Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei hasn’t been seen in public for a couple of weeks, and he notably missed his annual speech at “Pasdar Day,” devoted to the Revolutionary Guards Corps. He had made that event a personal obligation for more than twenty years. (Here he is at last year’s commemoration of the IRGC.) He also missed the annual commemoration of Imam Ali’s birthday, one of the central events on the Shi’ite calendar.
The folks who claim to be in the know about such things would have us believe that the opposition to the Iranian regime has been crushed, and that Khamenei and his henchmen are firmly in control of the country. But he seems to know better, and he just published a poem (really!) lamenting the failure of the 12th Imam to reappear and to make everything wonderful by slaughtering the enemies of the Shi’a, etc. Maybe he thinks his regime hasn’t done enough to get the Mahdi out of his well in Iran, and he has issued a call to all and sundry to prepare themselves for the End of Days.
The supreme leader, in other words, is in a lousy mood, and he’s got every reason to be in a funk. The natural gas pipeline to Turkey has been sabotaged yet again, and the regime is scratching for all the foreign currency it can find. And two online polls show the Iranians are not at all enthusiastic about the regime’s nuclear project.
The first appeared on the site of the national TV station, and had to do with sanctions. Respondents were asked what they thought Iran should do and were given three options: give up uranium enrichment, close the Straits of Hormuz, or fight back against the West. By early evening, nearly two-thirds of the responses said “stop enrichment,” and the poll was yanked.
The second poll, launched after the official survey was shut down, appeared on the Facebook page of the very popular Manoto TV. It also asked about sanctions and enrichment:
Asked if they favored resisting the sanctions to defend the country’s “right to nuclear power,” 78 percent said “no.”Asked if the regime should give up nuclear enrichment in order to avoid the sanctions, a rousing 74 percent said “yes.” And 74 percent also approved “giving up nuclear enrichment in order to avoid the sanctions.”