Thursday, June 25, 2009

Iran's Turmoil Affects Shiites across the Middle East

Notwithstanding their neocon editorial stance, the Wall Street Journal often comes through with some excellent reporting and analysis . . . such as this piece
Iran's Turmoil Opens Rift Among Shiites Across Mideast - that spells out some of the fallout of the Iranian election coup within the broader Shiite community in the Middle East, especially in Lebanon and Iraq. The standing of Iran's Leader, the Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has taken a serious hit, as has the doctrine of velayat i-faqih - rule by the Islamic jurist/guardian - that is the underpinning of the entire Iranian system and a major prop for the power of Hezbollah - and its leader, Hassan Nasrallah - in Lebanon.

Some experts have been warning that Iran's allies in the Middle East might feel some of the blowback from the elections crisis - and have also suggested that Mr. Obama's decision to send a US ambassador to Damascus (after an absence of many years) might be an attempt to catch the Syrian leadership a bit out to sea.

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