With Ashura One Day Away, the Islamic Republic Trembles

From The Newest Deal:

ScreenHunter_05 Dec. 26 18.17 Ever since Grand Ayatollah Ali Montazeri’s sudden death last Sunday, events in Iran have been unfolding at a dramatic pace, and with Ashura now only a day away, the regime’s fate has never been more uncertain. In fact, Montazeri’s death may end up being the seminal event that takes the Green Path of Hope from being a social movement into becoming a full-fledged and national uprising.

The regime’s handling of the late dissident cleric’s death has had two discernable effects. First, it has only expanded public sympathy for the Green cause, and particularly to a more pious demographic. The shocking disrespect Khamenei showed in his message of “condolence” by saying he would ask God to forgive Montazeri for failing his “momentous test” — a reference to the falling out the Montazeri had with Khomeini and his eventual renouncement of the Islamic Republic — has enraged many Iranians. Khamenei, it should be noted, was not even an Ayatollah when he was anointed Supreme Leader after Khomeini’s death. Montazeri, on the other hand, stood alone with Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani as the most senior religious authority in the Shia faith. Khamenei's recent delusions of self-grandeur have only made many religious Iranians become cognizant of a truth that Montazeri stated long ago: the Islamic Republic acts anything but Islamic.

The Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) has reportedly recognized just how ill-advised the regime’s blundering actions in the aftermath of Montazeri’s death were. In a letter to the Interior Minister, the council blasts the attack on Ayatollah Taheri’s mourning ceremony in Isfahan, citing the enormous outrage it created after word leaked out and first reached Qom and then to the rest of the country. For a supposed theocracy to be targetting the clerical class is indeed telling of just how desperate (and paranoid) the regime has become.

More here. [Thanks to Zara Houshmand.]