Power Struggles Inside Iran’s Regime: Hope for Change?

June 28, 2009

(ChattahBox)—A terrific piece written by Peter Beaumont for the Observer, reports on the behind the scenes Machiavellian-like maneuvers and power struggles developing within the Iranian movement, between competing factions supporting the Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and President Ahmadinejad and groups supporting defeated candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi.

The hopes of all of the protesters demanding a new election and yearning for greater freedoms and a loosening of the theocratic grip held by the Supreme Leader, now rests in the hands of leaders in opposition to the Ayatollah Khamenei, including Mousavi supporter, Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani.

With the street protests crushed by severe police and basiij militia crackdowns, which resulted in many arrests and deaths, the fight for freedom has now moved to the inner workings of government.

Protesters have now resorted to showing their opposition to the Iranian government, by driving during the daytime with their headlights on and by wearing black to show support for the killed protesters.

Beaumont reports on several dramatic changes and events within the Iranian government pointing to a future shift in power. For example, about half of the members of the parliamentary assembly decided to boycott the government dinner arranged by Ahmadinejad to celebrate his “re-election.”

There are also growing tensions between speaker of the parliament, Ali Larijani and Ahmadinejad, with Larijani calling for the formation of a special parliamentary committee to investigate the violence surrounding the election in what he terms an “even-handed way.” Ahmadinejad supporters are now calling for Larijani’s impeachment.

Beaumont also notes the growing power struggle developing between Ayatollah Rafsanjani, head of the Assembly of Experts and the Supreme Leader. Rafsanjani is calling for a weakening of the Supreme Leader’s power, by replacing Ayatollah Khamenei as the supreme leader with a committee of senior ayatollahs, including Khamenei. Such a move, would effectively dilute Khamenei’s power.

Khamenei’s supporters are led by hardliner Mohammad-Taqi Mesbah Yazdi, who is thought to have his sights firmly set on the position of Supreme Leader in the future.

While the behind the scenes power struggles play out, Mousavi supporters can still be heard shouting their rallying call of “Allah-o-Akbar” (God is great).



One Response to “Power Struggles Inside Iran’s Regime: Hope for Change?”

  1. Old Man Dotes on June 28th, 2009 4:44 pm

    The biggest problem the Iranian people face is that their ruling elite are still tribal barbarians, who believe that they were given the power to rule by God, and that anyone who opposes them must be destroyed. They have no concept of peaceful compromise, or logical, intelligent dissent.

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