They looked around all the deserted lots outside Tehran, just in case they might find his corpse.
They had no success whatsoever. But then over a month later, he called home with a faint voice, saying that he had landed in Evin prison. He had implored someone to lend him a mobile phone to make that call. He urged them to rush to his aid.
His family gathered a group of influential clergy who were aware of his campaign activities for Ahmadinejad, and bailed him out of Evin with great difficulty.
He was tortured and given electric shocks to the extent that he is unable to speak properly now. There were scars all over his body.
It was discovered that he had unintentionally hung Ahmadinejad’s photo upside down around his neck and was chanting slogans in his favor along with others on the street. Someone took his picture in that position and posted it on the Internet, ridiculing Ahmadinejad’s supporters with the caption: “Look at Ahmadinejad’s foolish supporters.”
They thought he had done such a thing on purpose on the U.S. and Britain’s orders and that he was their agent. Hence he was treated in a way that changed him from a healthy and clever person to a sick person who might commit suicide at any time. Now he is no longer able to work and earn bread and butter for his family.
Now this friend of mine, and his family, have all turned against the regime. [Via RFE/RL’s Persian Letters]
Despite our shameful inaction—unless the CIA has gotten the greenlight from the President in the world’s weirdest game of “Truckling Obsequious Cop, Invisible Bad Cop”—Iran continues to disintegrate. It appears to Confucius* that they may be in a real death spiral. It is in exactly this situation in which it would be useful to have some leverage to both push the situation into crisis and to have identified ourselves with the reformers to hearten them. (And, say, promise the Republic of Iran immediate recognition and billions in reconstruction aid.) But this Administration has left that money on the table for reasons that are inscrutable. Previous administrations may have had the excuse of the illusion of permanence (in the way Bush the Elder’s “Chicken Kiev” speech reflected a belief in the managerial continuity of the post-Soviet “Union”), but given the election crisis, President Obama’s does not. We’re exactly where long-time observers like Michael Ledeen said we’d probably end up: at the point where the people of Iran are finally sick of the vicious, fraudulent, pietistic despotism that’s been plaguing them since 1979.
So, where are we? Well, looks like the Khâmene’î/Ahmadî-Nezhâd faction is holding on by their fingertips. They are moving to try and kick Rafsanjânî, Mûsavî, et al., out of the picture permanently. Good luck to them with that. Rafsanjânî is the kind of snake you can cut in half and it’ll still sink its fangs into your neck and laugh. But most tellingly—popular resistance doesn’t seem to be fading, which usually betokens a gradual diminishing of fear of the régime—as in the above story, repression increasingly stiffens rather than stifles resistance.
The real wildcard is the ostensible junior partner in the faction, the IRGC. The Revolutionary Guards are the only clear winners in a disintegrating political complex, as they’ve got the guns. One occasionally hears mutterings from that quarter that the Atatürk model has much to recommend it (even as the increasingly loathsome Receb Tayyip Erdoğan and his foreign-policy cehennem zebanisi, Abdullah Gül, suck up to the Islamic Republic). Comes the collapse, a big question is: does the IRGC hang together and create a military dictatorship (temporary or permanent), or perhaps something resembling the Putinshchina, with state security organs and kleptocracy woven into a seamless garment?
*For those who came in late: Confucius is the Gormogons’ Œcumenical Volgi.
Don’t ask impertinent questions like that jackass Adept Lu.