"Battle for the Islamic Republic":
Now that Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei, has placed himself shoulder to shoulder with his officially elected president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the very existence of the Islamic regime may now be questioned openly in a nation ever more divided between reformists and those who insist on maintaining the integrity of the 1979 revolution. Had Khamenei chosen a middle ground, some small compromises towards the countless millions—for in the election, it appears, they were indeed uncounted—who oppose Ahmadinejad, then he might have remained a neutral father-figure. Mir Hossein Mousavi and his supporters had religiously—in the most literal sense of the word—refused to criticise the Supreme Leader or the existence of the Islamic Republic during last week’s street demonstrations"Symbols Are Not Enough to Win This Battle":
But reacting as all revolutionaries do even decades after they have come to power—for the spectre of counter-revolution remains with them until death—Khamenei chose to paint Ahmadinejad’s political opponents as potential mercenaries, spies and agents of foreign powers. Treason in the Islamic Republic is, of course, punishable by death. But Khamenei’s political alliance with his very odd and hallucinatory president may have sprung from fear as much as anger.
You don’t overthrow Islamic revolutions with car headlights. And definitely not with candles. Peaceful protest might have served Gandhi well, but the Supreme Leader’s Iran is not going to worry about a few thousand demonstrators on the streets, even if they do cry “Allahu Akbar” from their rooftops every night.
This chorus to God emanated from the rooftops of Kandahar every night after the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979 – I heard it myself in Kandahar and I heard it last week over the rooftops of Tehran – but it no more stopped the Russians in their tracks than it is going to stop the Basiji or Revolutionary Guards. Symbols are not enough.