What Is Keeping Iran from Political Supremacy? Iran is.

Polaroid of the Iranian Flag
Iran is a theocracy that presents democratic characteristics (i.e. regular parliamentary and presidential elections) providing, thus, Iranians with a limited say in the political arena. Yet, their voices are not being heard because of an outdated ideology (i.e. the Revolution of ‘79 and the velayat-e faghih [the political-ideological foundation for the clerical regime]) that hinders Iran from moving forward into the 21st century and into a full Democratic State.

The church should never meddle directly in politics (even because that is not its primary role) and I wonder what would happen if the Ayatollah were stripped of his excessive powers over the Iranian political system: who would benefit from this move?

Iran is divided into four factions: Traditional Conservatives, Pragmatic Conservatives, the Fundamentalists and the Reformists.
The Traditional & Pragmatic Conservatives are rightists who adhere to the ideals of the revolution and adopt conservative views of religion and society. They are also tied to the bazaar and traditional business community and are led by Ali Khamenei and the high-ranking clerics; therefore a bit resistant to reforms that may threaten the revolutionary ideals and their own political & business interests.  Notwithstanding, the pragmatic conservatives are more open to reforms if these entail business gains.
The Fundamentalists (a.k.a. principlists) are also rightists and share the same ideals as the two mentioned factions; however, they represent a younger generation hailing from the revolutionary guards and the Basij paramilitary forces. Nevertheless, they can be extremely reactionary when it comes to their cultural and political values.
The Reformists (stemming from the radical-left that overthrew the Shah, took hostages at the US embassy and helped creating Hezbollah) have undergone continued transformations over the past two decades which translated into a loss of faith on policies to redistribute wealth and spread the revolution.  From them, the Green Movement was born; a movement comprised of Human and Women’s Rights organisations; secular and nationalist elements.

At first, the traditionalist and pragmatic conservatives would be the least to gain if the cleric were removed from politics; but then we realise it may not be so: since they hold the business and wealth in their hands, they control the nation; thus, the Ayatollahs could easily be set aside. The Principlists hold control of the military and secrets services; meaning that they control the law enforcement & national security in Iran – why do they need the Ayatollahs for? The Reformists have already expressed that they do not fancy the religious control; therefore, they require no further comment.

The business people, the military and the social-oriented folks can perfectly govern Iran without the interference of the clergy (who should be confined to the mosques to spiritually guide Iranians).
Theocracies made sense when the clerics were the only ones going to school, the only ones who could write and read and, the only ones having access to certain types of information and knowledge. In a society where all citizens go to school and know how to think by themselves, there is no need for an Ayatollah to make the thinking and decisions for them: the civilians can perfectly do it by/for themselves (and still see their interests well served).

Iranians are an admirable people who should be loyal to the Principle of the Revolution of the 21st century: a powerful laic Muslim Nation.

Comments

  1. The supreme ayatollah holds too much power and controls everybody in Iran - do you think that the factions closely linked to him are strong enough to abandon him?
    The Revolution of '79 is deeply embedded in the Iranian soul how can you say that it is outdated? Is the Revolution of '74, in Portugal, outdated?

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  2. Hi Anonymous :D!

    "The supreme ayatollah holds too much power and controls everybody in Iran - do you think that the factions closely linked to him are strong enough to abandon him?"

    Iranians are strong enough to seek freedom.

    "The Revolution of '79 is deeply embedded in the Iranian soul how can you say that it is outdated?"

    The ideology of the revolution of '79 is outdated: Western culture being a plague that needs elimination; Islam as being the true liberator from colonialism, neo-colonialism and capitalism; revolt and martyrdom against injustice & tyranny; rejection of influence of capitalism and communism; and the supervision by the leading Islamic jurists (i.e. subjugation to the Supreme Leader, the Ayatollah x, y or z) to avoid deviation from the traditional sharia law.
    If you look at it closely, you will realise that the ideology (which is anachronic) is preventing Iran from progressing both economical and politically. Iran has regional ambitions: but it will never fulfil them under the Ayatollah Khamenei.
    The Persians have a great history and culture: too great to be under the yoke of the clergy and its obsolete views of the world.

    "Is the Revolution of '74, in Portugal, outdated?"

    It is. And although it liberated the people from fascism; it also re-shaped the minds of the Portuguese in a negative way, thus imprisoning them in the cell of state-dependence and resignation.
    Portugal was an empire 38-37 years ago and, look at it now...

    Anonymous, thank you ever so much for your input :D.

    Cheers

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  3. Olá Max,

    I agree that Iran could be a stronger influence in the region if she played her cards right. But since it chose to take a more radical venue no one respects her. Not only no one respects her, but will do anything to hinder her success - the tighter sanctions are a proof of that.

    There have been Iranian presidents (Rafsanjani and Khatami) who have tried to relax international relationships a bit which gave Iran a chance to improve its economy and diplomatic ties. But then Ahmadinejad ruined everything much because of the Ayatollah's direct influence.

    As long as Khamenei rules we cannot count on any improvement and I feel sorry for the Iranian People.

    Já estava com saudades disto.

    Tchau

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    1. Olá Celeste :D!

      "I agree that Iran could be a stronger influence in the region if she played her cards right. But since it chose to take a more radical venue no one respects her. Not only no one respects her, but will do anything to hinder her success - the tighter sanctions are a proof of that."

      Why, I must say that I am inclined to agree with you.
      Iran has a lot of potential which is being hindered by the theocratic narrow-mindedness: what a shame!

      "There have been Iranian presidents (Rafsanjani and Khatami) who have tried to relax international relationships a bit which gave Iran a chance to improve its economy and diplomatic ties. But then Ahmadinejad ruined everything much because of the Ayatollah's direct influence."

      So I read, indeed. You know, I believe that even Ahmadinejad tried to change the course of things (because he seems truly concerned with his people and their welfare; for example, when he was the Mayor of Tehran he did an excellent job [his city was outstanding, quite the opposite of many cities in the middle east]) however the supreme leader Khamenei sabotaged all his efforts, pushing him to sound more crazy than he is...but of course, all these things a bit more complex because of the interests involved.

      "As long as Khamenei rules we cannot count on any improvement and I feel sorry for the Iranian People."

      I hear you.

      "Já estava com saudades disto."

      Eu também já estava com saudades da tua presença aqui.

      Celeste, thank you ever so much for your outstanding comment :D.

      Cheers

      Delete
  4. Max, it is about time that Khamenei and his cronies get the hell out of the supreme seat. They should learn from the rabbis in Israel: they have power despite the democratic system put in place. The Israeli people rule with a rabbinical twist and I don't see anything wrong with it, for it gives a sense of order. If we let the left have its way, oy vey!

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    1. Hi Ana :D!

      "it is about time that Khamenei and his cronies get the hell out of the supreme seat."

      Agreed.

      "They should learn from the rabbis in Israel: they have power despite the democratic system put in place."

      The same goes for the Christian church in any democratic Christian nation.
      You are right, they should learn from others.

      "The Israeli people rule with a rabbinical twist and I don't see anything wrong with it, for it gives a sense of order. If we let the left have its way, oy vey!"

      I see what you mean. LOL LOL LOL *nodding*...

      Ana, thank you so much for your fab comment (& humour: you kill me) :D.

      Cheers

      Delete
  5. As long as the ayatollaj Khamenei stays in power Iran will never progress and the west will never resume diplomatic ties with Iran. Khamenei and all he represents is too radical, too dangerous. Their mahdi ideology doesn't help either cause they really believe that chaos must be caused to quicken his coming.

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    1. Hi Anonymous :D!

      "As long as the ayatollaj Khamenei stays in power Iran will never progress and the west will never resume diplomatic ties with Iran."

      I hear you.

      "Khamenei and all he represents is too radical, too dangerous. Their mahdi ideology doesn't help either cause they really believe that chaos must be caused to quicken his coming."

      He is, it is. So so true: I am yet to understand why would the coming of the Mahdi be connected to violence and attrocities...it's sad that they would think it that way.

      Anonymous, thank you ever so much for your great comment :D.
      I appreciated it.

      Cheers

      Delete
  6. "Iranians are an admirable people who should be loyal to the Principle of the Revolution of the 21st century: a powerful laic Muslim Nation."


    You must be the only one who hopes for a laic Muslim Nation. In Islam, as I understand it, it can never happen. Whether the Shias or the Sunnis, Mullahs will always pull the strings because they will have the vast majority under their thumb.

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    1. Hi Rummy :D!

      "You must be the only one who hopes for a laic Muslim Nation."

      In Iran? I am not the only one hoping for it; but perhaps I am one of the very few voicing that hope.

      "In Islam, as I understand it, it can never happen. Whether the Shias or the Sunnis, Mullahs will always pull the strings because they will have the vast majority under their thumb."

      I disagree because a few centuries ago the same was said about the Catholic Church and look at most Christian societies (in the West) now. The people fought and eventually got what they wanted. The same will eventually happen in Iran and other Muslim nations.
      I believe globalisation worked against theocracies and autocracies.

      Rummy, thank you so much for your awesome input :D.

      Cheers

      Delete
  7. I bet you and my husband will have a lovely conversation. I learn most of the current events from him since I have other interests and it's funny that I rarely check the news when I'm working in a media house.

    I'm completely oblivious with what's happening in other parts of the world unless it's about fashion and entertainment. Anyway, it's nice to know something new and at the same time it broadens my horizon. As I've said before, you make me think Max! :)

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    1. Hi Charlie :D!

      "I bet you and my husband will have a lovely conversation. I learn most of the current events from him since I have other interests and it's funny that I rarely check the news when I'm working in a media house."

      I am sure we will, if we ever meet :D. Perhaps your profession doesn't demand a constant update of current issues...

      "I'm completely oblivious with what's happening in other parts of the world unless it's about fashion and entertainment."

      Fashion and entertainment is your world; so I get it. Besides, fashion is important as well (I love it).

      "Anyway, it's nice to know something new and at the same time it broadens my horizon. As I've said before, you make me think Max! :)"

      Agreed. Why, thank you for your generosity, Charles Ravndal *bowing*.

      Charlie, thank you so much for your comment, honesty and kindness :D. Always a pleasure.

      Cheers

      Delete
  8. Somehow couldn't see my comment made on this post:(

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    1. Hi Kalyan :D!

      I am so sorry to hear that: it happens sometimes and it is so annoying.

      Nevertheless, thank you for having commented (you know I love your thoughts) :D.

      Cheers

      Delete

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