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As of January 2009, this site is definitely closed, but you can follow Safa Haeri on his new blog: DAMAVAND at

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is sincerely dangerous

Published Sunday, April 22, 2007

Iran Press Service – A Persian proverb says “forty poor can sleep on a rag but two kings can not live on a country”. Recently, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad seems to have crosed the boundaries reserved to the leader of the Islamic Republic, Ayatollah Ali Khameneh’i. Do you think in power sharing in Iran or Mr. Ahmadinejad might be pushed aside?

Ahmad Ahrar – Until now, Ahmadinejad has been obeying the leader. Both he and the Speaker of the Majles, Haddad Adel conducts their activities in total cooperation and control of what is called the House, or Office of the leadership.

Behind the scene, the post-Khameneh’i era is starting.

There are open warnings by some tenors of the radical wing of the leadership about plots aimed at replacing the absolute velayat e faqih, which is the corner stone of the Islamic revolutionary system by pushing the clergy out of the scene, and they go as far as indirectly accusing supporters of former president Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani of fomenting such a conspiracy.

The warning was the fuel of the machine that, under the direct surveillance of Mr. Khameneh’i and the massive participation of the Revolutionary guards, removed people like (former Majles Speaker Hojattoleslam Mehdi) Karroubi and brought Ahmadinejad to power in the last presidential elections. In other words, Ahmadinejad is a by product of that warning. As I said, until now, he is strictly acting according to the directives he receives from the leader, plus the fact that he is also attached to the Revolutionary Guards, the strong military establishment that is now playing an expanding role in the political and economic life of the regime.

But, and this but is important: I think that behind the scene, the post-Khameneh’i era is starting. All the people involved, from the so-called reformists to those now in power, they all know that Mr. Khameneh’i is aging and is also in poor health, a situation that has prompted them to start jockeying for the post-Khameneh’i period, explaining also their bickering and inside fighting. Therefore, I don’t think that for the time being Mr. Ahmadinejad would engage in a confrontation with the leader, for the simple reason that in case of such a fight, all of them would be endangered.

One has to add that dictators are very vulnerable to jealousy, competition, power sharing etc. In regimes like Iran where individuality matters, the one who is sitting on the very top can not tolerate others sitting under him to challenge his power. But Ahmadinejad has not reached the level of positioning himself directly in face of Khameneh’i.

IPS – Anyway, from what you say, one may conclude that in Iran like in other regimes, there is one decision-taking centre, while what we see is a room filled with dangerous materials like explosives where noisy, virulent, impolite, rowdy, mentally retarded children are fighting each other and playing with matches, setting fire here and there. Do you have the same impression?

A A – Completely. When I hear statements by some Revolutionary Guards commanders or the officials, particularly Mr. Ahmadinejad, I shake all over my body, because contrary to what they are injecting in the people’s mind that the United States or Israel are preparing a military attack on Iran, -- while all the information and facts we have so far indicates that there are no such schemes against Iran, for the simple reason that such a military adventure does not serve their interests --, it is the Iranian officials, the ruling clerical-led leadership that are encouraging such possible threats and are provoking it.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is sincerely dangerous-Body-3

Yes, as you said, it looks like a group of rowdy children have found their way into an arms depot and thinking what they have found there are toys, want to frighten people outside, ignoring that they are destroying themselves and the whole area. I genuinly feel this danger and think it is very serious.

IPS – You implied that post-Khameneh’i infighting might have been started. Who would be the new generation taking over?

A A – Not a new generation. The problem is in the Iranian revolution like in other revolutions, among the revolutionary groups that have reached the power an inside fight starts after the victory of the revolution. This fight at the beginning is theoretical, political, with one group stating that time has arrived for governing in peace and attending to people’s needs and strengthening the foundations of the regime, others thinking differently, insisting on perpetuating the revolution in order to survive and not let the counter-revolutionaries emerging a new. As seen by all other revolutions, like in France or in Russia, the more radicals have had the upper hand against the more moderates. In Iran we have the same fight, hence the warnings I told you before.

The emergence of a so-called reformist movement from within the ruling clergy frightened the radicals, sensing that if the reformists won, the whole regime would be lost for ever.

On the other hand, the reformists thought by injecting a small dose of reforms, they can save the system. But their mistake was that despite the massive backing of the people, the leader of the movement, Mr. Mohammad Khatami not only lacked the potentials of leading such a movement but also he did not want to change the regime.

The result was the fiasco of the reform movement and the come back of the hard liners, with the difference that this time they do not intend to repeat the mistake they did before, ready to keep the power at any cost. Hence the dangerous speeches of Mr. Ahmadinejad or other military commanders, stating foolishly that “we are capable of destroying world’s economic order, paralyzing all the world’s energy sources, deploying our submarines in the Persian gulf waters in a way that everyone recognizes that the water way belongs to us etc”. Those are serious provocations. This means playing with fire. Let’s assume that for the time being, the international community is against a military strike on Iran. But what if a Guards commander who makes such a senseless declaration and has few missiles under his control decided to send one of them over one of the neighbouring emirates, or over one of their oil fields or over an American warship?

The emergence of a so-called reformist movement from within the ruling clergy frightened the radicals, sensing that if the reformists won, the whole regime would be lost for ever.

IPS – One of the things that keeps the international community wondering about the Islamic Republic of Iran is the opacity of its decision-making, the contradictions between statements from top officials, the cacophony one hear from Tehran, with the recent case of the British sailors as one example of this dissonance, the way they had been seized, then the television interviews and finally their release, with civilian dresses, bags of gifts and Iranian military and civilian officials almost apologising, including the President. How do you explain this phenomenon?

A A – In a cartoon, one see several people, military, clerics and civilians, the leader, Ahmadinejad, the Chairman of the Expediency Council etc in a row pointing their fingers to the next one, saying “he is responsible, not me”. This is the situation in Tehran, a situation which is also their line of defence. In the one hand, the President make incendiary speeches, insists that Iran’s nuclear activities are irreversible, provoking the international community, on the other hand, Mr. (Ali) Larijani (Iran’s top nuclear negotiator) calls on Mr. (Xavier) Solana (European Union’s Security and Foreign Affairs Minister), telling him Iran is ready for talks.

Anyway, these people are not afraid of a military attack, possibly even welcoming it, considering a war as a gift of God for themselves, as it proved to be the case when Saddam Hussein attacked Iran, a war that consolidated the newly installed regime.

But what they did not expected and were not ready for it was to see the international community putting dual economic and diplomatic pressures on them. All the adventures they get into, like in Iraq, in Afghanistan, in Lebanon and elsewhere are possible thanks to money, the oil money. It is with money that you can make Syria your waiter; it is with money that you can create chaos in Iraq, make the Hezbollah in Lebanon as your arm against Israel, the explosions in Buenos Aires. It is with money that you can buy Palestinian radicals as well as helping the Talebans destabilizing the Afghan regime etc..

But what when you don’t have money? It is then when the snake has no poison, that the wolf has no teeth, the bandit no knife. It is to avoid such a situation that they try to accommodate the international community while at the same time provoking it, in the hope of getting assurances from the United States and other world’s major powers to not try destabilise them, by the way of outright military attack or by what the Intelligence Minister referred to as a “soft revolution”, using the students, women, teachers workers as the tools of that move.

A dog was running fast and farting and wagging its tail at the same time. A passer by asked the animal from whom you are running away? The dog said “from the enemy”. Why are you farting? “Because I’m afraid!”. Why wagging your tail? “Because I hope a mediator saves me!”. This is exactly the situation of the Iranian leaders.

IPS - In telling the story of the wagging and farting dog, you pointed to “enemy”. As far as I remember, Mr. Khameneh’i has also his “enemy”. In every speech he delivered since he became leader, he repeatedly mentioned this “enemy” and warned the Iranians against it. Though it is clear that he considers the West and the United States and the international Zionism as the enemies, yet, one has the impression that the “enemy” he talks of must be something else, virtual. What do you think?

A A – We have two sets of states: One which I describe as normal, rational, moderate, trying to live in peace and harmony with foreign nations. Another set is those which do not feel safe, are shaky, vulnerable, facing many problems. These regimes needs to have always an enemy, real or virtual, in order to maintain the population is a state of permanent mobilization, under tight control, installing censorship and waging dictatorship etc and everybody dares to oppose, he is immediately branded as enemy of the government, the regime, the leader....

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is sincerely dangerous-Body-2

IPS - .... But who or what is the enemy?

A A – According to the circumstances, it can be Saddam Hussein, George Bush, tomorrow it can be this Chavez with whom they are so friendly now or this same Bashar Assad with whom they have become strategic brother. Look to Europe, which one day is Iran’s supporter and friend and the other day its enemy. Take the case of Russia and China, two of Iran’s major allies now turning slowly slowly into enemies. In one word, there is a vital need for an enemy.

IPS – One of the major concerns of the international community with the Islamic republic of Iran is the very person of Mr. Ahmadinejad, a man who openly states his adherence to the Mahdavi doctrine, insists that he has been given the mission of paving the road for the return of the Mehdi, a road that passes through the destruction of the State of Israel. The problem with such a man is in case one day he is in possession of an atomic weapon; he may use it in the accomplishment of his mission. What is your answer to this preoccupation?

A A – It is exactly because of this worry that the security Council has approved sanctions (against Tehran) with unanimity. As a journalist, I have known personally members and leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood closely. It is with this knowledge that I can assure you that Mr. Ahmadinejad is a perfect personification and example of the Feda’iyan Eslam (the Iranian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood). If you had know Khalil Tahmasebi (a senior member of the Feda’iyan Eslam who assassinated prime minister Haj Ali Razmara in 1951), you would knew that he was an affable carpenter leading a peaceful. But one day we learned that he has killed the prime minister. I said that to say that people like Mr. Ahmadinejad are absolutely sincere and his most sincere desire is to become martyr of Islam and après moi, le deluge, as the French say.

IPS – Right, but the question is that how one can stop that danger?

A A – This is a several billion question. I have no answer for that...

IPS – ... But he is the president of a country. One day he could be in possession of an atomic arm and as you described, he might throw it over Israel. The bomb would certainly not reach Israel; it is possible that it would explode over Iran or Iraq. But the result is that Iran would be wiped off the map instead of Israel under massive bombardment from allied forces.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is sincerely dangerous-Body

A A – I don’t think they need atomic weapons to destroy Israel and Iran. What I see right now is that this situation, this way of governing, this way of thinking etc has placed Iran into a very dangerous path. Even if nothing happens, the country is sinking gradually into the abyss, loosing all its economic and human potentials, leading to local disturbances, revolts, rebellions. We are encircled by Sunnis who are suffering at the hands of the Shi’a mollahs imposing discrimination against them, behaving as an occupation force against all other minorities.

Then we have the danger of an Arab mobilization against the threats coming from Iran. They can as well join the camp of Iran’s enemies, this time not virtual, but very real.

I must add here that the only country that is satisfied with the present situation of Iran is our dear Russian neighbour, which wants Iran continue its antagonism with the West, and above all with Washington.

In a country like Iran where martyrdom is synonymous of sainthood, where radio and television pour a deluge of propaganda centered on martyrdom, a man like Ahmadinejad can become one of these suiciders who blow themselves up in markets and public places in Iraq or in Afghanistan or in Somalia, killing himself and hundreds of innocent people on a much larger scale, considering the power and possibilities he has in his hands. Yes, unfortunately, this is a possibility and this is a grave danger. ENDS AHRAR 22407


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As of January 2009, this site is definitely closed, but you can follow Safa Haeri on his new blog: DAMAVAND at

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is sincerely dangerous-Main
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