Khamenei Goes All-In

Not that he had much choice, really. To me the speech reads like one from a man who knows in his heart that his days are numbered. There are only two options here for him: victory for the protesters, which would mean he gets deposed (at best); or victory for Ahmadinejad, which would mean he'll become nothing but a figurehead, with the security forces really in control of the country.

The guardian council has said that if people have doubts they should prove them. I will not follow false allegations. In all elections some are winners and some are losers. Correct legal procedures should be followed to ensure trust in the process. The candidates should be careful about what they say and do. Some diplomats from the west are showing their real face and that they are enemies. The worst are the British.

The street is the place of living and trading. Why are you taking to the streets? We have had the election. Street demonstrations are a target for terrorist plots. Who would be responsible if something happened?

In threatening a real crackdown, though, he also let a little truth slip in:

Try to forget about politics and remember spirituality. This is the way to gain freedom. From the beginning the revolution was based on the strength of your faith.

Patience, courage and, most importantly, faith are the biggest weapons the protesters have in their arsenal. The will of the regime is fragile, and it will shatter on that rock if they can remain strong.

And, just to put on my rose-coloured glasses for a moment, maybe that was Khamenei's attempt to rationalize what he figures to be the almost inevitable outcome of it all. If the protesters win, won't they be the true heirs of the 1979 revolution? Won't they be saving its ideals from the corrupt path it has taken over the last 30 years?

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