INSIDE IRAN: It's The Godfather, Part IV

With all the talk about the "election" in Iran, here's a little stop sign. You could call this piece, "It's the Mullahs, Stupid." Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the current PM, exists only at their pleasure and it was the Mullahs who allowed the election to turn out they way it has.

Here's the deal. Think Soviet Union in the last days dissolving to Yeltsen. Think crony capitalism, think criminals in charge of every business; police, a force of Hells Angels type motorcycle thugs called the Hezbollah militia working for the cops; the Revolutionary Guards who also work for the mullahs; and a secret police. The real power is a handful of clerics and their associates who call the shots behind the curtain and have gotten very rich in the process. These clerics have been getting rich running businesses given to them by Rafsanjani. The mullahs run things through murder and intimidation.

How they run Iran

After the 1979 revolution the mullahs seized virtually everything of value--banks, hotels, car and chemical companies, makers of drugs and consumer goods, and so on. What distinguishes Iran is that many of these assets were given to Islamic charitable foundations that are also controlled by the clerics.

According to businessmen and former foundation executives, the charities now serve as slush funds for the mullahs and their supporters.

What exists in Iran now is a dictatorship run by a a bunch of shadows, which are entities that are hidden from view; a shadow government that--the U.S. State Department suspects--finances terrorist groups abroad through a shadow foreign policy. Its economy is dominated by shadow business empires and its power is protected by a shadow army of enforcers.

Ostensibly, the country has been run by Rafsanjani for the past 24 years. He's an opportunist and very smart. He has "privatized" the economy by divvying up the spoils to loyalists, and like a Mafia Godfather, he takes pieces of everything. He has gotten very rich in the process.

It is the youth that is making the most noise right now, but don't confuse a rigged election with power. Here is the raw data on the Iranian population, an estimate from U.S. Census Bureau; U.S. Department of Labor.

Population IRAN 67 million; USA 283 million

Percent under 25: IRAN 65% USA 35%

GDP per capita: IRAN $1,800 USA $37,000

Inflation: IRAN 25% USA 2%

Unemployment: IRAN: 18% USA 4%

Iran is pretty rich, only nobody but family is getting the money.

The family owns: the country's largest copper mine; the state-owned TV network; a governor of Kerman province; an outfit that dominates Iran's $400 million pistachio export business; key positions in the Ministry of Oil; the Tehran Metro construction project (an estimated $700 million spent so far), every single one of them are Rafsinjani family members. Today, operating through various foundations (more later) and front companies, the family is also believed to control one of Iran's biggest oil engineering companies; a plant assembling Daewoo automobiles; and Iran's best private airline. Remember, all these better paid workers will be loyal to the government, the ones getting paid crap are ripe.

So guess why young people are pissed? They earn $1,800 per year while the Rafsanjani family, their secret police and other flunkies, together with their mullah buddies are multi millionaires and billionaires with wealth in real property all over the world. Anybody who reports this in the press is killed.

The balance of the economy is controlled by the Islamic foundations, which now sack the country and pocket the money too. They are just organized crime. If you get successful you are supposed to donate 20% of what you make to charity. The mullahs stop by and extort the money. Failure to "donate" will result in somebody saying you're a bad Muslim and you are tossed in jail. Don't think these "foundations" or "charities" are small time. One, The Mostazafan Foundation, employs up to 400,000 workers and has assets that in all probability exceed $10 billion. Among its holdings: the former Hyatt and Hilton hotels in Tehran; the highly successful Zam-Zam soft drink company (once Pepsi); an international shipping line; companies producing oil products and cement; swaths of farmland, as well as urban real estate.

Keep in mind that all these "employees" of all these criminal enterprises will be loyal to the government. Think the Baath loyalists in Iraq. Oh, don't forget that these "foundations" hire the thugs too.

So what you have is a mullahocracy of thugs with billions in business deals, and more billions in cash. They stand ready to spend what is necessary to stay in power. When push comes to shove they have always murdered to stay around.

The MSM would have you believe that a bunch of directionless kids marching in the streets without guns can throw these guys out; that there actually is such a thing as a real election. Do you believe it?

Nobody scares these guys; not countries, the UN, Third World jerk offs that they bribe, or the world media who they pay off too. They only fear the United States and until we really rattle the cage nothing will change.

The USA is going to have to figure a way to topple these billionaires and I think and hope we are working on it. Keep in mind we cut off Al Qaeda money and funding. We can do some real financial damage to these guys.

If we have the cajones......


rhuddan said...

Why Rafsanjani? How's his power different from Khomenei's and Ahmadinejad's? After all, they've all been "President" at some point so how has the divergence in their paths affected or reflected the power balance?


Anonymous said...

Why Rafsanjani? How's his power different from Khomenei's and Ahmadinejad's? After all, they've all been "President" at some point so how has the divergence in their paths affected or reflected the power balance?

Howard said...

Rafsinjani was the first, in fact he initiated the mob takeover. He's gone but his corrupt system remains and is stronger than ever. The government will not bend, but will lash out and murder whomever they please.