Iran: Can the Islamic Republic Survive?

“The military regime in Tehran is in its final days,” says Forbes. Military, police, and Basiji thugs have been out on the streets of Iran’s cities, attacking the crowds. Mohammad Moin, the son of Mustafa Moin candidate has been arrested. Basiji thugs also stormed the prayer room where former president and opposition leader Mohamad Khatami was speaking. And Seyed Ali Mousavi, the 35 year-old nephew of opposition leader Mirhossein Mousavi was shot and killed by security forces.

Yet, according to reports, the violence of the regime appears to betray more than a whiff of desperation, and some forces appear to be losing their stomach for brutalizing unarmed citizens.

Curiously, a document entitled “Coordination Center for National Iranian Armed Resistance Forces declares its existence,” purporting to be an announcement by dissident army personnel, has also turned up dissident websites in English and Pharsi. The document declares that:

“[…] a number of Officers, Soldiers and personnel of the Armed Forces of the Islamic Republic of Iran, hereby declare our readiness for rise to the armed defense of our nation against the forces of the criminal, illegitimate, transgressing and occupying current Government of Iran, and hereby inform our brothers and sisters serving with the armed security forces of Iran, invite them to join us, request their support and ask them to provide cover for us in this moral and national act. A special request for support and cooperation goes to our brothers of the Military Police.”

It also sets out “operational stages,” rules of engagement and conditions for a ceasefire. Army personnel supporting the “resistance” are require to fly “green symbols and the Hosseinian (green) banner […] next to our national tricolor banner.” The document also states that the CCNIARF will hold “a referendum within 3 months of formation of temporary Government, to determine whether people would want a new regime based on democracy & separation of 3 powers principles, observation of human rights, respect for all faiths & religions, legal equality of genders and religions.”

Whether this document is authentic, or merely intended as a psychological assault against the regime, it is clear that there is significant dissent among Tehran’s forces, with some riot police disobeying orders to shoot into the crowds of protesters. There are also conflicting reports, with claims that some soldiers have removed their uniforms and joined the police (why?), or have joined the protesters. Enduring America has posted a photograph of “an anti-riot officer, wearing a green headband given to him by demonstrators.”

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