Too good to check: Khamenei’s plane being overhauled in case he has to leave Iran?

posted at 6:35 pm on December 29, 2009 by Allahpundit

I’ve written more than one post over the years touting claims that this guy had died, which is another way of saying that all reports from Iranian dissidents should be greeted with robust skepticism.

But even so, this doesn’t seem that unlikely under the circumstances.

Reports from Iran indicate that the Supreme National Security Council has ordered a complete check-up of the jet which is on standby to fly Ayatollah Sayyid Ali Khamenei and his family to Russia should the situation in Iran spiral out of control. The order, to the Pasdaran Revolutionary Guard Corps, was dated on Sunday, 27 December. A fax containing the order was sent to Dutch-based Shahrzad News…

Some Iranian MPs are calling for demonstrators to be sentenced to death. Various opposition figures have been arrested including the sister of Nobel peace prize laureate Schirin Ebadi.

HuffPo notes that January 16 is the anniversary of the shah’s abdication, a date that’ll no doubt be targeted by organizers for a surge in direct action. But still: If Khamenei was going to show weakness this provocative — essentially an admission that he’s no longer sure he can hold the country together — wouldn’t he have tasked the plane check-up to only his most devoutly loyal underlings? The last thing he’d want is to risk a leak that might spook the security forces, who would suddenly fear that the balance of power was about to turn and would side with the protesters so that they didn’t end up hanging from lampposts. Seems much more likely that this is pro-protester propaganda than a genuine scoop, alas.

Speaking of Iran-related propaganda, count me skeptical too about the report out of Tehran that John Kerry’s formally filed for a visa to visit. Apart from the obvious physical risk of landing there right now in the middle of a maelstrom, even Kerry’s not so stupid as to do something that would legitimize the regime at a moment when it’s at its weakest, with even The One finally butching up and condemning them for cracking heads. It’s one thing not to call for regime change, it’s another to give them PR cover while they’re shooting people in the street. Waffles isn’t really doing this, is he?


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John Kerry’s formally filed for a visa to visit.

Hard to believe that moron was almost president. Sigh.

pedestrian on December 29, 2009 at 6:38 PM

Even if propaganda, the protesters are ratcheting things up.

Bishop on December 29, 2009 at 6:38 PM

Waffles isn’t really doing this, is he?

Why does the term “dipsh!t” pop so easily to mind…..

JoeinTX on December 29, 2009 at 6:39 PM

“I want that plane filled with my favorite Sandra Bullock movies!”

Chuck Schick on December 29, 2009 at 6:40 PM

You know, I think the U.S. has some pretty good air-to-air missiles in its inventory. Just sayin.

BadgerHawk on December 29, 2009 at 6:40 PM

Kerry’s not so stupid

Seriously?

Daveyardbird on December 29, 2009 at 6:41 PM

Turkey shoot!

Dusty on December 29, 2009 at 6:41 PM

If this ends in a “coup” by the people , Obama will demand they give the power back to the dictatorship.

the_nile on December 29, 2009 at 6:41 PM

They can keep Kerry if he goes over there.

Enoxo on December 29, 2009 at 6:42 PM

May his Flight Attendant be wearing those Explosive Underpants!

pilamaye on December 29, 2009 at 6:42 PM

“Waffles isn’t really doing this, is he?”

One can hope!

Dusty on December 29, 2009 at 6:42 PM

Waffles isn’t really doing this, is he?

Maybe he really believes he is a Viet-Nam war hero.

fourdeucer on December 29, 2009 at 6:42 PM

And the Iran/Russia fest continues

JetBoy on December 29, 2009 at 6:43 PM

“I want that plane filled with my favorite Sandra Bullock movies!”

Chuck Schick on December 29, 2009 at 6:40 PM

So just ‘Speed’ then? I guess it’s not a very long flight.

BadgerHawk on December 29, 2009 at 6:43 PM

they should’ve done this when Bush was in power

jp on December 29, 2009 at 6:46 PM

So the Jihad will continue in Russia???

Oil Can on December 29, 2009 at 6:48 PM

Does the Iranian version of the FAA require annual inspections or 100 hrs checks?

I really don’t think they would be doing an “overhaul” if this was to be for a quick exit.

Juno77 on December 29, 2009 at 6:48 PM

Why Russia? What good does Russia get out of accepting and protecting a hated dictator? It’s not like Russia is a bastion of Shiite ideology.

Of course that’s changing rapidly.

Guardian on December 29, 2009 at 6:50 PM

Well with the Israeli’s recalling all their diplomats for a conference it sure makes you think something is about to happen. If Khamenei does take off and Iran descends into revolution or civil war what will Iran’s terrorist proxies around the world do?

Hellrider on December 29, 2009 at 6:50 PM

Israeli air strikes begin in 4…3…2…1…

singlemalt_18 on December 29, 2009 at 6:51 PM

Palin and Cheney with 2 rifles. I was just sayin’ …..

seven on December 29, 2009 at 6:52 PM

…even Kerry’s not so stupid …

Any sentence with that phrase is problematic.

Pablo on December 29, 2009 at 6:54 PM

Waffles isn’t really doing this, is he?

Reporting for duty!

trubble on December 29, 2009 at 7:00 PM

Is it one of the Air Force One decoys???

BigWyo on December 29, 2009 at 7:01 PM

…even Kerry’s not so stupid …

Any sentence with that phrase is problematic.

Pablo on December 29, 2009 at 6:54 PM

+1

GnuBreed on December 29, 2009 at 7:02 PM

He actually did file for the visa, before he filed against it.

amerpundit on December 29, 2009 at 7:03 PM

Not convinced.

The only way this regime will fall, is if the revolutionary guard refuses to shoot, and those guys are hard core islamic fanatics, brutal thugs. They will shoot until they run out of ammo.

Rebar on December 29, 2009 at 7:03 PM

Osama Obama has probably granted him asylum in the US.

farright on December 29, 2009 at 7:03 PM

Michael Totten has some very interesting analysis about the riots the other week.

\”The Iranian citizens’ uprising against their government has been sustained for six months now, and it took an interesting turn over the weekend. Security forces reportedly opened fire against demonstrators and even killed the nephew of opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi – and they did it during Ashura. There are few things “supreme guide” Ali Khamenei could have done to enrage religious conservatives and harden them against his regime more than this. As one demonstrator put it, “killing Muslims on Ashura is like crucifying Christians on Christmas.”\”

So it looks like the regime is getting really desperate if the govt is going to kill its own people on the holiest day of the Shitte calender.

Lance Murdock on December 29, 2009 at 7:04 PM

farright on December 29, 2009 at 7:03 PM

I’d actually be okay with that if it got Khamenei out of Iran. I hear the boys at Prudhoe Bay need a new bathroom attendant.

amerpundit on December 29, 2009 at 7:05 PM

Why Russia? What good does Russia get out of accepting and protecting a hated dictator? It’s not like Russia is a bastion of Shiite ideology.

Of course that’s changing rapidly.

Guardian on December 29, 2009 at 6:50 PM

I’m sure the parents of the murdered Beslin school children would welcom some militant muslims….

lovingmyUSA on December 29, 2009 at 7:06 PM

if he flees, obama will undoubtedly give him sanctuary in DC!!

and once obama releases those poor gitmo ‘victims’ khamenei will feel right at home!!

right4life on December 29, 2009 at 7:08 PM

“Khamenei, we’ve got good news and bad news. The good news is that the United States is granting you asylum on the condition you have a job. The bad news is the job is raising pigs.”

amerpundit on December 29, 2009 at 7:09 PM

Remember that Kerry tried to campaign as a war hero in 2004. I would not underestimate his stupidity.

WannabeAnglican on December 29, 2009 at 7:10 PM

I like it, true or not

rob verdi on December 29, 2009 at 7:14 PM

Can the plane land in Gitmo?

Oil Can on December 29, 2009 at 7:15 PM

“Here’s your magic hat, Senator. Don’t let the jump door hit you in the a$$ on your way out.”

Maquis on December 29, 2009 at 7:15 PM

“We’ve analyzed their attack sir, and there is a danger. Should I have your ship standing by?”

Scott Free on December 29, 2009 at 7:15 PM

You would think the leader of the 12vers would welcome some chaos in da house.

BL@KBIRD on December 29, 2009 at 7:16 PM

Give him the Admiral Yamamoto treatment.

Howcome on December 29, 2009 at 7:17 PM

Somehow I think if it really hit the fan, the nearest plane would be “his” plane.

Chris_Balsz on December 29, 2009 at 7:19 PM

You would think the leader of the 12vers would welcome some chaos in da house.

BL@KBIRD on December 29, 2009 at 7:16 PM

Best I recall, Amanutjob is the real Twelver in the gov’t.

Maquis on December 29, 2009 at 7:22 PM

Recent videotape footage of plane being prepped:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4prqDn7QS8I

JetBoy on December 29, 2009 at 7:23 PM

Of course he could be getting out of Dodge for the Jewish festival of Kinetic As$ Kicking day for the Muslim nuclear family.

BL@KBIRD on December 29, 2009 at 7:23 PM

Not that I really care, but where’s Hillary?

Fortunata on December 29, 2009 at 7:24 PM

Any way they could just keep him there?

swede7 on December 29, 2009 at 7:27 PM

If true, and Russia is involved, then Russia is planning on an “invited” invasion in the near future. Perhaps immediately following an Israeli strike.

OldEnglish on December 29, 2009 at 7:31 PM

maybe John Kerry can throw some of his medals at the regime and then talk sweet nothings to them. if we play nice, they will listen, right johnny?

jbh45 on December 29, 2009 at 7:32 PM

AP,
Don’t underestimate Jon Kerry. Remember he is a Vietnam war hero.

antisocial on December 29, 2009 at 7:34 PM

If Russia is, in fact, his emergency destination, then it would confirm some suspicions I have had for a long time concerning the Russians managing to take control of the Iranian revolution and divert its focus to more directly advance Russian objectives. I would think Lebanon or even Damascus would be a more friendly and productive destination for him from his perspective.

crosspatch on December 29, 2009 at 7:35 PM

***
I volunteer to help with the aircraft maintenance. A little rewiring, some replumbing, some flight computer system reprogramming. And a little valve grinding compound in the engine lube oil to “smooth out” any rough bearings.
***
How far to that volcano with the red hot lava? Please send GPS coordinates for the flight navigation computer.
***
Oh–warm up the 72 virgins.
***
John Bibb
***

rocketman on December 29, 2009 at 7:51 PM

Nah, Khamenei is really headed to the US in order to jump the line for ObaMaoCare.

Yes, Kerry is that stupid.

onlineanalyst on December 29, 2009 at 8:04 PM

http://truthandcommonsense.com/2009/12/27/the-iranians-are-getting-ready-to-break-maybe/

From my website. I’ve been watching this and reading Mao at the same time. There are a number of parallels in both revolts. In China’s case Mao almost screwed up by Mao encouraging the purge to infiltrate the military, which didn’t work out so well for the revolutionaries.

http://truthandcommonsense.com/2009/12/29/chinas-revolutionaries-meet-bigger-guns-a-lesson-learned/

Mao realized that if the military took the offensive the unarmed civilian revolutionaries would suffer huge losses, as they did in some limited incidents. He was able to control that by persuading the PLA to go along with the revolt in exchange for being left largely alone. Only later did the officers suffer.

In revolutions the military, which has the big guns, has three places to stand; with the regime, against the regime or on the sidelines. The last two, if the rebels have the numbers, will almost guarantee the defeat of the regime leaders. As I said in my post, they may have the numbers and if they do look for a bunch of mullah jumping ship like rats. Recently a number of military officers wrote a letter stating they were unhappy with the crackdown and said it would not continue without consequences. That’s a pretty big shot across the bow for the mullahs to handle.

If the rebels do succeed and start again with a new government I have a suggestion. Somebody e-mail them the Constitution. We are using it much right now and it would be a good starting point for them. I would just add a few PS’s- No lawyers in politics and no Harvard grads as President. Oh, and put in term limits. Our founding fathers were geniuses, but not perfect.

archer52 on December 29, 2009 at 8:07 PM

Ayatollah Sayyid Ali Khamenei: Gimme Three Steps?

juanito on December 29, 2009 at 8:14 PM

Russia is the closest place to fly to where he can be sure he won’t just be arrested and returned.
`
Russia is all for anything which complicates the US’s life. Putin is having a field day rebuilding a Soviet system (and perhaps eventually, the Empire) as the hapless, spineless weasel-in-chief over here just gives away the store for free, and then wonders why others don’t return his generous gestures. Oh, they do gesture back at you, Barry . . .
`

Adjoran on December 29, 2009 at 8:14 PM

Maybe he just wants to be out of town when Sen. Kerry visits. I know that would be my plan. Seriously though, it is interesting that it is even being considered an option.

Cindy Munford on December 29, 2009 at 8:17 PM

antisocial on December 29, 2009 at 7:34 PM

Kerry was in ‘Nam? Damn. Who’d a thunk it?

Bruno Strozek on December 29, 2009 at 8:27 PM

even Kerry’s not so stupid as to do something that would legitimize the regime at a moment when it’s at its weakest, with even The One finally butching up and condemning them for cracking heads.

Oh, I think Kerry is definitely that stupid.

rbj on December 29, 2009 at 8:34 PM

Let me get this straight … the Godfather of Islamic Terror needs a home …

And the Russians, who are dealing with their own Islamic Terror in Chechnya are willing to accept him?

John Kerry’s not the only stupid one – Putin must have spent too much time in the sun with his shirt off.

HondaV65 on December 29, 2009 at 8:36 PM

Putin must have spent too much time in the sun with his shirt off.

HondaV65 on December 29, 2009 at 8:36 PM

No, Putin is playing a game whose moves we can’t see. He is anything but stupid, unlike our affirmative action accidental President.

Fortunata on December 29, 2009 at 8:39 PM

If true, and Russia is involved, then Russia is planning on an “invited” invasion in the near future. Perhaps immediately following an Israeli strike.

OldEnglish on December 29, 2009 at 7:31 PM

That’s huge. I never thought of that. Putin has to be sure Ogabe won’t do jack-squat. Russian occupation of Iran would be an enormous gameghanger. A misstep in either direction by O-Douchbag and “surf’s up”.

1921 C DRUM on December 29, 2009 at 8:42 PM

“And the Russians, who are dealing with their own Islamic Terror in Chechnya are willing to accept him?”

The Russians have been allowing Iran to export their brand of Shiite Islam into Chechnya to act as a balance to the radical Sunni Islam.

crosspatch on December 29, 2009 at 8:43 PM

even Kerry’s not so stupid as to do something that would legitimize the regime at a moment when it’s at its weakest

AP, do not underestimate the stupidity of John Kerry.

Kafir on December 29, 2009 at 8:44 PM

I really hope Al Neri is gasing up that plane. :)

ThePrez on December 29, 2009 at 8:56 PM

1921 C DRUM on December 29, 2009 at 8:42 PM

The real reason why Putin did not want the missile defense system to be set up in Poland?

OldEnglish on December 29, 2009 at 9:19 PM

“Quick, Dinner Jacket! To the bat-shit crazy cave!”

ya2daup on December 29, 2009 at 9:25 PM

Perception is reality. Even if it’s mere protester propaganda, it will invigorate the masses to keep going. Inshallah.

AlexB on December 29, 2009 at 10:17 PM

Gog meet Magog.

selias on December 29, 2009 at 10:47 PM

Russian occupation of Iran would be an enormous gameghanger.

And well-nigh impossible. Russia would have to cross several countries to get there in large enough numbers and Iran is a relatively huge country.

Iran is about one-fifth the size of the continental United States, or slightly larger than the combined area of the western United States (Arizona, California, Oregon, Washington, Nevada, and Idaho).

And it is a rugged country. Moving large armies around is not easy. The only way the Mongols managed it was to completely destroy the population of towns that did not totally surrender immediately. That eliminated the possibility of having an enemy in your rear after your forces move through. The Mongols also completely destroyed Iran’s (then Persia) irrigation system, and burned practically every library and school in the country to the ground.

The Russians would experience a much worse fate in Iran than they did in Afghanistan IF Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Georgia and Armenia allowed transit across their territory which isn’t likely to go unreported.

Russia wouldn’t occupy Iran any more than we would. It just isn’t going to happen. The current regime might fee to Russia but I can’t understand what for. They would be better off fleeing to Lebanon or Syria. Hezbollah would likely be glad to allow an Iranian government in exile to live in Southern Lebanon and there wouldn’t be much the Lebanese government could do about it. Syria, too, might allow it.

BUT … what would be very interesting is if the other players in Lebanon sensed a weakened regime in Iran and push back against Hezbollah. Without the backing of a strong Iran, Hezbollah is weaker. If the regime in Tehran falls, Hezbollah is up a creek and short a paddle.

crosspatch on December 29, 2009 at 10:48 PM

Now that I think about it, if this is an orchestrated exile; the head figures of the Iranian regime being given safe haven in Russia, then it would explain a lot of diplomacy that has been going on with shuttling of people (from all over the region and the world) in and out of Damascus lately.

If this is an internationally sanctioned exile, it would make sense that all players in the region would have to approve. This would explain recent trips by prominent Iraqis, Lebanese, Americans, and Israelis to Damascus recently.

They would certainly not approve of exile in Syria or Lebanon where the regime could continue meddling but they would likely approve of exile in Russia if Russia guaranteed that the exiles would not meddle in foreign affairs and “retire” there.

Plausible that it is an exile worked out by international parties.

crosspatch on December 29, 2009 at 11:08 PM

even Kerry’s not so stupid as to do something that would legitimize the regime at a moment when it’s at its weakest,

You realize you are talking about the person who personally attempted diplomatic negotiations for surrender with the North Vietnamese delegation during the Paris Peace Talks? While he was still technically a uniformed officer of the United States? While we were finally kicking butt in North Vietnam? That John Kerry?

Yes, he really is that stupid.

AZfederalist on December 29, 2009 at 11:08 PM

Could be psyops aimed at emboldening the protesters.

OxyCon on December 29, 2009 at 11:30 PM

Great one amerpundit – and sorry I can’t resist :-):

“Khamenei, we’ve got good news and bad news. The good news is that the United States is granting you asylum on the condition you have a job. The bad news is the job is raising pigs taste-testing at the local pork rind factory.”

amerpundit on December 29, 2009 at 7:09 PM

RD on December 30, 2009 at 12:31 AM

Khamenei

he’s a figurehead and this is smoke and mirrors. Unless Khamenei can stuff the entire IRGC/Pasdaran/Artesh into that plane nothing has happened.

be careful I have a feeling this is all kabuki theater. all of it.

elduende on December 30, 2009 at 1:12 AM

Considering the manner in which Khamenei came to power, I would not be surprised if this is true. We can only wait and see.

With regard to Mousavi’s nephew, it was a “hit”, which was different to what they do to the demonstrators. They ran him over outside his house.

I have heard some rather harrowing stories regarding the bloodshed. People are being shot and hacked to death in the streets.

At the same time there are signs of the military and police siding with the demonstrators. The Revolutionary Guard and Basij are a different matter.

This whole thing needs close monitoring.

maggieo on December 30, 2009 at 2:07 AM

…even Kerry’s not so stupid as to do something that would legitimize the regime at a moment when it’s at its weakest…

LOL. So why hasn`t Kerry spoken out against the regime in the last days, weeks and months? Kerry has a vision of being the Richard Nixon of Iran – the one that sets up the ping-pong diplomacy which brings Iran back into the circle of (somewhat) sane nations.

And the rumor about the Iranian airplane? A rumor that means nothing. Wouldn`t his plane always be ready to fly?

albill on December 30, 2009 at 6:47 AM

even Kerry’s not so stupid as to do something that would legitimize the regime at a moment when it’s at its weakest

Wow, AP, you shock me. He most certainly is that stupid. What has this guy ever done that makes you think he isn’t?

Shall I replay the litany of Kerry stupidity or his perfidy?

dogsoldier on December 30, 2009 at 6:51 AM

You know, I think the U.S. has some pretty good air-to-air missiles in its inventory. Just sayin.

BadgerHawk on December 29, 2009 at 6:40 PM

Some of the best Buddy, some of the best…

I bet THEY check peoples underwear before they get onboard!

JusDreamin on December 30, 2009 at 11:01 AM