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To an outsider, at least to this outsider, the Iranian protests are a bit confusing. Are the opposition protests really about the "stolen election"? I think it must go deeper.
The opposition says that the protests are about the stealing of votes in the recent Presidential election by President Ahmadinejad.
But the real power doesn't rest with the President of Iran.
The real power rests with the Supreme leader Ayatollah Khamenei and the clerics:
The Supreme Leader
-- Iran's 1989 constitution expanded the powers of the presidency and eliminated the post of prime minister. It also gave ultimate authority to the Supreme Leader, a position held by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini until his death in June 1989.
-- Under the Islamic Republic's system of clerical rule, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has held ultimate authority in Iran since then, giving him the final say in all matters of state, including nuclear policy.
So it seems to me that there is something more going on than the protest of a stolen election. Rather, to many people the election likely represents the whole system of power and the dissatisfaction with present Iranian rule. For the masses to risk imprisonment and death over the election of a largely puppet position seems odd.
Perhaps Supreme Leader Khamenei and the Clerics know that the opposition protests have a lot more to do with clerical rule and the oppressive societal structure then it does with the stolen election. For that reason, The Supreme Leader will likely not bend under the protests and more arrests and bloodshed will occur.
The Supreme Leader and the present Iranian power structure must know that the protests in the streets go to the heart of Iranian rule and society. They likely will take a very hard line to remain in power. With the opposition leader, Mir HosseinMousavi not backing down then it is probable that what we are witnessing in Iran is the formation of a revolution.
The Supreme Leader surely understands that the Revolution developing in the streets has more to do with him and Cleric rule then it does with the stolen Presidency.