Optimism on regime change in Iran

Steve Shippert believes that beneath the surface, significant change may be underway in Iran because of splits among the senior clerics and the Council of Experts - the real rulers in Iran. Writing in ThreatsWatch.org, he posits that the position of Supreme Leader, held by Ayatollah Khatami, may be abolished.

One of the biggest questions I and others have had since the Iranian protests/revolt/revolution began was whether Mousavi would be any different in tangible effect (Hizballah & Hamas support, etc.) than Ahmadinejad and whether Rafsanjani was seeking to sack 'Supreme' Leader Khamenei simply to acquire the powerful position for himself. That question perhaps may have been answered today.

My ears first perked up when word made it through the grapevines over the weekend that Rafsanjani had been meeting with other Ayatollahs and clerics in Qom, and had among them a representative of Iraq's Ayatollah Ali Sistani.

Why? Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani in 2007 made two very critical statements: that "I am a servant of all Iraqis, there is no difference between a Sunni, a Shiite or a Kurd or a Christian," and that Islam can exist within a democracy without theological conflict. You will never hear such words slip past the lips of Iran's Ayatollah Khamenei. Ever.

I am not nearly well-enough informed to know if Shippert's hopes are unrealistic or not. But his analysis is well worth reading.

Hat tip: Bookworm