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Mr. Ahmadinejad's fight for survival may have just begun

By: D. H. Rouzbeh


As the "nuclear celebrations" for a stunning political "victory" scored against the West, and the U.S. in particular, wind down in Tehran, Mr. Ahmadinejad must now prepare for his next big confrontation. This may prove to be the biggest fight of his political career, and unlike the "nuclear" battle, which he fought almost entirely outside of Iran with unwavering support of the clerical establishment, the stage for this battle will be within the Iranian territory. At stake will be Mr. Ahmadinejad's political future, and possibly even his life.


The U.S., through its staggering yet remarkable foreign policy u-turn vis--vis Iran, has, intentionally or otherwise, created the stage for Mr. Ahmadinejad's inevitable next confrontation inside his homeland. This will be Mr. Ahmadinejad's real fight for survival and it is not at all clear who will amass to his side, or whether or not he will be capable of displaying the same degree of audacity and stamina as he did fighting regime's "nuclear" battle. In any case, the onslaught is imminent because the extraordinary rise in Mr. Ahmadinejad's popularity, currently enjoying a 'rock-star' status almost everywhere he goes, has not passed unnoticed by Iran's totalitarian ruling clerics. The regime holds a notorious track record for dealing with those who, knowingly or unwittingly, dare to step outside of their carefully choreographed domain of influence. Under the Islamic regime, the popularity index of its chosen statesmen is monitored, and carefully and meticulously controlled. The regime's power hierarchy apparatus has no tolerance for uncontrolled popularity. Mr. Ahmadinejad newly gained momentum and popular support is unsafe and hence a direct threat and challenge to the regime's powerful inner circles.


In the meantime, Mr. Ahmadinejad, jubilant yet seemingly unconcerned about the ominous implications of his recent "victory", is running a nation-wide political campaign in disguise. He acts as if he is now assured of a second term in office, an office he should know by now that is all too powerless. He appears to be unaware that a ruthless conspiracy campaign against him has already begun in order to first discredit him and then quickly remove him from his post. The regime has accomplished a tactical mission through Mr. Ahmadinejad, and he now embodies a liability that threatens to weaken its core institutions.


Ever since the Islamic regime came to power in 1979, it has succeeded in finding ways to unite the nation, albeit by deception and deafening propaganda, against what it calls its "foreign enemies", or "enemies of Islam".  The nation has been consistently misled to believe that these two phrases are synonymous and, as a results, has paid dearly, for nearly 30 years, for the regime's abuse of power, economic incompetence, corruption, and hypocrisy. The nuclear ambitions, or "nuclear rights" as the regime prefers to phrase it, was, and may still be, the regime's latest attempt to distract the nation (and the world) from the real issues such as housing, healthcare, education, employment, investment, individual liberties, political freedom, social decadence, and so forth. Instead, the regime has wasted billions in obsolete technologies as well as political payouts, bribes, and extortions in order to keep its agenda - and itself - afloat. Mr. Ahmadinejad was the regime's chosen front man (and its face) in this latest round of tumult that has very little to do with the interests of the Iranian people. This has been yet another protracted war of words and hollow rhetoric that sinks the credibility of the ruling theocracy to new lows.


Mr. Ahmadinejad was chosen to fight this senseless "nuclear rights" battle for (and in behalf) of the regime to the end, even if it meant starting a new war with catastrophic consequences for Iran and Iranians everywhere. For now, the nuclear ambitions of the Islamic regime have been deemed "peaceful" and the threat of war diminished, to some extent. The regime, however, remains unredeemed and faltering in search of the next crisis that may, once again, save it from paying attention to those real issues.


In the aftermath of recent events, Mr. Ahmadinejad's fate remains uncertain. He may choose (or be forced) to succumb to a dangerous state of denial that will be unhelpful to his survival leading to his demise under the weight of his own popularity. Or, he may find a new cause enabling him to channel his barrage of slogans and controversial rhetoric, solely for internal use. Or, he may try to enlist new allies - instead of enemies - to help him challenge the Islamic Government, the outcome of which cannot be easily foreseen, but for sure it will be a breath-taking uphill battle. Or, he may surprise us all by another skillful maneuvering of his uncanny brand of political savvy to ride out or even counter the upcoming political storm. In all cases, he will need all his political capital, a massive public support, and lessons learned so far in order to win. Like his predecessors, he too does have a choice.

... Payvand News - 12/18/07 ... --

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