From Trita Parsi’s Mouth to Iranian Clerical Ears
On Thursday, Trita Parsi of the National Iranian American Council suggested that one way for the Iranian opposition to keep its resistance to the re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad alive now that its legal appeals have run aground would be to persuade influential clerics to denounce the result. It seemed like wishful thinking. But as it turns out:
An important group of religious leaders in Iran called the disputed presidential election and the new government illegitimate on Saturday, an act of defiance against the country’s supreme leader and the most public sign of a major split in the country’s clerical establishment.
A statement by the group, the Association of Researchers and Teachers of Qum, represents a significant, if so far symbolic, setback for the government and especially the authority of the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, whose word is supposed to be final. The government has tried to paint the opposition and its top presidential candidate, Mir Hussein Moussavi, as criminals and traitors, a strategy that now becomes more difficult.
Guy might know what he’s talking about.