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Syria: Iran’s “35th province”

Hojjat al-Islam Mehdi Taeb, a senior Iranian cleric and head of the effort to defeat the “soft war” against the Islamic Republic, has declared Syria to be “the 35th province [of Iran] and a strategic province for us.”

Taeb added: “[I]f we lose Syria, we cannot keep Tehran.”

This is a remarkably candid admission. Iran’s rulers clearly recognize that when their ally Assad is overthrown, they will be seriously, perhaps fatally, weakened, and may well be next– especially given the awful economic conditions faced by ordinary Iranians.

The head of the country’s Revolutionary Guard said last month that his forces are ready to confront unrest in the coming months caused by declining living standards, which he predicted “would start from remote cities in the country rather than Tehran.”

It may be coming soon. This video of people waiting in a queue for subsidized rice in the Iranian city of Sabzevar was posted a couple of weeks ago: