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December 13, 2009
An Iranian military ultimatum to the regime?
Afshin Elian, a professor at Leiden University, confirms in an article for Pajamas Media that a letter signed by key members of the Iranian military is a warning to the Iranian mullahs and their revolutionary guard henchmen that the army will intervene on the side of the protestors if the regime attempts a more serious crackdown on dissent:
"The army is a haven for the nation and will never want to suppress the people at the request of politicians. We shall remain true to our promise not to intervene in politics. But we cannot remain silent when our fellow citizens are oppressed by tyranny."
They go on: "Therefore, we warn the Guards who have betrayed the martyrs (from the war between Iran and Iraq) and who decided to attack the lives, the property and the honor of the citizens. We seriously warn them that if they do not leave their chosen path, they will be confronted with our tough response. The military is a haven for the nation. And we will defend the peace-loving Iranian nation against any aggression."
Very clear language. This declaration was distributed by several human rights sites such as Iran Press News and Amir Kabir and Gooya.
I have spoken with several sources inside and outside of Iran. The statement is real. If Khamenei orders the arrest of the officers, resistance will spread like wildfire in all barracks of the regular army.
The military in Iran has a tradition of obeying the civilian commanders and of eschewing efforts to drag them into domestic political matters. I take this letter as a sign that the regime is at a tipping point: Further, more brutal repression of the peaceful demonstrators will end in a military revolt against it.