Mar. 10, 2019
- People, especially the younger generation, are not interested in the shopworn anti-American discourse seasoned with empty pseudo-Islamic slogans. The anti-American discourse sounds even more hollow when the Islamic Majlis publishes claims that some 15,000 children of senior Islamic Republic officials, including many mullahs, are in the United States for further studies and that hundreds of top Khomeinist officials are either US citizens or hold American “Green Cards” (permanent residence documents.) Reports of top officials and mullahs or their families traveling to the West for holidays, medical services and shopping further contribute to the falseness of official Friday sermons.
- In the past few weeks, sermon texts coming from Tehran have been peppered with patriotic themes about the Iranian “nation” rather than the “ummah” and Tehran’s attempts at dominating several Arab countries justified, in the words of Quds (Jerusalem) Force chief Gen. Qassem Soleimani, as “moves necessary to protect our national territory.”
- In the final analysis, however, a change of personnel and official discourse may not be enough to save a tired system in deep crisis. The core question in the debate about Iran’s future remains: change within the regime or regime change?
If you are one of the 3,400 mullahs who work as Friday Prayer Leader (Imam Jum’ah) in the Islamic Republic of Iran, you better start getting worried, very worried. The reason is that you may soon find yourself disembarked from the gravy train and your cushy seat given to a spring chicken novice.
Last week eight “imams” were disembarked, among them heavyweights from Tabriz, Shiraz, Rasht and Ahvaz. And, if Tehran rumor-mills are right, 25 more are already scheduled for disembarkation. Judging by the “Supreme Guide” Ali Khamenei’s latest message to the nation, an ambitious “change of generations” scheme is to be implemented in the months ahead.
Being a Friday Prayer Imam in the Khomeinist republic is like owning a gold mine.