they so desperately seek now.

As of right now it is unclear whether or not the council's decision will subdue what was shaping up to be the new Iranian revolution, or if it will be too little too late. However, judging by the eerie silence that has settle over Iran today, in the aftermath of Saturday's violence, there may be indications that both sides are ready to end this without more bloodshed. Either way, the prospect of Khamenei and Ahmadenijad surviving this with their political power intact is implausible at this point. Regardless of the outcome, Khamenei and his political power structure are finished in Iran. The people will not forget, or forgive quickly or easily.

Stay tuned for more news out of Iran today.
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