Latest from Arash Azizi
Since the attack on the novelist, Iran’s newspapers have kept up a steady stream of invective against Rushdie. To understand why Tehran persists in criticizing Rushdie even after the death of Khomeini, it is essential to understand where the fatwa sits in its current identity.
Since his election in June and his inauguration on Aug. 3, Ebrahim Raisi had made all the right noises about forming a cabinet that would be “beyond factions,” nonpartisan and focused on bringing Iran out of the dire straits it finds itself in. On Aug. 11, all such hopes were dashed.
The first decade of Iran’s revolution was its most brutal, and much violence was meted out by the Judiciary. Ebrahim Raisi, the new system’s ultimate loyalist, was just the right man for enforcing such brutalities and rising through the ranks.
Iran’s foreign minister Javad Zarif is, in a sense, more of a true believer than many in the Revolutionary Guard. He genuinely appears to be under the illusion that the ideals of the Islamic Republic still have popular support and that Iran should rely on them instead of brute force. Few in the IRGC seem to harbor such illusions.