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The issue was debated within the “star chamber” that runs the Islamic Republic under “Supreme Guide” Ali Khamenei.
The outcome of the debate was simple: the Islamic Republic should claim that Arabs revolts are inspired by Iran's experience in 1979 when mullahs, in alliance with Communists, seized power.
Once that strategy was fixed several steps were taken. First, the media were allowed to show the Arab revolts, except in Syria, in a positive light.
Next, they started promoting Khamenei as “Imam” rather than mere ayatollah. This meant that Iran was no longer a “republic” as its title asserts but an “imamate.” The change would enable Khamenei to claim to be leader of Muslims throughout the world, whether they liked it or not.
According to organizers, it attracted some 600 “scholars and political leaders” from 53 countries. It was inaugurated by Khamenei with a sermon in which he presented the late Ruhallah Khomeini as the father of the “awakening.” The implication was that, as Khomeini's successor, he should now be regarded as “Imam of the Ummah.”
So, what to do? The solution was found in the last refuge of the scoundrel: anti-Americanism. Thus the “Conference of Islamic Awakening” was transformed into an anti-American fest celebrating Khomeini's supposed “humbling of America.” (Some “Zionist” bashing added for good measure.)
Ali Akbar Velayati, a former Foreign Minister and now foreign policy advisor to the “Supreme Guide” had the temerity to claim that the Arab Spring was all about hatred for the “Great Satan.”