Iran's top mullah pours out the tears and flapdoodle – and then sends goons to beat up the dervishes
Iran's supreme leader, Ali Khamenei, has a way of imagining that Iran's citizens are fools. After making a belated confession about all the injustice to Iran within the mullahs' regime, he then went and created some more injustice by dispatching the regime's repressive forces for a new attack on a group seen as a terrible threat to their power: a gathering of dervishes in Tehran. The contrast was quite striking.
First, shaking in his boots over the growing calls in the streets for his demise ("Death to Khamenei!") by thousands of ordinary Iranians, this past Sunday, Feb. 18, Khamenei oh, so belatedly confessed to injustice in the mullahs' regime, telling Iranians on television, "We are completely aware of the people's criticisms, and their complaints. We have been told; others have been told, too, and these words are conveyed to us.... When we say they could criticize, it doesn't mean that they only criticize the government or the judiciary or the parliament; no, somebody may also criticize me too." The penitent mullah then added, "We are retarded in justice, there is no doubt about it; we acknowledge, and we admit this... Regarding justice, we should try hard, we should work, and we should apologize to the Almighty God and the dear people. We have problems in justice." Sniff, sniff.
The top mullah's apology is nothing special. It's actually reminiscent of the old shah of Iran's message to the people back in November 1978, two months before he fled Iran, when he said: "I heard the message of your revolution." Khamenei's words are just his own delirium over the regime's imminent collapse. They aren't actually about being sorry.
The strongman is actually making his fake apology as his crimes have not diminished whatsoever. They don't involve anything like changing his behavior, for instance, the way normal apologies work. There is still the daily news about deaths under torture by the regime's henchmen of those who were arrested in the last uprising. The corruption continues – Khamenei is the greatest thief in Iran's history as well as the great killer of Iranian people. He and other leaders of the regime are responsible for plundering, mass executions, massacres, and torture over the past four decades, and he's not about to stop just because he "apologized."
The first proof of this came about the very next day, when a gathering of dervishes in Tehran were attacked by the Iranian regime's repressive forces.
In case you were wondering what a dervish is, well, it's not a figure from a fairy tale. A dervish is a member of a Muslim (specifically Sufi) religious order who has taken vows of poverty and austerity. If you have ever heard the term "whirling dervish," the "whirling" is a reference to a meditative practice done by one branch of the order in Turkey. Dervishes are in many places, however. They first appeared in the 12th century. Their focus is on the universal values of love, peace, and service.
It didn't stop the mullahs from doing what they always do. On Feb. 19, Iran's repressive forces attacked a group of Gonabadi dervishes with tear gas, batons, and gunfire after the group had gathered outside the police station on Pasdaran Avenue in Tehran. According to reports, a number of these protesters were injured, and some were arrested. They had gathered since the morning to protest the arrest of one of the dervishes and to demand his release.
The security and intelligence forces surrounded the area, and they kept coming. A group of people in the surrounding streets blocked the transfer of repressive forces to the location. A number of police force motorcycles were destroyed by the protesters.
In the course of the January uprising, the Iranian people have already told the mullahs what they think of them, in particular Khamenei. Their protest slogans of "death to dictator" and "down with the mullahs' rule" was their response. With his phony apology, Khamenei will not be able to rescue his broken and corrupt system from oblivion. His hated regime is eventually going to be overthrown.
Hassan Mahmoudi is a human rights advocate, specializing in political and economic issues relating to Iran and the Middle East.