Hi again Everybody,
As the world's headlines – and particularly those of the Middle East remain fixed upon Iran, let's continue our discussion on the ongoing events there.
Chuck asked my opinion the other day on the situation and it could be that the opposition presidential candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi, is the platform for change in the restless and hopeful hearts of the beaten and shot-at masses in the streets.
Again and again, the video that emerges from Tehran's streets show women in the forefront of the marches. They are refusing to be relegated to the sidelines and remain quiet. This is an amazing thing for this Shi'ite country – and the desire of a generation that wants freedom now.
It is difficult to tell how or when the ongoing riots in Tehran will cease. One could say that they have downshifted since the weekend violence.
But it does appear clear that if the people wish for a popular revolution – they have taken the first step – and more. And the road many wish they are on is one that leads to ousting the existing Islamic regime.
The Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khameini is really in grave predicament. If he were to crack down harder – he will raise the stakes of further public disorder and the international communities scourging.
On the other hand, if he were to act with restraint he runs the risk of appearing weak. That could also bring more protests and protestors.
But as I said on Harvest a few days ago, there seems to be (perhaps best termed as) a power struggle between Khameini and former President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani. He is the leader whose name has largely stayed out of the presses radar screen until members of his family were arrested and then subsequently released.
Mr. Rafsanjani still wields power in Iran, chairing the 86-member Assembly of Experts that actually has the power to oust Khameini. This may be a big factor behind the massive unrest in Iran.
Middle East Correspondent