Iran : In a fit of pique Rafsanjani plays the low profile game
Last Saturday, on the occasion of a session of the Expediency Council -see below- Rafsanjani who denounced publicly for two months the Supreme Guide Khamenei changed his speech to call people for following him “in the name of the country’s unity !”
There was never any internal war inside the regime’s political machinery : a plenipotentiary organism, The Expediency Council of the Interest of the Regime-created and presided by Rafsanjani- decides of the regime’s every policy regarding any field. In the interest of the regime which is to appear as a democracy, this organism always staged its internal quarrels between so-called opposed different factions. Subsequently the regime uses the political alternation between its trends to call into question the Iranian State’s commitments. This is how the mullahs’ regime manages its relations with the West and particularly its nuclear issue conflict since the beginning of the crisis in 2003.
Alternation management | On the beginning, Khatami insisted on the right for enrichment and refused any compromise by multiplying provocations with the AEIA. This is the regime’s basic policy : it makes provocations to increase crisis as it hopes for making Westerners capitulate for fear of a war that would hit the Persian Gulf. Such blackmail generally reaches its limits when it’s faced with other blackmail : sanctions threat. Thus after several months of possible sanctions evocation, when Westerners mentioned they would transfer the issue to the Security Council, Khatami accepted a compromise in November 2004. This was the “agreement of Paris”. Tehran thus avoided sanctions. Straight away it imagined ways to not respect its commitments : on the occasion of the presidential election of June 2005, it replaced the so-called moderate Khatami with Ahmadinejad who called immediately into question the agreement of Paris and this didn’t give rise to any criticism from the moderates or from their leader, Khatami. The latter didn’t tell anything because such operation permitted to get back to square one : restoring of the nuclear programme, intransigence to get right for enrichment and return to a provocation policy in order to increase a crisis that would augur some war.
Regional stake | Tehran accepts every risk and stems from this right at all cost because it implies the possibility of a nuclear power that would be very popular into the Arab street that dreams to crush Israel or at last to force it to obey Arabs. The nuclear slogan is a sure way of ensuring the Arab street’s support so to become this leader : thanks to this slogan and to the effort provided to obtain the right for enrichment, Tehran would extend its regional role beyond Lebanon or Gaza Strip to reach every Arabic-Muslim country. This would be the successful conclusion of efforts that were started to become the leader of the region. This is a bet. To win it, Tehran must go on. If it gives in or if it accepts some appeasement with Americans who are Israel’s allies, it will loose the support of the Arab streets and its Islamist militias would even let it down. This is the future of the regime that is brought into play.
Paradoxical solution | In 2005, Tehran enthroned Ahmadinejad in order to head to confrontation and obtain this right. Despite every kind of nuclear, ballistic, military or human provocation, Ahmadinejad didn’t manage to make the West capitulate and this made in the meantime sanctions get harder. In 2009, Tehran happened to be into some emergency situation : it needed a moderate person to limit sanctions but also an anti-moderate one to deny any dialogue.
The emergency plan came out of such paradoxical situation in order to block the situation by simulating an internal crisis with a contested and then non-representative president and a possible successor who is renowned for being a moderate and who could take over to get a saving compromise.
To make the project successful, it would have been necessary that Westerners and in particular the very democrat Obama rise to the bait. The bait was to simulate a popular protest -that would be supposedly democratic- against Ahmadinejad’s legitimacy, a green revolution !
Chain hitches | Shortly before elections, Rafsanjani, the political regime’s boss, wrote an open letter to the Guide “to warn him against some fraud attempt in order to avoid streets to be on fire”. The election took place. Then some fraud was denounced and this brought on the streets several thousands of green-dressed demonstrators who chanted slogans in favour of Mussavi.. Westerners got perplexed and didn’t make any move.
The regime did the mistake to allow a great popular gathering and the project went out of control : 3 million Iranians went down the street not to support Mussavi but to contest the regime. Obama who delayed expressing about this UFO revolution found an upraising population of which he doesn’t support this dream of a secular Iran. The mullahs’ project of Green Movement turned out to be a failure.
Improvisations | To make Obama stop keeping silence, Tehran improvised by chanting slogans against the Guide but it didn’t obtain the expected effect. As it got enraged, Tehran overstepped the mark : in order to involve Obama, several people and among them some members of the Council of Experts, an organism that is in charge of deposing the Guide, asked for an emergency session to dismiss the regime’s servant from his functions. Nothing again. Tehran explored other ways such as protesters’ trial or evocation of rapes against them but it obtained nothing that would appear as a support to protesters, a fact that would initiate some protest against Ahmadinejad’s legitimacy. Irritated with the mullahs’ manoeuvres, the United States, France and UNO acknowledged alternately the elected president Ahmadinejad and signed the own death warrant of this protest project.
From then on, the regime undertook a necessary effort to find some honourable exit to those attempts that destabilized it : First it named a new chief of judicial power to put an end to the trial and then it formed a commission to investigate the rape rumours…
Yesterday the regime’s political boss, Rafsanjani, closed officially the case of Guide contesting. Besides this is not his first gesture in this way. Last week, as president of the Council of Experts, he adjourned every session of this Council for a month in order to calm the game down definitely.
Other decisions were made immediately afterwards : the first statements of the government insist on its will to cooperate with the AEIA by authorizing greater observation of its Natanz enrichment plant. Whenever the sanctions threat appears more probable, Tehran keeps low profile.
Actually it’s necessary to specify that such low profile was part of the protest plan against Ahmadinejad. The weakened president had to accept a compromise that would have been refused by his challenger and the Green Movement. But presently the regime accepts to keep low profile without any efficient plan to call it into question.