Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei made a high-profile visit today to Qom, Iran’s holy city and the heart of Shiite learning. The trip is a bid to demonstrate that he remains in firm control of a religious establishment that has been shaken and divided by last year's controversial election and the violent protests that ensued.Dear President Obama: You really blew it!
State-run media highlighted the visit as “historic,” and for days in advance showed images of clerics painting welcoming messages on cars and motorcycles, and readying stacks of posters.
Ayatollah Khamenei basked in the adulation of crowds given the day off from work and school, in welcoming scenes far removed from those of a year ago, when protesters across Iran chanted “Death to Khamenei.”
“He wants to show off his legitimacy, especially [because] since the election his legitimacy and popularity were greatly damaged and for the first time in the history of the Islamic Republic we had a huge demonstration in Qom … unprecedented, in which people shouted slogans against Khamenei,” says Mehdi Khalaji, an Iran expert at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, who once trained at a seminary in Qom...
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Qom and Get It
There was a glimmer of hope last year that Iran might turn around when the populace rose up and tried to get rid of the evil men who have been oppressing them for so long. That hope was snuffed out, however, when the American president failed to support it, deciding instead to continue with his untried -and-untrue (insane, really) policy of "outreach" to zany nuke-building totalitarian theocrats. The window of opportunity has now slammed shut, and this (from the CSM) is the result: