November 13, 2015


Iran's 'Deep State' Has the Most to Lose from Opening to the West (Muhammad Sahimi, National Interest)

Why is the deep state so terrified? First, it was opposed to the nuclear agreement and was hoping that the red lines that Khamenei had set would prevent reaching any agreement. That did not happen; instead, the Rouhani administration crossed some of the red lines and signed the agreement with the P5+1.

Second, the reformists led by former President Mohammad Khatami, and the moderates led by Rouhani and Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani (also a former president), are popular with the middle and upper class in Iran. Any significant improvement in the economy will also strengthen their popularity even among the lower class and the poor.

Third, nationwide elections for the Majles and the Assembly of Experts (a constitutional body that appoints the Supreme Leader) will be held on February 26, 2016. There is already a fierce power struggle [37] over the outcome of the elections. Given that Khamenei has been ill, it is quite likely that the next Assembly will have to appoint his heir [38]. By attacking the United States, the "naïve defenders of negotiating with the U.S." and "agents of U.S. influence," the deep state is trying to prevent supporters of Rouhani, Rafsanjani and Khatami from playing any role in appointing Khamenei's heir, or taking control of the Majles.

Fourth, once Western companies can do business in Iran, the economic empire of the IRGC will not be able to compete with them. It is simply not equipped with the latest technology and know-how, particularly in the areas of oil and natural gas. The Rouhani administration has not granted it billions of dollars in oil and gas projects, the way former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad did [39]. Thus, the empire will be gradually marginalized. Loss of economic might will inevitably lead to loss of political power.

For the first time since the 1979 Revolution, there is no shadow of war over Iran, and tensions between Iran and the West have abated significantly. 

Posted by at November 13, 2015 3:37 PM