I was just noting that after all the excitement in the ninme household, #IranElection seems finally to have faded from Twitter’s trending topics.
The Times – The dust of dissent can still choke this regime<br/> Oppression in Iran seems tougher than ever, but beneath the surface, cracks are appearing and public anger still burns, by Rosemary Righter
The system of Islamic rule is not yet under open challenge, but the dust of dissent is indeed choking “every corner”. Battle has been joined not only between the regime and the cheated voters, and between the powerful supporters of the election’s “losing” candidates and the duopoly of Ayatollah Khamenei and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Inside the hardline camp, discord is also rife; last week the first signs emerged of a power struggle between Ahmadinejad and the Supreme Leader, his co-conspirator against the voters’ wishes. Even Khamenei’s own family is split; his eldest son is a key Ahmadinejad lieutenant, while his brother is close to one of the three opposing candidates, the “progressive” cleric Mehdi Karroubi.
Khamenei is set on toughing it out, but he is between a rock and a hard place. Within the hardline camp, Mr Ahmadinejad held out for an entire week before complying with the Supreme Leader’s explicit orders to cancel his offer of the senior vice-presidency to Esfandiar Rahim-Mashaei — an Ahmadinejad chum detested by conservative mullahs — and then cheekily appointed him head of the private presidential office. Khamenei cannot even afford to be angry: there is already a risk that the presidential inauguration ceremony next week will be a farce notable for the number of prominent absentees. For the moment, Mr Ahmadinejad has the Supreme Leader where he wants him.
Inoculated against the “martyr culture” by 30 years of Khomeinism, and the horrendous “Islamic human wave” death toll in the Iran-Iraq war, the young are far less prepared than their parents to die for any cause, even freedom, unless it appears to be attainable.