Is the End Nigh for the Islamic Republic?
by Bernd Kaussler
Published on Monday, May 14, 2012
Current Trends in Islamist Ideology, Volume 13
The concluding paragraph:
Ahmadinejad’s millenarian nationalist propaganda and, more generally, the resurgence of popular messianism have created new fault lines in Iranian politics. For the time being, it appears that an irate clergy and the military establishment have managed to close ranks and join together, despite their ideological differences, for the purposes of suppressing this millenarianism and checking what they regard as the attempted efforts by the president to usurp political and religious power. While the clerics may have thrown their support behind Ahmadinejad to thwart a reformist comeback in the 2009 elections, the president’s millenarian zeal and populist nationalism has proven as dangerous (if not more) to the clerical regime as the Green Movement’s call for democracy. As Iran is fighting battles at home and the country’s economy continues to suffer under the most punitive international sanctions since the revolutionary era, the shadow of war looms large. Having consolidated his power, it is now up to the Supreme Leader and his allies to break the nuclear stalemate—either by coming to terms with the West, or by acquiring or demonstrating a “break out” capacity to manufacture a nuclear weapon. Should they fail to accomplish this, the clerical regime will soon face a new threat to its rule, one which will invariably spring from the “deviant currents” of either reformism or millenarian nationalism.