The conflict with Iran is entering a new, more dangerous phase. Video of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad holding a meeting with high-level officials on June 13 in Qom has leaked out, giving us insight into how he sees the near future.
“A new revolution has begun,” he says, as the Islamic Revolution finds its “true destiny” and enters a more difficult period. He speaks with genuine optimism and enthusiasm, and says it will not be limited to Iran. The tape clearly shows that Ahmadinejad believes that something has just changed that makes this moment in history special and directly related to Iran’s role in Allah’s plans.
The tape also brings bad news for Iran’s students. Ahmadinejad calls for an expansion of “Islamic culture” in the universities, attributing domestic unrest to a lack of training of the younger generation. Students should expect a complete rewriting of the curriculum to “Islamize” the education, and even stricter puritan-like enforcement of Sharia law and indoctrination. From the sound of it, a second Iranian cultural revolution is on the way.
The purging of dissident elements from the regime and increasingly extreme measures to silence the opposition, the language of Ahmadinejad at this meeting, and recent actions taken by the Iranian government strongly indicate that the regime is becoming more radical in the belief that doing so now is an act of obedience to Allah. The capturing of Iranian weapons in Afghanistan, the increased violence in Iraq, the escalation of violence between the Yemeni government and Iranian-backed Houthi rebels, and the arrest of an al-Qaeda cell in Kuwait trained by their colleagues in Iran show that they are increasing support for this “new revolution” outside their borders, just as it was stated in the tape.
The Iranian reaction to the United States’ offer of direct talks regarding their nuclear program reflects a new boldness and an even more confrontational attitude. The regime ruled out any discussion centered on its program, but instead insisted on talks regarding worldwide nuclear disarmament and, reportedly, the various conflicts in the region. Something had to have happened to explain why the regime has suddenly become emboldened and remarkably honest about its refusal to give up its nuclear program, rather than try to lure the West into its consistently successful dog-and-pony show.