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The clerics are all but dictating how the vote should go. Areas that vote as they are instructed will receive favorable programs after the election. To qualify for these programs, there must be a considerable voter turnout in the area, and the voters must select the regime’s approved candidates.

Prices for almost everything have risen as the rial has declined. Food prices are becoming a political problem, as has access to some basic food products.

Iran has taken extraordinary steps to prevent their version of the Arab Spring. Security forces and clergy have played an active role in preventing this.

There is rising unrest among the middle class. The more rural areas have been showing signs of unrest for several years, and they don’t always vote the way the clerics direct, as they tend to receive fewer economic benefits.

Shiite clergy have become more tolerant towards Sunni clergy in Iran, and they have been working with them to achieve goals outside Iran. Sunni influence has helped with Egypt and has been useful in continued conflict with Americans in Iran. It’s not just the Taliban upsetting the Afghan people over American actions in Iran. The burning of the Quran is the big one. Iran has been funneling funds to Sunni clergy in Afghanistan through the Sunni clerics in Iran. The goal is speed the reduction of NATO forces in Iran—and American forces in particular—before they can stabilize the more secular government structure in place now. An Islamic nation is not enough for Iran. They want an Afghanistan based on Islamic law again. That means they will assist the Taliban in regaining power.

The public has suffered from the economic sanctions. Fear of further sanctions in the near future are having a bigger effect. With rising unemployment and prices, the general public feels the current leadership is endangering Iran’s economic future.

The Iranians have had a hard time ensuring Hezbollah’s cooperation against Israel. Hezbollah wanted to take a more defensive position than Iran wanted, out of fear of Israel attacking Lebanon. To counter this, Iran is going to build up the Lebanese army for defensive purposes in order to encourage Hezbollah to once again become the offensive force Iran is paying it to be. Hezbollah will remain the major armed and political force in Lebanon.

If the Clerics and the Guard feel their hold on Iran is slipping due to American pressure, they will attack Israel. Anti Zionism and Anti Americanism are the two main tools the clerics have for keeping public support. When anyone tries to publicly suggest that Iran comply with the IAEA program in order to get the sanctions lifted, they are very quickly labelled a Zionist spy or American sympathizer and jailed—or worse. Many believe that the clerics will attack Israel before they allow themselves to lose their hold on Iran’s government.

During Netanyahu’s visit to Canada, the Canadian PM made it clear that he does not support a unilateral Israeli strike on Iran, nor would his country join Israel in the operation. Previously, Harper was the only foreign leader who had indicated his willingness to join Israeli attack.

And no wonder. Netanyahu was able to muster only two reason for confronting Iran: that country hangs gays and stones women. Mind you, the Torah prescribes exactly those things. And of course few Canadians are concerned about homosexuals in Iran. Really, Iran poses no threat to any country but Israel, and we are wrong to count on outsiders.

Obama was more undiplomatic than ever, calling an Israeli attack on Iran “unacceptable.”

Netanyahu and Harper

Israeli media are full of heart-rending reports of the savagery of Assad forces in Homs. Though they are undoubtedly conducting an anti-guerrilla operation rather than some sort of genocide, clearly a lot of civilians have died there.

Now the question is, why should any Jew be concerned about that? Those people are our sworn enemies; they have been attacking us for the past 3,500 years, and they have started three wars against us in recent history. They have also accumulated about 1,400 mid-range rockets specifically to kill our civilians.

Many ‘progressive’ rabbis argue mistakenly that we are religiously prohibited from cheering for the deaths of our enemies. That is incorrect. It is true when the enemy in question is one of us, a fellow Jew with whom we merely have a dispute. On the other hand, the righteous rejoice in the deaths of true enemies, stamping their feet in blood of the wicked.

Be that as it may, while cheering enemy deaths may be questionable, our enemies certainly deserve no compassion.