Sunday, September 19, 2010

Karroubi shatters another taboo

Mehdi Karroubi does it again and shatters yet another taboo in the Islamic regime. In the past 31 years none of officials, clerics or political personalities in Iran have challenged the rule and competency of the supreme leader. But Karroubi, in his recent letter to the Chairman of the Assembly of Experts, Hashemi Rafsanjani, decried the impotency and inability of this assembly to do its duty which is to supervise the leader. He also cited the dependence of the judiciary system on the dictates and control of Khamenei, as well as the infiltration of the revolutionary guards into every level of society, economy and political affairs with the blessing of the supreme leader. The embattled reformist, in other words, opens the door for discussion on removal of the supreme leader as unfit and questions his competency in reigning in elements and applying justice in his rule.

I doubt Karroubi ever entertained any hope of Rafsanjani acting on the letter or perhaps even comment on it. But issuing of the open letter marks another barrier broken which will be followed by more people bringing Khamenei and his decisions under question. I can only imagine how the conservatives and those allied with the leader may respond, which may range from utter shock and disbelief to anger and fury over such impertinence. This may also raise the level of calls for prosecution of Karroubi and other green leaders by the hardliners. However, the damage is done and I can only suspect it will be open season on Khamenei in near future, especially the way he and his decrees have been defied and weakened by Ahmadinejad’s camp.

In the midst of it all, Rafsanjani’s silence is intriguing as well. His character will never allow him to side with such letters and anyone holding their breath for a clear move or word of support from him may be in for a surprise. But he may yet find a way to utilize this to further his own agenda, albeit covertly. One thing is certain, though, which is testament to his longevity throughout the years, and that is he will never risk anything to help the freedom movement. Unlike Mehdi Karroubi, who has risen in stature in the eyes of everyone, surpassing the ever cautious, passive Mousavi.

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