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Shirnameh: Iran's Real Green Revolution Crushed?

01/28/11 By M. Bibak

Tiger Poisoned, Lions Gunned Down in Tehran Zoo - Who Is Behind The Massacre?

A few weeks ago, a Siberian tiger, loaned to Iran by Russia, mysteriously died at the Tehran Zoo. While the Tehrani residents were speculating about this unfortunate death, they heard an even more shocking news. 14 brave lions had been gunned down at Zoo! This has sent shivers down the spines of Tehrani residents and animals alike!  Everyone wants to know who's behind these killings, and more importantly who's next in the line of fire?

The official story is the tiger died as a result of being fed contaminated meat.  And that the lions were put to sleep to prevent the spread of a deadly virus.  But as with all other official stories, this is falling to the deaf ears of the residents who are hard at work weaving the true version of the events, just like a colorful Persian rug. And these fascinating folklore tales about conspiracy, murder and back-stabbings are the new favorite bedtime stories for the children...

The Siberian Tiger's Assassination

So who had a strong motivation to assassinate the tiger?  Fingers are pointing to all directions.

Mir Hossein Mousavi
An informed source has suggested that the Green opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi, still bitter over his loss to Ahmadinejad in the 2009 presidential battles, may have arranged for the tiger's killing to exact revenge by sabotaging Ahmadinejad's good relation with his Russian counterpart Medvedev.  But an even more informed source has ruled this out based on the ample evidence that proves Mousavi has a delicate heart and can only engage in soft wars.  Aside from the fact that Mousavi is an artist, he has also been photographed while holding his wife's hand or that of a rose!  These of course run counter to the Islamic revolutionary principles of looking tough and mean at all times, and were the justification for branding Mousavi as a velvet-revolutionary and a seditionist by the Supreme Leader!

Yet a disgruntled source is blaming the tiger's murder on Manoucher Mottaki, the recently ousted Foreign Minister. Mottaki had a strong motivation to get even with Ahmadinejad, considering he received the news of his firing from a head of state he was visiting in Africa!  But highly informed observers believe it would have been unlikely for Mottaki to commit this crime against a Russian tiger, considering he had proven his loyalty to Russia during Caspian Sea Littoral States negotiations by offering to sacrifice Iran's share of the sea and asking nothing for return!

Mohammad Khatami
Another source, unemployed and interested in political affairs, has concocted a story accusing former president Mohammad Khatami being the culprit. Supposedly Khatami wanted a horrific act committed on Ahmadinejad's watch in order to preserve his own legacy as the last sane president. However, this theory doesn't carry much weight with the Iranian public who view Khatami as an indecisive reform leader who would've been wavering for decades on whether "to poison or not to poison" the tiger. As the people view it, a job that got done could not have been done by Khatami!

Meanwhile an anti-revolutionary source has opined that Mojtaba Khamenei, the elusive son of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei, may have ordered the killing. According to this source, Mojtaba, who suffers from inferiority complex, had been depressed ever since the Siberian tiger arrived in Tehran and grabbed the center of attention. So when his therapists successfully identified the tiger as the cause, Mojtaba duly annihilated it!   How plausible is this, and has Mojtaba really stashed billions of dollars in foreign banks?  While you are at it, please also let us know who killed John F. Kennedy!

Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei
On the other hand, an Iran-loving analyst is pointing at the direction of Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei, Ahmadinejad's Chief of Staff and his brain. It's no secret that Mashaei advocates Iranianization rather than Islamization or globalization.  Mashaei appreciates and loves everything Iranian, especially a certain beautiful actress he is said to be courting and wants to have as his trophy!  So naturally he was disturbed immensely by the presence of a Siberian tiger at the zoo rather than an Iranian one from his own province of Mazandaran.  And once he failed to convince the tiger that Iran comes before Siberia, he had no choice but to act and preserve the Persian heritage. Along the same lines, Mashaei is now hard at work trying to extend the stay of Cyrus Cylinder (the first human rights charter) in Iran indefinitely.

The Lions Gate!

There are many more rumors and stories about why the lions were gunned down.

The most notable rumor puts the blame on the Basij militia. According to rumormongers, the Basij, ever-present at all killing and beating fields, arrived at Tehran Zoo soon after or perhaps even before the tiger had been assassinated. Their primary mission was to prevent any subsequent rioting. But the lions, unaware of the Basij presence, decided to rally in protest to the tiger's killing.  So the Basij volunteers stormed the cages, put down the protests and showed who the real animals are!  Based on unconfirmed and unsubstantiated reports, since the carnage, half of the animals are on hunger strike fearing they'll have the same fate as the tiger. The other half have withdrawn to the far corners of their cages. And the Real Green Movement of Iran is now in tatters!

Others are saying the Basij are no match for the lions. They see IRGC as the more likely force behind the massacre.  There are two versions of IRGC involvement in the killings. In the first version, it is said that it was the fox that duped the lions into a rampage. Supposedly, the fox, long waiting to eliminate the lions, uses the opportunity of the tiger's death and spreads his seditionist message among the animals at the zoo. Soon the message makes it to the lions' cage, courtesy of the parrot who tells the lions that IRGC is rapidly approaching the zoo with the order to kill all animals with three balls. The lions let out a sigh of relief and say they have nothing to worry since they all have two balls. But when the parrot tells them that IRGC kills first and counts next, the lions go on a frantic rampage. Soon after IRGC special forces arrive and crush the unrest.

Mohammad Ali Jafari
But the more plausible story is the related to the family feud between IRGC's chief Mohammad Ali Jafari and Ahmadinejad. According to Wikileaks, sometimes in 2009 Jafari slapped Ahmadinejad when he suggested offering more freedom to the Iranian press. Reliable sources however claim the real reason behind the slap had to do with plans for an arranged marriage that had gone sour after the groom went into hiding. However, until and unless we complete the flow chart of all the arranged marriages in the 1001 families of Iran's Islamic Dynasty, we won't be able to complete the failure analysis and find out what exactly went wrong.  Regardless, it is said that this time around, after the news of the tiger's murder, Ahmadinejad suggested improving the living conditions of the animals at the zoo. Jafari, still upset, went postal and ordered all the lions to be gunned down with no mercy.

Simin Behbahani
Another interesting story is making rounds in Tehran's literary circles according to which Iran's famous poetess Simin Behbahani is being credited for the lions massacre. As the story goes, Behbahani, nicknamed the lioness of Iran, didn't feel there is room for so many lions in Tehran.  So she allegedly wrote an epical poem about the lions of Iran, and she recited it at the zoo thereby exciting the lions into an uncontrollable riot. The guards at that point had no choice but to eliminate the lions. It is said that Behbahani is now the last lion standing in Tehran, and as such she deserves protected status.

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei
There is yet another story circulating in Tehran's medical community which supposedly explains the death of the tiger as well as the lions. It is a tightly guarded secret that Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei suffers from an incurable disease. It is said that as a last resort, one of Khamenei's medical specialists recently prescribed an ancient remedy made from testicles of tiger to combat the disease. So Russians were duped into delivering the tiger to Iran under the disguise of environmental friendship, etc.  But when the tiger was put to sleep and the testicles were retrieved, they were found to be inadequate, unlike those of the Mazandaran tiger! So since no other options were available, they went after the lions' testicles as a substitute. Can this really be true?  Specialists are anxiously awaiting appearance of Khamenei in public so they can examine his facial gestures. It is said that presence of a noticeable grin proves the remedy has been successful...

Meanwhile, a highly unhappy source is claiming that Ali Larijani, Parliament chief, who's been head-butting with Ahmadinejad lately, is behind the zoo conspiracy. It's no secret that Larijani wants to wrest control of the animal house from Ahmadinejad, and he's using all means to reach that goal. He is expected to soon initiate a parliamentary investigation into the bloodbath at the zoo to prove Ahmadinejad's incompetence.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
A not so reliable source is putting the blame on Mahmoud Ahmadinejad who is locked in yet another head-butting with Tehran Mayor Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf. As the Mayor, Ghalibaf is the final authority in charge of Tehran zoo as well as the Metro. Ahmadinejad, who has been desperately trying to take control of the Metro from Ghalibaf, seems to have finally settled for the smaller operation of the zoo instead.  The plot would supposedly give Ahmadinejad the excuse to take over the zoo so under his leadership the animals can enjoy the same level of rights guaranteed to the Iranian citizens at large.

Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani
Yet a highly connected individual credits Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, chairman of the Expediency Council, for the operation.  Rafsanjani is said to be the real brain behind the Green Movement, and this has brought a lot of unwelcome attention to him and his family. Apparently, he mobilized his vast network of confidants and bank accounts to also instigate the real green uprising at the zoo in order to create a diversion so can he can plot his next move in peace and quiet...

Some on the right are blaming the deaths on the Iranian documentary filmmakers, headed by their spokeswoman Rakhshan Banietemad, who were allegedly contemplating making a film highlighting the poor condition of the cats. No cats, no film! This has frightened the nonexistent gay community of Iran who have declared they'll refuse to be the subject of any documentary. Furthermore, they've appealed to Ahmadinejad to declare once again they don't exist so everyone including the documentarians would leave them alone!!

Ayatollah Mesbah Yazdi
Another source, rumored to be an infidel, has tried to pin the blame on the crocodiles as well as a certain ayatollah Mesbah Yazdi. Evidently Yazdi, who's said to hate big cats as well as reformists and feminists, among others, issued a fatwa calling the tiger and the lions unclean. He then forwarded the file to the Rogue Ministry of Intelligence for execution of the animals in a serial manner. This revelation has caused havoc among the agents of the Ministry who are still tormented by the memories of the serial murder of intellectuals. Most agents have now gone underground fearing they'll have to swallow hair removal gel in order to commit suicide and preserve the ministry's honor and secrets!

Meanwhile, a disenfranchised revolutionary has added Hassan Khomeini, grandson of the founder of Islamic Republic Ayatollah Roohollah Khomeini, to the list of the suspects.  Apparently Hassan gets very emotional and can afflict great pain on others, just as his grandfather did to the whole country.  For example, when he came face to face with the Interior Minister General Najar in the corridors of Khomeini's mausoleum last year, he punched him in the face and sent him to the hospital, because Najar had failed to call him by his surname.  They say Hassan visited the zoo since he's so fond of the greens and the lions.  But when he noticed the poor state of the kings, he was reminded of his own poor state as the heir to the throne, and this made him so upset that he pulled out his gun and put the lions out of their misery.

Finally, as with all other murders and failures, an influential regime insider, currently vacationing in London, is blaming US, UK and Israel for the zoo fiasco. It is said that the foreign agents, having successfully assassinated another Iranian nuclear scientist recently, celebrated by having a wild night at the zoo. Will this stick?  Does it really matter?

So what's next?

Mehdi Karroubi
Regardless of the stories and rumors, one thing is for sure. Mehdi Karroubi, the most outspoken opposition leader in Iran's history who consistently refuses to be silenced, will certainly get to the bottom of this affair. In 2009 Karroubi exposed the torture, rape and killing of political prisoners at the notorious Kahrizak detention center.  According to people clost to Karroubi, he's once again going to make history by exposing what really went on at Tehran Zoo, before and after the bloodbath; and based on the collection of evidence so far, that goes well beyond rape, torture and murder!

And finally, it's expected that it will take around thirty years before all the stories are weaved together and the real culprits are identified, tried, exonerated and rewarded.  So here is a chance for someone to step forward, spend thirty years to gather this magnificent collection of stories and put them to verse to create a Shirnameh (Book of the Lions) masterpiece. And thus the next Ferdowsi will be born J

Very Important Disclaimer: All characters referred to in this satire, including the author, are purely fictional.  Resemblance to real people is coincidental!

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