Act of Sabotage?
On Monday, I reported on ALLAH'S SNACKBAR Iranian military plane crash that killed eleven top commanders in Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). Gen. Ahmad Kazemi, the commander of IRGC's ground forces, died in the crash. The dead also included a number of other military notables whose names were released by the Islamic Republic News Agency, including the commander of Rassoulollah Army Division 27, the deputy commander of ground forces for operation affairs and the official in charge of information for ground forces.
Considering that the Falcon was carrying one of Iran's most elite IRGC commanders, and would thus undergo thorough tests for technical issues before flight, the crash could also indicate foul play aimed at undermining Ahmadinejad's power base and influence.
Stratfor also states that in the wake of the plane crash, "Ahmadinejad's power base has been severely threatened."
Amir Taheri has described the clash between Ahmadinejad and the mullahs. This clash is rooted in both Ahmadinejad's investigation of the Iranian political establishment's corruption and also an honesty about the goals of the Islamic revolution that conflicts with the dissimulation of other Iranian politicians. Even Ayatollah Khamenei, who helped to bring Ahmadinejad to power, may feel threatened by the new president as it is widely believed that Ahmadinejad would like to replace Khameini as supreme leader with his closest clerical ally, Ayatollah Mesbah Yazdi. Hat tip to Iran Press News for information. Visit Regime Change Iran for continuing coverage of the plane crash.
If the military plane crash is an act of sabotage, that shows how severe the fissures within Iran have become. Even while pursuing the UN Security Council as one option for dealing with the Iranian nuclear program, the U.S. needs to carefully follow, and be willing to exploit, the power struggle within Iran.