Iranian Banking Scandal currently threatening leadership. War would be gift from GOP to Tehran. (UPDATED)
Did you know that there is currently a HUGE banking scandal taking place in Iran? I actually had to watch the local English-language Chinese news network to learn this little tidbit (I watch British “BBC World News” every weekday and the Network News every evening, and yet this is the first I’ve heard of it. Perhaps it’s the first you’ve heard of it too?) The same chicken-hawks that hurried us into a war with Iraq nine years ago are now rushing us to “bomb-bomb-bomb Iran” because they think they are on the verge of developing a nuclear weapon. And the only thing holding back Israeli President Netanyahu from launching a unilateral airstike on the nation is President Obama telling him to “give sanctions a chance”. In a scandal that sounds all-too familiar here in the U.S., Israeli newspaper Haaretz.com is reporting:
“Thirty-two people suspected of involvement in a multi-billion dollar banking fraud with alleged links to the government of Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad have gone on trial in Tehran, the Iranian state news agency reported.
The record embezzlement case revolves around forged documents allegedly used by the directors of the Amir Mansour Arya Investment Company to secure loans totaling $2.6 billion dollars to buy state-owned companies under the government’s privatization scheme.
Misappropriation of government funds by some well-connected political insiders to purchase government owned businesses/land/property that were being “privatized” and sold off in no-bid contracts? Replace every reference to “Iran” and “Ahmadinejad” with “Wall Street” and “Bush”, and you’ve got yourself a headline ripped right from of the 2008 New York Times.
The Iranian government… particularly President Ahmadinejad himself… is in the middle of a HUGE financial scandal right now that could topple the current Iranian regime. This story… though current… isn’t new, breaking last September (ibid first link), and apparently has been consuming the airwaves over there ever since. Yet our own media has been completely mum. The people there are STILL furious over the apparent stolen election in 2009 that had THOUSANDS protesting in the streets. The LAST thing anyone should be thinking about right now is bombing Tehran and sending patriotic Iranians fleeing back into the waiting arms of the Ayatollah’s. Yet, if the GOP had its way, that’s exactly what they’d have us do, launching airstrikes tomorrow. In response to any military build-up in the region, Iranian ships would likely then start mining the Straights of Hormuz so that no oil gets in or out, causing oil prices to skyrocket and the world economy to crash.
The very fact that we even KNOW about this scandal is an incredible sign of the change (and political in-fighting) going on in Iran right now. In the past, any news story critical of the government would of been quickly & quietly swept under the rug. A media blackout would of been issued and no one would be the wiser.
Just think of the opportunity that now lies before us. The people are in open revolt of their leadership as unemployment in Iran tops 13.2%, and economic sanctions threaten to push that to 14.1% later this year. The Iranian people are STILL fuming over their stolen election in 2009, and the guy they tried to vote out two years ago has now been tied to: a massive banking scandal, embezzlement, a privatization scheme, and crony Capitalism. I wouldn’t be a bit surprised to see the “Occupy” movement reach Tehran sometime this year.
Between sanctions already in place due to their leaders’ needless nuclear profligating, compounded by a financial scandal that has reached the heights of the Iranian government, we could see an “Arab Spring” reach Tehran by this Summer. OR we could bomb Iran into the stoneage the way these Conservative hawks want us to and see the coming change in Iran reverse course, with the people rallying around their corrupt leadership, urging them to develop nuclear weapons at an even faster pace to protect them from Israel and the U.S., while Ahmadinejad and The Ayatollahs get to say, “See! We told ya so! Trust us to protect you!” I couldn’t imagine a greater disaster than squandering such an incredible opportunity simply to appease the same impatient chicken-hawks that gave us Iraq and $4 a gallon gas four short years ago.
My learned “mistrust of Republicans” can’t help but wonder if the reason the Hawks are in such a hurry to bomb Iran is BECAUSE they see an Iranian “Arab Spring” on the horizon, so we need to bomb now before any spontaneous revolution gives Obama another foreign-policy coup, if we’re going to jack up the price of oil and cause an economic meltdown, transforming Obama’s presidency into “Jimmy Carter Redux” in time for the November election. Or is that being too cynical?
PS: It bears mentioning that Saudi Arabia and the surrounding Middle Eastern nations ALSO have a vested interest in Iran NOT obtaining a nuclear weapon and swinging the balance of power in the region. Add to that, Iranian parliamentary elections are due in March, with their presidential election next year, so expect more revelations by Ahmadinejad’s opponents as their election grows near. This isn’t Checkers, folks; it’s 3D Chess. Patients.
(UPDATE: Iranians went to the polls on March 1st. These comments in a CBS News report on the subject caught my eye:
Iran’s supreme leader urged Iranians to vote in large numbers as the country held parliamentary elections Friday, saying a high turnout would send a strong message to the enemies of the nation amid the nuclear standoff with the West.
CBS News correspondent Elizabeth Palmer reports that more than 3,000 candidates are running in the current elections – but all of them are conservatives. The liberal opposition that blossomed so dramatically in 2009 has since been crushed. Its activists are deep underground – and its leaders under house arrest.
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