* tmc * in patientia vestra habetis animam vestram * tmc *

Dear Reader,

(including all its subsidiary (and/or sister) pages on "coombs.anu.edu.au" server) has permanently ceased its publishing operations on Friday 21st January 2011.

All of the online resources reported here have been thoroughly checked at the time of their listing. However, it is possible that, with the with the passage of time, many of the originally reported materials might have been removed from the Internet, or changed their online address, or varied the scope and quality of their contents.

Fortunately, in several cases it is possible to access many of the older versions of the resources listed in the MONITOR. This can be easily done via the free services of the "The Internet Archive" http://web.archive.org/, a remarkable brainchild of Brewster Kahle, San Francisco, CA.

- with warm regards -

Editor, Dr T. Matthew Ciolek.

Canberra, 21 January 2011.

16 June 2009

Supremely Undemocratic: The Revolutionary Guards Engineer Iran's Elections


16 Jun 2009

Supremely Undemocratic: The Revolutionary Guards Engineer Iran's Elections

AEI's Middle Eastern Outlook Series, American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research (AEI), Washington, D.C., US

"Supremely Undemocratic: The Revolutionary Guards Engineer Iran's Elections - By Ali Alfoneh, AEI Online (June 2009), As presidential elections near in Iran, the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) is more active than ever in its support for President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Although IRGC intervention in elections is hardly a new phenomenon, its involvement in 2009 is its most direct. Regardless of the ultimate victor at the June 12 polls, in the short term, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei will be the winner. The long-term winner, however, may be the IRGC, which will have carved out a new, much more heavy-handed role for itself in the political process, one that will be difficult for even the supreme leader to reverse.

Key points in this Outlook:
# Elections in Iran offer the illusion of democracy, but candidates must be approved by the unelected Guardian Council.
# In its support of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in the 2009 presidential election, the IRGC is assuming an unprecedented role in politics.
# Emboldened by their activity in this election, IRGC commanders will not likely relinquish their newfound power."

Extract: "Conclusion [published 8 June 2009 - ed.] :
Considering the current trajectory, the IRGC's political activity could very well tip the elections in favor of Ahmadinejad. Iranian voters are notoriously unpredictable, however, and Khamenei's involvement has backfired before. His implicit endorsement of Ali Akbar Nateq-Nouri's candidacy in 1997 was counterproductive, paving the way for Khatami's landslide. What we see now, ironically, may be the result of the lesson Khamenei drew from the experience: not leaving anything to chance, both subtly endorsing Ahmadinejad and using the IRGC as a proxy. This pattern suggests a victory for Khamenei regardless of who prevails. But this may only be in the short term, and the IRGC may be the ultimate victor. Now empowered to interfere in the political process, IRGC commanders will not be willing to relinquish such power. Nor does it appear that any political institution inside the Islamic Republic could force the IRGC to step back, as Khamenei, in order to consolidate his own power, has systematically weakened the civilian institutions that traditionally work to restrain the power of the military. Khamenei will be pleased if Ahmadinejad is president for the next four years, but that happy mood will sour if he becomes hostage to his own Praetorian Guard."

Site contents:
* The IRGC versus the Constitution; * When the Supreme Leader Does It, It's Not Illegal; * The IRGC Answers Khamenei's Call; * Conclusion. * Tables [2 tables] * Notes [23 references to documents and Iranian newspaper articles - ed.].

[Ali Alfoneh is a visiting research fellow at AEI and a doctoral candidate in political science at the University of Copenhagen. - ed. See also other related AEI online papers:]

* Iran's Presidential Election: A Predictable Victory for Khamenei - By Ali Alfoneh, AEI Online, Thursday, May 21, 2009, Regardless of who wins the Iranian election, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei will be the true victor because the president is subservient to him. [http://www.aei.org/outlook/100038];

* Indoctrination of the Revolutionary Guards - By Ali Alfoneh, AEI Online, Friday, February 20, 2009, Indoctrination of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps reinforces the trend of militarization within Iran. [http://www.aei.org/outlook/100005];

* Can a Nuclear Iran Be Contained or Deterred? - By Michael Rubin, AEI Online, Wednesday, November 5, 2008 The absence of a clear U.S. strategy to deter a nuclear Iran will give Tehran a free hand in the region to pursue conventional aggression and, what is worse, a nuclear attack. [http://www.aei.org/outlook/28896];

* What Do Structural Changes in the Revolutionary Guards Mean? - By Ali Alfoneh, AEI Online, Tuesday, September 23, 2008 The recent shift of the IRGC's focus from external defense to internal security signals a renewed crackdown on reformism and civil society. [http://www.aei.org/outlook/28666].

URL http://www.aei.org/outlook/100045

Link reported by: T. Matthew Ciolek (tmciolek--at--coombs.anu.edu.au)

Internet Archive (web.archive.org) [the site was not archived at the time of this abstract]

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