Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei threw his support to the obvious fraudulent presidential triumph of President Ahmadinejad, and in so doing may well have ushered in the end of clerical power in Iran. During the past few years, Ahmadinejad has slowly but surely replaced clerics in government with members of the military as he works to redesign the Iranian government into a full fledged dictatorship. Khamenei argued: “If the difference was 100,000 or 500,000 or 1 million, one might say a fraud could have happened. But how can one rig 11 million votes? Perhaps, the Ayatollah might check out “elections” in Nazi Germany or Fascist Italy, five million was easy to rig or even ten million. Khamenei has unleashed a monster who will devour the clerics and drive them from power. One day, the Ayatollah will regret his failure to support the people of Iran who demonstrated in favor of democracy.
The tragedy is the destruction of a potential democracy because some clerics feared the right of people to express their views. Khamenei can blame the United States or the UK for the street demonstrations, but President Obama has been very careful to avoid making provocative statements. Ahmadinejad may push the buttons until he pushes the one which results in retaliation, a retaliation which will damage the people of Iran.