February 28, 2007


Some in Iran denounce Ahmadinejad stance (IranMania.com, February 27, 2007)

On Monday, the US, the four other permanent members of the Security Council and Germany met in London to consider further sanctions against Iran over its nuclear program, after Tehran rejected UN demands it halt its uranium enrichment program.

On the eve of the gathering, Ahmadinejad struck a defiant tone. He told a group of clerics that Iran's nuclear ambitions were unstoppable. "The train of the Iranian nation is without brakes and a rear gear ... We dismantled the reverse gear and brakes of the train and threw them away some time ago," he said.

Those comments brought a hail of condemnations in Iran on Monday, not only from reformists who have long opposed Ahmadinejad, but also from conservatives who once backed him but now see his fiery rhetoric as needlessly provoking the West into confrontation.

"Why are you speaking a language that causes a person to be ashamed?" wrote the reformist daily Etemad-e-Melli, or National Confidence.

"A train's brakes are needed to reach its destination safely," it said. "You represent the voters of the great Iranian nation. Speak equal to the name and dignity of this nation."

The conservative daily Resalat chided Ahmadinejad, saying "neither weakness nor unnecessarily offensive language is acceptable in foreign policy."

"Our foreign policy must reflect the ancient Iranian civilization and rich Islamic culture of the Iranian nation. Therefore, delicacy ... rich diplomatic language and non-primitive policies must be part of a calculated combination to work," it said.

Ahmadinejad's critics have grown more vocal ever since his allies suffered a humiliating defeat in local elections in December. That vote was swept by reformists and anti-Ahmadinejad conservatives who said the president has spent too much time castigating the West and neglected dealing with Iran's faltering economy.

Posted by Orrin Judd at February 28, 2007 9:00 PM

Sounds like the Night of Long Knives is coming. I wonder if the mullahs know what is in store for them (I'll bet Yazdi has been sharpening his blade for years, for example). Sounds like the Japanese government around 1935, with assassins stalking ministers in hallways and guys hiding in baskets with their wives sitting on top.

BTW, what is the possibility that Rafsanjani is seeking to replace Khameini (not just to be elected President again)? I read this on another site today (Capt. Ed or Dafyyd, can't remember), and it made sense insofar as Khameini is sick and probably won't live out 2007 - obviously Ahmandinejad can't serve as Supremo (without killing thousands), but Rafsanjani is a cleric (even if lightly regarded). He could appeal to everyone as a 'fusion' candidate who can mollify the West. He might even interest the main Brother here.

Posted by: jim hamlen at February 28, 2007 9:55 PM

Yes, he's been jockeying with Yazdi (?) for the spot.

Posted by: oj at February 28, 2007 11:30 PM

Rafsanjani as Fiorello La Guardia? Ho, ho, ho.

Posted by: ratbert at March 1, 2007 10:41 AM

Well, this worthy oriental chap is making a declaration of undeterrability. I wonder if he thought up this figure of speech on his own or whether he adapted it from Hermann Kahn's famous parable of winning a game of "chicken" by taking off the steering wheel and waiving it from the car window.

Posted by: Lou Gots at March 1, 2007 12:43 PM