Russia, the Archangel Michael and the Iranian Election

by Roman Kupchinsky

While many Western leaders have condemned the Iranian regime for rigging the vote in the June 2009 presidential elections in favor of incumbent President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and for using brutal force to suppress pro-democracy protesters, Russia and China, as could have been predicted, congratulated the Iranian leader on his “victory” and lambasted the United States and its allies for having doubts about the final results of the vote.

“The issue of elections in Iran is an internal affair of the Iranian people,” Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told reporters in Yekaterinburg where Russia hosted a summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), which was attended by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad…“We welcome the holding of elections in Iran, and we welcome the newly re-elected president of Iran on Russian soil… it is highly significant that the first foreign visit after Ahmadinejad’s re-election is to Russia.” It was indeed significant given that the two countries share so many things in common.

This message was further elaborated upon by Alexander Dugin, the head of the Russian right-wing International EurAsian Movement, among whose members are many influential Russian businessman. Dugin stated. “The SCO is evolving into a kind of organization for countries that feel themselves excluded from the global system, who feel victimized by the US-dominated unipolar order…”Now this unipolar world is being shaken to its foundations by economic crisis and imperial retreat, and it’s time to define a new project of a multi-polar world.”

The International EurAsia Movment board is listed on the organizations website and includes numerous members of the Russian defense and security services.

In a programmatic speech by Dugin at the 2004 conference of the organization, he presented a broad outline of the group’s goals in a rambling manifesto.
“Almost all religions and traditions claim – globalization, “new world order” , “unipolar world”, “world cabinet” – are symbols of Lucifer , strategic constructions of “God enemies” – Archangel Michael`s direct enemies. Christians identify this “new world order” as “antichrist”, muslims as “dadjallah”, judes – “great melting” (“erev rav”), hinduists – as forces of Kali Juga, Buddhists – Mara, demon of illusion. On the other side of all differences between doctrines, rituals and dogmata exists special tradition – tradition of Archangel Michael, “michaelic” veiled light. It is affiliation of human to “hierohistory”, right (and obligation) to be a soldier of one of the two opposing armies.”

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and Chinese President Hu Jintao both met Ahmadinejad, although the meeting with Medvedev was brief because Ahmadinejad had arrived in Yekaterinburg a day late because of the crisis in Tehran. Ahmadinejad and Medvedev joked and smiled for television cameras, but as Kremlin spokeswoman Natalya Timakova said “their meeting had been very short: “They did not even sit down.”

A brief report from China’s official Xinhua news agency said Hu and Ahmadinejad “exchanged views on bilateral relations and issues of common concern” on the sidelines of the summit.

By embracing, however low-key, the official Iranian election results, the Russian and the Chinese leaderships have gambled that the current regime will be able to suppress the opposition and remain in power. If they are proven wrong they are likely to be seen by the Iranian opposition as allies of the hated regime and the Archangel Michael and his contemporary supporters might be in for a shock.