This is an incredibly significant step because it paves the way for an actual revolution.
Iranâ€™s biggest group of clerics has declared President Mahmoud Ahmadinejadâ€™s re-election to be illegitimate and condemned the subsequent crackdown.
The statement by the Association of Researchers and Teachers of Qom is an act of defiance against the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has made clear he will tolerate no further challenges to Mr Ahmadinejadâ€™s â€œvictoryâ€ over Mir Hossein Mousavi.
â€œItâ€™s a clerical mutiny,â€ said one Iranian analyst. â€œThis is the first time ever you have all these big clerics openly challenging the leaderâ€™s decision.â€ Another, in Tehran, said: â€œWe are seeing the birth of a new political front.â€
This has a few practical effects.
- It puts the Supreme Leader in a nearly indefensible positions and calls into question his authority.
- These clerics can now claim the moral high ground and possibly unseat the Supreme Leader
- It’s unlikely that Mousavi will be arrested at this point, even though Khamenei has called for it.
Also, let’s not forget that even though the protests were quashed last week, folks will be coming out in about 20 days to mourn the deaths of the protesters who died during the first round. And this could lead to more deaths, which will lead to more protests, etc. And that’s how the revolution in 1979 happened, so there’s a possibility it could happen again.
More as it develops…