Iran’s Ahmadinejad | Running Out of Time
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is literally running out of time - politically, militarily, and rather frighteningly, spiritually! Iran is teasingly close to an all-out war with the United States and the consequences for Iran, the U.S., and the world are enormous and potentially cataclysmic.
Conservative Ahmadinejad was swept into power in August 2005 on a wave of populist support for his promise of revitalization for a stagnant Iranian economy. Three years into his presidency and his political weakness reflects Iran’s debilitating economic malaise.
Despite record oil prices which have proven an economic boom for many of the world’s leading oil exporters, the Iranian economy is feeling the full force of U.S.-led trade sanctions, crippling inflation and demoralizing unemployment. Domestic policy failures have emboldened the President’s political adversaries and even Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei appears to have publicly divorced himself from a once tight relationship with Ahmadinejad.
Growing domestic unease for the President’s zealous foreign-policy battle with the West has drawn early and vigorous discussion for next year’s Parliamentary elections and even some talk of the Ayatollah supporting either the early recall of the Presidency or the an early call for presidential elections from the scheduled 2009 timeline. Such is the animosity surrounding the President’s handling of Iran’s nuclear ambitions and Iran’s increasingly isolated position position in the world; the President finds very few allies and barrage of pressure and
Iranians are already debating the possible candidates for the next presidential election and the outcome - reformist or strict conservative - very much depends on either a turn-around in fortunes for Ahmadinejad or a ridiculed failure at the hands of the U.S. and its U.N. cronies.
Conservative candidates include *:
- Incumbent President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
- Ali Akbar Velayati, M.D. - former foreign minister under President Rafsanjani
- Mohammad Nahavandian - is an U.S.-educated economist and is a national security advisor
Reformist candidates include *:
- Mohammad Ali Najafi - MIT-educated mathematician and former Minister of Education under Rafsanjani
- Mohammad Reza Aref - Stanford-educated scientist and former first vice president under President Khatami
* source: National Interest Online : “The Next Iranian Elections“
It certainly appears that President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad wants a military conflict almost as badly as President Bush. Both parties seeming eager to build upon their war of words with an increasingly dangerous tit-for-tat series of military skirmishes, insurgent attacks and counter-intelligence missions that do nothing but increase the likelihood of a fully-loaded armed conflict between the two nations that will ultimately drag the entire Middle East, and the world, into a disastrous armed conflict.
Military skirmishes include:
- U.S. storm Iranian consulate in Iraq and arrest Iranian forces [link]
- Iranian forces abduct and murder U.S. soldiers in Karbala, Iraq [link]
- U.S. / Iranian forces in border firefight [link]
- Iran kidnaps 15 British sailors [latest link]
Insurgency strategies include:
- Iran financing, educating and arming Iraq’s Shia insurgency [link]
- U.S. protecting, training and using the Iranian anti-revolutionary
faction ‘MEK’ inside Iran for counter-intelligence and insurgency [link]
With Russia’s military carefully watching the U.S. military naval build up in the Persian Gulf, the drum beat for war appears to grow ever louder. The media has gone so far as to report Good Friday - May 6, 2007 - as the scheduled date of a U.S. military strike on Iran’s leadership, communications, logistics and nuclear facilities.
Perhaps the U.S. feels emboldened by a slew of intelligence coups that must almost certainly be aiding the U.S. decision makers as they hunt for and target the locations of Iran’s secretive nuclear facilities located deep underground in facilities across the Iranian territories.
A steady flow of defections from senior and very well-placed Iranian military and intelligence officers have been reported in recent weeks. These defections weakened Ahmadinejad’s position and much emboldened the U.S. military with a hefty intelligence goldmine.
The GeoStrategy-Direct online subscription media site reports “at least eight senior IRGC and five Iranian Intelligence Ministry operatives have reportedly defected.”
These defections include:
- Senior Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corp (IRGC) intelligence commander, Jalal Sharafi - a senior commander of the IRGC’s Quds Corps, responsible for financing Shi’ite and other insurgency groups in Iraq.
- Quds Brigade commander Brig. Gen. Mohsen Chirazi - knows the IRGC network in Iraq and in the rest of the Middle East.
- Former Iranian Deputy Defense Minister Ali Reza Asghari - “privy to confidential information regarding Iran’s plans in case of conflict with US”
- Colonel Amir Muhammad Shirazi
- An unnamed Iranian Colonel reportedly supplied documents, maps and photographs of Iranian nuclear weapons installations and other strategic sites.
If a military showdown is the ultimate conclusion to this steady ratcheting of diplomatic and military tensions between Iran and the West - then it plays perfecting into the Iranian president’s divine belief in the return of the Shiite messianic figure, Imam Mahdi, of whom, Shia Twelvers believe will rid the world of the infidel and Jewish scurge.
The British Daily Telegraph newspaper very succinctly describes Ahmadinejad’s dangerously stringent belief in the coming of the 12th Mahdi and his resolute belief that “His return will be preceded by cosmic chaos, war and bloodshed. After a cataclysmic confrontation with evil and darkness, the Mahdi will lead the world to an era of universal
It is reported that Iran’s state media apparatus prophesizes the 12th Iman’s spring return. With an article on the WorldNetDaily suggesting Iran’s media is “… heralding the coming of the Shiite messianic figure, Imam Mahdi, noting he could arrive with Jesus by the
Is the world ready for a military conflict that could so easily ignite the entire Middle East and every oil-dependent industrial and economic power into destructive war of epic proportions? The clock is ticking!
Richard Buchanan | The Opinionist Blog