Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Where's an Iranatologist When You Need One?

HuffPost has a headline about Iran's Assembly of Experts being called to an emergency meeting in the religious center of Qom.

There are very interesting things that are taking place right now. Some of my sources in Iran have told me that Ayatollah Rafsanjani, who is the head of the Assembly of Experts -- the eighty-six member clerical body that decides who will be the next Supreme Leader, and is, by the way, the only group that is empowered to remove the Supreme Leader from power -- that they have issued an emergency meeting in Qom.

Now, Anderson, I have to tell you, there's only one reason for the Assembly of Experts to meet at this point, and that is to actually talk about what to do about Khamenei. So, this is what I'm saying, is that we're talking about the very legitimacy, the very foundation of the Islamic Republic is up in the air right now. It's hard to say what this is going to go . .
An informed Iranian-American had a different take. "I think Rafasanjani is not going to ask for Khamenei's removal, but is bluffing to force Khamenei to drop support of Ahmadinejad."

But who really knows? Who can really guess? Iran's Assembly of Experts seems to be the religious version of the Politburo in the Soviet Union. They're the people who turned Ayatollah Ali Khamenei into Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. They're the people who decide who will be the "deciders" even if they're not involved in the ins and outs of daily government themselves.

But who knows whether the Assembly of Experts is actually meeting or what they're meeting about if they're meeting? Back in the good old days of the Soviet Union when the world was simple and our enemies were "reasonable communists" rather than terrorists, the U. S. had brigades of Sovietologists who closely followed the Politburo. They probably didn't know all that much for certain, but the Sovietologists could at least make plausible guesses about what was happening in the upper leadership ranks.

Where's a good Iranatologist when you need one?

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