IRAN Breaking: Keep an Eye on these Developments July 17 2009

From an intel specialist on the region and Motley Fool poster, GHDude:

Friday prayers in Tehran will be led this week by Ayet’Allah Rafsanjani. Why is this big? Even though the regime would love him imprisoned or dead, he’s so influential it would be suicide to do so. Mousavi they can push around a bit, but harming Rafsanjani would surely mean blood for the powers that be.
Mousavi, Khatemi, and Karroubi… the other corners of the movement have all promised to be there which speaks to there being some big announcement.  There’s even traffic going around amongst the protestors that those in attendance should should in the middle when “G-d is great, Khamenei is leader” is supposed to be said, substituting “Death to the dictator.” And act that would provoke vicious reprisal from Basijis lurking about.  The question is what will he say? This is probably the biggest speech of his or the Islamic Republic’s life. He could simply call for working within the system, letting down millions of his followers and probably ending this reform movement.

He could announce the formation of a formal opposition to the government that would undermining Ahmedinejad and Khamanei’s authority, but a peaceful one. This is probably most likely given his typical style. Reformer, but a pragmatist unlike a guy like Khatemi who now openly calls for “democracy without prefix” meaning end to clerical power.  But there’s a wild card. He’s known to have been speaking with a huge range of people throughout the clerical establishment, IRGC, military and even reaching out to their Iraqi allies. Some are speculating that means he’ll take this opportunity to issue a fatwa for resistance, declare the murdered protesters martyred (this has particularly important implications for the Shi’a faithful) thus rekindling the revolution.
I suspect it depends on whether or not he’s been able to steal away some armed support to stand up to Ahmedinejad’s goons and whether or not he’s willing to risk his fortune and the possibility of losing all hope of reform.
No matter what, tomorrow is huge. All of Iran will be watching and waiting for their cue.


Tear gas is being fired onto the crowd of prayer-goers in Iran right now.
You can follow developing events on Nico Pitney’s blog at HuffPost, too.

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