Today's Big Story

Grand Ayatollah Hossein-Ali MontazeriImage via Wikipedia

Today's big story should have read "Iran's Most Senior Cleric Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri has Denounced the Eection Results." This has to be one of the biggest developments in this little uprising so far, and no one is apparently talking about it.(Montazeri should not be confused with the Supreme Ruler of Iran, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei)

So, before I get carried away, kudos to McClatchy for actually putting the story out there. Good job guys, syndicated news apparently doesn't have dick on you ( )

Today, as mass protests were organized by opposition followers and a counter protest organized by the government ramped up, the news out of Iran began to slow to a trickle as the government began to shut down the foreign media. But, the theocratic regime is going to have a much harder time silencing it's own senior cleric, Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri, when he says ""No one in their right mind can believe the official results from Friday's contest" (Montazeri should not be confused with the Supreme Ruler of Iran, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei). Indeed, short of having him killed, the ruling theocracy is going to find it very difficult to silence one of their own, already in a precarious political situation, the regime can hardly afford to undermine it's own legitimacy any further by killing or arresting a holy man. The Senior cleric did not stop with a simple dismissal of Friday's elections however, he went even further, stating that "A government not respecting people's vote has no religious or political legitimacy," he declared in comments on his official Web site. "I ask the police and army personals (personnel) not to 'sell their religion,' and beware that receiving orders will not excuse them before God."Why other media outlets are not blaring this all over the web is absolutely beyond me. With Montazeri's harsh rebuke of the current government and the escalating protests, the schism within Iran's own borders are becoming harshly apparent to the outside world in an unprecedented way. This isn't about a difference of ideological opinion between waring political parties in Tehran, this is about a rift in theological ideologies inside of Iran's true nexus of political power, the Ayatollahs. If anyone was expecting things in Iran to calms down over the next few days, this latest development is going to seriously disappoint. With one of the most respected Ayatollahs challenging the legitimacy and authority of the regime, opposition followers are only going to be emboldened.

As with many things in Iran, the outcome of this family feud is clouded in questions and uncertainty. Will Iran implode in on itself and have another revolution like that of 79? Will the ruling powers manage to appease the opposition, or at least convince them to go home without a fight? Despite the questions, one thing remains certain; Iran will never be the same. If anything, what we are witnessing are growing pains as a well educated and self aware people decide that they want their country to join the rest of the world in the 21st Century. If revolution does not overtake the country now, it is only a matter of time before the massive swath of moderate youth become the next ruling generation. Just ask the GOP. Demographics can be a real bitch.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]