I have been arguing for some time now that Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei, has every reason to be discouraged at events in Iraq, and elsewhere in the Middle East, with a few beams of light in Afghanistan (mostly because some of the NATO countries send people in uniform to that country, but then forbid them to shoot at anybody).
Of these failures, perhaps the most significant, and almost certainly the most unexpected to the protectors of the conventional wisdom, is the religious independence of the Iraqi Shi’ites, and their unwillingness to buy into the doctrines of Iranian clerical fascism.
Now Jeremy Rabkin provides extensive documentation of this important Iranian failure, by discussing something of which I had been unaware: the web sites of the four leading Iraqi ayatollahs. And he adds another fascinating “poll,” this time of Iranians traveling to Saudi Arabia for the Hajj, which reveals that the two most popular ayatollahs among the Iranian faithful are: Sistani (the leading Iraqi cleric in Najaf) and Montazeri (the celebrated Iranian who has condemned Khomeinism and continues to denounce the Iranian regime as lacking religious authority, a mortal threat to its legitimacy).
Read Rabkin’s <a href=”http://here.“>excellent piece deserves your full attention.