Ahmadinejad On The Outs?


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Sep 9, 2006

Deep rifts among Iran’s ruling elite have reached an all-time high in recent weeks, according to sources, who say things have gotten so bad that President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad may have stopped showing up for work.

Iran’s complex power structure has for years been compared to a multi-headed hydra, with multiple points of strength. But the struggle now appears to have boiled down to a showdown between Ahmadinejad and Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei – once viewed as Ahmadinejad’s biggest cheerleader.
Dr. Mohsen Sazegara, one of the founders of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard and now an opposition figure living in the U.S., says it’s a classic Iranian power struggle


From StrategyPage.com another possibility

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran is increasingly in conflict with the senior clerics who have veto powerover anything elected officials want to do. The clerics are trying to get rid of Ahmadinejad and his zealous (against corrupt clerics) associates. So now the senior clerics are sending the police (which the clergy control) to arrest key Ahmadinejad aides and accuse them of witchcraft and sorcery. This led to street brawls between fans of Ahmadinejad and Islamic hardliners. Clubs, knives and other sharp instruments were used. There was blood in the streets.
Ahmadinejad is quite popular, because he has gone after corrupt officials, especially the clerics and their families, who feel they are immune from prosecution and can take what they want. In theory, the clerics can get rid of Ahmadinejad by simply declaring that he is not religiously suitable to run for election. That's the kind of power the clerics have. But Ahmadinejad is too popular for that sort of censorship, and Ahmadinejad is not corrupt. His rants against Israel and the Jews, while a bit much for some clerics, is also not grounds for being declared "un-Islamic" and ineligible to run for election. Ahmadinejad is quite respectful of Islam and most Moslem clerics, but willing to go after clerics who are dirty. This is also quite popular with most Iranians, and that scares the dirty clerics at the top.
So why have the clerics decided to accuse Ahmadinejad cronies of sorcery? That's because in most countries where there is a dominant religion, especially a state approved one, there is usually still a fear that the previous religion (or religions) will try to make a comeback. The former faiths often involved some really old-school stuff, including magic and sometimes animal, or even human, sacrifice. It is not uncommon for there to be civil laws covering those accused to be practicing sorcery, and severe punishments for those convicted. At the very least, the accused will be driven from any senior government jobs they might hold, and that's what's being done to dozens of Ahmadinejad associates.
Thanks for the Rand link. Nice idea, bomb your partners, flood their markets with cheaper goods and dam their waterways. Can't Persians and Arabs just get along? And yes, I am a card carrying cynic.