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Iranian Regime’s Isolation on Several Fronts – Updated

2010/07/09

UPDATE:
Question was posed:
How many [Greens] would have to die for you to take them seriously?”

Answer replied:
“It’s not the Greens in the square I’m questioning – obviously – but whether there are – or not – significant leadership issues.

Are the Ruskies playing them? Are there some on top who are in it simply for the power?

It’s not as if history lacks precedent for such cynical plays. I’m rather concerned that the Greens in the square dying now are going to be rounded up later by “their own.”

Yeah, I take them seriously. I just hope that when the present regime falls that it’s a genuine change towards liberty and not another nuke-armed “dictatorship of the proletariate.””

My rationale is straightforward: Be careful what you request. It’s one thing for America and Israel to face a nut-job regime even the Sunnis hate. Could it be any worse that a rationalistic, nuclear-capable regime that still hates America and Israel with the Sunni world backing them? Which is why I’m asking the question about who in the Greens is running the show. No insult intended to the Greens, but I do hope they’re kosher at the top.

Right. Back to our regularly scheduled program…

At home, the Iranian regime is in a death spiral. Michael Ledeen reports.

The death spiral of the Islamic Republic seems to be gathering momentum. That big fire at a major oil well I told you about last week continues unabated, with big flames and clouds of noxious black smoke pouring out. And these are the people who offered to clean up the much larger catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico.

But mere physical disaster is trivial compared to the events that are taking place in Iran. In the past week, the regime has been confronted with two direct challenges: a strike in the grand bazaar of Tehran, and the very public battle between conflicting elements of the regime for control over the Free University. The strike in the bazaar — protesting a dramatic 70% increase in their taxes — was taken very seriously by the regime, because the supreme leader and his cronies know that if the merchants turned against them it could prove fatal. Khamenei capitulated within a few hours, just as he had two years ago when the bazaar shut down for an entire week. This sudden about-face from the supreme leader did not bring order to the country’s markets; the strike continues, which is big news indeed.

[Please read it all… Michael succinctly and efficiently packs a lot of information into a short column. – Ed.]

...seek first Liberty

Iran’s isolation grows, too, in the Islamic world. From the Washington Times:

By Eli Lake
6:50 p.m., Tuesday, July 6, 2010

ASPEN, Colo. | The United Arab Emirates ambassador to the United States said Tuesday that the benefits of bombing Iran’s nuclear program outweigh the short-term costs such an attack would impose.

In unusually blunt remarks, Ambassador Yousef al-Otaiba publicly endorsed the use of the military option for countering Iran’s nuclear program, if sanctions fail to stop the country’s quest for nuclear weapons.

There’s much more: Recently a report suggested that the Saudi’s would stand-down air defenses along a northern corridor to permit (Israeli) air strikes against Iran.

Michael Ledeen has been urging American support for internal revolution for years.  One wonders: How does the nuclear question play with the Greens? Are they strong enough to succeed now, at this time? If so, are they deliberately holding back?

If, for instance, the Greens succeed now – before Iran has operational nuclear capacity – they would inherit a moral obligation to stand-down development and focus on domestic economic security.  One wonders if the Greens and their supporters in the mullahcracy haven’t been disingenuously biding their time, letting the regime crank away with development, in the hope that internal revolutionaries will inherit a nuclear force.  If the Sunni world is giving the nudge-wink to potential Israeli aggression, then such delays by the Greens would be playing a very dirty game of risk indeed.

On the other hand, if the Greens are yet not strong enough to fully succeed, then would Western military attacks weaken them hopelessly if the regime is able to play “the victim”?

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