The imminent collapse of the Iranian regime has been predicted so often in the past few years, that one assumes the attitude of, “Let me know when they hang Ahmadinejad from the nearest minaret.” But Michael Leeden does see some cracks developing.
“In late July, Mohammad Ali Jaffari, commander of the Revolutionary Guard Corps, the regime’s Praetorian Guard, admitted publicly that many top officers were supporters of the opposition Green Movement. Shortly thereafter, according to official government announcements, some 250 officers suddenly resigned. In the past weeks, several journalists from the Guards’ FARS news agency have defected, some to France and others to the United States.
“Meanwhile, Iran has suffered a series of attacks against its petroleum industry. As Iranian media reported (detailed in the London Telegraph), a pipeline to Turkey was blown up last month, most likely by Kurdish oppositionists. Soon afterwards there was an explosion in a natural gas pipeline near Tabriz.
“That was followed by a spectacular blast at the Pardis petrochemical plant in Assalouye, which-being a major facility for converting natural gas to fuel for vehicles-is central to Iranian efforts to cope with the new United Nations, U.S. and European Union sanctions against refined petroleum products. “
The development of opposition infiltration into the dreaded Revolutionary Guards, the SS of the Iranian regime, coupled with acts of sabotage against the Iranian petrochemical infrastructure are serious indeed. And yet these things are not being reported in the mainstream media in the West.
It is clear that the Iranian opposition is getting more bold and aggressive in its effort to bring down the theocratic government that has ruled the country during the past three or so decades.
The regime is starting to get sloppy as well. Ledeen reports how the Iranian Air Force shot down three drones that were spotting flying near the Russian built nuclear power plant. It turns out that the drones were Iranian, of the type recently unveiled by Ahmadinejad as the “Ambassador of Death” unmanned bombers. A “special unit” has been created to operate the Iranian drone fleet, but unfortunately no one bothered to inform the regular Air Force.
Will the combination of increasing aggressiveness by the opposition, the economic sanctions that seem to be having an effect, and the increasing erratic behavior of the Iranian government come together at last to bring about regime change? It is possible, though if it does happen, it will be sudden and many will say it was unexpected.
The same thing happened when the Soviet Empire fell and later the South African white minority government.
The question arises, what will our own government do about it? So far President Obama’s policy is to appease the Iranian regime and to give the opposition the cold shoulder. What will the President do if the opposition suddenly becomes the government? Will he attempt to mend fences with a hypothetical democratic Iranian government? He would be smart to do so, though President Obama’s record with American allies (Britain, Israel) has been somewhat spotty at best.
A democratic Iranian government would also have little reason to trust Barack Obama should it come to power. It will know that it succeeded despite and not because of the current American government and will act accordingly.
Source: Cracks in the Iranian Monolith, Michael Ledeen, Wall Street Journal, August 24th, 2010