ITEM #1: The three-member judiciary panel investigating Mehdi Karroubi’s claims of abuse of detainees has declared they are false.
After the show trial “confessions“ the final justification for the arrest of top opposition leaders is now in place. For reasons noted in my analysis below, Karroubi’s arrest is unavoidable now. Whether Moussavil, Rafsanjani and Khatami are arrested may depend on what they do now.
An an earlier post noted, Khamenei carefully planned the slaughter of thousands back in the late eighties. This time he is stuck with a rush job thanks to unanticipated circumstances that change rapidly. Two huge handicaps didn’t exist in easier times. First, Khamenei can no longer control what the public learns of his crimes. Secondly, he faces the impossible job of discrediting a saint admired for his bravery.
If a revolution must have its blood, the regime–having tortured, raped and murdered so many innocents, is now about to have a martyr or martyrs. Knowing persistence would lead to crucifixion, Karroubi refuses to turn aside. In visible contrast to Khamenei, this is a man who cares deeply for his people.
ITEM #2: The National Security Coucil supposedly has barred any forbidden news items from carrying any mention of “Karroubi,” “Moussavi” and “Presidential Elections.”
The regime hopes it van stop the public from being inflamed by new of its crucifixions. Everyone knows why that hope is futile.
ITEM #3: Hashemi Rafsanjani, a strategist famous for tactical withdrawals has apparently backed off criticism…for now.
I suspect Rafsanjani has been warned of his arrest unless he shuts up. If other leaders are seized, Rafsanjani’s martyrdom would accomplish little, especially since the Assembly of Experts, which can replace the Supreme Leader and which Rafsanjani heads, will meet four days after Quds. Given preceding regime behavior, who knows what will happen? Obviously Rafsanjani’s presence is critical. If he gives the regime an excuse to act now, Khamenei won‘t hesitate.
ITEM #4: Khamenei allegedly drew up the document ordering Khamenei’s arrest “at least” two weeks ago (NY Times)
WHY ARREST KARROUBI NOW?
The regime had hoped–up to now–that it could somehow preserve the illusion of legitimacy and eventually win back popular support,. Considering that this is a regime justified by religion and headed by a supposed moral exemplar, Karroubi’s persistence in investigating horrific crimes against political prisoners too away all such hope.
Karroubi simply refuses to let go even if it kills him. It’s his persistence which has now placed the regime in a choice between bad and bad.
Khamenei has always known that to arrest any of the four top opposition leaders, especially if they could not be discredited, would be a disaster. On the other hand, the regime can’t afford any further exposure of its horrific crimes against young and innocent human rights demonstrators. For one thing it is increasingly evident that Khamenei sanctioned both the crimes and the coverups. For another, many prominent high officials-apparently took a direct hand in the torture and rapes, possibly including Khamenei‘s own son, Mojtaba. The latter alone would give Khamenei no choice.
It’s possible the regime may await the reactions of Moussavi and Khatami before making more embarrassing arrests. As for Rafsanjani, his temporary withdrawal may not save him. Both Khamenei and the Republican Guard can see value in detaining him until after the Assembly of Experts meets.