Iran has celebrated the propagandist Quds Day [Jerusalem Day] for years in order to demonstrate its alleged concern towards the Palestinian Cause, however what was new this year is that many Iranian citizens came out not to denounce Israel or America, rather the Iranian demonstrators came out to chant the words “No to Gaza and Lebanon…I will give my life for Iran.”
What is the significance of this?
This means that Iran’s allies in our region have reached the tipping point, for half the Iranian population is openly against them, leaving them reliant upon a regime whose internal legitimacy is weak, and weakening even further day after day. The demonstrations and dissention has not stopped in Iran, and today this is no longer merely present in Tehran, but has spread to other Iranian cities. Despite the claims of the regime that the dissension has decreased and declined, the anger and opposition has been present [in Iran] since Ahmadinejad’s re-election.
Clearly, the internal crisis that the Iranian regime is facing is both deep and dangerous, not just to the mullah’s regime, but to those who stand behind it. The religious authority of the Iranian Supreme leader has begun to erode, and the Iranians have begun to challenge the authority of the Revolutionary Guards. The Revolutionary Guard became a part of the conflict, and the commander of the silent coup that took place in Iran by standing behind Ahmadinejad.
The people of Iran have begun to deal with the Revolutionary Guard in the same manner that they used to deal with the forces of the Shah’s regime prior to the Khomeini revolution. Reformist sources informed Asharq Al-Awsat that the Iranians have launched the boycott of goods imported by the Revolutionary Guards, such as rice, cigarettes, and other goods. This means that the Revolutionary Guards, who are able to seriously benefit from external sources, are now beginning to suffer from the internal conflict in Iran.
All of this means that the Iranian regime, its Supreme Leader, and his military forces, are suffering from the loss of internal legitimacy. This has weakened the regime’s position with regards to supporting its allies and agents in the region, whether they are groups or nations. In the end the [Iranian] regime cannot ignore this internal division in order to continue to provide external support, in fact [the issue of] external support may be part of an internal settlement in the future.
This clarifies the difficult position which Iran’s allies and agents in the region are currently in, as there is an internal Iranian rejection towards them, and this means that Tehran is unable to continue to provide them with unconditional support as was the case in the past. And so at the same time that Ahmadinejad was making his Quds Day speech in which he – as usual – attacked Israel and expressed his skepticism towards the Holocaust, thousands of Iranians came out chanting “No to Gaza and Lebanon, I will give my life for Iran.”
Of course [Hezbollah chief] Hassan Nasrallah and others are unable to accuse half the population of Iran of being agents of Israel and the West, unless Nasrallah is more Iranian than the Iranians themselves. We must now closely monitor Iran’s position, and the position of its allies in our region who have become struck by confusion. In fact I have been informed that only a few days ago a high-ranking member of Hamas was present in Saudi Arabia, and he informed an Arab figure that he is more eager towards Saudi Arabia and Egypt than any other country, and that he is ready to reconcile with Mahmoud Abbas.