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Al Jazeera: Khamenei's speech 'a threat'

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran's supreme leader, has spoken publicly for the first time about with his country's disputed presidential election results.

His comments followed massive street protests against the poll outcome, which showed Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the incument president, winning with 66 per cent of the vote.

Analysts gave their opinions to Al Jazeera on the speech made during Friday prayers at Tehran University.

by Sassafras on Fri Jun 19th, 2009 at 12:16:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This threat, while renewed, has been assumed by all those who are protesting this entire time.  Everything we have seen since the election in terms of mass protest is actually illegal in Iran.  

There is also great danger for Khamenei here in that any attempt to seriously crack-down will create a large number of martyrs.  In Islam and particularly in Iran this presents a great challenge to the ruling power and undermines the legitimacy of the "Islamic Republic."

I think the legitimacy of the Republic has already been largely undermined.  If the Ayatollah goes further he will lose the support of the masses entirely.  There are two foundations of the Islamic Republic of Iran that are critical for its legitimacy with the people:  Respect for Islamic principles and respect for the will of the people.  A violent suppression of protest at this juncture would constitute a violation of Islamic principle and the second has already occurred.  

by paving on Fri Jun 19th, 2009 at 04:24:11 PM EST
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The interesting question will be the time frame. Khamenei seems now quite vulnerable to event risk and it is likely that Rafsanjani and other power brokers in Iran are and will be working on options and will act opportunistically.  George Packer posted an interesting article comparing the potentials for change in Burma and Iran on The New Yorker blog on June 17: Green and Saffron.  He finds it unlikely for a number of reasons that hardliners can as successfully stonewall in Iran as they continue to do in Burma.  

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Jun 20th, 2009 at 01:07:50 AM EST
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