The Islamic Republic is also moving fast in strengthening its not-so behind-the-scene spheres of influence where Islamofascist movements abound such as Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. Collectively, by extending their tentacles across the region, they hope to cause more issues and complexities for any one force to tackle successfully. The mullahcracy has probably placed its sleeper cells and lobbyists across the Western countries on alert pending potential foreign military strike or an internal coup. The clerics' livelihood and fat bank accounts are at stake.
Ahmadinejad was purportedly targeted a few days ago. Mixed reports either claimed the assassination attempt failed or rejected the notion of an assassination attempt all together. Given Iranians know their problem is not a person or persons but rather the theocratic regime in its entirety, and assassination attempts in Iran have traditionally been at the hands of Islamofascists and leftists NOT nationalists, then it is more likely this was an internal ploy to shatter the spirit of the national uprising in portraying the members of the regime as untouchable. The Islamic Republic has mastered psychological warfare as well as the use of Western mainstream media's naïve and self-destructive journalistic tendencies.
Is the Islamic Republic flexing its muscles by showing the world that it has successfully imprisoned 70 million people, and if its existence is truly threatened, it can and will cause havoc on multiple fronts so that everyone can experience life under mullahcracy?
To the contrary, the Islamic Republic's desperation is now more apparent. Its power is an illusion. Among the leadership there are major factions and disagreements. Divided into two groups, the elite ideologues such as Ahmadinejad want to use the country in bringing about the apocalyptic while elite charlatans such as Rafsanjani want to continue laundering the nation's wealth. In the mean time, the Iranian people have announced they will not sacrifice themselves or their country for the sake of Lebanon (Hizbullah), Gaza (Hamas), or the Islamic Republic Supreme Leader Khamenei despite his recent decree that he must be obeyed by the people!
So the men and women of Iran are being threatened and bullied more than ever before. The youth, majority of Iran's population, express their anger and frustration by defying strict Islamic social rules and codes of conduct. Fearless and strong, the youth challenges the regime through public debates, literary works, and underground cultural activities. In the eyes of the Iranian teens and 20-somethings representing 75 percent of the unemployed, the previous generation is guilty for taking part in the 1979 Islamic revolution!
Iran's pre-Islamic heritage remains under attack by the regime's massive construction projects that plow through ancient sites since nationalism has been and always will be an internal threat. There are reports of fast boats equipped with launch missiles and torpedoes in the Persian Gulf essentially creating Iran's first terrorist naval force. Since the clerics, their families and friends, as well as members of the Revolutionary Guard control the country's imports and exports, the regime is threatening to increase tariffs by up to 200 percent allegedly to hurt countries hostile to the Islamic Republic when in fact higher tariffs will mostly squeeze middle class Iran.
The regime's threats and temper tantrums clearly indicate they are cornered and isolated. Their lack of focus and reason is borderline insane. There is no reasoning with irrationality. Iran is at the verge of internal eruption. Something will have to give. Pressure can only be sustained for so long. Anderson's evaluation of the Green Movement is flawed. The Green Movement was swept away by the national movement months ago. Iranian population is overwhelmingly under the age of 30. They are young and hip. Having grown up in a dual environment — unpopular Islamofascism teachings in public versus cherished Iranian culture of tolerance and modernity in private — Iranian youth showed the world what they are capable of doing and enduring. Their savvy tech skills are their strength. They are in touch with the world despite communication crackdowns, and quiet aware of and vocal about what they want and do not want. They are neither confused nor fatalists.
Mousavi and Karoubi did not and do not represent this national movement since they were part of the regime from the beginning and played a major role in its foundation and survival. They believe in the theocracy and its Constitution based on Sharia Laws which the world now knows is not based on justice and equity. Anderson should note the Green Movement shifted a long time ago as it was an excuse for the people to rise against three decades of torture and terror. It has given way to the birth of the Iranian Movement which is here to stay.
The real opposition to the regime and the one force that can topple it — and rather quickly — is Iran's national identity and culture which has risen and spread not only within the borders of Iran, but across the globe among Iranians in exile. A powerful sign of the national movement against mullahcracy is reflected in daily greetings where the word salam (Arabic) has been carefully and consciously replaced with dorood (Persian).
A government rejected by majority of the people will not survive. The question is how, when, and what. Pacifying the regime in Tehran via dialogue is suicidal and not worth any short-term benefits. Sanctions are not sufficient since a rich Iran has ties with corrupt governments around the world. And the black market only enriches the clerics and their paid thugs. Military strikes are not feasible given the obvious political and psychological backlash resulting in unexpected, undesirable consequences.
According to former Iranian diplomat and president of Azadegan Foundation, Dr. Assad Homayoun, the United States has a great opportunity to regain its unique strategic asset in Iran — the people of Iran. Contrary to the regime's propaganda, the Iranian people are the only predominantly Muslim people, who admire the U.S. Even the billions of dollars that the U.S. has and continues to pour into Pakistan and Arab nations have not gained the trust and respect of those populations. According to Dr. Homayoun, in the past, the U.S. failed to recognize its asset in the Iranian people. The U.S. now has a second chance and should seize that opportunity. Those who support a war policy do not understand that in case of war this unique strategic asset will become a great liability.
The only win-win solution is to recognize the shift in the movement — the Iranian Movement. It should be supported by all means to bring radical change from within without the need for direct involvement of the Free World. Iranian people are very ready, willing and able to change the direction of their nation. The Free World will not escape the spread of terrorism and instability should the Middle East continue its current path. And the Middle East cannot and will not move towards progress and away from chaos without a secular, free Iran.
Sheda Vasseghi is on the Board of Azadegan Foundation and is a regular contributor to WorldTribune.com on Iran’s Affairs.